CULedger is partnering with decentralized identity provider Evernym to create MyCUID.
CULedger is the builder of blockchain-based products aimed at credit unions (akin to building societies in the UK) and their members. Evernym focuses on blockchain-based digital identity, and has donated code to Hyperledger (project Indy).
CULedger President and CEO John Ainsworth said: “We created MyCUID as a global digital identifier that permits our members to securely interact with their credit union.
By giving individuals control over their personal identifiable information, MyCUID will create a truly secure and privacy-preserving flow of information to promote balance, fairness, diversity and competition in the digital economy.”
MyCUID is a consumer-focused digital identity solution. Using MyCUID, credit union members will be able to:
- protect themselves from financial fraud and identity theft
- facilitate the relationships members have with their credit unions.
According to a new Javelin Strategy & Research Study, identity fraud is at an all-time high. This affected some 16.7 million U.S. victims in 2017. MyCUID offers:
- a person-to-person network of distributed, private agents working in parallel with the distributed ledger
- credit union members a lifetime portable digital identity that does not depend on any central authority and can never be taken away
- control to identity owners who can, by enabling selective disclosure, determine how much data is shared in a particular context.
“There are approximately two billion consumers that are considered underbanked or underserved across the globe. With the support of MyCUID, credit unions worldwide will be uniquely positioned to serve the financial needs of consumers,” said World Council of Credit Unions President and CEO Brian Branch.
The MyCUID, Evernym and CULedger connection
Evernym leverages the Sovrin Network – a distributed ledger purpose-built for identity – to develop technologies to enable individuals, organizations or even connected devices to establish and maintain a digital identity. The latter aims to be permanent, portable, privacy-enhancing and completely secure.
At Sovrin’s core is distributed ledger technology (DLT) engineered for identity. This has three prime elements:
- self sovereignty – any person, organization, or thing can actually own their digital identity – not just control it – independent from any silo
- trust – any person, organization, or thing can instantly verify the authenticity of “claims,” including who (or what) something claims to be.
- privacy – complete control over how, what and when you share information, without added risk of correlation and without creating treasure troves of breachable data.
According to Evernym CEO Timothy Ruff: “Self-sovereign identity will change the very nature of the relationship that companies have with their customers, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting match for this breakthrough than credit unions, who know more about creating strong relationships than just about anybody.
Building MyCUID with the long-term benefit of the world’s more than 235 million credit union members in mind has been a vital process for Evernym. This is bound to have a profound impact on the financial lives of a great many consumers.”
CULedger began in 2016 as an endeavor between CUNA, Mountain West Credit Union Association, and Best Innovation Group. Its objective is to develop a concept for a credit union system-wide permissioned distributed ledger platform. In working with a national consortium of credit unions and trusted industry providers, CULedger has establsihed a position to help credit unions serve the digital needs of its members.
What does it mean
Digital identity today is its own specific ‘silo’ which obliges almost every organization to possess identity (and security) experts in order to know with whom (or what) they are dealing, whether online and offline. The existence of KYC (Know you Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regulations only accentuates the need.
Managing many identities is, therefore, expensive. Yet it is also an expensive hassle which runs the risk of becoming annoying and frustrating for people as well as a security nightmare (especially once you think of any IoT connection).
This MyCUID initiative, between CULedger and Evernym, makes business sense (a technical assessment must await implementations). It creates a common solution for participating credit unions which should reduce costs and improve regulation observance. Sharing blockchain technologies, in the way envisaged by CULedger, has to be a common sense way forward for what is a complex technology.