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It started with a vision.

Before Trust Over IP Foundation, trust architects had a vision: a “trust layer” for the Internet could be achieved by following the same architecture as the Internet.

Each peer would be an instance of a standard “stack” of protocols, just as each device on the Internet runs an instance of the TCP/IP stack.

Today, that vision, with its combination of technology and governance, is seen in the two-sided, four-layer stack that we call the Trust Over IP Stack.

The new ToIP model diagram, with columns for Technology, Governance and ecosystems, and four rows for Trust Support, Trust Spanning, Trust Tasks, and Applications

As developer communities began implementing Verifiable Credentials over secure connections, they recognized this new model could underpin an entire layer of Internet-scale digital trust.

As is usually the case, their initial efforts focused primarily on proving the technology side of things.

However, as these technical solutions started bearing fruit, customers began coming to the table looking for real-world solutions.

That’s when attention turned to the “other half” of the stack—the practical governance and policy questions that must be answered in order to drive business, legal, and social acceptance.

To hear more about the ToIP stack, listen to a panel presentation The Stack The Stack The Stack done at EIC 2022 in Berlin and Defining the Protocol for Internet-Scale Digital Trust done at EIC 2023 in Berlin.

Try the interactive version of the model below.

The introductory white paper (PDF) also has more background and detail on the model.

View the Interactive Model