While the internet has come along as a liberating technology that connects the world and provides easy access to all kinds of information and services, it has also opened up a completely new realm of problems and dilemmas. One of which is, of course, cybersecurity.
Any tool that can serve a greater good can also be used for less than noble purposes. Several hacks, leaks, and so forth have proven this over the years. Securing data has become a high priority and cryptography plays a major role. However, this same solution is also a drawback that can result in the loss of information.
These problems affect everyone. From individuals and companies to governments, the latter of which requires a more complex adaptation process when it comes to implementing new solutions, due to the high stakes involved.
Blockchain technology, however, offers a solution that is worth exploring. Transparent and immutable ledgers may hold the key to balancing the scale between data security and accessibility. This is exactly what Civic is pursuing, a network that is designed to “facilitate on-demand, secure and lower cost access to identity verification via the blockchain.”
So what exactly does this mean?
Identity Verification (IDV) services usually require personal information checks to be conducted from the ground up without access to any type of reliable global database. This is because an easily accessible database would mean that information would be “out in the open”. Companies themselves have trouble keeping their own databases safe.
This is where the balance between information security and accessibility comes into play. Civic leverages the decentralized and immutable nature of the blockchain to ensure that this data can be easily accessible, while also ensuring that it is cryptographically secure.
Civic Secure Identity Platform
Although the Civic project is not fully finished, Civic currently provides a digital Identity platform dubbed Civic Secure Identity Platform (SIP). This app allows users to set up their own virtual identity and to stores the said identity and their personally identifiable information (such as a fingerprint ID) on the user’s device, ensuring that it’s protected from hackers. This information will go through a verification process conducted by Civic.
Once the verification is complete, the information will then be ported into the blockchain. This allows Civic’s identify partners to request user info through custom QR codes which the user can then scan to review the information requested and to approve/deny the access to it, making the process simple and intuitive for the user.
This way, Civic is able to establish a direct connection between the user and the entity that requests verified information. The user grants access to the information referenced on the blockchain without endangering it, given that the app is protected by the user device with biometric authentication.
Civic Identity Ecosystem
Civic will build upon this idea to bring about an identity ecosystem where users, identity validators and service providers can interact directly, securely and in a cost-effective manner. By creating a network comprised of these three participants, Civic is able to create a market where identity validators can compete, ensuring that prices are fair and that options are extensive.
The Civic Identity Ecosystem uses some of the components of the Civic Secure Identity Platform. Users (individuals or businesses) still set up their own virtual identity which is stored in their device. However, the verification process is now conducted by the validators, who can be financial institutions, government entities and utility companies.
The information is then ported onto the blockchain and service providers who are looking for specific user information can access it by sending the aforementioned QR-codes to the user, leveraging the reference that was put in place by the validator.
In the Civic ecosystem, validators choose the price at which they will provide this information. Once the price is agreed on by all three parties, the service provider that is looking to acquire the information can make a payment in the Civic token or CVC. The smart contract system employed will then see funds delivered to both the validator and the identity owner (user).
In order to fund the development and marketing of the Civic ecosystem, a crowdfunding campaign will take place in the form of an Initial Coin Offering. The ICO will start on the 21st of June and will last for seven days. In the Civic ICO, 330 million tokens will be available which represents 33% of the total supply. The remaining tokens will be allocated for distribution to incentivize participation in the ecosystem (33%) and retained by Civic (33%).
In order to avoid the latest trend in capped ICOs, which have come to end in minutes or even seconds, Civic will employ a system that ensures everyone can invest without the campaign ending in moments – Read more here.