Civic is creating a blockchain-based Ecosystem as a solution for the shortcomings of the existing IDV industry. The result will be significantly reduced costs, easily navigable interface, greater privacy, and control over one’s own data.
With the growing popularity of e-commerce, a worrying number of personal data thefts have been identified in recent years. The team behind Civic has estimated that in 2016 alone, over 1.1 billion identities have been stolen on a global scale.
In our guide today, we’ll dive into the Civic Ecosystem’s mechanism and protocol so that you stay updated with the latest blockchain projects and be among the first to reap the fruits of this technology.
Let’s get started!
In this Internet-savvy era, the digitalization of data is something that we’re already taking for granted. However, apart from advantages such as significantly lower costs and extra time on our hands, we can no longer ignore the potential hazards that come with this digitalization.
For one, there’s a problem with protecting personal data from hacking attempts and data theft. This is especially true for unencrypted data kept online which is why a lot of industries (e.g. healthcare, the government, etc) are still reluctant to switch to electronic record keeping.
However, blockchain technology can help us solve these challenges if only we find a way to leverage its potential even further. One such blockchain-based project and a digital identity verification protocol is called Civic, a platform launched in 2017 by Civic Technology, Inc.
Civic is building an eco-system that is designed to facilitate on-demand, secure and low-cost access to identity verification (“IDV”) services via the blockchain, such that background and personal information verification checks will no longer need to be undertaken from the ground up every time. (Civic’s White Paper, p.3)
The team behind Civic has discovered that blockchain was the missing link that brought together accessibility, privacy, and data security. Its methods for storing data combine cryptography, encryption, blockchain technology, and smart contracts.
The Civic Secure Identity App
To access the Civic Secure Identity Platform (the “SIP”), users need to download the Civic Secure Identity App. It’s available for both personal computers and mobile devices.
On the app, you create your personal digital identity and wait for its verification in order to become an active Civic user. The platform encrypts your PII, i.e. personally identifiable information, and uses additional biometric locks (e.g. a fingerprint ID) that prevent hackers from gaining access.
Once the identity has been verified, Civic records the attestations to this data on its blockchain. Later on, users can request the attestation to verify the authenticity of someone’s PII.
Civic’s identity partners can request a user’s information through custom QR codes to be scanned by the user with the Civic App. Once a user has unlocked the Civic app with his or hew own biometrics, the user can scan these codes, review exactly which information is being requested, and choose whether to approve or deny the request. (Civic’s White Paper, p.12)
Civic’s Planned Identity Ecosystem
Civic’s ecosystem consists of three different entities: Validators, Users, and Service Providers.
Validators verify the identity information provided by the users. Validators are usually financial institutions, government entities, or utility companies. Users, i.e. individuals or businesses, send their PII to these Validators and wait for them to ‘stamp’ their approval and record it as an “attestation”.
This information is locked in a smart contract that acts as an escrow. The Validators sell this data to the Service Providers (e.g. an exchange, a bank, etc) who instead of verifying the PII of their customers themselves, can pay a small fee for an already verified identity.
Once the Validator, Service Provider, and User all sign-off on the transaction via the smart contract system, the Service Provider will pay the Validator in CVC. The smart contract will then allocate a set portion of the paid CVC to the User to incentivize User participation in the Ecosystem. Users will be able to use their CVC to purchase identity-related products and services from Civic. (Civic’s White Paper, p.13)
Ecosystem Token (CVC)
Apart from being used as a reward and incentive for sharing information in the Ecosystem, the Civic token (CVC) can be used to purchase Civic services.
In its white papers, Civic lists a series of services that the platform plans on building in the future. These include services for running personal background checks, blockchain notary services, dark web monitoring services, services that would allow access to individual credit reports, and peer to peer identity services (p. 15).
The advantages of using CVC tokens are greater security, stability, and irreversibility through the usage of smart contracts, and a universal method of settlement for any kind of service.
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