A Letter from Our CEO: Reflecting on 2023 Progress and the Road Ahead

Happy New Year!

As we celebrated our 2nd anniversary last month, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you in the community for your unwavering support. It has been an incredible journey for cheqd in 2023, marked by milestones that have propelled us into the limelight beyond the identity and blockchain industries. Through consistent efforts, we’ve successfully bolstered the adoption of our use cases, and made our products more readily accessible to organisations and individuals.

2023 has proven to be a challenging year for the crypto and blockchain landscape. Many companies have faced substantial hurdles. Some even had to end their journey. Despite these industry-wide difficulties, I’m immensely proud to share that cheqd continues to thrive. Our team has expanded, our suite of products has launched successfully, and our presence in the market remains strong. I’m deeply appreciative of the trust and belief that both our community and partners have vested in our mission.

A Year Dedicated to Product Development

In Q1 of this year, we outlined a full-fledged product vision centred around five major development goals, delivering on cheqd network’s unique differentiators in decentralised identity. Much of our goals were achieved although we adapted some of these based on the market direction. I am glad to share our achievements below.

Our three flagship products were launched. Credential Service, our first Software-as-a-Service offering, allows customers to easily integrate identity solutions into their existing applications with just a few clicks. By simplifying the complexity of the Digital Credentials stack, customers can effortlessly build Credential-based apps and Trusted Data Markets from scratch, even without prior knowledge of the underlying technology.

Moreover, Payment Rails went live to monetise digital credentials. This incentivises companies to begin adopting credential-based technologies and standards, by providing a clear commercial model for giving individuals self-sovereign control of their data. Credential Payments is available to use through a set of easily consumable APIs within our SaaS offering, Credential Service.

Furthermore, we launched Creds, a no-code platform for organisations to build and issue verifiable credentials to their users, all while enabling them to build fully decentralised reputation and take them anywhere across the web. The Creator Studio was launched earlier with six inaugural partners, including the likes of Outlier Ventures, Injective, Secret Network, Regen Network, RescuePals and Kleomedes DAO.

If you are not aware of this, cheqd became one of the first Decentralised Identity networks to enable Zero Knowledge Credentials, ‘ZKCreds’, also known as AnonCreds. Leveraging the renowned and widely used AnonCreds Verifiable Credential format, cheqd, alongside Animo, has built ZKCreds into our tech stack, opening the door to a more privacy-preserving online experience for users.

On the other hand, we built a new cheqd driver into Decentralized Identity Foundation’s (DIF) Universal Registrar to enable out-of-the-box and highly efficient DID and DID-Linked Resource transactions on cheqd. This is a big step in simplifying the developer journey for client applications to use cheqd’s DID and DID-Linked Resource utility in a more light way than integrating with our Software Development Kits (SDKs).

Expansive Global Brand Recognition

Embarking on a global journey, this year we travelled through both Western and Eastern spheres, presenting at 10 conferences to weave our brand presence across continents, alongside attending 20 others. The list includes Web Summit, Zebu Live, Nebular Summit, Messari Mainnet, European Identity & Cloud Conference, Cosmosverse, and many others! In addition, we engaged in over 40 AMAs, marking a considerable leap in our interactive initiatives compared to the previous year.

Impressively, over 120 publications across the globe featured cheqd or engaged us in direct interviews. Notable mentions include Coindesk, Cointelegraph, BusinessInsider, Bloomberg, U.Today, Decrypt, and Hackernoon, among numerous others, emphasising our commitment to decentralised identity advancement. Besides, our groundbreaking endeavours were spotlighted in Nasdaq and CoinMarketCap, further solidifying our position as a trailblazer in the reputation industry. These press mentions not only validate our brand’s impact but also pave the way for increased credibility in the market. This year has undeniably brought us a substantial recognition we rightfully deserve!

Advancing the cheqd’s Vision

In the quest to advance cheqd’s vision, our team introduced the first major version v1.x to the cheqd mainnet/testnet at the beginning of the year. This monumental achievement exemplified our commitment to innovation, positioning cheqd at the forefront of progress within the decentralised identity landscape. Simultaneously, we launched our new website to offer enhanced experiences and accessibility to our users, aligning seamlessly with our evolving vision for a more intuitive and dynamic ecosystem.

What’s more, our ardent dedication to innovation was showcased through the articulation of our vision on Trusted Data Markets, laying the groundwork for a paradigm shift across industries and use cases.

Partnerships on the Rise

  • Secured >70% of the SSI application vendor market to-date; worked closely with Animo, Veramo, walt.id, and Verida; supported in wait.id’s SSI Kit
  • Secured >20 organisations to adopt Creds at the initial phase, including big names such as Outlier Ventures, Injective, Secret, Regen, and Terra networks; >60 organisations on the pipeline, contributing to >0.5M overall end user base, all generated organically through referrals and our community
  • Secured bridge portal support on blockscape and IBC Bridge
  • Secured multiple partnerships in Web3: Observatory Zone, Magic Square
  • Delegated to 22 validators as per the cheqd Foundation Delegation Programme; a total of 53 active validators

All-Organic Growth Backed by Supportive Community

As mentioned, 2023 posed challenges for many projects and companies in the blockchain space. We witnessed communities shrinking from 100k+ members to under 5k, and projects experiencing a drastic downturn to 0 in various aspects, from token value to community size.

While our community inevitably scaled down to a little shy of 9k amidst these market conditions, we have continued to gain unwavering support from our core community members who relentlessly advocated for our progress and SSI infrastructure throughout the year. Huge shoutouts to our ambassadors Toatse, Minch, Ultra, and szapiszapo, plus our active community members Luke, Ghostbro, Oats, Radius, LWK, and sean.

A heartfelt thanks to all the awesome community members who joined our community campaigns and helped fuel our growth as well. Your enthusiastic participation in pitch competition, video contest, Zealy sprints, and our latest 2nd year anniversary campaign has been incredible so far.

Some shiny numbers to share regarding our all-organic growth:

  • 79850 wallets launched with $CHEQ
  • 100 messages per day on Telegram
  • 25 new community members join Telegram/Discord per day
  • 40 new people add $CHEQ to their favourite token list on CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko per week
  • 20 new followers on Twitter per week

Feel free to join the 400+ active participants in our ongoing 2nd year anniversary campaign – call to all Cosmos lovers!

Active Community Participation

Throughout the year, the cheqd community has remained enthusiastic towards shaping the future of cheqd. A total of 30 proposals have been launched with 9 of them successfully passing as shown below. The vibrant participation continues to drive the evolution and success of our network.

  • Proposal 40: Increase the Community Tax to 10%
  • Proposal 39: Increasing DEX Liquidity with Community Pool Tokens
  • Proposal 34: Increase the Burn Factor to 99% for DID-Linked Resources operations
  • Proposal 33: Create cheqd Community DAO
  • Proposal 31: zkCreds onchain verification with revocation checks
  • Proposal 30: Increase the Burn Factor to 99% for DID operations
  • Proposal 18: Increase the Community Tax to 5%
  • Proposal 16: Increase the Voting Period from 3 days to 5 days
  • Proposal 12: Software Upgrade proposal for cheqd-mainnet-1 from v0.6.x to v1.x

Liquidity Provision of CHEQ Tokens

A proposal aimed at increasing DEX liquidity with community pool tokens has been passed. It is currently underway to support a total liquidity provision of 1,000,000 CHEQ tokens or 27k USD (18/10/2023) on Osmosis and Uniswap.

Aside from the evident market benefits, greater participation in the network, by way of improved access, will in turn attract developers to build on the network, making the cheqd ecosystem more versatile and valuable. We also anticipate a more engaged and active community since CHEQ token holders are more likely to participate in discussions, governance, and other activities when they can easily enter and exit positions.

Speaking of Osmosis, we fired up pool #1273 on the platform. As well as being paired with USDC, it offers supercharged liquidity. Here is an overview of liquidity incentives from various sources on Osmosis.

Launch of the cheqd Foundation Delegation Programme

In Q2 this year, we launched the cheqd Foundation Delegation programme. This programme is intended to reward validators that build with and alongside cheqd, incentivising innovation and collaboration. The ultimate goal is to create a virtuous cycle, where constructive participation in the network leads to higher rewards, which in turn encourages further participation.

After two months of entries and evaluation, the cheqd Foundation was pleased to delegate 22 validators a total of 172,000,000 CHEQ tokens in this cycle, taking into account contributions from both the present and the past few years since the cheqd network was launched in 2021.

Proudly Acclaimed Awards — Top in the List

cheqd is humbled to receive immense recognition in the form of prestigious awards this year. At the European Blockchain Convention, among a pool of 100 esteemed nominees, cheqd emerged as the runner-up. This accomplishment underscores our dedication and innovation within the blockchain landscape, showcasing how our solutions transcend the blockchain sector, offering valuable applications to traditional industries as well.

Additionally, Hackernoon has listed cheqd as one of the nominees for Startups of the Year in London. This acknowledgment fuels our drive to continue elevating our presence and impact not only in London but also across the broader tech community in the UK and Europe.

This month, we are nominated as the top 5 projects for the INATBA Awards for the Most Exciting Project of 2024 in the DeFi category. Final winners will be announced at the end of January.

Vibrantly Flourishing Team. Build Great Things.

At cheqd, we are a thriving team of diverse talents. This year has been a blossoming journey of growth and expansion for us. We have welcomed new members into our ranks, from tech, product, to marketing, each adding their unique flair and expertise to our development. We came together in various conferences, including the immersive Cosmosverse and Web Summit, to conduct product demos and attract new partnerships. I am extremely grateful to lead such an exceptional team and create a culture of Trust. Together, we are architecting a paradigm shift towards Trusted Data markets.

Promising Journey Ahead in 2024

Over the past year we’ve boldly delivered on our promise to make decentralised identity real and usable, a sentiment we’ll be taking even further in 2024. We’ve also proven that payment for credentials is possible, and show promise for catalysing decentralised identity. 

In the next year we’ll demonstrate the power of what can be achieved with a fully integrated stack, building Credential Service into Creds, to offer revocation and payments to Creators within the Creator Studio, enabling new commercial models not seen before to be tested and launched.

We’ll also be honing in on a selection of key markets and use cases, diving deep into the Cosmos ecosystem through a network upgrade to enable on-chain proofs for off-chain credentials, bringing novel opportunities for Creds to be leveraged in governance, incentivized loyalty programmes, Quests and more. 

And as the world waves goodbye to cookies, cheqd is ready with a privacy-first solution. 2024 will see a massive shift in advertising towards a cookieless era, and we’re primed to show how decentralised identity can promise a new way for individuals to take control of their data and preferences, enabling a more private, secure and truly personalised online experience.  

From a product partnership perspective, we also can’t wait to tell you more about some of our latest partners and customers, ready to build on the cheqd Network, bringing with them a host of new ecosystems and end users.  We believe identity vendors can, and should, become fintechs, ready and able to inspire their customers to monetise the credentials they offer, in a privacy preserving and user centric manner.

Stay tuned as we unfold our comprehensive 2024 Product Vision. We’ll delve into our goals for new products, our priority use cases, and the ways in which we’ll leverage the cheqd Network and token to drive outcomes for our customers. The future of identity is decentralised, and at cheqd, we’re writing the rules.

Thank you for sharing our mission of building a marketplace for Trusted Data!
Let’s toast the end of this year with a glass of champagne!

BitMart x cheqd AMA Transcript

On 20th December 2023 at 2pm UTC, Eduardo Hotta, our CMO, took part in an AMA with the BitMart community. This is a transcript from that event.

Introduction

BitMart:
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us today on this special AMA episode. We shall be talking about “How Trusted Data and DID Revolutionise Identity”. Eduardo is our guest speaker for today. Welcome to the Bitmart community sir.

Eduardo:
Hi, I hope everyone is well. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to chat with the BitMart community and drop some good information about what we’re doing here at cheqd.

BitMart:
Before we proceed can you briefly give us a self-introduction?

Eduardo:
Sure thing. My name is Eduardo, I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at cheqd, my background includes starting my own marketing agency and working at fast growth start-ups and big tech companies. I’m passionate about privacy and controlling my own data and decentralised identity and reputation, that’s why I joined cheqd. We’re here to revolutionise how YOU control your data and build a reputation that will unlock great opportunities in the future.

BitMart x cheqd

BitMart:
Thank you so much sir. Now, let’s go to the business of the day.
Q1. What sparked the interest of cheqd in exploring the intersection of Trusted Data and decentralised identity? Any specific experiences or insights that motivated the journey?

Eduardo:
We, at cheqd, care about individuals and organisations being able to own and control their data. We also care about Trusted Data, that is, data that can be verified.
Our founders, Fraser Edwards, our CEO, and Ankur Banerjee, our CTO, have as their background, experience creating solutions and implementing Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)/Decentralized Identity, however what they found out again and again is that many SSI projects would fail because they didn’t have any commercial models and incentives to take off.

So in order to make SSI mainstream, they built cheqd.
From my side, I’ve always been a privacy advocate. Having extensive experience working for tech companies in cyber security and data analytics, I understand how important it is for YOU to be able to own and control your data, and how easy it is to reverse engineer and scam people. Having this background made me come to the conclusion that the intersection of decentralised identity and Trusted Data, is the only way for us, as individuals, to be master of our destiny and to be free from legacy systems.

If you are like me, have experience dealing with public services, financial services, and any bureaucracy in general, you’ll know how decentralised identity and Trusted Data would make our lives so much easier, more efficient, and less boring.
All this being said, I’m grateful that Fraser and Ankur started cheqd with data ownership and control, security, privacy and credential payments, as core principles of the company. Even happier to be part of the company.

BitMart:
Q2. Could you provide an overview of cheqd and how it addresses the current challenges in the traditional trust and identity landscape?

Eduardo:
Sure thing. cheqd is a L1 network, it’s public, permissionless and obviously decentralised. The core characteristics of the network are the identity features, such as DID-Linked Resources, privacy, like ZKCreds (Zero Knowledge Proof), and PAYMENTS for Trusted Data and credentials.

As far as we know, we’re the only network in which individuals and organisations can charge and pay for Trusted Data and credentials. A true first in this space.

On top of cheqd we’ve created Credential Services for bigger organisations, where identity companies can address 3 common issues:

  1. High costs
  2. High fraud rates
  3. High customer loss due to manual processes

Credential services utilise the core utility of $CHEQ, cheqd’s token. Issuing and/or verifying a credential that might cost $100 now, can cost $0.10 on cheqd. As cheqd’s infrastructure allows identity companies to build their applications on top of the network and scale easily.

With verifiable credentials, ways to fraud people and organisations are limited, decreasing fraud rates drastically.

And, since you can scale and automate a lot on cheqd through Credential Service, the customer loss is decreased as processes are more accurate and faster.

Finally, we created Creds, our customer facing platform, that plugs in with Credential Services and the cheqd network. With our community marketing and loyalty platform, individuals can create and issue credentials (creds) in less than two minutes.

Creds can be used to protect and gamify your community, making it easier for organisations, especially in Web3, loyalty, and gaming industries, to create trust, and get insights of their community/customers. Enabling them to grow their community and increase engagement.

Oh, and I forgot to include a link. Please read here to know more about our differentiators.

As you can all 👀 – we’re young and fast. If you’d join our community now, you’d be joining EARLY.

As the utility of our token is getting supercharged by our partners and 2024 will be the year that verifiable credentials take off.

BitMart:
Q3. What is SSI in layman’s terms, and why should people care more about it?

Eduardo:
Good question. We try to not get too technical to get people from all backgrounds to join our community.

However, Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is an important term in the decentralised identity and reputation universe.

SSI is basically YOU having OWNERSHIP and CONTROL of YOUR DATA. You can share only the information needed for services and products. It puts you in charge!

This adds a privacy and control layer never seen before.

It also opens up massive business opportunities and new revenue models based on the individual consenting their data.

Now, a more technical explanation is: Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a user-centric methodology for exchanging trusted data in a more secure manner. It safeguards privacy by removing the need to store personal information entirely on a central database and gives individuals greater control over what information they share. Unlike the existing system, it’s a user-centric and user-controlled approach to exchanging authentic and digitally signed information in a much more secure way. It is also widely believed to be the next generation of digital identities across open networks.

This is important because, YOU as an individual will have true gains in terms of privacy, services, and even potential monetary gains (as you can choose to charge for your data).

BitMart:
Q4. What are the primary benefits or advantages that users, whether individuals or organisations, can expect when adopting cheqd?

Eduardo:
TL;dr – Individuals control of their data, privacy, and possible revenue stream. For organisations, they get easy to use products to create and enhance their services, privacy features, and most importantly a payment rail to charge for credentials. This allows organisations to build innovative business and commercial models.

Longer answer… organisations also gets… – this is a bit long. I’ll break it into 3 to make it easier for me to type.

Easily accessible common and public infrastructure

Most SSI blockchain ID projects are private permissioned, and we want to change this to public permissionless.

Our core hypothesis is that self-sovereign identity needs commercial models that accelerate its adoption. Having worked in SSI for 3-4 years, there aren’t really any viable projects that have made business models happen yet.

We’re providing a common and public infrastructure easily accessible to anyone and any organisation with payment rails between issuers, holders, and receivers of trusted data.

Standards, compliance and interoperability focus

Unlike a lot of other projects, we have deep expertise in digital identity, and working with large trustworthy organisations and governments. 

A lot of other projects are not compatible with the technical and legal standards for how private data should be handled, and we’re working very closely with the community to make sure ours is compliant – and therefore have better adoption.

We are compliant with eIDAs, GDPR and other regulations and standards.

A revenue generating model that generates ALL parties whether holders or issuers

We see our revenue model as being unique in multiple ways. We help individuals regain control of their data and their privacy by putting them at the centre of the identity ecosystem. 

We help companies monetise Trusted Data/credentials so that they can adopt the new paradigm whilst staying viable, profitable and ultimately more successful. For data issuers, we create a recurring revenue stream for whenever data is used without them needing to process it. For data receivers, we help lower their costs since data is digital, trustable and re-usable.

BitMart:
Q5. Can you elaborate on the practical applications or use cases where cheqd demonstrates its effectiveness in revolutionising identity management?

Eduardo:
Yes. I’ll pick just 4 use case, but cheqd + Creds + Credential Service serve many use cases and industries.

Actually, I’ll throw in a 4th use case as a bonus.

1) Supply chain: SSI provides the perfect route for organisations to share certifications or audit results with each other. In this way, the results can be passed up the chain or ultimately to the user-facing organisation which needs to make a said statement. It does this fully digitally without any need for a central authority for the supply chain, which may span multiple countries, languages and governing authorities.

We’re talking with some BIG telcos and manufacturing companies to get them using verifiable credentials in 2024.

2) Gaming: SSI would allow users to port their avatars, assets, experience and reputation between games seamlessly whilst easily proving their memberships or online identities to each other to prevent scamming. For content creators, this means that gamers can have a much longer and deeper relationship with content like avatars since they can use them across games, increasing the volume of content available to players.

We’ve lauched Creds with our friends RescuePals AND we’re talking with indie gaming companies to get them to use verifiable credentials (I’ll call this VCs going forward) in-game and in their communities.

3) Healthcare: SSI allows patients to hold their own health records, allowing them to take them to whichever health provider they need regardless of speciality or country. This reduces the risk of missing records or badly handwritten notes, which can create adverse health outcomes for patients as well as avoidable liabilities for healthcare professionals and the organisations that employ them.

We closed a deal just recently – so expect more information being shared in the beginning of 2024.

4-5) Community Marketing & Trust. With VCs you can actually create trust and security in communities by having your moderators like you, ambassadors and team members, prove that you’re part of the project. Bye bye scams and impersonations.

And, another cool thing is, with VCs you gain insight and data as you gamify communities. Your community members/customers get fun experiences and rewards, while you get precious information on how to serve them better.

We’re running our own community campaign based on Creds. If you’re interested, join our Telegram now and try to get some sweet rewards.

You can browse our comprehensive use cases here to learn how we can transform industries and sectors.

The market opportunity is very big for SSI, you can download our report here to understand the total addressable market in this field.

BitMart:
Q6. You mentioned a new product called Creds, built on top of the cheqd network. Have you gotten any traction so far?

Eduardo:
Yes, based on our learning from the digital identity and the decentralised identity space in the last year, we identified a gap in the market and worked on creating Creds.

In simple terms Creds is a verifiable credential issuance platform. The powerful side of Creds, is how verifiable credentials (creds) can be used to increase trust in communities and generate insights through community marketing and loyalty.

With Creds, you can create a cred in less than 2 minutes (article to Yahoo! Finance) to thousands of community members/customers. And, more importantly, you can use creds to gamify your community.

We have seen that community is the next big thing in marketing and we have seen how Creds can help organisations get the most out of their communities.

To prove this, we’re using Creds gamification mechanics on our own community. We’re running a community campaign that has gotten the engagement of our community through the roof.

We highly recommend everyone in this AMA to participate. To get started, join our:

Telegram
Discord
Zealy board

(The sprint has now ended at the time of publishing this blog)

Now, answering your question, we had 6 launch partners, we already onboarded around 20 projects and we have >100 in our pipeline. The best thing is, this has all been organic, we haven’t even started our marketing campaign for Creds yet!

BitMart:
Q7. Could you explain the process of issuing and claiming credentials within Creds?

Eduardo:
It is very easy to build and issue creds. It takes less than 2 minutes.

Organisations, aka creators, can simply choose what type of credentials they’d like to issue, selecting from a range of available templates. Next, customise the title, description, and artwork of the cred. They can also choose the attributes which most fit their use case. Besides, organisations can make the creds free or set a price to them to monetise the brand value or incentivise users to take certain actions. This is how a cred can be built.

To issue creds, organisations need to either upload a CSV file for bulk issues or drop in social media handles or email addresses of particular members. The last step is to share the unique claim code of the cred with specified members to reward them for their contributions.

Likewise, to claim creds, users will need to obtain the unique claim code from organisers. All of you can try it out by claiming the cheqd 2nd year anniversary creds here.

It’s very easy, just log in with your google or social media accounts, and the rest speaks itself. The process will take less than 1 minute.

Watch a full tutorial guide

BItMart:
Q8. In what ways does Creds address potential concerns or challenges related to privacy when managing decentralised reputation?

Eduardo:
In your Creds wallet you can decide which credentials you want to share and with whom. We use cheqd network’s feature to keep everything private. NO personal information is ever written in the ledger. Everything is off-chain, that is, the information stays with you.

The only thing we have on the ledger are Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) that have no personal identifiable information, and are used to sign your credential when needed.

This being said, you can have different ‘personas’ with Creds, meaning that you can have share ‘serious’ credentials to get a mortgage and ‘silly’ credentials to prove to people that you’re a fantastic member!

If we need to give a more down-to-earth example, you can try to claim our 2nd year anniversary creds here. Leave a comment under our Twitter to share whether you like it or not, and next time we might consider issuing creds as AMA rewards so you can build your DECENTRALISED REPUTATION before anyone else! 😉

BitMart:
Q9. Are there specific industries or sectors where Creds has shown remarkable potential to penetrate and disrupt?

Eduardo:
We’re starting with Web3 as it’s the lowest hanging fruit. We know a lot of organisations and projects in the space and we know very well their pain points and objectives, in particular their community and marketing goals. We’re rapidly converting A LOT of them.

Then we’ll move rapidly, starting next month actually, to target the Loyalty, Entertainment, and gaming industries.

Reason being, we are already working with supermarkets for loyalty, entertainment companies and gaming projects already.

In summary, loyalty are looking to get further insight on their members and reward them in a fair and easy way. Creds helps them build their customers reputation, getting insight for it, then acting on it, be it rewarding loyal customers, or offering new services to not-so-active customers.

For entertainment, Creds unleash their superfans, with fantastic looking creds (better than NFTs, as it’s portable and private!), and rewards based on their superfans reputation.

Finally gaming, it’s a very competitive place and gamers want to be able to port their reputation to different platforms. Something that Creds do.

TL;dr: we have more than 100 partners in the pipeline, mostly in Web3, with others in the loyalty, entertainment, and gaming industries.

After these industries, we want to disrupt supply-chain, so stay tuned!

BitMart:
Q10. Are there any partnerships or collaborations that have contributed significantly to the development or adoption of Creds?

Eduardo:
A resounding YES.

Big shoutout to our launch partners (article published by Nasdaq), you might have heard about them before.

  1. Outlier Ventures
  2. Secret Network
  3. Injective
  4. RescuePals (awesome game)
  5. Kleomedes DAO
  6. Regen network

All these partners have provided brilliant feedback, were quick to adopt Creds, and have been providing many ideas that are being incorporated to Creds.

We have another batch of partners that are doing the same, but let’s just name the OGs for now. 

Audience Questions

Sankar D:
Q1: What is the strategic vision behind integrating eIDAS 2.0 and the European Digital Identity framework into the service?

Eduardo:
Being compliant and compatible with eIDAS 2.0 and any governmental framework is crucial as these forces will push the implementation and adoption of technologies like ours.

We do our absolute MUST to be part of these frameworks because we need technologies that actually empower users with REAL control and ownership of their data and privacy to be adopted. We cannot let the bad team win (the companies that want surveillance tech to be adopted.

So, answering your question very directly, in terms of strategy we have team members and partners involved with international proposals of digital identity. We are also friendly with organisations like INATBA, DIF, and Trust Over IP (ToIP), to push the right technology.

And not only this, the eIDAS 2.0 regulations will include distributed ledger technology, they will go through approval processes.

The requirements will consider security, interoperability, privacy, reliability, and trust models.

cheqd operates under W3C compliance for verifiable credentials, and we also follow the DID Core Spec. This means that we adhere to already accepted standards. Our credentials also follow the agreed attributes defined under schema.org.

As we continue our efforts to become recognised under eIDAS 2.0, we will become one of the most private and interoperable networks that support commercial models for self sovereign identity, and digital identity frameworks. This means individuals and organisations can use their preferred identity wallets, and still be fully interoperable with the cheqd network.

Mr. Pratik:
Q2: Is there any gas fee to issue or claim creds ? If yes, then in which token?

Eduardo:
There are no gas fees to claim creds. Any user can claim their creds and build their decentralised reputation.

For issuance, Creds is a Software-as-a-Service, therefore there’s a monthly subscription for issuers/creators as they have access to the Studio, verification, and analytics. All the tools needed for marketing insights and to grow and engage their communities.

Furthermore, all identity transactions utilise $CHEQ, our token, and as per our tokenomics. Which means, everything an identity transaction is taken, there’s a burn element to it.

This means, issuers do utilise $CHEQ in the background to issue creds.

For Creds. Yes, our team, mostly our Senior Product Manager, ran interviews and research on the adoption of decentralised reputation.

Along the way, we also created a feedback loop, so our partners could feed information and requests.

We also have a very clear view and understanding of the space, since we also use Creds, for community marketing and trust.

For cheqd, our founders have worked on many projects before and know very much about the space. They are 2 of the very few SSI specialists in the world. We’re also in various organisations driving SSI and do presentations to them as to get more feedback on how to improve our network.

And, we’re already global serving every region of the world.

Rodrygo Goes:
Q3: Can you explain what your Tokenomics distribution looks like? How many tokens will be minted? How many tokens will the team lock?

Eduardo:
Hello, great question, this is also important.

As we are an inflationary token, we’ve built in burn mechanisms into our identity transactions which include, DID writes, verification, revocation of credentials(to cancel them as being valid), among a few others. These help keep our total supply at 1b $CHEQ

Our vesting period has now largely ended as of November, leaving only team tokens which are on an internal business process, depending on when they joined the company.

Our tokenomics are divided into 4 parts, and you can read more on that on these links.

https://cheqd.io/blog/cheqds-tokenomics-for-ssi-explained-part-1/

https://cheqd.io/blog/cheqds-tokenomics-for-ssi-explained-part-2/

https://cheqd.io/blog/cheqds-tokenomics-for-ssi-explained-part-3-payment-models/

https://cheqd.io/blog/cheqd-tokenomics-for-ssi-explained-part-4/

Albert:
Q4: Do you allow suggestions and feedback from the community? Are we allowed in decision making? Do you put community into consideration?

Eduardo:
Hey Albert, thanks for your question.

Community is absolutely fundamental to our operations. We pride ourselves on having our community have access to the core team, this includes the c-suite, like my good man Eduardo here.

Everyone has their say, and everyone is heard. We regularly conduct polls, and contribute to governance proposals that the community submit. The community is at the beating heart of our project, and I am incredibly proud of their efforts and contributions. 

They will often offer insights and guidance on how we should proceed with certain actions. There are routine conversations which impact governance on things like parameter changes, burn, community pool tax, community pool spends, amongst other things. We have regularly made changes and acted based on what it is they offer. As it should be.

We have a great team of ambassadors and moderators that are always giving feedback.

The community is indeed a key component and driver of our success, we are nothing without them.

Please join us in Telegram, and you’ll see why.

We’re using Creds gamification mechanics on our own community. We’re running a community campaign that has gotten the engagement of our community through the roof.

We highly recommend everyone in this AMA to participate. To get started, join our:

Telegram
Discord
Zealy board

Time to Say Goodbye!

BitMart:
Thank you for coming and introduce cheqd and Creds to us. Have a nice day everyone.

Eduardo:
I truly enjoyed the time here, and hope you guys love cheqd and Creds! Please make sure to:

Join our Telegram Group: https://t.me/cheqd

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cheqd_io

Visit our website: https://www.cheqd.io

Read our blog: https://blog.cheqd.io

Watch our videos: http://cheqd.link/youtube

Lastly, remember to claim our 2nd year anniversary creds to experience the power of creds! 🔥🔥

We are collaborating with lots of partners like Outlier Ventures and you guys can aggregate all the creds to build a unified decentralised reputation across the web! Starting with the 2nd year anniversary creds will be a cool idea.

See ya!

How cheqd Differentiates Itself in the Data Market

cheqd provides the platform to help companies and individuals trust each other in a more secure, efficient and commercially sustainable way using digital credentials. Moreover, this trust can be established without reliance on a central intermediary, meaning that no direct relationship is needed between the parties issuing, receiving or charging for trusted data

This two-part series of blogs will tackle how cheqd differentiates itself in the data market, addressing this topic for different audiences with different levels of knowledge of expertise of cheqd and the industry:

Blog 1 (this blog) is targeted at a general audience, exploring how cheqd unlocks new data markets and differentiates itself against traditional identity companies.

Blog 2 is targeted at a narrower audience, explaining how cheqd differentiates itself from other identity networks and what technical innovations make it an industry-leader, such as credential payments

Following these two blogs, the reader should have both a holistic and nuanced understanding of how cheqd positions itself and stands out in a competitive data market.

Addressing problems in the data market

Prior to explaining the how, it is important to explain the why. There are currently significant challenges for companies around customer identity assurance and verification, where it is too costly in terms of time and money to build trust in their customer-base.

cheqd has positioned itself to solve three major challenges faced by most businesses acting in the digital domain or providing an online service.

1. We reduce the cost of customer verification

For many online platforms and businesses, it is too expensive to pay for customer verification, resulting in weak or non-existent identity assurance. 

This leads to bots, scammers and malicious actors exploiting digital spaces with little repercussions. To put this into perspective, the cost of identity checks is roughly as follows:

  • Basic Know Your Customer (KYC) check: $5 – $10
  • Criminal record check: ~$50 – $100
  • Company background (GLEIF-accredited LEI): >$100/year

As such, e-commerce platforms, online gambling services, alcohol vendors or adult content platforms have resorted to simply asking the good-will of the individual to self-attest to being over the age of the legal requirement to access their site. These platforms would rather take the risk of having unverified users, than pay a $5 fee per customer.

Image showing general “Are you over 18” clickwrap

Not only is this a problem for bots, scammers and malicious actors, but it is also dangerous for children, increasing their potential exposure to restricted sites and content and breaching online child protection regulation such as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Recently, in the UK, Ofcom have declared that this “self-attestation” is not enough and that digital credential wallets may be required.

Moving into a world of digital credential issuance, especially with the new amended eIDAS 2.0 regulation, online service providers will be required to accept digital credentials for identity verification and also parental consent.

Where cheqd provides significant value here is providing the infrastructure for reusable and verifiable credentials, in order to  reduce the cost of an identity check down from ~$5 per verification to ~$0.10. Through this increased efficiency and cost reduction, this unlocks the option of customer identity checks in domains where it was previously too expensive.

Image showing the cost and efficiency of cheqd vs traditional IDV

This solves a significant problem that many industries have in verifying customers using their platforms, in a manner which is cost-effective, reusable and future-proofed against upcoming regulations.

2. We reduce the capacity for fraud and scamming

Messaging platforms and emails also suffer with a lack of trust. Many scams and phishing attempts impersonate real people or companies with malicious intent, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern between a real person and a fraudulent one.

Within the Web3 space, we regularly see fake emails and messages from companies purporting to be from centralised exchanges, such as Binance. One email was even so sophisticated that multiple members of our team were deceived as the senders’ email was spoofed from a real Binance email address. For everyday users, this creates a very high security risk and surface area for falling foul to a scam.

Image showing a real Binance scam that we received at cheqd

At cheqd, using verifiable credentials, we reduce the capacity for fraud and deceit by providing a mechanism for companies and individuals to request a trusted credential from each other and trust the root authority that it was issued from. Since these credentials are cryptographically signed by a trusted party, it provides a much higher level of assurance than simply relying on intuition and common sense.

Check out my Creds below to trust that I’m a cheqd team member!

https://profile.creds.xyz/share/utp-bxhi-kuz

3. We reduce the time and effort needed to check someone's identity

Many industries spend an inordinate amount of time on identity verification and manual checks. For high value transactions such as conveyancing, or visa applications we frequently see a points scoring system for identity assurance, where different documents carry different levels of assurance.

Image showing a standard “point-scoring” identity verification checklist

Traditionally, these point scoring exercises require a customer to provide  at least “100 points” worth of trust, where each document or certificate has a particular score attached to it. The general premise is that the higher the score, the higher level of confidence a third party has in your docs/identity, where 100 is the “pass point”.

With Verifiable Credentials, a user can hold multiple credentials within their identity wallet, and present them concurrently within a single proof to third parties to compile a trust score of 100 or above within seconds. 

Owing to the security features of verifiable credentials, and also the legal value given to credentials within eIDAS 2.0, this can save companies significant time and resources currently spent sanity checking manual data. This can be applied to solve problems across use cases such as conveyancing, immigration visas, lending or credit scoring to name a few.

We previously wrote about this concept of instantaneous time to reliance in our blog on the role of cheqd in trusted data markets here.

Case study: Reusable KYC unlocked with FinClusive & Verida

Following our partnership announcement with Verida, we have integrated Credential Service with FinClusive and Verida wallet to streamline the process of onboarding to  financial services across web2 and web3, in a regulatory compliant way. 

Through reliance on digital credentials, and real-time revocation checks against the cheqd network for AML compliance and other sanctioned lists, we improve the onboarding experience for credential holders, reduce the cost of traditional identity verification and the time taken to verify a customers’ identity. 

We will also be using our Credential Payments product to layer in a commercial model for parties exchanging verifiable credentials, to incentivise their issuance and accelerate their adoption.

We are targeting this solution at onboarding to centralised exchanges, financial services and digital service platforms, such as eCommerce. We will be writing a full blog on this opportunity in the new year with both FinClusive and Verida! In the meantime, watch the demo of the integration here

Or, if you want to apply this digital credential solution to your own company, to leverage the competitive advantages, contact our product team here

A new revenue opportunity across industries

While solving existing challenges faced in data markets, cheqd also offers a new revenue stream for issuers of digital credentials. This incentivises the transition to credential-based technologies and offers a new commercial model for adopting credentials, while keeping prices of identity verification far below the existing model. The credential payments model can be applied across various industries:

  1. Financial Services: providing a commercial model for banks and other financial services that exchange verifiable data will create sustainable ecosystems and data markets.
  2. eCommerce: charging a micropayment for identity verification allows eCommerce platforms to prevent fraudulent actors and cybercriminals from using their services.
  3. Travel: charging hotels and relying parties in a travel use case a small fee for instantaneous customer verification saves significant amounts of time copying and verifying manual documents.
  4. DeFi: providing a regulatory compliant onboarding solution for Travel Rule that also makes commercial sense sets cheqd apart from other competitors in the space.
  5. Education: reducing fraud and providing verifiable education records and accomplishments will streamline application processes for jobs and higher education. Remunerating educational institutions who issue these credentials will accelerate this process and get more credentials in circulation.

In Blog 2, we will further explore how the concept of Credential Payments differentiates cheqd from other identity networks, and how verifiers paying issuers creates new sustainable data markets.

Understanding cheqd’s position in the data and identity market

With a broad understanding of the problems cheqd is solving, next it is important to explain where cheqd sits within the data and identity market. Core to understanding cheqd’s offering, is addressing what cheqd is not.

A common misconception is thinking that cheqd provides Identity Verification (IDV) services, like an Onfido or a Jumio, or alternatively that it provides Identity & Access Management (IAM) services like a Ping or a Forgerock

In reality, cheqd does not fit into any of the pre-existing categories of companies that work on identity data. Instead, it fits within a new, differentiated category for digital credentials and Trusted Data – which is being established via global regulation and technological developments.

This next iteration of data services will see four core categories:

  1. Identity Verification: checking a person’s identity documents and verifying that they are a real person
  2. Customer Relationship Management: storing data about customers to manage relationships and provide services
  3. Identity & Access Management: providing functionality to configure rules and permissions for accessing services
  4. Digital Credential Issuance: issuing attestations about a persons’ data or identity attributes to enable data reusability
Image showing the four quadrants of the data and identity market

Alongside the latest global regulation, such as eIDAS 2.0, these four categories of data will all be required to utilise digital wallets for allowing customers to use the services or receive data from the service.

Image showing how the four quadrants overlap with digital wallets

Digital credential issuance services enable customers to reuse data from one organisation, sharing it with another.

Image showing the “decentralised identity trust triangle”, explained further here

This allows organisations that rely on digital credentials to trust the organisation that issued the data without a direct relationship with them. Therefore, digital identity wallets holding credentials will serve as a central component that unifies and enhances the operations of IDV companies, IAM providers and CRM systems. 

Conclusion

As the adoption of digital identity wallets increases, enterprises are likely to find new ways to leverage this technology to improve their services and enhance the overall user experience.  cheqd will play a crucial role here in:

  • Providing the tooling and infrastructure for digital credential ecosystems
  • that align with emerging regulations, such as eIDAS 2.0…
  • while also being commercially beneficial for each party switching to the adoption of credentials.

Moreover, the large-scale adoption of credential issuance technologies is no longer a question of “if”, it is a question of “when”. With monumental regulatory changes to require the use of digital credentials, the goal now is to educate about the benefits of the technology and why it is sensible to switch sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned for Blog 2 which will go into more detail on how cheqd differentiates itself from other identity networks and credential issuance platforms, looking in detail at both the unique commercial model and the interoperable technical design choices

In the meantime, schedule a demo or call with our product team here, or sign up for our Credential Service to get started with our identity tooling here

$5000 in CHEQ Cosmos Call, in Celebration of cheqd’s 2nd Anniversary

Two years have flown by in the blink of an eye, and cheqd is proud to celebrate this incredible milestone with you. Since our inception, we’ve embarked on an exciting journey, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of decentralised identity and reputation. To mark this special occasion, we’re launching  a campaign, where you can expect to have to search out clues, solve puzzles, and claim a reward. 🥳

Campaign Start Date: 06 Dec 23, 1800 UTC

Campaign End Date: 05 Jan 24, 1800 UTC

Total Prize Pool: $5,000 in $CHEQ

Campaign Specifics

cheqd-2nd anniversary contest rules

This campaign will be divided into two main parts.

 

Part 1: Zealy Quests – Follow the Clues:

Our journey begins with the Zealy Quests, but more accurately, a scavenger hunt. We’ve hidden clues in various places which you’ll need to find in order to earn special creds. These creds will be your passport to Part 2. We will publish new clues on the Zealy Quest board, and you’ll need to provide evidence you solved them in order to move forward to the next clue. We’ll let you know when clues are available.

📅 Sprint Start Date: Wed 06 December, 1800 UTC

📅 Sprint End Date: Wed 20 December, 1800 UTC

🏃  Running period: 2 Weeks

🎁  Prize: Eligibility into Part 2

>>> Here’s the cheqd Zealy Board to get started. <<<

 

Part 2: Join the Seekers – Journey into the Cosmos:

As we delve deeper into our anniversary celebration, we invite you to become one of the Seekers. This elite group of explorers will embark on a cosmic journey to find the elusive “Council of Six.” The cosmos holds secrets waiting to be unravelled, and the Seekers will be at the forefront of this daring adventure. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with various puzzles and claim a prize. Be assured that you will be challenged, and you’ll need to take your time to think outside of the box.

📅 Campaign Start Date: Wed 20 Dec 23, 1800 UTC

📅 Campaign End Date: Fri 05 Jan 24, 1800 UTC

🎁 Prizes:

🥇 1st Place: $1,000 in $CHEQ

🥈  10 Runners Up: $300 in $CHEQ

What about the remaining $1,000?

New community members that join the campaign that are not eligible for Part 2, have a prize pool of $1,000 reserved. This gives our new frens an opportunity to claim some rewards.

The Rules

  1. You must not collaborate with fellow community members.
  2. You cannot enter with multiple TG and Discord accounts.
  3. You must not share with anyone where you find clues.
  4. You must submit where you found the clue and what the clue was.
  5. You must share any claimed creds on socials and tag cheqd and Creds.

 

Prizes are in $CHEQ – you can use our token for governance, staking, and paying for identity transactions.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants must not change their Twitter, Telegram, and Discord usernames until the prize distribution. We would need this to recognize you as a follower to confirm eligibility.
  2. If a winner doesn’t respond within 14 days after the contest has ended, they will not be eligible for the prize, and another winner will be chosen from the rest of the participants.
  3. The prizes are usually paid out within 3 weeks after the contest has ended. If there is any delay, we will notify the winners on Twitter.
  4. Bots and fake users are not eligible.
  5. The contest is hosted by cheqd. The company reserves the right to cancel the promotion or amend its terms or conditions unilaterally without prior notification.