Online identity verification continues to present the greatest challenge for businesses and individuals who desperately want to provide value to their customers over the internet.
The problem is that any digital asset introduced into the virtual world will most likely be instantly copied and redistributed in various different places.
Artists know all too well the threat of pirated songs, videos, artworks, and movies. The difficulty in protecting your work is difficult enough, but the answer to this may also hold the key to a new era of identity verification…the NFT
NFTs to Verify Ownership
Digital content creators and artists have started using NFTs as a sort of digital watermark on their work because the history of ownership, bids, sales, and transfers are easily verified and cannot be disputed.
Added to that, with the right smart contract applied to the NFT, the original creator can continue to earn royalties on all subsequent sales of their work, regardless of where the NFT goes.
The positives for NFTs in this scenario are many as a creator, but also as an owner too as you can prove ownership, securely retain your asset, and have a public record if you decide to sell or transfer ownership.
Tokenising something really means creating or just attaching a digital identifier to a digital object or the digital representation of a physical object. It is this identifier, which is the NFT, not the actual work, as many people believe. A great example of this is in gaming; games have in-game currency and there are special objects, skins, or avatars that you can purchase to improve the gaming experience. Games are now making these objects NFTs so that players can safely trade or sell anything they have purchased or earned while playing.
But NFTs can also be applied to other scenarios. In the context of this article, NFTs are basically identity verification or digital goods. But this can also be applied to sports collectables, as is the case with NBA Top Shots or with digi-physical goods too (real world goods which have a digital representation).
But the question we want to ask is, are NFTs the best mechanism for tracking and verifying your digital identity? For the specific use cases that we have outlined so far, good and transactions, NFTs seem to represent a perfect solution to the issue of online ownership. But what about some of the more robust authentication use cases, like social media or KYC for example?
NFTs for Identity
As we said, the current use case for NFTs surrounds capturing and claiming ownership of digital assets, like videos, songs, tweets, artwork, virtual land, and collectables. As for the future, companies like real estate firms are toying with the idea of using NFTs to verify physical assets.
But can this same concept be applied to people? Can we get the technology to a point where online identity could be verified with an NFT attached to an online licence, to allow you access to online platforms and sites? Think of it as a driver’s licence or passport for the internet.
Counties like China have been trying to eliminate online anonymity for years with limited success. Methods like requiring real name verification to sign in to web browsers and post comments and their all-encompassing Social Credit System. This system gives citizens a social “credit rating” and that rating directly affects things like internet access and the ability to travel.
While in the Western world there are still surveillance regimes being implemented to try and battle against the concept of online anonymity, but these are more hidden in the worlds of social media and advertising data.
Whether you like it or not, your information is constantly being collected online but there is little to be done about that besides using private browsers, VPNs or disconnecting from the digital world completely.
From a privacy point of view, NFTs would effectively spell the end of online anonymity. This may sound horrifying to some but also carries several benefits, reducing fraud, making catching perpetrators of online crime easier to catch and maybe even things as simple as putting an end to hateful comments on the internet!
One of the biggest positives would be that with the right smart contracts in place on any NFT verified online identity the blockchain would allow you to see exactly who has your data, where it’s going and even let you get paid depending on how and where it is used.
It would also finally give countries the ability to enforce Data Subject Rights set out in data privacy laws and regulations like GDP and CCPA which have so far had very little real bite in controlling the full breadth of personal data collection and transfer.
At Sekuritance, we have developed identity-based non-transferable NFTs. These are NFTs that will enable users to be in full control of the self-sovereign identity (SSI), giving more efficient control over verifying identity on platforms via decentralised access.
A non-fungible token is a counterpoint to a fungible token, which can be described as a “deed” of sorts. Both were designed to run on blockchain rails and while fungible tokens are interchangeable with each other (like currency), NFTs are unique and distinguished from each other like a deed or verified receipt.
This means NFTs represented a progression where an additional layer of unique identity associated with them gave them a perfect use-case scenario where they could be used in hybrid identity-based solutions.
By adding this layer of non-transferability and also an expiration to it, we have found an opportunity to provide an effective new method within the verification and validation ecosystem.
Find out more about these ntNFTs and how they help build on our token security, as well as all the other products and services we have to offer by visiting www.sekuritance.com today.
The Sekuritance RegTech platform provides a single platform for every eGRC need, including end-to-end AML/CTF, CECL, FCPA, vendor management, beneficiary onboarding, investor check, card processing MFA checks, blockchain wallet checks, cyber-risk assessments, and other RegTech or Business Process Management requirements.
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