An open-source blockchain specializing in digital identity and data has held a live ask-me-anything session with Cointelegraph.
Erick Pinos, Ontology’s Americas ecosystem lead, said the company is constantly making upgrades to its protocol — meaning big improvements have been made since it was initially released in 2017.
“Our virtual machine can handle a lot more complex transactions at the same time — and a lot more complexity in what developers can build,” Pinos noted. “We’ve always been making improvements to the core protocol, but we’re also focused a lot on smart contracts and tools that are built on top of it.”
A flagship product
One such tool that has been developed in house is ONT ID, a decentralized identity framework. As the global economy continues to hinge upon data — with some of the world’s biggest tech companies suffering high-profile breaches — Ontology says it has never been more important for consumers to protect their data properly.
ONT ID uses blockchain and cryptographic technology to identify and connect identities and assets — and according to the company, its single sign-on approach offers a compelling alternative to the “antiquated” landscape we see at present, where usernames and passwords are used to access online services.
The status quo is bad for three reasons, Ontology says. One, user data ends up being stored on a web application’s server. Two, this means users need to remember an endless range of username and password combinations. Three, this creates a temptation to use simple passwords so they don’t forget them — and combined with lax security measures from tech companies, breaches subsequently become more likely.
ONT ID can be used as a unified account and helps users to keep data in their own hands. Other applications include issuing graduation certificates and academic transcripts — meaning credentials are easier to verify. This also creates an added layer of privacy, as graduates can prove they meet criteria without having to reveal the exact grades earned.
According to the team, one application for ONT ID involves building trust in the automotive industry and transforming life for drivers forever. A recent video — Drive with Ontology — showed how ONT ID could one day be used to unlock cars and securely record driver data. An app would enable vehicle sharing between ONT users, allow insurance claims after accidents to be settled via smart contracts, and even enable motorists to pay for road permits, which give them a higher priority over other drivers.
An expanding network
Ontology allows developers to build on top of its blockchain, and the company has been cultivating and expanding a decentralized identity partner network. Tech integrations with Ethereum, NEAR, Binance Smart Chain, Celo, Klaytn and Tron have all been unveiled — broadening the scope for collaboration considerably.
The company’s founder, Li Jun, said: “With these new integrations, our tailored decentralized identity solutions now offer a higher degree of chain interoperability, greatly elevating the status of our offerings within the industry. Today’s announcement also illustrates our advanced capabilities pertaining to digital identity and data management, while paving new ways for Ontology’s DeID solutions to be used across a variety of different application scenarios.”
Cross-chain functionality is a priority for Ontology, which wants its DeID framework to be available on any chain. In time, the company also wants to offer unique application scenarios for the bustling decentralized finance sector through its OScore product — boosting the development of credit-based DeFi initiatives. For example, Wing was the first credit-based cross-chain DeFi platform built on Ontology.
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