ETC Labs Presents: OriginalMy
An Interview with the Leader in Decentralized Identity Solutions
What is OriginalMy?
OriginalMy.com provides a decentralized identity, and with that people can sign documents, authenticate on platforms and deliver their personal data with express authorization. They used our validated identity platform for voting in Brazil, in cooperation with the Brazilian Fintechs Association, to choose the new board, and OriginalMy’s platform helped the Brazilian presidential elections for protecting against the dissemination of fake-news. There are hundreds of thousands signatures already made through our engine, on Mudamos, and it is being accepted by the Brazilian government. In Brazil, we rely a lot on notaries, and now with a notary partnered to us, Brazilians don’t need to go to a notary to get a stamp on a document.
I saw the case of University of Nicosia, where they registered the authenticity of their graduation degrees on blockchain and I thought: ‘Oh, that makes sense and it is the thing I wanna do!’
How did you come up with the idea for OriginalMy?
I started on crypto in 2011, because bitcoin came to me as the first thing that could not be copied on the Internet. As a security information guy, I thought it was impossible at that time, and I started to understand how that infrastructure could protect digital assets. Then I constructed a GPU mining machine just for studying purposes and stopped mining a few months later because of electricity costs in my office (had some issues with my partners and bitcoin was not valuable at that time). I got more into crypto in 2013, because of the pump from $100 to $1200, but I was always looking to the infrastructure from the security point of view.
At the end of 2014, I saw the case of University of Nicosia, where they registered the authenticity of their graduation degrees on blockchain and I thought: ‘Oh, that makes sense and it is the thing I wanna do!’ Just a small background: Brazil is a very bureaucratic country, with almost 15k notaries, we need to go to the notaries all the time to get stamps on documents, so it would make a lot of sense in Brazil.
The Blockchain ID gives users power over their data, since their information will be stored only on their smartphones, and they are the ones who decide who is authorized to get access to it.
Then I started to study more deeply on the protocol and launched the first version of OriginalMy, creating proof-of-authenticity for documents, abstracting the crypto layer to the regular user, using just Bitcoin protocol, in July, 18, 2015. After that, many people were asking how to sign documents using blockchain and we needed to create a solution for proving the identity of people who are signing: verification is critical. But how to have a decentralized identity and prove who’s behind it? This motivated me to write a protocol for validating and issuing a blockchain ID, which could be used for signing documents, but only in the Bitcoin protocol (we described the process on our whitepaper).
In 2017 we moved to ETH, and soon after to Ethereum Classic, because of immutability and costs: the perfect arrangement to a company trying to be profitable.
Why Ethereum Classic?
At the time of The DAO fork, OrignialMy was working to integrate our engine for identity, signatures and registering on blockchain on a project for signing public petitions, created by a very respected NGO in Brazil (ITS-Rio). That project is named Mudamos and they are winners of the Google.org Social Impact Challenge in 2016.
In the middle of prototyping, The DAO fork happened. That was a nightmare trying to figure out how to present a public petition to the Congress, signed by thousands or million of people, and registered on a place that had the immutability compromised and where the signatures could change, or be removed.
Because of that, for Mudamos, we developed a side-chain for registering and aggregating each unique signature, but our own project for signing documents and contracts was relying on Bitcoin. Then in 2017, the team was launching and presenting the Identity and Signing mobile app on Consensus in NY, and Bitcoin reached $5k usd. During the time of the conference, all demos the team was doing in our booth were costing us more than $40. Returning to Brazil we moved both identity and signing layer to Ethereum, then 1 month later Ethereum reached $400. Shortly after we moved to Ethereum Classic, because the immutability and costs were both very important aspects to be considered.
Ethereum Classic, because of immutability and costs: the perfect arrangement to a company trying to be profitable.
What made you turn to ETC Labs for support, and what are your expectations from this collaboration?
It is an opportunity to be connected to people who are developing real things and using blockchain for good. It is always important to be close to people who think in the same direction. With the collaboration, we expect to improve our products, meet new people, from creators and developers to investors, and deliver new things that could help people around the world.
Tell us about your team and their experience
We have a very diverse team and the best ones we can have in Brazil. From computer scientists to engineers, very creative people working on the marketing, design, ux, a sales area managed by a very experienced guy, an information security guy, a very hands on lawyer who understands everything about blockchain. And our team has multiple skills too! The more diverse we are, the better product we deliver. OriginalMy team is made by leaders who do everything that is needed to be done, are engaged and totally aligned to our mission, vision and values.
Edilson Osorio Jr (CEO).: Computer scientist, teacher, information security and infrastructure specialist Leader of Security, Privacy and Identity on Blockchain Workgroup @ ISO/ABNT TC307
Miriam Oshiro (COO): Chemical Engineer and Process Management Specialist. Since 2013 working on lean startup processes workflows, team management and financial flow
Mariana (Marketing) — With 7 years of marketing experience, Mariana worked with inbound marketing projects that included influential partners, managing presence in social media on platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook for brands of several important segments in the market Brazil as Bombril, Itaú Cinemas, eduK and now, OriginalMy.
Rodrigo (Sales) — Entrepreneur, software solutions specialist, Rodrigo has 16 years of experience in b2b sales. During his career he structured marketing and sales departments. He left his company in 2018 to compose the commercial team of OriginalMy, where he fell in love with Blockchain and its possibilities of application.
Solange (Development) — Blockchain (architecture and development) expert, focused in Bitcoin and Ethereum. Solange has been working on systems, projects and database for over 20 years and trading experience since 2011 at stock and cryptocurrency markets. Academic background in Computer Science and Pedagogy at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil complements technical and didactic.
We have competitors on different pieces, but no one with a full end-to-end solution like us
Lets talk tech. What stands out as impressive with what you are doing?
We are the first company to use blockchain technology in Brazil and one of the first companies in the world to use real blockchain in regtech. We offer the most complete and secure certification and validation services for documents, files and signatures. We also have key features that increase the reliability of our product: we provide the user with a digital id that we call Blockchain ID. In order for the user to get this id, he or she has to go through a meticulous process of validation, in which his or her data is checked in public databases. With the Blockchain ID, the user can sign contracts with proof-of-authorship, and access restricted areas and domains that are integrated with our platform. The Blockchain ID gives users power over their data, since their information will be stored only their smartphones, and they are the ones to decide who is authorized to get access to it.
What is OriginalMy’s competitive advantage?
Being from Brazil, we know everything about bureaucratic processes and plus, we always respect and rely on privacy, being a privacy-by-design company. Getting those things together, we know how to transfrom old, slow, expensive and bureaucratic processes (a lot of times using paper, traditional institutions and vulnerable to corruption) to a new, faster and truly trustful model, saving time and reducing costs through our services.
We have competitors on different pieces, but no one with a full end-to-end solution like us:
Identity: Sovrin/Civic — We developed a full decentralized identity and the personal data is not stored on any private centralized place. We verify the identity with full KYC/AML too.
Signatures: Docusign — we validate and can prove the identity of the signatory, thus we dont store documents or contents for improving the privacy, security and liability.
What is the next big milestone coming up?
We are already operating in Tallinn, Estonia, with expansion to the European market and in the advanced stage with more potential clients. Besides that, the next big milestone is to finish and integrate our new protocol for secret voting in public blockchain, without an oracle or black-boxes manipulating votes.
ETC Presents is a series focused on the projects at the ETC Labs incubator in San Francsico. The projects are all based on the Ethereum Classic Blockchain and contribute to growing the ETC community. If you are interested in getting involved, join our telegram or sign up to the incubator on our website