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.
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.
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.
Before we proceed can you briefly give us a self-introduction?
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
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?
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.
Q2. Could you provide an overview of cheqd and how it addresses the current challenges in the traditional trust and identity landscape?
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:
- High costs
- High fraud rates
- 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.
Q3. What is SSI in layman’s terms, and why should people care more about it?
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).
Q4. What are the primary benefits or advantages that users, whether individuals or organisations, can expect when adopting cheqd?
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.
Q5. Can you elaborate on the practical applications or use cases where cheqd demonstrates its effectiveness in revolutionising identity management?
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.
Q6. You mentioned a new product called Creds, built on top of the cheqd network. Have you gotten any traction so far?
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:
(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!
Q7. Could you explain the process of issuing and claiming credentials within Creds?
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.
Q8. In what ways does Creds address potential concerns or challenges related to privacy when managing decentralised reputation?
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! 😉
Q9. Are there specific industries or sectors where Creds has shown remarkable potential to penetrate and disrupt?
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!
Q10. Are there any partnerships or collaborations that have contributed significantly to the development or adoption of Creds?
A resounding YES.
Big shoutout to our launch partners (article published by Nasdaq), you might have heard about them before.
- Outlier Ventures
- Secret Network
- RescuePals (awesome game)
- Kleomedes DAO
- 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.
Q1: What is the strategic vision behind integrating eIDAS 2.0 and the European Digital Identity framework into the service?
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.
Q2: Is there any gas fee to issue or claim creds ? If yes, then in which token?
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.
Q3: Can you explain what your Tokenomics distribution looks like? How many tokens will be minted? How many tokens will the team lock?
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.
Q4: Do you allow suggestions and feedback from the community? Are we allowed in decision making? Do you put community into consideration?
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:
Time to Say Goodbye!
Thank you for coming and introduce cheqd and Creds to us. Have a nice day everyone.
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
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.