An abstract world (Network ) is of no use if it can not be addressed in specific. This means, the virtual citizens of this virtual world need to have names (Identity), and unique names at that, because no two people are the same.
And because this world of ours is really a network-of-networks, we must invite other networks in to play. This brings with it the idea of identify, as granted by these various networks (or by blockchains as the cool kids are talking about), and a way to identify these identified entities.
So the way to identify entities - people, places, things - this is what identity is all about. And naming things, one of the most important and difficult things in computer science - becomes a very simple process of connecting to the underlying network.
And we recognize that "anonymous identities" are also identities.
3 E 3rd Ave, Ste 444, San Mateo CA 94401, USA | +14158004888 | firstname.lastname@example.org