The GID Report #6 — Greg at KNOW 2020, Gun control and Identity, and it’s all about messaging

Sep 10 · 7 min read

Welcome to The GID Report, a biweekly update that includes globaliD team news, market perspectives, and industry analysis. Check out the last report here.

(Also, if you’re in San Francisco next week, join us on Tuesday evening for the SSI Incubator launch event!)

This week, we’ll be covering:

  1. Greg speaking at KNOW 2020
  2. Gun control and identity
  3. The huge opportunity in remittances
  4. It’s all about messaging
  5. Telegram’s crypto plans
  6. Square Cash > Venmo
  7. This week in Libra
  8. Stuff happens
  9. Shoutouts

1. Greg speaking at KNOW 2020

So — Greg was accepted to speak at KNOW 2020 in Vegas (Sun, Apr 5, 2020 — Thu, Apr 9, 2020). They’ve included this nifty image. Feel free to share on your socials!

2. Gun control and identity

As Greg noted on the issues of gun control and background checks: “current loop hole is that online sales don’t require them”:

Texas Shooter Had Been Banned From Buying Firearms Because Mentally Unfit

It’s not yet clear whether or not that’s how the shooter acquired the guns. What we do know is that he was prevented from doing so in the past due to background checks.

That’s obviously right up GID’s alley. (And perhaps not so dissimilar from the partnership with CUDDLY — streamlining the process for the good intentioned while helping to minimize bad actors in the system.)

Greg: “We can show the way here.”

Also relevant (via Craig) — Walmart’s C.E.O. Steps Into the Gun Debate. Other C.E.O.s Should Follow

3. The huge opportunity in remittances

The Remittance Observatory’s latest newsletter has a great deep dive into the importance of ID and remittance (via Paul + Meg):

The issue of IDs is an important one for the remittance industry, as well as to the financial services industry more broadly. To mitigate potential risk and to address complex regulatory requirements, the industry has generally moved towards stricter identity authentication requirements. However, there is a challenge in serving remittance customers who may not have access to legal identity documents, often through no fault of their own but rather due to government inefficiencies and political situations beyond their control. The situation calls for a larger discussion among governments, international organizations, private sector stakeholders and development practitioners regarding ways to ensure that migrants and remittance recipients don’t get left behind.

The entire report is worth checking out (PDF attached), breaking down the associated costs and barriers in various regions.

Likewise, the opportunity here is huge. And Facebook knows this (via Jun) — Libra Needs Facebook Users to Help Break Into $714 Billion Payments Market:

“The remittance market is a cutthroat business,” Talie Baker, a senior analyst in Aite Group’s retail banking and payments practice, said in a report this month. While it’s long been dominated by incumbents such as MoneyGram International Inc. and Western Union Co., a raft of new players including Remitly Inc., TransferWise Ltd. and WorldRemit Ltd. “are becoming more established and well-known” and are posting some of the biggest growth rates in the industry, Baker said.

As Greg/Meg noted on the above — some great charts/graphics in that Bloomberg report.

And a clearly growing market:

Also relevant — Facebook’s WhatsApp Seeks Policy Expert to Champion Blockchain in Africa — CoinDesk

4. It’s all about messaging

Greg often talks about the importance of messaging and how it’s the killer app of the 21st century. And we’ve already seen plenty of validation for that — whether it’s Facebook and WhatsApp and Libra or Telegram and their plans for TON.

And the hits keep on coming — Messaging Giant LINE Wins Japan License for Crypto Exchange Business

The messaging firm said last month it’s aiming to build a “token economy” around its own blockchain LINK Chain. It will offer two tokens — LINE Point in Japan and LINK for other nations — aimed to connect users and service providers. Five decentralized dapps (decentralized applications) will soon be launched across categories including “prediction, Q&A, product review, food review and location review using social media.”

LINE said at the time that it “aims to flatten the relationship structure between users and service providers to promote co-creation and mutual growth.”

Also — Samsung to Launch Smartphone Meant to Make Blockchain Friendlier

MIT TR: Samsung is working with Kakao, which makes a popular messaging app in South Korea, to release a version of its Galaxy Note 10 that integrates with Kakao’s newly launched blockchain, called Klaytn.

5. Telegram’s crypto plans

Speaking of messaging, Telegram’s TON is finally getting some mainstream play. Including this piece by Nathanial Popper, the main crypto/blockchain guy over at the NYTimes. And the big takeaway here is that Telegram is a big deal. It’s important. It offers a lot of tech wizardry and libertarian philosophy. In many ways it’s the antithesis of FB and Libra and Mark Zuckerberg.

But more often than not, the mainstream narrative will undoubtedly focus on its subversive qualities and general vibes. As Popper did:

Telegram has always operated with a degree of disregard for the opinions of government authorities.

The company was created by Pavel Durov, a self-described libertarian who fled Russia after clashing with the government and being forced to sell off his first successful social network, VKontakte. Mr. Durov now moves between offices in the Middle East and Europe.

The Telegram app makes it easy to send encrypted messages between phones. That has made it popular both with terrorists and with government dissidents and protesters, most recently in Hong Kong.

Those qualities have made it unpopular with governments in Iran and Russia, which have tried to shut it down.

It’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s sort of Bitcoin to Libra’s Ripple. One is looking to do its own thing, a revolutionary vision that would flip the existing system on its head. The other is looking for a less disruptive approach that better meshes with the industry as we already know it.

And both will face blowback but you would assume that the former, a bit much more so. As Greg alluded to in a Twitter post:

I’m very curious about how this will work from a compliance point of view (or won’t work as the case may be). Tally ho!

It’s a super fascinating experiment either way and a true heavyweight battle for messaging, payments, and identity supremacy.

Relevant: Telegram’s Blockchain Will Be Compatible With Ethereum: Source — CoinDesk

6. Square Cash > Venmo

Elsewhere in payments (via Greg) — The Gap Between Cash App and Venmo Is Getting Bigger:

While Venmo got a head start over Cash App, Square has quickly caught up and surpassed the payments pioneer in downloads earlier this year, according to Dolev. It’s done so by introducing new features to Cash App in its quest to provide more services for the underbanked. Eventually, Square thinks Cash App could do just about everything a traditional bank does for most people.

Not only are consumers attracted to Cash App’s broader set of features, but they’ve become a significant source of revenue for Square. PayPal investors have hoped Venmo would become a similar source of valuable revenue, but its progress is well behind Square’s and likely to keep falling behind as Cash App becomes increasingly more popular than Venmo.

7. This week in Libra

JPMorgan Fears New Breed of Crypto Like Libra Face ‘Gridlock’

Facebook hires two more lobbyists for Libra cryptocurrency initiative — The Block

Europe should ignore ‘treacherous promises’ of Facebook’s Libra…

New Head of China’s Digital Currency Says It Beats Facebook Libra on Tech Features — CoinDesk

A huge database of Facebook users’ phone numbers found online — TechCrunch

Open letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Via Rebecca — Coinbase’s Ex-Policy Head Will Lobby for Facebook’s Libra Crypto — CoinDesk

Lobbying Spending Database — Facebook Inc, 2019

Libra Needs Facebook Users to Help Break Into $714 Billion Payments Market

There’s a $10,000 reward for breaking Facebook’s crypto

Facebook is digging in for a high-stakes fight over its digital currency

Libra Association’s Crypto Members Remain Unfazed by Regulatory Backlash — CoinDesk

Crypto Lobby Fights to Contain Backlash From Facebook’s Libra

SEC Chief’s Crypto Skepticism Sets Up Facebook Clash Over Libra

8. Stuff happens

Via Jacob — ‘Not Everyone Is Happy but We Have to Move on,’ Some Challenges to the FATF’s New Guidance

Via Nejc — Ontario approves digital ‘pink cards’ as proof of auto insurance on mobile devices | The Star

Binance Launches Dollar-Backed Crypto Stablecoin With NYDFS Blessing — CoinDesk

Jack Dorsey Twitter hack

Jack Dorsey: Mass Crypto Adoption Will Transform Square’s Business — CoinDesk

Cryptocurrency Has ‘Long-Term Potential,’ Says Apple Exec — CoinDesk

China’s Crypto Competitor Is Being Built in a Secret Office with Restricted Access — CoinDesk

Hackers Breach Forum Of Popular Webcomic ‘XKCD’

Internet Identity Workshop IIWXXIX #29 2019B

The World’s First Ambassador to the Tech Industry

Report: States line up for Google antitrust probe

Apple patents Watch band that could ID you from your wrist skin — TechCrunch

Use case spotlight: Onfido to provide self-sovereign identity verification services — Sovrin

Self-Sovereign Identity Systems: How Businesses Win From Letting Go of Customers’ Data

Consumer Reports launches digital lab to rate on privacy, inform policy

MoneyGram Up 80% YTD After Dismal Run in 2018: What’s Next?

Government wants access to personal data while it pushes privacy

Privacy Fundamentalism

Via Jacob — Mastercard Introduces Consumer-Centric Model for Digital Identity

Perspective | The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem

Ethereum ‘Almost Full’ as Controversial Coin Gobbles Up Capacity

Via Vadim — Blue: The Business Card Reinvented.

Andrew Yang Just Made Bitcoin And Blockchain A Big 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Issue

More Than Half of Top 50 Universities Now Offer Cryptocurrency-Related Courses: Coinbase Report

China Internet Report 2019

9. Shoutouts

Greg Kidd — Co-Founder and CEO

Rebecca Schwartz — Product Manager

Vadim Slavin — Director of Attestations

Nejc Horvat — Engineering Architect

Jacob Cohen — Head of Compliance

Jun Hiraga—CEO, Synthetic Liquidity

Craig Dalton — Executive Director, Bike Index

Meg Nakamura — CEO, Apto

Paul Dwyer — CEO, Viamericas


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