Establishing identity online is hard. Many businesses must connect users’ real-world and online identities but resort to a patchwork of APIs that introduce complexity and friction. Maintaining compliance is a growing issue as online marketplaces move toward more decentralized offerings and address an increasingly global audience.
Peer-to-peer marketplaces—the rise of the on-demand economy has created new ways for users to generate value by providing services to others. Facilitating trustworthy interactions is difficult yet necessary when scaling multi-sided marketplaces that connect people both on- and offline.
Online financial services—in the United States, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws require that financial institutions collect an array of information about their customers and prohibit access to individuals on government watch-lists. Similar restrictions exist in other countries.
Initial coin offerings (ICOs)—blockchain-based tokens will be subject to regulatory oversight in the jurisdiction that they are issued.
A first step toward more trustworthy online marketplaces lies in a identity verification provider offering streamlined and secure user experiences. There exists a latent opportunity to create a developer-focused solution that uses real-world identities as a bridge between individuals and the decentralized web: peer-to-peer and decentralized apps.
A unified online identity will allow consumers to verify their credentials through a single provider and control access to their data.
A better compliance process will reduce barriers for qualified participants to engage in online financial services.
An on-chain verification system will make verifications available via public and private blockchains, giving the next generation of financial services (smart contracts) the ability to programmatically enforce compliance requirements.