A chat with Locke Brown, CEO of Decentralized Identity & Authentication Solution: Nu Identity (NuID)

At its core, NuID is a decentralized identity and authentication solution that gives Internet users the opportunity to control and own their digital identity. In short, our goal is to return ownership of data to the individual by providing the tools for people to use encryption in an accessible way that allows them to control their identifying data online. We’re doing this based on what we call our “zero-knowledge authentication” solution, which allows each user to have sovereignty over their web credentials. We created an ecosystem – and Nu Identity Ecosystem – that allows individuals to choose what data to share and when to share it across all platforms that use NuID.

The great thing about the ecosystem is that it is underpinned by a utility token, Kii, and KiiChain, a new ledger in development that will hold identity-related data. We believe the ledger is a solution to many of the privacy issues facing the site today. The ledger is called “zero knowledge” because no one, not even NuID, has the ability to see people’s login credentials: they never leave the user’s device. Until now, a “secret” password wasn’t really a secret. It has been the service provider’s responsibility and obligation to store this information, which leaves individuals vulnerable to becoming victims of data breaches.

How it works is – with the NuID ecosystem – credentials are recorded on a blockchain as public benchmarks that cannot be resolved backwards to the original secret. In the future, more than just authentication credentials will be able to be registered. Future use cases include, but are not limited to, KYC and identity verification, issuance of certificates and credentials, health and vaccination records, digitized assets, educational credentials, verified claims, decentralized data storage, and peer-to-peer identity services.

NuID has spent years working on our personal identity solutions in a decentralized world. We consulted with politicians and government officials around the world to help educate them on how to properly craft data privacy laws, GDPR being the biggest example.

We want to herald an environment where services become consumers of user identities and not the other way around. At NuID we provide mechanisms other than the status quo, because we know there is a better world to be imagined where there is sovereignty over who we are and what we share online.

What do you think makes this company unique?

There are some features that stand out.

We were well ahead – NuID has been working in the blockchain and data privacy space since 2017 and launched our first app in 2019. We also have 57 patent claims nationally and internationally.

Our protocol is perfect for Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 users; we built it as a bridge between them.

I see what we’ve built as a foundational protocol that any entity can support. It’s a utility, much like your water or energy providers in that it will work and you can trust it. In fact, you won’t have to think about it. Even the way it was designed is such that if for whatever reason NuID as a company disappears, the technology and credentials for it will persist.

We use zero knowledge proofs, or ZKPs, to work in conjunction with blockchain technology, which avoids the need for applications or platforms to store user passwords on the server side. When deployed, this protocol eliminates the risk of mass credential breaches.

NuID is providing a set of tools that create a Proof of Identity ecosystem. One of the identity solutions that NuID aims to address is KYC on decentralized exchanges through which people can securely provide their credentials through the NuID environment.

I know it’s bold to say, but the core of what we’re trying to do will change many aspects of life: not just for industries, but it will fundamentally change the way everyone interacts with the Internet.

How has the company evolved in the last two years?

While we’ve been in business since early 2017, we weren’t ready to bring NuID to the world until recently. When it comes to authentication, failure is not an option. And so we take our time to make things right. In 2022, NuID was ready to launch its ecosystem – which will provide internet users with the ability to own and control their digital identity on the web using services built on top of NuID’s zero-knowledge authentication solution.

And it is on these foundations, as I said, that the giants will be able to stand. I am proud to say that we are here now and we are ready. This moment took five years to make and will culminate with the future release of our KiiChain, which will drive this towards greater adoption.

Of course, in this scenario, we face a chicken-and-egg dilemma. The more services participate in the ecosystem, the more people will join, and then the value and market share will increase. Therefore, one of our goals is to get as many people as possible to register a NuID credential and have an attestation associated with it representing that they have verified their identity. As this gains traction, I’m sure it will be a game-changing web-wide service for all Internet users. The decentralized nature of what we build creates an inherently portable and user-owned identity platform.

What can we expect from NuID in the future?

As I mentioned, we are in the midst of launching our long-awaited Kii token and embedded within the token itself is an allocation whereby the first 10 million people to verify their identity and receive an attestation to do so will have 10 Kii issued directly to their NuID credential. Not only do we believe that the verification incentive is a good strategy, but the launch of the token itself is a way to get NuID into the hands of individuals around the world.

Couple that with the expansion of our developer portal, our planned channel partnership initiative, and next year’s enterprise authentication sales: we’ll be bridging not just the gap from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, but from the traditional enterprise to the cryptocurrencies to the regulatory gap as we go.

On the authentication service side, we will launch a channel partner program where developers and contractors can earn up to 20% of the cost of service for any of the customers they deploy NuID with. But more on that to come early next year.

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