This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Identity Management Series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and identity management.
In this interview we speak with Rohan Pinto, founder and CTO of 1Kosmos, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform identity management, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What's the story behind 1Kosmos? Why and how did you begin?
RP: Identity is a core component of any digital transaction. Unfortunately, legacy systems that manage identities suffer from a lack of user security, privacy, and a painful user experience. A single user has multiple digital identities (on an average of 250), and these are captured and stored across multiple different databases serving as honeypots for hackers. Users have no visibility into what data is being used by the service provider. Users are also often subjected to “repeated verification” by having to email or fax a copy of their credentials to open new accounts.
A new approach to identity management was needed, and BlockID by 1Kosmos was designed to address these problems.
2. Please describe your use case and how 1Kosmos uses blockchain:
RP: Blockchain provides immutability, transparency, and security to digital transactions. Our solution BlockID uses the blockchain to create an “identity safe” where an individual has the ability to capture and store their credentials. These credentials are encrypted by using a private key that resides on each individual's app. Legacy identity management systems have been failing because all credentials are housed in a centralized ledger with a single master credential. Compromising a single credential leads to the credentials of all users being compromised. With the blockchain's decentralized ledger, each user's credential is stored on various nodes on the blockchain with access to that data residing only with the user.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
RP: We offer our solution BlockID to enterprises to solve multiple use cases. These include:
– The removal of username and password for their employees as well as their customers.
– Providing biometrics-based authentication and removing third-party devices.
– Verifying user registration.
– Reducing the effort and time in a KYC process.
4. What other blockchain use cases in identity management are you excited about?
RP: Identity management is evolving, and with BlockID, we see a transformation in two significant areas. The first is removing the credential in user transactions. By utilizing biometrics (such as a fingerprint, face, or voice), the time has come to retire the username and password and allow users to authenticate securely and efficiently.
The second is the idea of proving a digital credential i.e. if it belongs to a real user or a fictitious account. The identity proofing and verification capabilities by BlockID allow an assurance level to be associated with a user's digital identity.
5. Where will 1Kosmos be in five years?
RP: Our vision is to revolutionize the way a user manages their digital identity and change how they authenticate.
With the adoption of our blockchain-based identity management platform, we will see reduced instances of security hacks while enabling effortless authentication. To enable this vision, we provide an SDK that can be embedded into existing apps and services.
In 5 years, the identity verification concepts and authentication techniques introduced by 1Kosmos will be common practice and the new standard in Identity Management.