The New Internet: The Connection of Everything
The first iteration of the Internet, commonly referred to as Web 1.0, was simply a collection of static sites that were filled with informational text. Accessing it famously meant dialing up (hence the term dial-up) through modems, which meant blocking phone lines. Our cohort is presently in the midst of in Web 2.0, which grants users blazing fast Internet where the variety of websites are vast, interactive, and encourage users to actively participate. As social networks came out, users were quick to share information about themselves, and many users also choose anonymously post content across different multiple platforms. Although the Internet is overall an exciting space and place, it is ripe for disruption by savvy entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs in the Internet space are well aware that in many ways, data is the new oil. Multiple companies, regardless of field, scramble to utilize consumer data to better cater to its users, in an effort to increase profits in the long-run. Large companies such as Amazon and Facebook are especially complicit, sitting on huge centralized servers of data. In general, users both knowingly and unknowingly sacrifice their privacy and therefore identities for the sake of convenience. The convenience is simply too good to not take advantage of, which brings about the need for better way to keep data secure.
The Developing Web 3.0
This is where the next iteration comes into play. While Web 2.0 is economically defined by privatization and monopoly, the new Internet, Web 3.0, aims to create public networks for public infrastructure, while maintaining high levels of data integrity. As blockchain services become more accessible, we are getting closer to an open network where multiple profit centers can share value.
Current models of Internet-based businesses are generally centralized, where goods and services must be purchased through third parties. Web 3.0 will enable users to purchase goods and services that operate through decentralized applications (Dapps), essentially allowing users to conduct transactions with one another without the middleman. Decentralization will compete with centralized applications, and in time a faster, more secure economy will be born.
This vision is made possible with blockchain technology. Blockchain would require compliance tools in order for such an economy to be feasible: a great jump-off point would be a know-your-customer (KYC) solution. A KYC solution is a way for vendors to confirm customer identities, while streamlining blockchain accessibility and lowering compliance costs for blockchain merchants.
In order to create a KYC solution, platforms such as Blockpass have built an identity application for regulated services and the Internet of Things (IoT). Identity applications are simply software that enable users to verify, store and manage their identities, while the IoT is the network that encompasses all physical devices and connects people. Smart homes, smart watches, and even connected pacemakers qualify as being a part of the IoT ecosystem. This platform gives control of personal identity information to the individual, and eliminates the need to constantly submit KYC data by having a pool of pre-verified users. These users share the data securely between businesses, speeding up the process significantly.
Blockpass recently announced that it is listing its PASS token on four confirmed exchanges: Cryptopia, Gatecoin, HitBTC and Lykke. They are forming a major partnership with Holdex to create a production ready premium compliant ICO platform, as well as collaborating with Digax Ltd. They are aiming to list the PASS token on the Digax exchange (based out of the City of London), in addition to integrating eKYC solutions into Digax’s onboarding process.
Blockpass is also launching the world’s first blockchain identity lab, called the Blockpass Identity Lab, at Edinburgh Napier University. In it, members will research decentralized ways of establishing, verifying, and authenticating identity. The team is sponsoring doctoral students who will be working on zero knowledge proof and other identity data protection technologies using cryptography and blockchain technology, and findings in the lab will gradually contribute to developments in the Blockpass platform.
A Brighter Future
The evolution of the Internet is becoming progressively urgent, as data theft and manipulation become rampant. Centralized applications can no longer be trusted to keep data private or secure, which forces users and vendors alike to move onto a better alternative. Decentralization will cut out the middlemen, while bolstering security and transparency simultaneously and hopefully, paving the way to greater regulatory compliance for humans, companies, objects and devices.