The delay of the Worbli User Portal (Worbli is a EOS code fork), finally brought up valuable details about how KYC is performed and handled, together with an exciting discussions about how identity is defined, secured and stored on the blockchain. I think it helps us to get a better idea oabout what the KYC process with Worbli will look like:
The discussion was basically sparked by a user “Jack” who heavily critisised KYC as such, deeming it an endpoint to crypto, as he sees it, by helping the old system to onboard onto the new:
Whereas i agree, that KYC is not the final answer, if we take a look at the crypto reality, when it comes to adoption and onboarding, KYC is basically inevitable. To acquire any initial holdings of crypto you would need to go through KYC to transfer your fiat. There might be a few exceptions, with Steemit, and actually Trybe here, basically everyone engaged into crypto has already done KYC. The number of early adopters, who managed to mine some btc, with their desktops is long gone.
So you might not find this ideal, but what Worbli does, is simply to take an existing feature on the blockchain level. The benefit of course, is, you only need to do it one with one – let’s say trusted – partner, on not spread your identity on every dapp you are using (and on the other end, sparing dapps to do the ever same procedure. So practiality wise this is a big win. Worbli Head Domenic Tomas responded in this regard.
This might not be a big deal, to learn that the KYC will require you to provide an identity, and that the procedure will be performed by a thrid party, but (at least to me) this is the first time, Worbli disclosed this important information to their potential users. The security measures, apparently are currently in review, and although this has been confirmed to be the reason for the delay, this is an important fact.
I think we can also take Domenic now by his word, that as soon as it has been finalised what security set up will be, that we are provided by more detailed information how this will be done, so users can build some trust, and don’t need to rely on assertions however empathically they are expressed.
The fact that the KYC resides with the blockchain (i assume it will not be on chain though), makes security so much more important, since it becomes a preferred target of attack.
Even more important is Todor’s addition, that there will be many more aspects brought into play that will shape one’s blockchain identity. This is very interesting, as of course this would be able to build a more solid trust system, likely built on user behavior on the chain. The reason why i am especially excited, is because that’s exactly what i speculated about in my prior article about the potential of Worbli and i am really satisfied, this is coherent with their vision.
Another user had this in response:
Of course this idea about one’s identity being build up from a web of trust is a very valid one, and i hope this is the direction where Worbli is heading.
Of course it’s also a bit ridiculous trying to depict Amazon as a representant of an alternative system. As brilliant as Amazons rating system might be, at their various core they do have a thorough KYC process, since you can neither buy nor sell anything without providing your full personal data, including real name, address payment information etc.
IMO although not ideal, KYC can well be the foundation, of an identity layer, since, on a new chain there is no pre-existing web of trust, a new user could hook in. The reason for this is not because you could not buy a fake id in the right bar in your home town, but the fact that KYC raises the bar for carrying out sybill attacks immensely. You might be able to build up one identity based on a faked id, including web of trust, but building a fake community is a whole other story.
Here Binance serves as another example for an alternative approach, but of course binance is a crypto only exchange, and the fact they are NOT offering a fiat gateway is the exact reason why they don’t require KYC in the first place.
So can’t you go back once KYC is introduced? Maybe, maybe not. From a mere technical perspective you could just simply delete all the information gathered and rely solely on a user’s behavior. On the other hand, if it is properly secured, and kept at the users discretion is this actually relevant?
Important point: Worbli is not eos. If you don’t care about a fiat gateway or traditional financial services, you can just ignore worbli, and still use EOS with out any KYC (except the one you do to buy your crypto in the first place).
This is really good to know that there will be more profound information of data handling soon (assuming before launch).IMO the ideal solution might be to put kyc info even on the blockchain (encrypted of course), so there is no single 3rd party in charge of your data. This might be too far for the launch, but maybe this can be done later on.