Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SINGAPORE - May 21, 2018 - On May 14-16, Consensus 2018, the fourth annual blockchain technology summit organized by CoinDesk, which features more than 250 speakers and more than 4,000 attendees from the leading industry startups, investors, financial institutions, enterprise tech leaders, and academic and policy groups who are building the foundations of the blockchain and digital currency economy, was launched at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Mr. Ken Huang, president of THEKEY, was invited to join a panel discussion with Mr. Vinny Lingham, founder and CEO of Civic Technologies, and Mr. Joseph Weinberg, chairman of Shyft Network Inc., on the session of Changed Face of Identity on May 14. The session was moderated by Mr. Marc Hochstein, managing editor of CoinDesk.
During the panel, Ken put forward his in-depth insights on THEKEY’s solutions to the current problems in the Identity space by utilizing blockchain technology. In this article we will provide further elaboration on the talking points he brought up:
THEKEY is based and built on many years of research and development. The First generation of IDV products is used widely within China now and it is currently building the second-generation product by utilizing blockchain technology. THEKEY’s MVP (minimum viable product) will be available by the end of May.
1. Why does THEKEY need the blockchain to solve the identity problems and what are the main five identity issues the blockchain wants to solve?
First, identity is fragmented for the consumer but centralized for the hacker. We have identities in different places and each place holds a fragment of our identity. We have an identity on Facebook, at Google, at Taobao, at Wechat, at Equifax, etc. These centralized identity stores hold some piece of our data. These data are centralized from the hacker’s perspective and gives more incentives for hackers to break into one centralized data store and steal a ton of identities. We need to make identity centralized from the point of view of the end user in such a way that the user’s main data is stored centralized in a Trusted Execution Environment on the user’s phone. In this way, identity is fragmented for the hacker and the hacker does not have a centralized database from which to steal the data.
Third, everyone hates using passwords. One may either have too many passwords that are hard to use and easy to forget or have one password for everything which could be disastrous. This is because if someone steals a singular password, they can use it to access other private websites, email, accounts, etc. On the other hand, blockchain is based on public/private key pairs. If people keep their private key secure and if the system has good key management tools and processes, it can be combined with biometrics and other one-time passcodes to potentially get rid of the much-hated passwords.
Fourth, identity proofing or verification brings a very high cost for all businesses. Most businesses, including banking and insurance, are required by law to meet KYC requirements (Know Your Customers). The average cost of such a service is around $100 per customer. This is repeated in each bank or insurance company that people do business with. This is also a burden for the person and a high social cost overall due to the excessive paperwork, redundant efforts in background searches and other KYC works required by law for certain businesses. THEKEY aims to solve this problem, and it will give details on how it intends to solve this problem later.
Fifth, the current identity system is rigid and the attributes of the user, once defined, are very hard to change. For instance, in the business enterprise world, a user identity is usually stored in the Microsoft Active Directory. If someone needs to add an attribute, they will need to extend the Microsoft Active Directory schema. For anyone who has worked in any identity-related projects, they know that it is very hard to ask the Microsoft Active Directory administrator to extend or change the schema for supporting IT systems. A person will need to go through a change management process and do a lot of testing before any changes can be made. Why not make this more flexible via the use of smart contracts? We will need to make the attributes more dynamic and real-time, and THEKEY project will try to do some work in this area.
2. Why does THEKEY need to build a token system for its identity chain?
First, from the general idea of token economy, Ken believes that a token in a blockchain, regardless of what the blockchain system’s application is, can serve three purposes. The token is the blood of the whole ecosystem. If we think of the blockchain app as an organic ecosystem, it will need a circulatory system. The blood is essential for this circulatory system. Tokens enable transactions to happen and make the system circulate.
Tokens are also the glue since it can glue the participants of the ecosystem to work together by using tokens as incentives.
Tokens are also “smoother,” which reduces friction within the system. If fiat is used in the system, people will have to deal with banks, and this could potentially introduce friction since it takes time and money to have fiat circulate in a blockchain system. Thus, unless there is a national digital currency which can be seamlessly integrated into a blockchain system, the system will need tokens for smooth transactions. This somehow partially explains why so many Hyperledger Fabric-based blockchain projects never move beyond the POC (Proof of Concept) stage so far.
3. How do the TKY tokens work within THEKEY project?
Ken just listed three main participants from THEKEY system (he did not list developers as part of ecosystem since it is obvious for each blockchain project, that the developer contributes codes and needs to be paid in the tokens of the system). The consumer can use the token to pay for services such as fraud detection or get paid for providing the data needed in IDV situations. The service provider can use the token to pay for data if, and only if, the user consents to provide the data and allows the identity provider to give the data. The identity provider can get paid for the identity verification service.
4. How does THEKEY project solve the problems facing the identity space?
THEKEY leveraged some wonderful work by uPort, Civic, evernym and other self-sovereign identity start-ups. In addition, THEKEY has the following attributes, such as having authoritative data; being dynamic; being multiple-dimensional; being blockchain-enabled; having real-world use cases; and also preserving privacy.
THEKEY is based and built on many years of research and development. The first generation of IDV products is used widely within China now and it is currently building the second-generation product by utilizing blockchain technology. THEKEY’s MVP (minimum viable product) will be available by the end of May.
About The Key:
THEKEY is a blockchain-based identity verification technology (IDV) being developed to create secure digital identities for the future. Built on a decentralized ecosystem, THEKEY uses Blockchain Based Dynamic Multidimensional Identification (BDMI) to store big data. Headed by Catherine Li, voted the Most Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur in China, the technology handles Personally Identifiable Information (PII) which has been exclusively authorized by government authorities.
For more information about THEKEY, please visit the following links:
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