SelfKey is a decentralized, blockchain-based self-sovereign identity ecosystem. After raising $15.8 million worth of KEY tokens in a successful Pre-public sale, they have announced a public sale starting on January 14th, 2018, capped at $5,940,000.
SelfKey’s whitepaper starts with: “Problem: You do not own your identity”. Most existing identity systems consist of a central storage point. These systems do not integrate with other services and do not place the identity owner in a place of entitlement and power. Besides that, these central systems have very serious security issues.
SelfKey is built on Ethereum and allows individuals to share their identity attributes with certifiers such as notaries and service providers such as banks. The actual identity data is not stored on a centralized database or in the blockchain, it is stored locally on the user’s device. The user grants permission to a third party to access his ID via a public/private key pair. In addition, SelfKey brings the platform to the next level by providing a marketplace of products and services, with more than 10 market verticals, including but not limited to citizenship and residency by investment, company incorporation, bank accounts, exchanges, and token sales.
The SelfKey identity wallet, which will be released in Q1 2018, does not only allow users to manage their digital identity, it is also capable to manage Ethereum and any other ERC-20 token. This can potentially allow users to instantly onboard to Token Sales, sending their KYC and ETH with just one-click.
Selfkey has already a working technology that has already powered KYC for blockchain and fintech startups such as Polymath, AirSwap, Aditus, AiX. In addition, SelfKey Founder, Hong Kong-based KYC-Chain has an ongoing project with Standard Chartered Bank.
Proof of Individuality (Biometric Research)
An important element of the SelfKey project is that a persons’ identity starts with human life, instead of a government document. SelfKey plans to invest time into research on Proof of Individuality (POI) so that anyone, anywhere, is able to prove their existence.
SelfKey Identity Wallet
SelfKey is developing an identity wallet where users can access their identity documents which are stored locally on their personal device. Only access permissions are stored on the blockchain. ID documents can be verified by qualified certifiers, such as an eNotary, which will receive KEY tokens for delivering these certifications.
This solves the problem of reapplying for services with your ID documents every time. The SelfKey Identity Wallet guarantees the authenticity and validity of your documents.
The ID data on the Identity Wallet is tamper-proof as the data is encrypted with the person’s public key. Only the corresponding private key is able to decrypt the stored data. A user is able to create a backup of his identity onto another device or a personal backup solution.
The company behind SelfKey is KYC-chain. It is an already successful company that takes care of the KYC process of onboarding new customers for businesses and financial institutions while ensuring they follow compliance with regulatory standards. The core value of the company is providing an efficient and easy KYC process, and last but not least – provide end-users with the ability to be the sole owners of their identity data.
The KEY token functions in some cases as a proof-of-stake. Verifiers have to place KEY tokens in a locked contract to access the network or prove their identity.
Here Civic is the number one competitor. Civic performed an ICO much earlier, which gives them the benefit of being a first-mover. Civic is building an ecosystem that is designed to facilitate on-demand, secure and low-cost access to identity verification services via the blockchain, such that background and personal information verification checks will no longer need to be undertaken from the ground up every time. Civic has the same core goals as SelfKey. However, after more than half a year of its ICO, Civic has not delivered any ID product, as its current application only verifies email and phone number.
As already mentioned above, SelfKey’s current product is already powering ID/KYC for several startups and makes itself distinct by providing an entire marketplace and a personal/corporate identity wallet capable to manage digital identity and cryptocurrencies. They have already disclosed several partnerships with companies that will provide services within the network. For instance, NTL Trust, one of the most prestigious citizenship and residency by investment authorized agents.
Edmund Lowell– Vision & Founder
Edmund John Lowell is a serial entrepreneur living in Asia since 2011 innovating at the crossroads of finance, technology, and legal fields.
Edmund is also the founder of FlagTheory, which helps individuals and businesses create more freedom, privacy, and wealth through strategic internationalization. Edmund has built a number of Fintech and RegTech products including jurisdictional comparison applications such as Incorporations.io, residencies.io, passports.io, and a blockchain-based KYC onboarding software, KYC-Chain.
As the CEO of KYC-Chain Ltd, he has been a pioneer in building a blockchain solution to improve the current tedious and inefficient KYC processes.
KYC-Chain has worked with renamed financial institutions such as Standard Chartered, as well as with ambitious startups of the fintech space.
Joonas Ruotsalainen – Technical Leader
Joonas is a Finnish software engineer based in Asia since early 2012 and is the VP of Engineering at SelfKey and KYC-Chain. Joonas has over 12 years of full-stack programming experience.
Giorgi Maisuradze - Technical Leader
Giorgi Maisuradze is a lead developer and a software architect of SelfKey and the Georgian Municipal Service Development Agency, building one of the most efficient government identity systems in the world, where one can set up a company, residency, corporate bank account, and personal account in one afternoon. Giorgi spent more than 8 years being a back-end and a front-end developer in various companies before he joined KYC-Chain and Selfkey.
Large team to support the project
Development of Digital id management app compatible with cryptocurrencies
Desktop App development
Marketplace to integrate with identity management
Existing idea – major competitor Civic
The Bottom Line
We like the integration between an identity wallet and a marketplace for services. An easy to use and efficient KYC system is much needed, especially in the world of crypto. Civic is a big competitor and is focused on mobile development. It is good to have competition within this niche which will push the products even further.
This article was first published on: Dec 26, 2017