The Key is one of my favorite projects out there right now. I will explain why and give a brief summary of the innovative technology this project is bringing to the world: an Identity Verification system for the future digital economy.
What is The Key
The Key is a Chinese project that aims to disrupt the personal identification system with the use of blockchain technology. Their product is a second generation Identity Verification System that uses BDMI technology. BDMI stands for “Blockchain Dynamic Multi-Dimension Identification”. It might sound complicated but in essence, think of it as an universal identity which is undeniable and unalterable thanks to blockchain technology, and what’s even better, doesn’t expose your private information online or puts it at risks to third parties. Instead of needing an identity in each and every company, facility, government institution, etc. you can rely in your biometric data as your universal identity that can be officially recognized in every database that is registered in the The Key ecosystem. You might think, “that sounds too ambitious or difficult to achieve in a real world scenario”. Well, unlike 90% of blockchain projects out there, The Key already has a working product and is no longer an idea, but a real product being deployed in China right now in a pilot program.
The Key is a Chinese project so, naturally, the ecosystem is currently being tested there first, but eventually, once the protocol/ecosystem reaches a commercial level, it will be ready for any nation that decides to adopt it and become part of it. Their ICO begun November 2017 and that’s when I found out about the project because I was back then translating white papers and other content in the form of bounties in the Bitcointalk forum (which is a 50/50 chance job considering most projects turn out to be a failure, but more on that maybe in another post). So back then, things were different, Bitcoin was at around $13,000, The Key was raising ICO funds at $0.03 per TKY token and overall, the bull market had everyone very optimistic. However, like every token out there, the corrective market impacted the price significantly, bringing the token’s price down to a shocking $0.003. I say corrective market because this downfall in prices were completely foreseen due to the insane market valuation increase in 2017. But just because price fell, doesn’t mean that the project is dead. Let me explain why I firmly believe this is a game changing token in the industry, regardless the price situation.
The Key, before launching the token sale, already had 23 copyrights and 15 patents accepted by SIPO (State Intellectual Property office of the People’s Republic of China). They have a strong relationship with the government of China, in fact, they have been setting up contracts with six relevant national laboratories, government agencies, banks insurance companies and one university with more to jump on board once the product is ready to be commercialized.
They had an already working product without the use of blockchain technology deployed in 2 pilot cities in China that serves as an Identity Verification system for mobile social insurance payments. And in November 30 of 2018 they deployed their mainnet for the Identity Verification system based in blockchain technology, just 1 year after their token sale (roadmaps tend to be just promises but The Key made it’s roadmap a fact). So really, this project has a bright future unlike many tokens and coins out there that if they don’t push innovation and real use cases, they will run out of funds and die in a market that finally came back to reality where investors are bitter and less crazy thinking they will throw $100 in a project expecting to cash out $10,000. Speculators kill projects and just as there is a balance in supply/demand there’s also a balance in speculation and reality and The Key doesn’t have speculators backing the price, nor an artificial demand. You might think once you do a little more research in the project, that having a whopping 9.7 billion tokens is an exaggerated supply. But in reality, considering this is not a speculative project, being scarce is not what makes the token valuable,
is the usability it has. Once it’s deployed in China alone, nationwide, 1.4 billion people could potenially benefit from such Identity System.
How The Key works
So lets have a look at how the ecosystem works in real life. There’s 3 main components in the ecosystem: the participants (users, validators and service providers), the smart contracts and The Key tokens (TKY). The main objective in the interaction of these components is to properly manage the Personal Identity Information (PII) of the users in a protected, transparent and immutable process and to provide a financial incentive to the participants. Let’s say, a user living in China needs to be identified, specifically for the purpose of purchasing medical insurance in Singapore, the insurance company would trigger a request to verify the identity and the process would start as follows:
- The insurance company (service provider) sends an IDV request of the user.
- The user accepts the IDV request by using his/her fingerprint at the same time he/she signs off the smart contract between the insurance company, The Key and he/she.
- The Key reviews the request using the relevant KYC policy.
- The Key compares the fingerprint data with the relevant data validated by the government as well as the latest PII, behavior and scene data of the given user, all encrypted without the need to expose the user’s information online or to any third party.
- Once The Key can verify this information, the relevant medical history is collected and defined by a smart contract. The Key approves the verification as a blockchain transaction so the insurance company can use it.
- The smart contract is settled using TKY tokens.
- All data is documented in a transparent way.
- The credit of both the user and the insurance company is regularly evaluated afterwards.
This process makes such a tedious transaction that would be much more complicated, efficient, accurate and reliable. This reduces the insurance operative costs and then allows to reduce the premium that the user has to pay and makes the user’s experience more smooth.
So this is kind of a permissioned and private blockchain that teams up with the government and institutions to validate, secure and store user’s data in the blockchain. In China and in many other countries, medical and health information is classified as national confidential information. That’s why is so important to keep it secure and private, all data is fully owned by the user and is never exposed anywhere. This brings the best of both worlds. In one side you have the security and privacy of your information, and in the other hand you have the approval and support of governmental agencies to keep everything in check. Existing IDV technologies can meet certain areas of the requirements, but none can address all the issues The Key is solving. That is what makes this project stand out from the rest.