Announcing the Identity Insurance Consortium Feb 15, 2018

On 14th February 2018 at the Blockchaingers Global Digital Identity Deep Dive in the Hague, Netherlands, Mattereum and InsurePal announced the Identity Insurance Consortium, a coalition of companies collaborating to research, develop, and deploy identity insurance solutions for securing digital trade.

Perhaps one of the most critical issues facing commerce on the Internet is the lack of a secure identity layer, and this has persisted since its inception. The current standard of permissions via centralized certificate authorities (CA) has proven to be vulnerable time and time again. Many attempts to fix this problem are akin to examining only the upper structures of a building and ignoring the foundations. There is a need for a first principles approach to thinking about what identity is and how to build better tools around it.

There are projects attempting to tackle the problem using cryptographic key pairs and the resilient data structure of a blockchain to create self-sovereign identity solutions, yet there are a host of edge cases that could prove problematic if an individual’s personally identifiable information (PII) is ever compromised or if bad information is embedded within the immutable structure like a fly trapped in amber.

Treating identity in a digital context as an insurable risk in the context of commercial agreements is a constructive approach that doesn’t get bogged down in the technical quest for a perfectly secure system.

Matt Peterman, CEO of peer-to-peer insurance platform InsurePal, explains in the press release: “A seller or purchaser’s proof of identity can be lodged with an insurer who can then issue a policy against which any transaction can be linked. This is safer and more convenient than providing sensitive identity documents each time an individual or company conducts business on the blockchain.”

Mattereum will bring to the table their expertise in developing legal frameworks around smart contract-driven commercial agreements and effective dispute resolution via arbitration when things go awry. Identity insurance provides the certainty and assurance that contracting parties are indeed entities that can be held accountable for their actions. Because business with ghosts has its limitations.

Members of the IIC include Mattereum, InsurePal, self-sovereign identity projects Sovrin and Evernym, commercial think tank Z/Yen, IoT identity layer provider Blockpass, and Adjoint, a development company working on smart contracts and DLT solutions for modern finance.

On 10th April, Mattereum will be hosting its third Internet of Agreements conference, this time focusing on blockchain and identity. The team invites any interested companies and individuals to attend and join the discourse around a crucial element in the future of digital commerce.

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