Should We Trust a Centralized Tech Superpower With Sensitive, Personal Data?
Ontology on Nasdaq Trade Talks
Ontology Head of Community, Humpty Calderon, sat down with Jill Malandrino to discuss decentralized identity as part of the Nasdaq Trade Talks. As blockchain based social media continues to grow, what is the role of identity and data? How can Ontology help solve some of the challenges with products like ONT ID? Read on to find out more.
Jill Malandrino: Welcome to Nasdaq trade talks. I am Jill Malandrino, global markets reporter at Nasdaq. Joining us for the segment we have Humpty Calderon, Head of Community at Ontology, to discuss if we should trust a centralized tech superpower with sensitive personal data. Humpty, it’s great to have you with us. Welcome to trade talks.
Humpty Calderon: Thank you so much for having me.
Jill Malandrino: You got it, and tell us about the work being done at Ontology.
Humpty Calderon: Yeah, so Ontology is a Web3 project that’s been building out this trust layer for Web3, so really building out the infrastructure both in terms of the identity and reputation side and decentralized data as well. They’ve developed quite a few different products in the space of DID with ONTID, Oscore, Wing Finance, and Saga, all of them seeking to decentralize the way that we use identity and reputation in the Web3 space.
Jill Malandrino: How does Ontology establish trustless decentralized applications that store and share sensitive information securely?
Humpty Calderon: Ontology works with an open standard called DID, which has been created by the w3c foundation, and it is an open private composable interoperable protocol that allows for the use of identity systems like I have mentioned with ONTID and with Oscore. It does so all in ways that are private and secure because they are encrypted and they live off-chain. The only people that can access this information, the only people that can interact with this, is the person who is creating this identity and the person who is generating this data, so they are signed using your Web3 wallet.
Jill Malandrino: So, what are the real applications of blockchain technology and enhancing privacy use cases? How is this being used? Is it being deployed right now?
Humpty Calderon: Yeah, you can look at some of the different projects that have been building out with decentralized identity and reputation, such as what Ontology has been building with ONTID, allowing for you to be able to own your identity across a variety of platforms. So the best example that we like to use is if you think of something like what Facebook and Google are doing right, where you create these identities but these identities are not yours. At any moment, when this company decides to shut down your identity, your user, which they could definitely do, and all the data that is created on the back-end from that is not yours, it is all owned by these corporations.
They are then able to monetize them, aggregate them, and so on. With these decentralized identity solutions, it works quite the opposite of that. People can generate these identities for themselves and use them across a variety of web applications, say using DeFi for example, or across a DAO, if you are a contributor to an organization in decentralized ways. It could be NFT Marketplaces as well, and all of that data that is being generated on the back-end is yours and you can then give access to others in a permissionless way, to be able to use that data and to potentially even monetize it as well.
Jill Malandrino: That is really interesting because that could potentially impact business models. As we know that’s how today’s social media companies advertising works, how even targeted marketing towards consumers looks. I mean it totally changes the model.
Humpty Calderon: Yeah, there are quite a few interesting projects in the space right now, especially those that are working in the social space. They can create these more user-owned platforms, where you create an identity to connect with friends, you are able to create circles of friends within those networks that are more aligned to who you are, and the type of different projects and types of communities that you seek to associate with in the Web3 space, and also in the social space.
Jill Malandrino: And is that actively happening now for the average users such as myself, who has only access to Web2 social sites? How does it work now? Is it mainstream yet?
Humpty Calderon: Yeah, so that is the stage that we are at right. A lot of the conversations that have been happening over the last year are at the infrastructure layer. How do we allow for these protocols and platforms to be able to communicate with one another and for people to be able to generate these accounts and to be able to associate relationships with these accounts, and be able to own this data and use this data in ways that are private and secure? The application layer of it is what we are starting to build, so you can definitely start using these applications if you have a web wallet. You can sign into these applications, start using them, but it is not very user friendly and we realize this. We want to take the next leap into, you know, being able to onboard more people that are used to using maybe the more traditional social sites. Then, we need to create platforms that are very much akin in terms of the way that they function to those sites, but still supported by this backend infrastructure and technology that is being built by developers like Ontology.
Jill Malandrino: All right Humpty, we appreciate the insight. Thanks for joining us on trade talks. I am Jill Malandrino global markets reporter at Nasdaq.
Humpty Calderon: Thank you.