Blockchain-based digital identity
Technology

Making blockchain-based digital identity retina scans easier

Though highly touted, digital ID solutions haven’t been widely embraced, but QuantumCrypt is trying to change that

A biometrics platform that “eliminates PINs and passwords” and allows eye scans and fingerprints to form part of a blockchain-based digital identity solution has won an award for product innovation.

QuantumCrypt enables users to be identified without biometric information being stored on a centralized system—reducing the risk of highly sensitive data falling into the hands of hackers.

Blockchain-based digital identity
The eyes have it. (Photo: Pexels.com)

Infinity Optics Solutions‘ award-winning platform takes iris, fingerprints, and 2D face scans and converts them into a unique biometric code for identification. Eliminating the need for electronic storage is said to make this technology more cost effective for Internet of Things applications, without compromising on security.

Blockchain-based digital identity tools are also being pitched as a form of “self-sovereign identification” which can be carried on mobile phones. Not only are these biometric IDs immutable, they can be controlled by the user. 

The UN and a number of private companies are also pitching them as a way to provide proof of identity to citizens of poor or poorly governed countries’ that cannot provide citizens with ID cards—which are necessary for everything from getting a bank account to grow a small business and tracking school attendance to getting by in a refugee camp. Catalonian separatists have pitched it as an alternative to Spanish government-issued ID, while Moldovia is using it to fight human trafficking.

Infinity Optics Solutions, the Singapore-based company behind QuantumCrypt, was given the award by the research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Eye phones

Industry analyst Nandini Bhattacharya said QuantumCrypt has the potential for iris recognition to become much more user friendly than it is at present—paving the way for eye scans to take place on mobile phone cameras, unlocking access to apps.

“As Infinity is developing QuantumCrypt solutions for 2D and 3D facial recognition, it is expected to unlock the potential of facial recognition biometric solutions in mobile and IoT-based applications across numerous industries, smart homes, smart cities, and connected cars,” Bhattacharya added.

It’s possible that Infinity’s solution could help blockchain technology become more widely used in the booming digital identity market. As Modern Consensus reported last summer, the number of government-issued digital IDs is set to soar to five billion between now and 2024, but a Juniper Research report warned that blockchain-based products aren’t expected to be a big part of the solution.  

Digital ID should be blockchain’s bread and butter, but the report’s author noted that identity apps which don’t rely on this technology are often quicker to develop and “almost indistinguishable” from a user’s perspective. As QuantumCrypt is aiming to remove barriers to entry for IoT apps, it could make blockchain-based identities simpler—and cheaper—to roll out.

C Sephton is a journalist with an interest in cryptocurrencies, personal finance, and financial inclusion—as well as the challenges the crypto industry faces in achieving mainstream adoption. He owns cryptocurrencies.

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