According to the World Bank, “1.1 billion people are unable to prove their identity and therefore lack access to vital services including healthcare, social protection, education and finance.” Providing an official identity to these “invisible people” is key to reduce inequalities and ensure human development in many regions of the world. The infrastructure and resources of the countries where these people live represent a challenge: the lack of smartphones and 3G internet coverage complicates the deployment of a digital identity scheme. However, as Integrity is built on the Brickchain is a protocol, it can be adapted to any configuration, including a scenario where technology access is limited.
Let’s say a developing country wants to make microcredit available for the part of its population that needs it the most, without leaving anyone behind. This kind of financing actually benefits to the poorest people who often do not have access to a smartphone and/or the internet.
However, the money needs to be attributed to an individual who can prove a reliable identity. To have the lender being paid back is one thing, but identifying the beneficiary also avoids misappropriation and terrorism financing: the stakes are pretty high.
With Integrity, we would follow this scenario: - Maria needs a micro-loan but does not have any national identity card, nor a smartphone.
However, her country’s government has decided to use Integrity in order to leverage the existing trust networks of local communities. The architecture, for example, allows users to join realms, which are entities that can represent any group (family, village, etc.).
Maria therefore creates her identity on Integrity. For doing so, she requests to join her village’s realm by going to her local representant (which can be the village’s chief). There, she shows that her name claim corresponds to her voter card which also matches the local civil register. The community will also vouch for her and confirm that she is who she claim she is.
After this identity verification is completed, the village community (i.e. representative individuals chosen based on the context) signs a document from the smartphone or tablet that was lended by the government initiative.
As Maria only has a basic cell phone, the mobile operator enters the scene and in this context, acts as central hub needs to run and store identities on behalf of their subjects. Exactly like Coinbase would host Bitcoin wallets for their users. Here, the government leverages the trust potential that the mobile operator has, by turning it into an identity provider. At the end, identity subjects can control their identity via SMS. In many cases, they can already use this authentication tool for payments (e.g with mPesa).
Integrity can be used as a tool to establish trust between communities that were previously incapable of pursuing secure transactions: lenders on one side and borrowers on the other. This ability to leverage existing bonds unlocks the potential of low hanging fruits for development.