The world is increasingly being driven by data and our personal identities, more valuable than our money, is entrenching itself in digital storage. While personal data has been receiving all of the benefits of digitization, it also comes at the cost of having our data stolen, manipulated and exploited.
The threat to digital identities is very real – one needs to only look at the string of recent data breaches of multiple companies to gauge the scale of the security problem. This is compounded by the general lack of identities systems that provide both the basic requirements – access, interoperability, portability and ownership among them – and a sound security infrastructure. The niche could very much do with enhancement.
Blockchain technology offers a partial defense against this problem, but only a few are plugging cyber security holes while simultaneously building efficient platforms that allow for the practical uses of digital identities. The inherent security strengths of this technology are ideal for digital identity management systems.
SelfKey, a Digital Identity System, Receives a Boost
One such blockchain project, SelfKey, has just received a Regulatory Sandbox License (RSL) from the Board of Investment of Mauritius, putting it in an excellent position to take its project forward. The importance of the RSL is that it allows a business to conduct its activity in a space where no preceding legal framework has been established – something blockchain and cryptocurrencies precisely need.
Not only is this a license to conduct an operation, it also serves as a nod of approval for the work being conducted. Even working within a sensitive field such as digital identity, SelfKey is one of only a few blockchain projects that have been approved to develop their product within a regulatory framework. The scrutiny that comes along with the RSL can help ensure that SelfKey stays on track to hit their project milestones.
SelfKey recently conducted an ICO. The public sale, held on January 11 2018, exhausted the supply of keys in just 11 minutes. The soft cap for the sale was $2.5 million and there is total supply of 6 billion KEY tokens. 33% of the tokens were offered in the public sale, another 33% will be used as an incentive for the community to help build the network and 16.5% has been reserved for the founding team, which will be vested over a 1 year period. Another 16.5% will be in reserve and for long term expenses, while 1% was allocated for the token sale’s legal costs. 90% of the proceeds will be used for growth grants.
They will also be hosting a Tokens AirDrop on January 29, 2018.
What is SelfKey?
Established in Mauritius, SelfKey is a blockchain-based digital identity system that aims to eliminate all of the hurdles that traditional digitally-centralized and paper-based identity systems create. The project is composed of over 50 team members across product, tech, design and marketing, and is further bolstered by several advisors. The company is led by CEO and founder Edmund Lowell.
Blockchain’s primary benefit is its characteristic of decentralization. This removes vulnerable weak points in a network that, if compromised, can lead to worrying data loss. It is no different in the digital identity services, where data is stored and routed through centralized servers. The recent breach of Equifax is one of the more troubling examples of this problem.
SelfKey has been established a non-profit foundation with no owners or shareholders. It believes that this structure is more in line with its goals and will be more conducive to it. The key purpose is to put identity management and control into the hands of the user, taking it away from large centralized powers who operate in vulnerable environments and whose access is limited to only a certain portion of the world’s population.
Through a “Self-Sovereign ID” (SSID), the project will put the individual firmly back in control of their own identities in the identity management process.
CEO Edmund Lowell has participated in interviews about the project. Watch one of these here:
What Does SelfKey Do and How Does it Work?
Nurturing this safe identity environment will be:
- The foundation itself
- The SelfKey Identity Wallet
- The SelfKey Marketplace
- The JSON-LD Protocol
- The KEY token
The SelfKey Identity Wallet
The identity wallet will allow users to access personal data and documentation stored on your device, which can then be used to receive attestations from entities such as government institutions, notaries and utility companies. This information can also be securely shared with banks.
The KEY Token
The KEY token is the key element in this ecosystem. The owner of the identity will facilitate attestations from entities, to be used in interactions with a party that requires this attestation, by paying the attesting entity and the relying party KEY tokens. Relying parties will also pay tokens to attesting entities.
Companies can also derive benefits from SelfKey’s identity system. Multiple identities can be linked to each other, allowing for multi-level verification. A previously time-consuming and tedious task can be sped up and made more convenient . An example would be the opening of corporate employee bank accounts.
The SelfKey Marketplace
SelfKey’s marketplace also seems to be aiming to be as comprehensive as possible. At launch, it will include services such as incorporation, residency, and citizenship by investment. Money transmission, e-wallets, bank accounts, coin exchanges will be available as well. Credit cards, foreign exchange, mortgages, commercial and personal loans, and airline booking is also planned. The total services offered will exceed 250.
The benefit here is that no centralized power is required to store or handle the digital identity information. Only the user, through a private key, will be able to access this information. SelfKey’s whitepaper offers a more detailed explanation. You can also watch this official video explaining the platform:
SelfKey’s system will radically streamline and secure the digital identity services space. Currently, a great of deal time is spent in completing KYC processes. A system that seamlessly allows for personal information to be used in secure ways with a variety of services that require industry operability is much required in our digitally-run world.
The foundation has already partnered with the likes of passports.io, ComplianceAsia, Distributed Ledgers and many more. A steady slew of partnerships with companies and governmental entities would really help them establish dominance in this space.