A Blockchain-based Profile — Time to Tackle Identity Thefts?
Mike was a starry-eyed young man who had just started college. Armed with his new-found freedom, he was living the life of his dreams. He was studying in one of the most prestigious colleges in the region in the field of his liking. He had already chalked plans for his future. Everything was going smoothly. Until that fateful day.
He got a call from his credit card company that he had spent a mini fortune on his card and that they would need to meet him personally to assess how he was going to pay up. Mike couldn’t believe what he was hearing but when he did finally met the officials at the credit card company’s offices, he realized that someone had been impersonating him and had his credit card cloned. This phony “Mike” was having a ball at the expense of the real Mike’s card. Moreover, as it turned out, this clever thief also got a license made from Mike’s stolen identity and had also registered to, audaciously, a program in another college!
Does the story sound far-fetched? It’s not. This is an example of identity theft. In fact, it is actually not as gory as some real life stories. College students, unfortunately, are the single largest group prone to all types of identity thefts and make up a whopping 34%. Young people are unconcerned and uninformed about the risks of identity thefts and are often careless with their personal information.
Let’s see the other side of the story. Jack had a criminal past. With his records, he couldn’t have dreamed of getting inside the “mainstream.” So he hatched a plan. He stole someone’s identity. He became “John.” John had been a brilliant student throughout his school and college. He came from the upper middle class of working Americans. John was perfect. Jack “became” John. He got a credit card. The worst part? Using John’s academic certification, Jack also got a job!
These instances aren’t figments of my imagination but have been taken from real world stories of identity thefts. Innocent people, unknowingly, have been victims of different types of identity thefts — financial, driver’s license, criminal, social security, medical and insurance.
In this digital age and times, we are at a greater risk of identity thefts than ever before. We share our personal and sensitive information on social media, through emails and through online payment platforms. Our information is vulnerable to be attacked at any of these sites. The recent breach at Equifax proves that even large institutions we have entrusted with our personal data aren’t secure themselves.
What is the solution to this real danger? An incorruptible and un-hackable identity. The majority of the problems arise due to storage of information in a centralized database. What if the data was stored in a decentralized database, on multiple computers? If someone tried to hack one node, the other nodes will still reject the change and not allow any kind of tampering. This is not a hypothetical solution but a very real one and it is called the blockchain.
A blockchain-based identity can solve all the problems of identity thefts and much more. Such a digital identity is truly democratic, sovereign, global, on-demand and permanent. Due to the inherent nature of the blockchain, these digital identities cannot be hacked and stolen.
EXP.Life has created a unique global platform that serves to record the life of an individual on the blockchain. Its premise is pretty simple, yet exciting. It is a platform for documenting one’s life experiences. This is done by fulfilling exciting “quests” requested by other users and then receiving rewards and points — a sort of a reputation system. EXP.Life goal is a point-of-experience system that encourages, tracks, and stores the life experience of a human being. It affords anyone the ability to share their lives with someone else to an extraordinary degree of certainty.
A by-product of this exciting game of life is the creation of a blockchain-based profile. This profile will be a repository of personal data verified by documentation and certification. Once this profile is created, it becomes a gateway for the person to start recording his or her life on the platform. It can become a single-point-of-reference for peers, potential employers and even future generations to know what kind of person he or she really was.
This profile will be created on the Expanse (EXP) blockchain. This blockchain is open. This mean that any person in the world with the necessary credentials can make entries into this ledger. Furthermore, this ledger is “distributed” within the public who collectively maintain it, unlike centralized ledgers that are usually maintained by a bank, for example. All transactions entered in the leger are incorruptible and irreversible.
This will be a comprehensive profile and will contain not just specific information for a specific purpose (a resume, for instance, that only serves for applying to jobs). It can replace resumes, college transcripts and even credit scores. One thing should be noted here, though. Even though the information is on the blockchain, it is secure and not everyone can see all your information. Whatever information you wish to keep undisclosed shall remain so, unless you authorize someone to view it.
Blockchain is more than just bitcoins. Its uses are immense and it has the power to revolutionize almost all fields of human endeavor. Having a digital identity on the blockchain seems inevitable and a total no-brainer. What remains to be seen is how.