Identity management is one of the primary considerations in a time where information is readily duplicated and records altered digitally. This ability leads to two different but related issues, first being the difficulty of proving identity to a third party and second being the ability for other people to steal your identity for nefarious purposes.

SelfKey makes identity transactions more secure, private and efficient while complying with the myriad of laws and regulations that exist today.

Consider how identity theft is a major means of fraud, resulting in $16 billion being stolen from people in the US alone each year. And on the other hand, proving your identity for legitimate purposes such as bank applications or online transactions is increasingly difficult, which will be familiar to anyone who has tried to get verified on a cryptocurrency exchange before.

Essentially, this is a problem with centralization of information repository. Your bank or the IRS or your employer might know very well who you are, but proving this identity to a third party is far more difficult since they have no access to the aforementioned repositories. As anyone interested in crypto technology knows, the foundational dynamic enabling this technology is how decentralized information can be shared whole or in part with recourse to cryptographic breakthroughs. In short, blockchain can solve the issue of information silos.

There are a couple of projects approaching issues in this space, one of which being SelfKey. Here we’ll give our outlook on the project’s ICO along with the key points of their whitepaper.

Controlling your data

In their white paper the SelfKey team outlined the flaws in the current system as they see it:

“despite advancement and disruption in other domains, the identity systems we rely upon today are currently paper-based, nationally-driven, government identity systems and do not leverage the power of Internet 3.0.

Millions of people currently rely on — or are excluded from— identity systems due to a lack of any modern technology infrastructure.iv
Most identity systems are centrally planned and managed, do not integrate or link to other systems, and do not place the identity owner in a place of entitlement and power. These systems lead to inefficiencies, data leaks, threats, loss of privacy and identity theft which have left billions without financial accounts of any kind.”

This outlines the severity of the issue and how needless it is. We are decades beyond the technology needed for simple information transfer, but until now there has been a missing feature in our system’s capabilities: blockchain.

Full transparency wherever it is needed

SelfKey are incorporating a few features of blockchain underpinned by their “KEY” token to address this situation.

“SelfKey makes identity transactions more secure, private and efficient while complying with the myriad of laws and regulations that exist today. However, SelfKey is also building a bridge to a better world – one with digitally signed verified identity claims, data minimization, proof of individuality, proper governance, and a user-centric identity system. In this new world, the user can truly control, manage, and own their digital identity. SelfKey is designed to be censorship-proof, fair, inclusive, agile, and lean through a well-designed open source technology stack, and transparent legal & governance infrastructure through the SelfKey Foundation.”

These aspects should be attractive to investors since the project has a far-reaching vision. This could make their roadmap more difficult to achieve but also increases the potential reward. SelfKey are aiming to be a complete platform, not just a single use startup. Major platforms like Amazon and Google have shown the potential for massive gains by creating platforms; the question is whether or not SelfKey has the right ingredients for the task.

ICO Verdict

As mentioned, SelfKey has lofty goals. This on its own should make investors tentative about investing depending on their impression of the platform.

Digging deeper, two things stand out. Firstly is the undeniable fit for this kind of technology for this sort of problem. We believe that it is extremely likely that within 2-3 years a blockchain platform will snap up huge market share in this space. It is a question of who and when, not if, and the “first-ever advantage” is likely to be key.

The company itself seems well positioned to be the one to achieve this. The project is well polished as is the marketing drive and road map. By the end of 2018, it should be clear if they have cracked the market. As such, a tentative small investment along with monitoring the fortunes of the company over the next nine months with a view to invest further is our recommendation.

The KEY token sale took place in January 2018 and sold out in a matter of days. The token is Ethereum-based and is available on several exchanges.

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