Techsauce recently had the pleasure of sitting down with ID PASS, who recently won Hong Kong's #EOSHackathon and understand what their technology can do for their specific Sector/Industry.
The EOS Global Hackathon series is a first-of-its-kind event in the world of blockchain that serves Block.one’s goal of supporting a decentralized global community from the ground up.
1. Tell us about ID PASS - how and why did you start it?
The “why” is one simple figure: over one billion people
in the world do not have any form of identification documents. Those are obviously required to access services such as education, healthcare, banking or even justice.
Our proposed response to this global issue relies on one main concept: Self-Sovereign Identity.
Because those people live in often unstable or inaccessible areas, we believe that they need a form of identification that is under their control and retrievable when needed, while reducing the risk of their identity being used against them. They must be able to prove their identity without relying on a shared central database that could be used to track them. This is exactly where the blockchain comes into action, as it enables us to use cryptographic proof to validate authenticity rather than, for instance, a government’s seal.
We use the blockchain to solely anchor the identity and act as a Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure but not store any other identifiable data on the blockchain, even in an encrypted format. All data is stored on a device which is owned by the individual.
With 3 long-time friends, Jeremy Bethmont, Loic Bistuer, and Greg Martel - we all met at university 15 years ago - I co-founded Newlogic, a software consultancy and development company headquartered in Singapore with offices throughout Southeast Asia. We have been working with humanitarian agencies for the last 4 years on projects revolving around biometrics and identity, which gives us the expertise and experience required to understand and help tackle such a huge issue.
provides a blockchain with very interesting features to implement this project and it was natural for us to formally start the ID PASS project as part of the first EOS Global Blockchain Hackathon of 2018 in Hong Kong. We won the first prize ($100,000 USD) at the event in Hong-Kong and will participate in the Grand Finale in December.
2. Tell us about the team at IDPASS, how did you form and what does each person bring to the company?
Loic, Jeremi and I joined the Hackathon as a team of three. There, we presented ID PASS to fellow participants and two developers decided to join forces with us: Paul Wehner and Raman Shalupau.
We defined roles and responsibilities based on our respective skills: Jeremi focused on the connection with blockchain. Raman worked on developing the front-end. Loic used his expertise with biometrics. Paul and I focused on preparing the demo and the pitch.
3.Congratulations on winning the EOS global hackathon. What do you hope to do with the prize money?
The three of us from Newlogic are going to use the prize money to finance the development and implementation of ID PASS. We are currently building a team dedicated to the project and will continue to look for funding to build ID PASS as an open source platform.
4. How has ID Pass been implemented and is it making a difference yet? Where and in what countries?
While we have been working on the idea of ID PASS for the past few months, the implementation only started during the EOS Global Hackathon. We are now working to have a first version of the registration solution which will be ready for testing as early as September.
We have started engaging with humanitarian organizations and the initial response is very positive.
Another important part of the project is the organization and storage of sensitive data. Oftentimes organizations don’t have the tools or knowledge to properly store and secure Personally Identifiable Information (PII). We want to help them implement good practices in handling sensitive data such as biometrics.
5. What are some of the challenges you face at ID PASS?
Two issues at the core of our thought process are data security and sovereignty. The most secure data is data that is not stored anywhere, so we need to balance the risk/benefit of recording information. For this reason, we focus on providing a technical solution that is flexible enough to be adapted to different situations. We rely on local organizations in the various areas to better understand what needs to be done.
Our other challenge is growing our network and getting the resources to achieve our goal. We are now focusing on funding the development of the platform and releasing the first version. We will start looking for partners who share our vision and are able to contribute either time or money to the project.
6. One of the members of ID PASS, Paul Wehner, said, “Our aim is to keep building ID PASS as an open-source project and to collaborate with humanitarian agencies to bring healthcare, educational, financial and legal services to the undocumented.” - Can you expand on this and explain some of the organizations that you work with?
The identity problem requires an open solution. Identity data is too important to be owned and locked down by one organization. Individuals need to be in control. Furthermore, if we want to ensure the long-term viability and interoperability of the solution, it needs to use open standards and be open source.
Although our company, Newlogic, funded the initial development of ID PASS, we want to make sure the project remains completely independent by creating an autonomous foundation and building a community around it.
7. What are your plans for the future of ID PASS?
Winning the first EOS Global Hackathon with what we could call a Proof of Concept is the very first milestone for ID PASS and we are now going to keep working on the project to make it into reality.
Our plan is to run the first pilot project by the end of this year. We are also going to get ready for the Grand Finale of the EOS Hackathon which will take place in December.
For more information on IDPASS: