V-ID Certify and Secure all Digital Assets
V-ID is a validation service for digital assets that uses blockchain technology to time-stamp files and make them verifiable. They describe their mission as “to safely certify and secure all digital assets, so fraud and errors no longer hold back society’s innovations in digitalization.”
The need for transparency with digital assets is particularly prominent in a time where document fraud and manipulation are costing companies billions of dollars each year, especially with crimes such as invoice fraud. V-ID can also help challenge issues such as data manipulation and identity theft.
With an increasing amount of digitisation happening across most industry sectors due to the lower operational costs and higher efficiencies, a bi-product of this advancement is that of cybercrime. V-ID aim to tackle this issue using their technology.
V-ID utilizes general and trusted principles to enable validation and verification for any digital file. They have already established a working product, that is used in various industries, such as legal, education, medical, research, and tech, serving customers like Airbus Space & Defence, Krohne and JWC Superyachts, among others.
An introductory promotional video for V-ID can be found below:
I sat down with several core members of the V-ID team to talk about their achievements and plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
When did you first hear about Crypto and what was it that drew you into this space?
We first heard about Bitcoin, Crypto and Blockchain in 2010. Bitcoin and Crypto naturally got a lot of hype from the media over the years, but we, like many others in our company and in our group of friends, became especially enthusiastic about the technology behind it. Suddenly it became possible to immortalize data in a super secure and decentralized network. We soon got an idea with enormous potential and added value. Two months later the first V-ID prototype was operational.
What is your background and what was the driving force behind starting (or joining) V-ID?
V-ID started as a concept development project from WIDIDI, a software house where, since 2008, we have been building secure online platforms for organizations that typically handle sensitive data and communication. For us it felt like a logical step to extend this protection to the sensitive offline files that they produce, like reports, certificates and even diplomas.
2018 was a tough year for the Crypto market. However, from a tech perspective, we witnessed even more innovation and advancements than ever before. Can you talk about the progress V-ID has made over the last year?
2018 certainly was a rollercoaster for V-ID. We enrolled a lot of new customers and engaged in partnerships and everything looked sunny on the business side. So far we anchored our document hashes in Ethereum transactions and in Bitcoin using an OP_return method but after some talks with a renowned investor and a couple of advisors we started development of our own smart contract, including the VIDT token. In addition to raising funds for promotion, development and scaling up our company, the token is essential in our business model and applied for wallet KYC, to store the fingerprint of a file and payment of fees in a single transaction, and to provide transparency for investors.
Document fraud is a growing epidemic with invoice fraud alone costing companies billions of dollars each year. What experience and tools do you have at your disposable ready to tackle this industry?
Using the V-ID validation and verification APIs allows companies to circumvent a lot of fraud problems and costs that they face currently. For instance, invoice fraud is a big problem for both the B2B and B2C market. Scammers and phishers are deploying better methods daily which results in a lot of money scammed. Unfortunately it is very difficult to detect a nearly perfect invoice replica without authenticating the source. By achieving V-ID’s proposed “validated supplier ecosystem”, a system where every party involved has been validated, these invoice fraud problems can be solved. This is just an example of the added value regarding invoices. There are many more use cases, which you can read about on our website or Twitter feed.
You’ve already made a number of clients and partnerships, most notably Airbus Space & Defence, Krohne and JWC Superyachts. From your perspective are you starting to see companies becoming more welcoming to the prospect of using blockchain technology within their organisation?
There are still many misconceptions about the subject of blockchain and its use cases but we notice an upwards trend in adoption; people are becoming more open to it and understanding of it. By taking down as many barriers as possible, we are driving for mass adoption of our service. The core principle of V-ID is easy to understand which helps prospects see the added value and benefits of using it. We aim to have the deployment of V-ID result in no negative impacts on existing workflows (difficult implementations, onboarding, etc.) so it’s easier to integrate it. The Validation API is an example of this, where all validations happen automatically in the background.
In your whitepaper you state that over the next 3 years “V-ID will transform into a market leader in file fraud protection, just like SSL has become for secure internet connections”. How are you structured to help scale and grow to achieve this lofty ambition?
We will constantly be looking to expand and improve the core functionality of the V-ID service to make sure we all always be an innovative player in the market. Features like an even more advanced API, B2C validation & verification, integrations in widely adopted products/services, etc is what we believe will help us achieve the market leader status.
We are currently quite well-known in the Netherlands because of media and coverage on our Rembrandt project. So we will keep doing these kinds of showcase projects to expand our brand recognition. Our focus on strategic partners, like CMS (lawyers and notaries) Axveco (Blockchain Specialist), DigiByte, LTO Network and Digital Mainport (regional government), is also what we will keep putting effort in. These kind of partnerships help us penetrate new sectors and markets more efficiently.
In the Blockchain/Crypto space we regularly have formal and informal contact with crypto heavy-weights like Rudy Bouwman (DigiByte), Rick Smits (LTO Network), Simon Dedic (Blockfyre), Olivier Rikken (blockchain expert/ambassador) Scott Trowbridge (Wanchain) and Brad Laurie (Blockchain Brad). These talks always are super valuable and we are very grateful for their help and advice.
What else can we expect from V-ID in 2019? Are there many surprises around the corner?
We just released a new roadmap that contains most of our grand plans and ambitions for our token -, business – and development strategy. Some of the roadmap highlights are a top exchange, Operation Whale Shrinker, a Learn and Earn Programme, API V3 “trust automated” real-time validation and verification, B2C applications, a VIDT usage dashboard, a V-ID powered IOE (internet of environments platform), a V-ID powered KYC/customer due dilligence process and security token VIDS, which provides the option to convert VIDT into VIDS. Apart from the roadmap we will continue to announce new clients and partnerships.
Can you summarise your ultimate vision for V-ID?
For V-ID to become the market leader in file fraud protection. As you can find on our website, our mission is to safely certify and secure all digital assets, so fraud and errors will no longer hold back society’s innovations in digitalization.
We are adding new clients faster than ever, so I think we are on the right track. For crypto enthusiasts, one of the indicators of our progress is the use of VIDT. You can see an overview of this on the Usage Dashboard at https://about.v-id.org/dashboard
I sincerely thank the V-ID team for their time.
To summarise, I’ve been extremely impressed with the way in which V-ID have conducted their business and operations in the crypto space. My favourite types of projects are those that get their heads down and focus on building a solid product whilst also forming revenue generating, working partnerships.
V-ID have already made huge headway with this having partnered with some notable names from a variety of different sectors and industries. Being situated in the Netherlands also provides a huge bonus as they are regulated in what is one of the most crypto friendly countries in all of Europe.
The wealth of experience in the team indicates that they are well structured to scale their operations and adapt to any change in demand for their services as they continue to grow.
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