From Passwords to Passwordless: The Evolution of Authentication with OID4VP and FIDO2

Let's dive into understanding how these new authentication solutions tackle the vulnerabilities of traditional password systems and provide a comparison between them.

CIOL Bureau
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When was the last time you struggled to remember a password? The answer is perhaps one too many times. In today's digital age, our data consumption is skyrocketing, bringing with it increased risks. Traditional password-based authentication systems are falling short against sophisticated cyber threats. That's why the move to passwordless authentication options like OID4VP and FIDO2 is critical for both businesses and users.


Let's dive into understanding how these new authentication solutions tackle the vulnerabilities of traditional password systems and provide a comparison between them.

Passwordless Authentication: A Paradigm Shift with OID4VP and FIDO2

The inconvenience and risks associated with passwords, including phishing attacks and stolen credentials, are well-known. Hence, passwordless authentication emerges as a relief for consumers, who now do not have to bother with remembering and storing hundreds of account credentials. This approach enables users to verify their identity seamlessly and securely through biometric factors or one-time codes, eliminating the reliance on traditional passwords. One important protocol in this domain is OpenID for Verifiable Presentations (OID4VP), which offers a standardised method for secure verification, thereby reducing the risks.


OpenID for Verifiable Presentations (OID4VP) functions by extending the OpenID Connect protocol, supporting the presentation of claims through Verifiable Credentials. This extension enables the secure and verifiable presentation of identity data within the protocol flow.


With OID4VP, users can present their digital proofs of identity, attributes, or qualifications to verifiers, using a wallet. OID4VP uses Verifiable Presentations (VPs) which are cryptographic confirmations of digital identity based on well-known standards for authentication and authorisation on the web, such as OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect.


Apart from OID4VP, FIDO2 (Fast Identity Online) also presents developers with an alternative for securing users’ digital interactions.

FIDO2 is a collaborative initiative by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) aimed at establishing robust authentication standards for web applications. It comprises both the W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) standard and the FIDO Client to Authenticator Protocol 2 (CTAP2), FIDO2 builds upon the foundation laid by the FIDO Alliance, notably incorporating insights from the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication standard. This project seeks to enhance web security by providing a strong and standardised authentication framework, contributing to a safer online experience for users.

Comparing OID4VP and FIDO2


Now, let's compare OID4VP and FIDO2 to better understand their unique features and functionalities.

Protocol Variances

OID4VP leverages established standards like OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect, providing a foundation widely recognised for web authentication and authorisation. In contrast, FIDO2 integrates the W3C Web Authentication specification with the FIDO Alliance's Client-to-Authenticator Protocols.


Credential Formats and Support

OID4VP supports various verifiable credential formats, including W3C Verifiable Credentials Data Model, ISO mdoc, and AnonCreds. FIDO2 relies on cryptographic key pairs known as passkeys which can be embedded or external authenticators.

FIDO2 takes a different approach, focusing on user-generated credentials known as passkeys.


These passkeys leverage public-key cryptography for strong authentication, stored securely in either:

  • Embedded authenticators: Integrated platform authenticators within devices like smartphones or laptops. Or
  • External authenticators: Dedicated security keys offering enhanced security and portability.

Access and Integration


OID4VP enables applications or websites to access wallets via OpenID Connect, facilitating seamless integration with self-sovereign identity wallets, whereas FIDO2 supports the use of external authenticators with FIDO2-enabled browsers and operating systems.

Choosing the Right Tool for your Authentication Needs

OID4VP can be seamlessly combined with Self-Issued OpenID Provider v2 (SIOPv2) for those seeking OpenID Connect functionalities, such as the issuance of Self-Issued ID Tokens. On the other hand, FIDO2 offers flexibility, integrating with the FIDO Universal Authentication Framework (FIDO UAF) and catering to those who prioritise a passwordless experience, enhanced with biometrics or PINs.

Both OID4VP and FIDO2 are popular options for passwordless authentication. However, OID4VP is often preferred due to its strong foundation, adherence to established standards, extensive ecosystem, and focus on verifiable credentials and privacy. It is also versatile and can be used for a wide variety of applications. Additionally, OID4VP is known for its interoperability, flexibility, selective disclosure, and robust support for secure verifiable credentials, making it a dependable option for various authentication requirements.

Forging a Secure Future with Passwordless Authentication

Passwordless authentication is pivotal in building a secure future for data exchanges. It addresses the inherent vulnerabilities associated with traditional password-based approaches. By eliminating the reliance on easily compromisable passwords, this innovative approach enhances user experience, while bolstering cybersecurity. The transition to passwordless authentication aligns with the evolving landscape of digital interactions, emphasising the importance of trust, security, and privacy in an interconnected and dynamic online world.

To shape the evolving digital landscape, Affinidi and its concept of Holistic Identity empower users to discover, collect, store, share, and even monetise their data with secure and trustworthy digital interactions. The Affinidi Trust Network (ATN), which embodies the Holistic Identity concept, is built using OID4VP. The ATN suite of tools for developers enables the creation of privacy-first applications that empower users to take control of their digital footprint and foster digital trust, including prioritising user consent transparency and data integrity.

With Passwordless Authentication, users can log in securely without passwords, relying on their identity data stored in Affinidi Vault. Affinidi Vault leverages decentralised technologies to give end users more control and privacy over managing their data. To further optimise and manage the use of stored data, users can leverage Affinidi Concierge, a private AI personal assistant.

Affinidi Login, the passwordless authentication solution, seamlessly integrates with OIDC-compliant applications, ensuring compatibility and leveraging standard protocols for interoperability. Through the Presentation Exchange (PEX) protocol, developers can request specific data from users, enabling selective sharing.

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Affinidi Login verifies users through Verifiable Presentations (VPs) with verifiable credentials generated by the Affinidi Vault, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of user claims. It also provides OIDC-compliant ID Tokens in standardised formats for easy integration. Customisable Presentation Definitions allow developers to define specific data requests during login based on varied authentication needs.

Explore the world of passwordless authentication and OID4VP with Affinidi Login. For detailed information, refer to our product documentation or schedule a demo with our experts.