Digital fraud is a huge problem in social media. Each day, scammers create new accounts mimicking popular content creators, and attempt to get fans and other unsuspecting victims to send them money. To solve the problem, some turned to the blockchain to try to create and implement a decentralized social identity verification system.
At the recent World Token Summit 2023, Cointelegraph spoke to Matthias Mende, the co-founder of the Dubai Blockchain Center and a speaker at the event. During his speech, Mende talked about one of the center’s projects implementing blockchain technology to create a decentralized social identity for its users.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Mende shared that identity fraud has been a constant problem within the space. According to the executive, he’s personally experienced many scammers taking content he posted on social media and creating fraudulent accounts impersonating him. He explained:
“I have like 200,000 followers on Instagram, and really, like every other day, there’s a new fake profile coming out. I always find messages from people asking, ‘Hey, Mende, is this you?’ And they’re even sending videos because they screen-record them from the IG [Instagram] story. Like, scammers go to the next level.”
The executive said that while it’s unfortunate, the reality is that there are a lot of people who want to harm others. “We need tools to prevent that,” he said. Because of these issues, Mende started a project that will use blockchain to verify the legitimacy of social media accounts.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government has implemented an application called the “UAE Pass,” which is linked to people’s national identification card called the Emirates ID. This allows people to use their smartphones to verify their identity to service providers through smartphone-based authentication.
Taking inspiration from this concept, Mende shared that the center created a project called Bonuz that will function similarly. Using the blockchain, it is working on a platform that will provide blockchain-based authentication to people’s social media networks.
According to Mende, he believes that blockchain has the ability to solve the problem of digital identity fraud:
“I believe it will be solved a lot. Why? Because the user now doesn’t just link his Instagram or his main like his account on Web2 now. He links actually an identity where all his true socials are linked.”
The executive also shared that when there’s a decentralized social identity, there can be proof of identity in the blockchain, and people can be 100% sure that the accounts they are interacting with are indeed the person they claim to be and not a fraud.