Talking tech since 2003

Identity management has been problematic since the internet’s inception, but there’s been a fever pitch of leaks and invasions of privacy over the last few years. Sensitive personal information – from addresses, to passport numbers, to GPS permissions – is now stored by dozens of third-party applications and websites. While it is legitimate, even legally required, that businesses carry out KYC procedures, why does a video streaming service need to know your gender? Why does your cinema loyalty club need to know your SSN? Why does your frozen yogurt punch card need your home address? You might not know the answer to those questions, yet you probably enter all of the information anyway. Now your personal details are stored all over the web by third parties with inconsistent track records for keeping the data they hold secure.

Now, imagine the internet had a kind of “global entry” pass, like airport customs. Blockchain-based identity management and trust protocol Persona functions very much like this. Users enroll on Persona and upload their identification documents, where the information is kept encrypted on the Persona blockchain, accessible only with a user’s unique personal key. Then, users can have their documents checked by Persona-based notaries of their choice, who confirm the user’s identity without acquiring the documents themselves, giving that user a kind of seal of approval. This seal is all users need to log in to any number of other accounts, from utilities to dining clubs to dating apps. This system fulfills companies’ need to identify their customers, while protecting the privacy of users.

Person’s platform has undergone nearly a year of development, and is now entering beta testing, the company just announced. The tests will focus on security, transaction volume, and fees, with tens of thousands of simulations set to run simultaneously. The testing is meant to support a March launch of the public platform. Eventually, Persona plans to also release a messaging tool for use within Persona and beyond, as well as plugins for email, Telegram, and Slack in order to prevent email fraud by verifying sender identities.

“The Persona beta launch represents almost a year of development toward making Persona a provable trust protocol,” said Ștefan Neagu, Co-Founder of Persona. “We’re proud of Persona’s potential to help individuals keep their identities secure while helping enterprises streamline onboarding processes. We’re also proud to keep Persona open-source, so third-parties can develop their own dApps on Persona’s blockchain.”

In the long run, a system like Persona’s is only viable with widespread adoption of both the platform itself and the crypto asset that fuels the Persona blockchain. Use cases could include companies looking to onboard new employees, background checks for sensitive roles like childcare or government work, or even casual customer loyalty programs.

Furthermore, blockchain’s Achilles heel has always been its  unremarkable speed. Beta testing at this stage is definitely imperative to find out if the platform can handle the volume of transactions required of a project on this scale.

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