New methods of identity verification for residents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and e-residents of Estonia

Apr 10, 2019 · 4 min read

One year ago we enabled users to verify their identity on Obyte (formerly Byteball) using the real name attestation bot with Jumio Netverify service. This was an important milestone because it can prove that a user’s wallet address is linked to a verified person, without disclosing any personal information. It also allows other bots to uniquely identify users, and since then, it has been heavily used in various new distribution methods. The latest example is the weekly draw where one reward is sent to a randomly picked attested user every week while another reward is sent to an equally randomly picked un-attested user.

Distributions have continuously evolved and adapted over time and the Real Name Attestation Bot has not been an exception. One of the complaints we received on the identity verification service provided by Jumio Netverify was that the attestation fee is rather pricey while the risk of not getting verified is substantial. We introduced the ability to pay with smart vouchers to accommodate for some of those risks but the number of failed attestations were mostly linked to people not carefully reading the instructions. For example, documents with non-Latin letters are not accepted and there has to be sufficient lighting in the room to produce a high-quality photo of the document. Instructions have now been made a lot shorter, which will hopefully reduce the number of people who skipped reading these important details.

Residents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and e-residents of Estonia can have self sovereign identity on Obyte.

Today, we are adding new attestation methods for residents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and e-residents of Estonia. While these 3 Baltic countries are small in population (1.3m + 1.9m + 2.8m), they are very progressive in terms of using the latest digital identity technologies on the Internet. Residents of these countries can prove their identity online with government-backed ID-card + smart card reader, Mobile-ID (special SIM card) and Smart-ID (QSCD level signing app). They use these 3 authentication and signing methods mainly for everyday banking, but also when declaring taxes and voting on elections. We are happy to make identity verification easier for people in these countries because private/public key cryptography and blockchain is not a foreign technology for them.

These new methods are not only limited to these 3 countries. It also works for e-residents of Estonia, which anybody in the world can become part of. So far, around 50 000 people from 160 countries have signed up to become e-residents of Estonia. E-residency in Estonia enables anyone in the world to create a company in Estonia and run your Internet business from there without ever even visiting the country (e-residency document can be picked up from the closest Estonian embassy). Corporate income tax rate is 20% in Estonia, which is assessed only when profits have been distributed. There are multiple cryptocurrency companies founded in Estonia already and over 1000 licenses for exchanges and custodial wallets have already been issued.

These new identity verification methods are a lot cheaper than Jumio document verification via webcam because it doesn’t involve any manual verification by humans, which is the reason why prices for doing the KYC with passports can be expensive. Also, smart-vouchers work with these new methods too, so if you know any residents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or e-residents of Estonia then now it is time to send them your smart-voucher, so they could also become proud owners of Obyte cryptocurrency.

Possible use cases for sovereign identity on Obyte

  • The ability to do KYC without going through the whole document scanning process again when taking part in any ICO (initial coin offering) or STO (security token offering). Also, no additional cost to ICO/STO organizer if users have already done the real name attestation. If they have not done it then ICO/STO organizer can provide smart-voucher and pay the attestation fee for them and get refunded for it on successful attestation.
  • The ability for the bot to ask the user’s verified age, which the user can provide without giving away any other personal information. This can be used for gambling bots where the user needs to be 18 years old to participate. If bot asks country from the user then it can apply age restriction to apply to different country residents.
  • The ability to tell from DAG database, which addresses belong to attested users without getting any other personal details about these address because all the identity information is stored only in the user’s own wallet app. This can be used if somebody wants to distribute their custom asset token fairly to all the users without distributing too many coins to the user who just generated a lot of un-attested wallet addresses.
  • The ability to let users vote on polls (like petitions) and show results based on unique users who voted. A bot could also ask, which country the user is from and whitelist users who are eligible for voting, so basically, people could directly vote for next President on Obyte platform.
  • The ability to issue special community tokens like (ESTcoin) to a limited group of users like Estonians and e-residents of Estonia or JamesCoin to all the users whose first name is James or AprilFoolsCoin to all the users who are born on April 1st.
  • The ability to give passport details to flight booking bot without the risk that the user made any typos because all the details are already verified.
  • and many more…

Video examples of Smart-ID signups


A distributed ledger without middlemen

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store