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Africa’s Innovation Launch: Minting NFTs For Identity

4 Mins read

A digital identity built upon digital assets is one way users can uniquely identify or reinvent themselves in a technologically advancing society like ours. NFTs over the past two years have garnered popularity and wider acceptability, hence one in many digital assets that users can explore in reinventing themselves in an already crowded “Digi-verse”.

PhotoChromic an African innovation company is running with the mandate of securing digital identity for all. Founded by Murray Legg, PhotoChromic is globally applicable in mitigating the challenges of privacy and identity having been tested and already in use by fintech clients in the USA, South East Asia and Africa.

Why PhotoChromic?
PhotoChromic is a digital identity blockchain protocol that enables users to create a biometrically verified NFT. By providing verifiable identities, users will be able to programme their data privacy using NFT and smart contract technologies. According to Murray Legg,

“Verification and identity and privacy have become the challenge in the more inclusive online world we live in. PhotoChromic has solved this simply and easily by minting your identity as an NFT, stored on a blockchain and used as a digital passport.”

Murray has housed his global collective team in Switzerland, which is fast becoming the hub of innovation for blockchain and crypto, “It also allows us to work closely with regulators – if we want to see mass adoption of this technology we need regulation. We may innovate in Africa out of necessity, but privacy and identity are a global challenge and this is a first-to-market product that ticks the boxes of persistence, and portability – a highly innovative solution that delivers identity as an NFT. It is the missing link that the financial industry has been looking for.”

Who Controls Digital Identities?
As outlined in the PhotoChromic Data Trust Survey, 89% of online users are very concerned that their personal information may be compromised in the future. Only 9% of online users feel safe sharing their personal data online. Identity still largely remains contextual, constrained within centralized ecosystems or platforms without the ability to leverage the data or identity across multiple ecosystems or platforms. Simply put, the makeup components of digital identity are not portable.

Historically, digital identity has been controlled by centralized platforms, on a global scale, the fundamental imperative to take back control of our digital identities now stands as one of the most important parts of our evolution, across every sector of our lives. The all-important moment to rise up against centralized control of our digital identities is now.

PhotoChromic is unique in the sense that it returns identity control to those it belongs to. The tailwinds of regulation and open standards At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of financial applications in Europe increased by 72% in a week. It isn’t surprising therefore that “enabling EU-wide interoperable digital identities in finance” is the first stated goal of the EU’s Digital Finance Strategy. Since then, the EU has introduced world-first regulations that set the benchmark for open, shared and secure digital sovereignty. The EU regulatory framework builds on decades of research, engagement, and dedication by the likes of W3C, OpenID and World Bank’s ID4D, and more, who have collectively made much headway towards implementing open standards and frameworks that make self-sovereign identity a viable possibility. Similarly, regulatory frameworks and legislators have placed a keen focus on securing data privacy, ramping up across the globe.

The European Union, in September 2020, released various regulations in furtherance of digital sovereignty in Europe: GDPR; Digital Markets Act; Digital Services Act; Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA); Digital Finance Package, including Digital Finance Strategy, Retail Payment Strategy, DLT Pilot Regime, and Greater digital operational resilience in the financial sector. In May 2022, the European Union Parliament released draft proposals for the “Travel Rule” and “how that should be expanded to include transfers of crypto assets. The “Travel Rule” dictates which personal data is required to be collected when fiat cash is transferred between accounts.

PhotoChromic’s legal advisory team conducted a detailed analysis of the legal implications of this move. In short, the regulation by the European Parliament extends the existing regulations that govern the transfer of banknotes and coins to the transfer of crypto assets. In June 2022, the Commission proposed a framework for a trusted and secure digital identity for all Europeans. The primitives of blockchain, Web3 and smart contracts align with the EU’s digital strategy. The EU’s digital strategy may assist Europe in bringing technological and financial advancement to Europeans.

PhotoChromic, through its ingenious use of smart contract technologies, takes a critical step forward towards securing verified identity, in a way that it effectively responds to regulation. The PhotoChromic identity framework secures and verifies user identity and protects it too. As a Soulbound identity token, PhotoChromic can now integrate with business identity verification processes, and lighten the regulatory compliance load of the corporate organization resulting in bloated costs, resources and a below-par user experience.

A Decentralized Identity With PhotoChromic
Decentralized identity is the shift from the traditional centralized approach where some autonomous organizations control and manage user information and identity to decentralization where users have rights over their identities and information. This might lead one to think that the role of traditionally centralized organizations such as banks may be replaced in no distant time. PhotoChromic understands that consumers seek a trusted partner to guide their journey to decentralization.

Smart contract technologies with their programmable privacy and cryptographic security are one-way PhotoChromic secures user information with the utility of a smart contract. The PhotoChromic identity protocol enables financial services providers to leverage their existing identity verification processes, reduce cyber risk, minimize data sharing, and improve the customer journey. As an interoperable, modular, and decentralized service provider, PhotoChromic enables and upholds user-centricity, and places all control over personal data into the hands of the end-user.

As Founder, Murray Legg, explains: “The elements of value, communication and identity form the basis of each era of civilisation. From the middle ages until today, each era has pushed for further freedoms and independence. We’re seeing the start of a new digital renaissance unfold, and we believe that a decentralized society requires even more autonomy of their biggest asset — their identity — and PhotoChromic allows people to make that a reality.”

PhotoChromic leverages open standards of OpenID and Ethereum, namely ENS and SIWE, equipping the user with a decentralized identity in the form of a human-readable address. PhotoChromic uses custom-built generative art to create a digital representation that is a portable, verifiable identity.

The PhotoChromic identity framework provides a verified, portable, digital identity that transcends the boundaries of closed platforms. As the world walks into the Metaverse, PhotoChromic has secured digital identity for all. The proof is in a picture.

For more about PhotoChromic, click here

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We are the same, we may only be different in our experiences, values and exposures. Technology is a big part of my experience, learning is one of my values and writing my credible means of exposure.
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