Who knows you better than yourself?
This might seem like a rhetorical question but, when it comes to your digital identity, the answer isn’t as clear as you think. In fact, you might be shocked to find out what some people think they know about you. On the other, you might not care what some people think.
But what about when they control something you need, like power for your home or finance for a car? Then you’ll definitely care about what they know about you.
Now think about what you’d want to know about someone who was interested in a service you provide. You might not have something as valuable as a mortgage to offer but you would still want to know that the person can be trusted to pay.
The problem is that, right now, whether you’re a large bank or a tiny service provider, your only real option for knowing your customer is through credit scoring. These organisations, with their centrally controlled and opaque databases, sit in the middle of virtually every trust-dependent transaction that takes place in the worlds of finance and commerce.
So, is that a good or a bad thing?
To answer that, it’s worth noting a few of the issues that have hit these companies of late.
Digital identity services are broken
Earlier this year, Equifax — one of the world’s largest credit reporting companies and in the top three positions in both the UK and the US — announced that a massive data breach had affected over 145 million customers. This is not the sort of story you want associated with a company that has sole control over that sort of information. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first and I doubt it will be the last.
Loss of data from centrally controlled databases is not the only information-related issue that these companies have experienced. In the US, more than one in five credit reports have a ‘potentially material error’ in them and consumers contact agencies 8 million times a year to dispute information. This process isn’t simple either, with the emphasis put on individuals to prove that the data these companies hold is wrong. It can take months or even years of sending paper back and forth to resolve any issues.
In the UK, there isn’t a single universal credit report. Therefore, in order to uncover any issues, you have to find your report from one agency, then identify any issues that exist, then take action to change them and then probably repeat the process all over again to correct any other centrally-held database errors.
That system doesn’t make sense, even for complex services like accessing finance, let alone the microservices that now exist all around us. For example, did you know that by paying your insurance monthly rather than upfront you could be damaging your creditworthiness in the eyes of some? How can that make sense in the modern sharing economy that is awash with microservices pricing in hours and minutes?
This points to another major problem with the digital identity system that exists now. It is virtually a standalone service, with little connection to the rapid world of modern commerce and no empathy for end user needs.
Lack of control over your information. No confidence in the information held about you. A time consuming and confusing system for using your information to access the services you need.
Quite simply, there must be a better way.
A distributed system of trust to power modern commerce
Peer Mountain is a distributed system of trust that uses the power of the blockchain to give individual consumers control over their digital identity and empower them to easily access the services they need.
Because of the distributed ledger technology at the heart of blockchain, there is no need for the centralised databases of credit scoring agencies, which lack transparency, security and generally slow the world of commerce and microservices that we have today.
Peer Mountain uses innovative new technology to model human interactions and trust between individuals, rather than having to rely on centralised third parties that you must trust. By doing so, it makes life easier and faster for both individuals and businesses.
For individuals, they can have all of the information that makes up their identity available to them through their phone, including attestations from third parties that vouch for them, assertions from themselves about what they want and observations about what they do.
They can interact with the service providers they choose, using whatever level of information is required. Peer Mountain can support everything from simple microservices to complex financial ones.
For businesses, they only need to establish what level of information they require in a service dossier that can be provided in under 10 minutes — even when there are complex regulatory requirements.
The final element of the Peer Mountain platform that allows this ecosystem to run efficiently is attestation engines. These are entities that vouch for individuals and specific aspects of their identity. While some may be traditional providers, such as passport authorities, individuals can also become attestation engines themselves by using the platform over a long period and vouching for others.
This circular economy enables the rapid delivery of services by eliminating the friction of paper, proofs and identities while also ensuring individuals stay in control of their data.
Peer Mountain will be free to use for individuals, with service providers paying attestation engines when their validation process is used to confirm an identity. Peer Mountain will take a percentage of these payments, with the PMT utility token being the unit of exchange.
The platform is a microservice architecture, making it flexible, agile, blockchain-agnostic and storage agnostic.
Join the circular economy!
At Peer Mountain, the coming of age of blockchain technology provides a unique opportunity to transform the system of trust that underpins the world of commerce.
It’s not just about solving the issues that exist within digital identity. It’s about building a new platform that seamlessly links a transparent and user-controlled digital identity system with the wide range of simple microservices and complex financial services that users need.
This roadmap of developments is what our token sale, which is scheduled to start in November and run through December, will fuel and we hope you want to get involved in changing the way we trust each other — forever.
To find out more, visit Peer Mountain