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How a blockchain startup is reducing identity thefts and frauds

India is at the forefront of the adoption of blockchain technology, and many startups are bringing innovative use cases with blockchain. Shiv Aggarwal, CEO of award winning blockchain startup MyEarth.ID, explains how their decentralised identity management platform is using cryptography, distributed ledger (DLT), and other cutting-edge technologies to solve identity frauds, high onboarding friction, and compliance with global data regulations

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The story of how you started the company and your vision strategy.

Shiv Aggarwal, CEO – MyEarth.ID

In my 15 plus years of experience working with global organisations, I have realised that there’s a massive cost of identity thefts and frauds, having both financial and reputational implications. Some of the large financial institutions are spending over US$ 500 million annually on their customer due-diligence processes. Additionally, the risk and cost of non-compliance with data protection guidelines could run into billions of dollars. In reality, identity management is a trillion-dollar problem, with the financial industry bearing the biggest brunt.

I believe EarthId is a natural progression of my personal and professional experiences thus far, empowering me to leverage technology innovations to improve human lives globally.

As per a world bank report, there are over 1 billion people without any form of identity and over 3 billion people without any digital presence. This is a massive challenge, as well as a huge opportunity. Our longer-term vision is to build an inclusive Earth powered by a self-sovereign digital identity for all human beings, irrespective of their economic, political, and social status.

Who are your target client segments and across which geographies ?

We are currently focusing on the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sectors, which are already spending billions of dollars on their customer due diligence process and still suffer from massive frauds. We are working with innovative SMEs looking to provide an innovative edge to their customers or reduce their time to market. We are actively working in India, UK, and the US and looking to expand into other regions in the coming years.

Which are your key identity management solutions and how is it helping businesses ? Any use case you would like to mention.

EarthId is an award-winning Decentralised Identity Management platform that allows secure and frictionless exchange and verification of identity information. EarthId helps organisations reduce identity frauds and save time and costs associated with customer onboarding processes while ensuring user-privacy and regulatory compliance.
EarthId platform supports numerous use-cases powered by the following features:
• Self-sovereign Identity for providing a frictionless experience to customers while empowering them with data ownership, privacy, and consent
• Id Verification as a Service (iVaaS) for reducing the time, cost, and fraud associated with customer onboarding processes
• Biometric security for securing access to your digital and physical assets using best-in-breed anti-spoofing biometric technology
• Nextgen Logins for authenticating online users with password-less technology to tackle account-takeover, phishing, and other cyber attacks
• Contactless and keyless entry for secure and hygienic access management; highly crucial in the current pandemic situation
• Trust Score, our proprietary identity scoring mechanism, allows us to know customers better and innovate business models

Please explain how you are using cutting-edge cryptography and distributed ledger technology.

EarthId is a decentralised identity management platform that uses cryptography, distributed ledger (DLT), and other cutting-edge technologies to solve identity frauds, high onboarding friction, and compliance with global data regulations.

EarthId platform allows the users to manage and share their identity information with service providers in a complete privacy and consent oriented manner. EarthId provides an identity wallet to its users, allowing digitisation and encrypted storage of their identity documents like passport, driving license, and thousands of others across 200 countries. The users can also request new records, like university degrees, professional credentials, employment certificates, and others, from the issuers directly into their EarthId wallet. EarthId platform creates an immutable proof of authenticity and issuance on the ledger, which can then be referred by the service providers while verifying the users’ identity for their due diligence processes.

Your focus on innovation.

We are championing the innovative concept of self-sovereign identity, which empowers users with data ownership, privacy, and consent. We bring together the latest innovations from artificial intelligence, biometrics, and Distributed Ledger Technology to create a secure and frictionless user-centric identity management solution. EarthId platform builds trust amongst the identity stakeholders – issuers, owners, and requestors – and reduces the frauds and overall cost of identity management.

As a blockchain tech startup, how do you foresee your growth story in India ?

India is at the forefront of the adoption of blockchain technology. Many budding startups are bringing innovative use cases with blockchain across fintech, regtech, supplychain, healthcare, agriculture, and many other sectors. Even large enterprises are doing pilots to ensure they don’t fall behind the innovation curve. The public sector is also not far behind, with several state governments having established their center of excellence for blockchain.

What are your strategic plans for the future, in terms of new technologies and new market segments ?

We are working towards further innovating our solutions, including web-based identity wallets, behavioral biometrics, contactless and keyless access management, and numerous others. Our focus is to push our innovative solutions towards mass adoption through improved user experience and removal of accessibility barriers.

We are looking forward to expanding across new market sectors like Edtech, Healthcare, Gaming, and the public sector. We have very aggressive plans to expand into new regions across North America, EMEA, and APAC over the next few years.

Any other significant factor you wish to highlight ?

EarthId was awarded the “Best use of Blockchain in Financial Services” at India Fintech Awards 2019. This year, we are finalists for Best Innovation in Regtech and Fintech Startup of the Year.

Government Blockchain Association (GBA), a global non-profit organisation, has also adopted EarthId as its identity management solution for issuing a decentralised identity to its 15000 plus members worldwide. GBA will also use EarthId for the solutions it is building for its government and public sector clients.

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