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cheqd Wants to Make Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) Commercialy Viable

We’re on a mission to give people and organisations back their privacy and control of their data through self-sovereign identity (SSI). SSI is an emerging concept for exchanging authentic and trusted data related to people, companies, and things in a much more secure and privacy-preserving way.

This is why we’re building a blockchain network with a dedicated token to make SSI commercially viable. By introducing payments and other sustainable economic incentives, we can turbocharge the adoption of SSI, return control and privacy to individuals, and enable new business models for trusted data.

What problem are you trying to solve?

We’re solving a data security, privacy, and trust problem.

No more data silos to be leaked or hacked. No more data sold without consent. No more relationships and transactions without trust.

Trust is closely connected with how quickly one can prove their identity. Let’s explore it a bit further.

Across the world, identity has been commercialised in too many ways to count. These range from transparent and simple relationships like paying for a passport to complex and opaque models like targeted advertising.

Current identity solutions largely put the incentives of issuing/verifying organisations over the individual/company. The identity subject (i.e. an individual or a company) at best has to directly pay (sometimes prohibitive) fees to acquire documents, and at worst, often have no real control over their own data (as often in targeted advertising.)

The bottom line is that the current identity model is fundamentally broken as it’s all built and controlled by companies rather than individuals. The result of such a set-up from a user experience is that on average an individual has 130 to 200 different accounts all tied to the same email address. The current identity model is in many ways a paradise for threat actors, as they can target organisations’ data silos, as well as individuals that have forgotten their passwords and accounts linked to their email address.

How are you solving that problem?

We’re building the trusted/authentic data economy to create solutions and business models, where verifiable credentials are exchanged in a trusted, reusable, safer, and cheaper way than ever before. Essentially, it gives people and organisations control of their data, speeds up and significantly reduces costs of identity checks.

To enable our vision, we’re leveraging self-sovereign identity (SSI). SSI is a method of identity that makes the control of the information centred around its owner. Unlike the existing system, it’s a user-centric and user-controlled approach to exchange authentic information in a much more secure way.

Watch more about what SSI is – explained in 30 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9f36Sh4CFM

Our solution

Our solution is based on the payment rails for trusted/authentic data. We want to make it as easy as possible to create authentic data ecosystems through customisable commercial models and governance structures, all built upon a public permissionless blockchain network with a dedicated token for payment. As such, the solution consists of three core parts:

1. cheqd is a public permissionless network where self-sovereign identity (SSI) credentials can be issued and read.

2. $CHEQ is our token that allows issuers/receivers/holders/node operators to pay each other for digital credentials.

3. cheqd is also a suite of mobile and backend software tools that other SSI vendors can embed in their own software.

Our network is built on blockchain technology, as we believe no single company should control such critical Web infrastructure. For the same reason, we open source critical parts of our technology and contribute back to the community.

Through our network, anyone can verify identities quickly and securely. We help companies monetise self-sovereign identity to stay viable, profitable and more successful than ever before.

Issuers of data benefit from a recurring revenue stream whenever that data is used in the future without needing to process it constantly. And, data recipients can lower their costs since any data they receive is digital, trustable and re-usable, reducing the processing overhead.

What makes us stand out?

  • Easily accessible common and public infrastructure

Our core hypothesis is that that self-sovereign identity needs commercial models that accelerate its adoption. We’re providing a common and public infrastructure easily accessible to anyone and any organisation with payment rails between issuers, holders, and receivers of trusted data.

  • Standards, compliance and interoperability focus

We avoid the risk of creating new silos of data as private data isn’t written to the ledger in any form, avoiding issues with regulations, such as GDPR.

  • Customisable commercial models

Our network allows organisations to imagine, test, build, and iterate commercial models (e.g. volume based discounting) a key driver to SSI adoption across ecosystems.

How has the pandemic impacted your company?

Pandemic enforced a business case for digital identity with use cases spanning from making travel easier to issuing vaccination certificates.

There are a few examples of how digital identity is being tested around the world.

  • Airlines started testing the use of global credentials to verify health passports using SSI and digital identity. 
  • NHS in England rolled out a programme to make it easier for doctors to transfer their credentials across when onboarding within a hospital. 
  • The EU green certificate and International Travel Association are doing something similar. Both explore the ways to issue unique digital credentials that individuals can carry on their phones to prove their identity.

Where do you see your company going in 5 years?

Our vision is to become the de-facto payment mechanism for authentic/trusted data regardless of country, industry or underlying technology. This is all in service of a much greater mission.

We’re committed to giving people and organisations back their privacy and control of their data. We see mass adoption of SSI, which will lead to a much more secure and affordable trusted data economy, the way to make individuals and organisations easily trust each other.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We would love to know your thoughts as comments on the article or via any of our other channels below, take your pick! Make sure to join our rapidly growing Twitter community here to stay updated with our latest news as we head towards launch.

P.S. We’re also on Telegram or LinkedIn, make sure to “cheq” in!

The Man Behind cheqd

Fraser Edwards, CEO at cheqd

Fraser has a rare skillset, blending technology and business acumen and rarer experience.

He has deep consortium and self-sovereign identity knowledge through leading the Known Traveller Digital Identity project with the World Economic Forum and Dutch and Canadian governments amongst the stakeholders and separately, blockchain payments expertise through architecting cross-blockchain payments on the Jasper-Ubin project with the Singaporean and Canadian Central banks.

Fraser’s career has been a series of unique challenges, one after the other and he is thrilled to be taking on the adoption of self-sovereign identity as his next.

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