Building identity and public key infrastructure
eSignatures and digital IDs are already used everywhere. Moreover, even most states have supported the use of digital signatures at the legislative level. In short, it’s hard enough to come up with something for an industry that’s more than a year old.
Nevertheless, once you come across the current solutions — there are a number of complexities and issues. And they’re so serious that even reputable consulting companies are doing research and ranking these issues.
These are our very subjective issues that we have experienced ourselves trying to use the current solutions.
- Difficult — no, really, try explaining to your mom how to use a digital signature and see how quickly she gives up the idea in favor of paper.
- Not convenient — each service offers a different format or types of eSignatures. I can’t get one universal signature or ID, prove once that it is what I will sign with it and use it everywhere.
- In fact, it’s expensive — very often, if I need to sign just one document I have to buy a subscription for something, then remember to unsubscribe so I don’t get charged for it. And when I need it again, I have to start all over again.
By the way, if you have used the current solutions — write what you like about them or what you would like to change.
The idea is to democratize electronic signatures and identities. This means that we want to take an open public cryptographic algorithm with proven reliability for electronic signatures and let people use it freely.
And if you have to sign some simple document that’s not that important you don’t need a complicated authentication procedure to verify identity. You just need a simple e-signature and confirmation to your counterparty that you are you.
On the other hand — if you go to sign multimillion contracts, control who and when signs with your e-signature, thereby guaranteeing the security of yourself and your partners — it should be possible to publicly prove, with the involvement of certified centers, that you are you.
Last but not least, such an infrastructure is only possible if it is open and available to everyone. This means that we do not want to be a centralized certification authority or a closed database of digital signatures.
When we thought of the easiest and fastest way to do this, of course blockchain technology immediately came to mind. In existing public networks, people sign transactions every day with eSignatures, transferring assets worth hundreds of millions, confident that they are safe and secure. Why not offer the same for ordinary documents.
That said, there are two important reasons not to use existing public networks:
- The most popular public protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum run on PoW consensus algorithms, where a lot of computation must be done to record a transaction. We would like to use less energy-consuming algorithms and thereby reduce the cost of transactions on the network.
- In existing public networks there are a lot of transactions and a lot of smart contracts. This greatly affects the speed of the network as a whole.
That’s how we came up with the idea of making a decentralized public infrastructure ourselves. Creating a “new” protocol from scratch is a great folly, so we spent a long time choosing which of the existing protocols to choose. In the end we chose Lisk, and here’s why:
- energy-efficient DPoS consensus algorithm
- the public network has been working for many years, and the protocol itself is constantly evolving and gives new features
Our plan is very simple, over the next six months we want to try to make an application that will democratize electronic signatures and id. Which is:
- Create a decentralized blockchain-based repository to store personal data that only you can manage
- Create a decentralized repository of all signing transactions, so you can control when the document is signed
- Create a mobile app to manage your digital signature and id that anyone can use without the technological pain