Everything you need to know about Digital Identity and is it good enough?

Stephen Hyduchak
Jun 20 · 4 min read
Aver: Upcoming identity provider in the Bridge Marketplace

Storefronts are increasingly becoming digital and digital assets are becoming prized; rather than own things like physical gold and silver, people opt for Bitcoin. Retailers and service providers are increasingly becoming concerned on how to attest identity and complying to regulations around each of their specialties.

Buzzwords like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning and others seem to be thrown around like in a political election. But, can these things secure identity and is it good enough? We think using bits-and-pieces from each and combining together, means safer and better ID for everyone. Let’s get into it.

Blockchain for ID

Transparency, it is the word we demand from our banks, institutes and politicians, regardless of what nation we are in. Blockchain is the natural partner for this. Creating ledgers that users can view transaction history whether for assets, ID, or property; all give-way to a more transparent ledger and history of the people or IoT devices transacting.

Following a public ledger and transaction history for identity is where we began on Bridge. We founded the basis of an identity system that can say user X has 10+ transactions, we believe this shows the anonymous identifier assigned to the Passport has more credence. Similar to a seller rating on Ebay or follower counts on social media, we wanted to provide that level of transaction history to the users to show who was “safe” to do business with… sure beats calling references! This is how we see identity in the early days for blockchain.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for ID

AI is being used to analyze social media posts, handwriting authenticity and just about anything else startups can try it on. But, for our purposes we wanted to apply that to identity. Our biggest hurdles in design came from, “how can we attest identity without two users actually meeting?” That just isn’t practical for business all around the world and people’s time is ever becoming shorter with the stress of life.

This problems becomes even harder with decentralized applications like Bridge and user-control-by-default designs. We had to offer some level of assurances in the Bridge Marketplace. Bridge Protocol originally rolled out with providers that offered Know-Your-Customer and did a decent job at it. But, their checking methods were manual, expensive and could be improved.

Seeing the gap, the Bridge team wanted to find better providers for our customers, not just slap something to market. Here comes Aver, my personal swing on the Know-Your-Customer (KYC)/Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) space and we wanted to focus on AI here, not have it just be a checkmark on our product offering.

Aver is designed and smart at its core. This includes spacial pattern programming/learning on documents, voice recognition and visual face watchlist searching for better AML.

In our space, bad-actors use an alias very frequently and data-lists are just NOT good enough anymore. Using facial patterns, we can now search government images from across the world to spot the aliases more frequently. Facial matching to documents and smarter watchlists is how we become the premier gatekeepers, regardless of what your business needs.

The ability to positively identity safely, with less-false positives is a prerequisite in our ever-growing digital society. This will reduce costs and offer better employment, financial services, communication and voting for the world.

Crypto-By-Default

User control and privacy is our design and mission of Bridge. We were very strict in allowance for providers in the Bridge Marketplace last year. Many simply did not make the cut.

Our core belief is that users should be able to control their identity information, encrypt it on their side and send it when/how they want. This is what kyc/aml providers were missing. Cryptocurrency and tokenizing payments was the answer. The user or business can pay for the service and network features of Bridge. This includes, user controlling ID metadata in a Chrome Extension and a block explorer. It builds trust with transparency and accountability. It also seeks to address exclusion, discrimination, surveillance, consent, and other key issues of our time.

One thing for sure is legacy systems are broken and connecting the dots makes a better, stronger identity. We will continue to look at AI, machine learning and blockchain among other things to make our systems better.

Stephen Hyduchak

Written by

Blockchain, AI and Cannabis keep me up at night. CEO of Bridge Protocol and Aver.