After his email ID got hacked Indian entrepreneur Manav Singhal decided to tackle the fast-moving 21st century identity theft crisis with an innovative solution. “Identity verification has been one of the biggest concerns in the last decade globally because of the costs and risks involved in the process. I started exploring the identity space in 2015 when I discovered that my email ID got hacked in a mass data breach”
With a 7-billion strong world population — accessing any consumer service requires identity information — signing up on websites, e-commerce checkouts, accessing private properties, buying bitcoins, or getting loans. However, this incautious sharing of identity brings many problems for both consumers and businesses, such as:
Identity Fraud: As per the data compiled and fact-checked from Forbes, BBC, Mashable, CNBC and the Telegraph, the world is losing up to $200 billion in identity fraud every year, and more than 4 billion data records were stolen globally in 2016 alone.
Data Breaches: When the data is stored in central databases with authorities or businesses, it is susceptible to mass data breaches. It is not just random websites on the internet that are compromising people’s data, even some of the world’s major brands have suffered mass data breaches. The list includes popular brand names; the government databases are no exceptions either. In India particularly, Aadhar has suffered multiple massive data breaches, compromising the most sensitive personal data of millions of Indian citizens. Other key government enterprises including DRDO, ISRO, RBI, EPFO, and several others have faced data breaches as well.
Time & Cost Inefficiency: Current Methods of Identity Verification are too slow and inefficient for both consumers and businesses — taking the cost of verifying identities to near $100 billion a year. The laws relating to cryptocurrencies in India are so stringent, that the exchanges have to spend millions of dollars performing KYCs, which inconveniences the consumers by having to wait for multiple days before they can actually start trading.
Manav Singhal and his CTO Balwang Singh came up with a information ledger that replace centralized databases which make identity information susceptible to mass data breaches or misuse (like selling your information to advertisers without your explicit consent). “The idea behind Velix.ID has always been to make it safer and more efficient to share and verify identities across the consumer markets. As a consumer, I shouldn’t have to wait for days for the business to verify my identity before I can start accessing their services; it is a loss-loss situation for both businesses and their customers.”
Velix.ID uses Blockchain Technology that allows for the user’s information to be stored on a public ledger in an anonymous manner with no authority having singular control over this information. This makes transactions much easier. A unique easy-to-remember 8-digit alphanumeric ID that can be shared globally with anyone to allow seamless sharing of identity information in a secured manner without requiring to repetitively provide the same information over and over again.
Velix.ID also gives Mandatory User Consent. The identity holder should always be in charge of how and where their identity information gets shared. Any transaction of identity cannot occur between two parties without the explicit consent of the identity holder.
The blockchain & zero-knowledge proofs technology that utilizes Velix.ID ensures that it doesn’t have any information stored about the user with it, and the identity information is transacted directly to the identity information requester, without any intermediary control. This means that the platform works even without trust.
Users can access services easily and instantly without repeatedly requiring to sign-up or entering identity information.
The cost for new customer acquisition and identity verification comes down since the same processes do not have to be repeated over and over again. The time spent in performing multiple sign-ups, gathering and verifying identity information also reduces significantly.
Potential clients of the Indian based Velix.ID’s are global businesses who experienced losses in consumer acquisition, operational inefficiency, poor consumer experience, and financial losses.