What is a digital ID? Although ID is one of the most popular terms nowadays, especially in such a digital world we are living in, very few institutions can fully unlock its potential with emerging technology. Let’s find out how the blockchain can make digital ID a reality for the privilege and the less privilege!
ID is one of the most popular terms nowaday, especially in such a digital world we are living in. So what is a digital ID in a digital world? How do we apply this in different sectors of our daily lives? Who can control your ID data? Under the perspective of a leading technology company, akaChain would like to provide you some important information to these questions.
What is an ID in the digital world?
ID (Identification) is the method of identifying someone or something, saying who we are, whereby, a digital ID is an electric way to do that.
We usually experience this identity application in some related things like ID card for citizenship, ATM card for bank account, customer card of a store, our social accounts, email accounts,… even each electronic device also has its exclusive ID. It seems to have multiple applications, however, its core purpose is to prove the uniqueness of someone or something.
In order to do this, an identity system has to compare the input characteristics to existing databases. Depending on its sector application, these input characteristics exist in multiple forms such as a set of numbers or letters (or both), sometimes it’s a scan of someone’s fingerprint, face or other distinguishing features.
Because of its substantial purpose it is used widely in many different sectors such as science, technology, politics, finance, etc.
The importance of your ID
From the early days of its history to present, we can see that ID exists in simple form: hard documents like passports, driver’s licenses,… They do perform their identity function pretty well but there are some defects of this form. They take time to verify, are easy to be sophisticated or lost, which leads to many serious security problems.
Besides, there are about 1,5 billion people (mostly poor people in Africa and Asia, according to WorldBank) who can’t prove their identity. This means that they can’t enter any education services, own any property, open a bank account, have free movement, and enter social protection, etc. This strongly affects their human rights, especially women and children.
So who has the right to prove our identity? Let’s take a look at these three identity system archetypes to get some overview.
Three identity system archetypes
Based on their fundamental structure, identity systems today typically divide into three archetypes: centralized, federated and decentralized, according to The World Economic Forum report.
System archetypesCentralizedFederatedDecentralizedEstablished and managed byA single organizationDifferent stand-alone systems, each with its own trust anchor, establish trust with each otherMultiple entities contribute to a decentralized digital identity; individual controls sharing of identity dataExamplesA bank, social media platformSweden’s BankID,GOV.UK Verify
Government of Malta educationpilot, city of Antwerp pilotAdoption BaseValue establishing trust relationshipin its early stages (pilot, proof-of- concept) Trust Basesystem owner and identity proofingidentify proofingtrust anchors (public key) and attestationsStrengthsbuilt with specific purposes; easy to access allow individuals access more services of the committeeallow individuals control and decide how to share their own dataChallengeslittle choice of using data, attract hackers, potential for discriminationlittle choice of using data, expensive to maintain or access servicestake effort to change, complex in assigning liability; new to many people
Three identity system archetypes (WEF report)
Until now, centralized and federated archetypes are easier to use because they are more familiar and popular. But their data has been limited in that organization or committee only, and when they want to join others, they have to do the required process again.
As emerging technologies develop, especially in a global digital transformation where the edge between real life and digital becomes faded, there’s the urge to use a new model for digital identification, the one that strengthens individual privacy and security for everyone.
Blockchain technology with its decentralized feature is the key solution to enhance digital ID. With the help of blockchain, individuals can have a secure digital hub where they can store, protect and control access to their identity data easily. Although the concept was first coined for the use of cryptocurrency, the blockchain for business is becoming a buzzword in virtually every industry.
How the blockchain for business can ease the proof of identity
As for financial institutions, digital ID is a crucial factor that brings great benefits to customers: immediate and convenient; easy to access to new services, more choice and market competitiveness.
Understanding this concern, akaChain provides the solution for digital ID in financial services for greater efficiency, reduction in cost, and trust and transparency. Built on Hyperledger Fabric, the blockchain-based digital ID solution by akaChain offers not only distributed ledgers technology but also other emerging technology such as OCR, AI, etc.
The eKYC solution by akaChain helps our customers to improve their user experience effectively with its features: Precision and reliability by using Automatic ID extraction with state-of-the-art accuracy; Trust and validation by cross-checking of Customer Information (ID, Location, Income, Score, Ref Number) and Facial verification that compare between selfie and ID photo).
The credit scoring solution, on the other hand, allow your business to improve risk management and serve your users better with some core features such as: Scoring from social and transactional data sources; Query by phone number, email or social ID; Machine-learning based models for Cash Loan and CDL…; Optimizable for each client and product.
Digital ID matters for rich and poor alike. The solution to the proof of identity is the same for both: blockchain for business. It’s time for institutions to widen the application of blockchain and incorporate it into their business processes.
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