HomeCoinsOntology (ONT)The Rise of An Identity-Native Web 3.0 World | by The Ontology...

The Rise of An Identity-Native Web 3.0 World | by The Ontology Team | OntologyNetwork | Sep, 2021

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Ontology’s Chief of Ecosystem Partnerships Presents At The European Identity and Cloud Conference

The Ontology Team
The Rise of An Identity-Native Web 3.0 World | by The Ontology Team | OntologyNetwork | Sep, 2021

This week, Gloria Wu, our Chief of Ecosystem Partnerships, gave a presentation at the European Identity and Cloud Conference on ‘The Rise of An Identity-Native Web 3.0’. Hosted in Germany, the conference brought together leading experts from within the technology and security sectors to discuss some of the latest developments, successes, and issues in the identity and cloud spaces over the last year. Joining virtually, Gloria provided some fascinating insights into the formation of identity in the incoming world of Web 3.0, as well as commentating on how native citizens of Web 3.0 are forging their own identities and reputations. If you missed the event, don’t worry! We have put together a recap blog below, including some of the key points.

The evolution of human identification and reputation has had many stages. Before modernity, people’s identity was closely related to their reputation and standing within a social group. In the industrial age, this moved on to see people’s identities become influenced by their credentials on paper, therefore becoming closely linked to things outside of themselves in the form of physical verifications about their jobs, houses, tax numbers, nationalities, and much more. The first iteration of the internet allowed users to move away from paper verification and extend their identity into the digital sphere. By gaining easier access to information, their identity was changed by the ability to connect, albeit rather basically, with digital resources and virtual networks.

In Web 2.0, this was taken a step further — people began to engage more actively on the internet through comment features on websites, chatrooms and social media platforms. Our digital identities grew through increased data exchange, as we created digital footprints of our online selves. Data processing and collection became a highly lucrative resource for companies, with little to no regulation of data harvesting and its uses. The Cambridge Analytica scandal laid bare the dangers of this insatiable data economy which inadvertently gave big tech giants control of millions of users’ information. Indeed, it highlighted the complete lack of privacy and oversight that people have online.

There are a host of problems associated with identity and reputation in Web 2.0, not least the fact that people have little control over data ownership. On nearly all websites, sensitive data is required for identity verification and reputation is ultimately locked in client servers. Companies use non-transparent algorithms to collect data, leaving people unaware of how companies are using the information they share. The network effect, a phenomenon whereby a product or service gains additional value as more people use it, has led to the rise of the data economy. Companies are incentivized to collect as much information as possible about the people using their services which, of course, leads to privacy and security concerns as centralized systems no longer possess the power to keep user data safe. The fact that data pools in Web 2.0 are also highly fragmented further exacerbates the potential for issues, as there are many separate areas on the web where sensitive information can be breached, edited, or lost.

Web 3.0, the internet’s third iteration has begun in earnest, and now users can take back control of their digital identities by using more distributed, interoperable, and self sovereign applications. As we move into the next stage, it is essential that we revamp identity and reputation management using Distributed Ledger Technology. Decentralized identity applications built on blockchain, such as Ontology’s ONT ID, can help users defend their data and privacy. Through these applications, the data owner is able to authorize access to their data. To combat the lack of a standard process to support proper valuation and trading of data, peer-to-peer, cross-platform data marketplaces can be used. Open API ensures compatibility with applications on any infrastructure and reputation ratings can also help to establish trust between peers.

In the real world, reputation directly influences social capital, authority, status, eligibility and access to opportunities. In the digital world, reputation manifests into profiles, hierarchies, tags, and scores that determine the privileges that are granted to users. Digital reputation scores can be created through the collation of all relevant data related to an individual. These scores can be linked to an individual’s digital identity and stored on-chain, allowing any entity within the digital ecosystem to verify information and assess that individual’s creditworthiness or reputation score. Web 3.0 would stand to benefit greatly from such protocols, which would help to verify an individual’s eligibility to enter and participate in a system in a transparent way.

Web 3.0 is starting to see the emergence of ‘massive user data’. Within an on-chain context, such data takes the form of transaction data, smart contracts, digital assets and ownership history, and much more. Off chain, it looks like in-app data from games or other apps, reviews and ratings from different platforms, user profile information from social networks, financial data, and KYC, amongst others. Web 3.0 native data, i.e. data that has maximum consistency and a minimal amount of additional components, is starting to come into play, which is helping to inform a new kind of identity and reputation. This is applicable in many different scenarios in Web 3.0. For example, when a user seeks entry to a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), they may be required to provide different types of personal data, such as proof of ownership of digital assets or social media verification to prove you are not a bot. This allows individuals to contribute to DAOs, where they can influence decision-making processes. Creditworthiness, which is used in decentralized finance to collateralized assets, also requires native data in order for users to avail of a DAO’s service provisions.

The question of whether it is better to have one reputation score for everything or multiple reputation scores for different contexts is a topic for debate. The benefits of reputation scores that can use on-chain data to reveal contributions to a certain project in the form of participation in bounty programs, development of product plug-ins, submitted proposals and governance votes are an exciting space to be explored.

Ontology enables a decentralized network environment that solves key issues of identity security and data integrity. Data sharing and productive collaboration is maximized by assuring that users can trust one another. Ontology helps to facilitate self-sovereign identity and privacy protection, data diversity, algorithmic versatility, and configurable reporting. The groundswell of momentum surrounding this area is evident in the Ontology community where we have reached over 1.5 million ONT ID users, with a diverse community spanning 30+ languages, over 190 partners, and 707 nodes in total. We are excited to be at the forefront of a new revolution for identity in Web 3.0 and are honoured that so many companies and individuals are putting their faith in our solutions to guide them into this exciting new era.

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