Think of all the ID cards you have. How many can you think of? Your passport, ID card, drivers license, social security number, … the list goes on.
Think of what you use them for; getting on an airplane, identifying yourself in a bank, getting government benefits, etc.
Consider those you can use internationally.
Only your passport right?
Your passport shows where you are from, how old you are, whether you’re a male or a female, your parents’ names, etc.
Now imagine an idealistic world where life doesn’t depend on where you happen to be born and your rights and benefits are extended to you regardless.
Imagine an identification system that is issued and works the same for everyone, everywhere, no matter their gender, race, age etc.
That is actually what Adam Stallard did.
Birth of BrightID
Adam was doing research on universal basic income projects that required KYC or AML. They all asked for scanned copies of user documents. And even if they didn’t, it wasn’t so long before they were exploited by spammers and users with duplicate accounts.
He wanted to create something new and more fit for the digital world. He wanted to prevent users from creating thousands of accounts and ruining the system for everybody.
In the beginning, it was just him. But, when he proposed his ideas in Decstack — a community hosted by Daniel Jeffries — he received tons of encouragement, feedback and support from the folks in Giveth, Aragon, and other communities.
A BrightID for Everybody
BrightID is a global identification system very similar to a social security number.
SSN was first instituted in the forties to certify people’s qualification to receive benefits from the US government. But, it is nowadays used for things that have nothing to do with social security just because it has become a defacto unique personal identifier.
BrightID is much different from what people are used to when they think of an ID that is issued by a government.
People don’t know what goes behind the scenes with their government identity and how they are issued. They don’t know how that information is taken from them. They don’t know all the ways their ID is used. They honestly don’t know.
BrightID brings a new world with fewer boundaries and more transparency. It enables more freedom and more personal control over one’s own identification.
It is issued by no government, is in control by nobody and, does not show any bit of information other than what users themselves intend to reveal.
BrightID enables people to use new experimental currencies, voting systems, benefit programs, and all sorts of projects that don’t even exist yet with only one condition:
No one gets to create multiple accounts. All users have their own unique BrightID.
Imagine a world heritage or a natural resource that all citizens of the world get to govern it fairly and equally, regardless of their nationality, gender, wealth, etc.
BrightID encourages users to make connections to people they already know well.
A graph is constructed of people connecting to each other. It is then analyzed by an algorithm that looks at how users and groups of users are interconnected and assigns scores to demonstrate the probability of uniqueness for each and every user.
Simply put, BrightID assigns uniqueness scores to groups of users by checking a social graph.
On a small scale, people are vouching for each other by making connections. And on a large scale, scores depend on how connected people are to the rest of the known good graph.
It doesn’t matter to be directly connected to real users with high scores in BrightID. What matters is being in the same part of the graph as high score users and being connected to others in a way that makes sense compared to the way other real people are connected.
The problem is that if you’re on an island by yourself and not connected to anybody at all, then you have a hard time getting identified because the system has no way of figuring out your lack of connections is due to your isolation or being a duplicate sybil or spam.
The more crowded the network, the more robust BrightID gets.
Bright Future with BrightID
With BrightID, citizens of the world will enjoy all sorts of new possibilities.
The first thing they will notice is their ability to receive benefits from a lot of different philanthropic organizations in a fair way and with a fair distribution.
Think of Bitcoins being fairly distributed to anyone who can prove they are a real person.
Further along the way, you’ll see interesting projects that have to do with democracy and decision-making in national and global organizations.
Social media applications will arise in which everyone is proved to be real and the system is a lot more respectful of users’ privacy.
All the systems above will only need your BrightID score. They don’t need your name, nationality, or anything else. Your score will show that you’re a unique, real person that only exists in the network once.
BrightID frees you from the plague of spam. No more distorted information coming from someone with a thousand Facebook accounts. It enables social networks that are no doubt comprised of real people.
With BrightID, no central system like Facebook is able to control your data. There will be much freer systems where everyone is in control of their own data. We no longer have to save our data on big servers to prove we are real. BrightID enables you to simply prove you’re real and do not have multiple accounts in the systems.
BrightID enables you to say “This is my account. My only account. I’m a real person. A real citizen of the world. Recognize me!”
If someone, by chance or intentionally, steals your BrightID, it is very simple to replace. All you have to do is reconnect with a few people that you connected with in the first place and have them attest to the fact that you are the same person with that BrightID and you can have it back.
So, in case you lose your BrightID, you can have it back quickly and invalidate the one you have lost.
Do you know how difficult it is to replace a social security number if you’re a victim of identity theft? Have you ever tried to push a camel through a needle hole?
The current State of BrightID
BrightID launched its Beta version in January 2019. You can download its app from IOS app store and Android play store. We are collecting feedback on the user interface.
We are in talks with partner applications providing benefits and everything, but in the meanwhile, you can download and toy with it and make real connections to be one of the first people with world citizenship ID, but without receiving any benefits. It is like having a social security number without any social security that comes with.
The software is open-source and hardware is distributed to all of the applications that want to use BrightID. We will also run the nodes that underpin BrightID and BrightID itself. So it has no owners similar to the internet.
BrightID will always be free for everyone to use. Software development and maintenance thrives on donations and grants.
We’re going to see new currencies leaving all current limitations behind them. We have the potential to create new money and go beyond where Bitcoin went.
Universal basic income projects will be able to extend on a global scale.
We’re going to experience real democracy like we never had before.
People who don’t have a voice in their oppressive countries will have a voice on a global level, reach beyond the country they are born in and grab things that are beyond its limitations.
There’s going to be freedom beyond just freedom of speech or other kinds of freedom that the internet has brought.
BrightID is going to help you break the chains of all that has happened to you because of your nationality, race, sexuality, ethnic orientations, and all other sorts of things that are decided upon your accident of birth.
Your BrightID is enough to be recognized as a citizen of the world.
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