Polygon has just launched a new self-sovereign, zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) identity service. The solution, called Polygon ID, allows users to verify their credentials and identity without ever revealing personal information.
The solution aims to advance the know-your-customer (KYC) regulation that will put incredible pressure on cryptocurrency companies around the world.
A decentralized solution for KYC
Privacy and anonymity are the cornerstones of Web3 culture and represent everything the users hold dear. However, the massive growth in the Web3 market, driven by DeFi and NFT industries, has made it a target for regulators.
Market watchdogs around the world are racing to regulate the fast-growing industry and gain some semblance of control over the fast-growing market. This regulatory drive translates into stricter KYC requirements for companies operating in the Web3 space.
For crypto service providers, KYC means that their users must provide personally identifiable information such as passports, government-issued IDs, and biometrics. And while this relieves pressure from regulators, it poses a whole host of other problems, including privacy invasion and data breach risks.
This growing concern is what Polygon wanted to address with its new ID solution. Polygon ID is one of the first such solutions powered by zero-knowledge (ZK) cryptography and represents the first milestone in Polygon’s ambitious 2022 roadmap.
The scalable blockchain platform has made zero knowledge cryptography the center of its strategic vision for years to come, and has pledged $1 billion to fund projects exploring and implementing the technology. Polygon ID, the company told CryptoSlate, is the latest product in this burgeoning portfolio.
The ID solution uses the Iden3 protocol and the Circom ZK toolkit to provide a decentralized and self-sovereign platform for organizations, businesses and users. It can be used to build a variety of identity and trust services, including dAccess-as-a-Service, KYC and KYB attestation, as well as distribution channels.
For end users, Polygon ID provides a decentralized way to use KYC by enabling them to create a digital identity that can confirm their access rights without revealing their personal information. Polygon told CryptoSlate that this is a big step forward over traditional forms of digital identification, as it removes all redundancy and middlemen from the process.
“Polygon ID is private by default, provides in-chain authentication and permissionless attestation. There’s nothing in the digital identity space right now that ticks all of these boxes,” said Mihailo Bjelic, Polygon co-founder. “It’s also a great showcase for how zero knowledge proofs can help us create a better world.”
It also enables the construction of new forms of reputation, opening up new possibilities for businesses in the Web3 space. According to Polygon, the new ID solution can be used to provide decentralized credit scoring for financial primitives and social payments in DeFi and enable a decentralized Sybil scoring that could create new decision-making and governance models in DAOs. Polygon ID can also be used to create player reputation profiles for Web3 games and to facilitate personal P2P communication and interactions on social applications.
Polygon’s handy privacy set coming this year
Based on the expressible claim standard, Polygon ID offers advantages over other forms of digital verification such as NFTs and verifiable credentials (VCs).
While NFTs have become ubiquitous in the Web3 world, they lack the privacy and cost-efficiency needed to make them an effective authentication solution. Verifiable credentials, on the other hand, offer a higher degree of privacy as they enable selective disclosure and can support ZK cryptography. However, they are limited when it comes to expressibility and composition—all the features required when implementing authentication solutions for complex applications.
And while zk-proof-based identity solutions offer significantly more benefits and applications, their complexity often stands in the way of mainstream adoption. Polygon ID has dramatically reduced the complexity associated with using Circom 2.0 and created a much more streamlined solution.
This allows onboarding for developers and partners through the ID client toolkit, which comes with native apps, SDKs, and white label solutions. Private in-chain authentication is done using zkProof Request Language, while identities can submit claims through the relayer, a unique model that reduces the cost of user claims.
To support all these functions, Polygon ID is structured as a set of tools and platform services. The product portfolio includes the Polygon ID Wallet app, the Polygon ID platform and the Polygon ID Connect, a public service platform that enables access integration between user wallets and apps.
By the end of the week, Polygon will deliver a proof of concept for the Polygon DAO. The market should see the public release of the ID Wallet app and the Polygon ID SDK next quarter, while the full release of the Polygon ID platform and the SDK for custom use cases should take place this fall.
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