Passcard, a service that offers a digital form of identity and access control, is looking not only to get rid of passwords, but also to replace physical identifications, including passports and driver's licenses.
Following the principles of Onename, Passcard is an open-source, decentralized and blockchain-based identity system built on the Blockchain Name System, formerly Openname.
"The Blockchain Name System (BNS for short) is very similar to the Domain Name System (DNS), but it gives stronger guarantees on ownership and security," Onename explained in a blog announcement on Monday. "There are no trusted parties or 'root servers,' and it's completely decentralized."
With Passcards, all identities, or passnames, have a public/private keypair that is uniquely allowed to associate and update data. Passcards are encrypted and stored on the blockchain, and thus, are made available to anyone to consult using any Namecoin blockchain explorer.
-- Source: namecha.in/name/u/dianango
The idea is to provide a secure and convenient identification method while giving users the ability to retain full control and ownership of their online identities; the company argues:
"Your passcard is your identity that you truly own. It is open source, secured by the blockchain, and open for anyone to participate in. There are no walled gardens, and you can signup using any 'registrar,' including Onename, which is also actively participating in the development of this technology."
Founded by Ryan Shea and Muneeb Ali, Onename launched in early 2014 with the purpose of making bitcoin transactions easier by replacing the long wallet addresses with a simple name.
The service quickly gained traction and eventually drifted to the ambitious goal of disrupting the current online authentication process.
"We believe the future of identity will be decentralized, and for any identity system to be truly decentralized, no entity can have a monopoly over registering users or displaying their profiles," the founders wrote in a previous blog post. "Anyone should be able to claim a username and fill out their profiles either using a provider/registrar of their choice or on their own without any third party."
In November 2014, Onename raised US$1.5 million in a seed round led by Union Square Ventures (USV), with additional funding from Barry Silbert of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, Naval Ravikant CEO and co-founder of AngelList, SV Angel, High Line Venture Partners, and others.
During LeWeb's annual conference in Paris, Fred Wilson, Managing Partner at USV, told the audience:
"We made an investment in a company called Onename that is trying to create a decentralized identity system on top of the Blockchain. That's exciting to me. [...] Everyone in this audience could go to onename.io and claim a name, and start to use that as the hub for their identity."
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