Alex Fauvel talks identity management at CoinGeek Seoul

Identity management is a key issue in the blockchain world, central to a number of real-world applications of the technology.

Alex Fauvel, general partner at TwoHop Ventures, took time out at the recent CoinGeek Conference in Seoul to address issues of identity management, and to discuss his plans for an on-chain solution that allows more effective, secure management of individual identity.

Fauvel said that one of the fundamental problems with blockchain at the moment is that owning a digital asset is in practice, not legally possible. This is because digital assets are effectively just data that can be copied, pasted, and passed on to anyone.

To ensure that assets can’t just be given away freely, ownership needs to be tied to a more permanent record of identity. While there have been a number of attempts to date to build this type of model, they fall down because identity is not being recorded on chain.

This means these services are relying on company servers to authenticate identity, creating a single point of failure—if a company goes bankrupt, for example, identity is lost.

Fauvel said that the solution was on-chain identity that survives any single point of failure, by recording unique identity information on the blockchain and tying this data to asset ownership.

Naturally, any data written to the blockchain can be publicly accessed, raising security concerns for those building and relying on this type of system. The solution, according to Fauvel, is to encrypt the data, as well as identity, and to hide sensitive encrypted data within other encrypted data on the chain.

He said this provides a foundation model for recording identity data securely on-chain by ensuring attackers don’t even know where to look to find the data they need to unencrypt to carry out an attack.

Billed as a general solution to secure data storage and identity management on the blockchain, Fauvel said there were a number of applications where verifiable identity was essential, such as managing title deeds on the blockchain and blockchain voting.

Bitcoin Association propels BSV projects into businesses with first ever Pitch Day

Bitcoin Association, the global organization for Bitcoin businesses, gathered a group of investors recently in Seoul to delve into a collection of BSV projects pitched by its creators and explore potential business opportunities with them.

Bitcoin Association created an avenue through the first ever Pitch Day for these ventures and commercial projects to get access to funding from investors, and improve their BSV-driven ideas and products further, and consequently, turn these projects into actual businesses.

The whole day Shark Tank-type event catered to 14 pre-screened, enthusiastic participants from different parts of the world, including China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. The “pitchers,” ranging from seasoned entrepreneurs to young developers, went through the same process: each was given maximum of 30 minutes to present their ideas and answer questions by the investors interested in the BSV ecosystem from across Asia, Europe and North America.

The investors had insightful questions, which shows they understand the space well, according to Mike Gamaroff from Wheedl, one of the commercial ventured that pitched.

“They’re not playing. They are here for business,” he told CoinGeek, adding, “You expect when you were asked questions, you’re going to have a quick answer. I learned quite a lot actually. I thought, ‘you’re right’ I’ve got to go back and do that.”

Developer Joonyeong Park, who has no experience running a business, made his debut speaking in front of an investor panels at this event. This showed that the organizers were open to anyone—old and new – as long as you have a promising business idea.

The investors responded positively to Park’s pitch by asking a series of questions, showing interest to his product. This made him excited after his presentation.

Among all the presenters, Park was the one who asked for the lowest funding—US$100,000—which made one of the investors share this tip with CoinGeek for future project holders.

“Don’t ask for too little money and at the same time, don’t ask for too much. It’s a fine balancing act,” advised Alex Fauvel from TwoHop Ventures.

Founding President of the Bitcoin Association Jimmy Nguyen thought the process challenged these young entrepreneurs to evaluate their business plan. He added, “think about things like how to generate revenue, what’s my operating expense going to be, how much money do I need to raise, who are my competitors, all those things that, as someone who has worked in the business world for a long time, I know you need to do for business planning.”

This Pitch Day is only one of the many initiatives that Bitcoin Association is doing to support the growth of the entire BSV ecosystem. Recently, Bitcoin Association has announced another initiative—sponsoring the Cambridge University Metanet Society to conduct events that educate and promote the powerful capabilities of the BSV protocol, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.

In 2020, the organization plans to organize the second Pitch Day in London, the same week the CoinGeek Conference will be held in the city.