Disruption by Blockchain Part 12: Sheikh Abdullah Naveed – Decentralized ID

  • 19 February 2018
  • Expert Insights

Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.

The following is an interview we recently had with Sheikh Abdullah Naveed, CEO of Decentralized ID.

1. What’s the history of Decentralized ID? How and where did you begin?

SAN: I initially wanted to create a space on the blockchain where subscribers and ID issuing authorities could get together in a single place but it turned out to be something completely different.

I ended up with the mission to put users back in control of their IDs – and so DID was born.

2. Who are the founders and key team members?

Sheikh Abdullah Naveed, CEO & CTO

Sebastien Denis, Project Manager & FinTech Markets Expert

Audrey Friel, Liaison Manager

Javed Afzal, Financial Consultant

Dolciebella Elliot, Blockchain Technology Manager

Kaitlin Argeaux, Relationships Manager

Blossom Maqbool, Dev Team

Geoffrey Emerson, Communications Manager

3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?

SAN: The problem is twofold:

1. The more personal issue of privacy as well as lack of sovereignty. So often our personal information is being sold to third parties, often without our awareness. Our data is stored on servers, we are not in control.

2. The more general issue of data breaches and how it impacts companies and clients. Data breaches cost companies millions if not billions of dollars in legal fees and reparations, to say nothing of how it affects clients – whose login details, credit card information, and even sensitive data such as medical records are all compromised.

4. What is your solution to this problem?

SAN: DID is the solution. By harnessing the inherent security the blockchain provides, we have then built an added layer of security on top of that, called BOCAs. These are the SSL's of the blockchain world.
We put the user back in control of their ID by storing it on their smart device. The software employs the BOCA's (smart contracts) to verify for the user that the person asking for their ID is who they say they are, as well as being able to see what that person intends to do with their information. This two-way verification system allows the user to decide whether or not to send their ID, and how much personal information they wish to divulge. This protects the user, and due to the immutable quality of blockchain, any companies (subscribers) can rest assured that data breaches are a thing of the past. No more usernames or passwords, no more forms to fill in; it is a paradigm shift in the way we send and receive data over the internet.

5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?

SAN: The industry is already hot, for example, Facebook acquired an ID company just last week. There are numerous examples of data breaches negatively affecting companies such as Experian, Equifax, and even Uber.

These companies are looking for a change.

Another good example is Estonia, where ID cards are being put on the blockchain in the quest for security and immutability.

Every ID project will be looking towards the blockchain for ID transactions. People are realizing that the current system for data transfer is no longer acceptable.

6. What is the future of your industry?

Prediction #1:  Identity will become decentralized.

Prediction #2: People will move away from centralized control.

Prediction #3: Those that remain on centralised systems will suffer more hacks.

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