As more transactions and conversations take place in the digital world, identity thieves have no shortage of targets to prey upon. Civic is a blockchain-based technology company seeking to provide low-cost, universal identity theft protection on a global scale.
Unlike current credit monitoring systems, Civic’s proprietary network delivers credit alerts in real time, allowing users to potentially take action before it is too late.
Here is a closer look at everything Civic has to offer.
An Overview of Civic’s Ecosystem
Civic users begin by downloading the Civic app on their mobile device of choice. Users verify their identity as part of the account creation process and then gain access to Civic’s Secure Identity Platform (SIP). SIP is a blockchain allowing for the real-time authorization of the user’s identity whenever that user authorizes an Identity Requester to receive it.
Either Civic itself or a trusted third-party Identity Partner (such as a government entity, bank, or utility company) receives the user’s encrypted Personal Identifying Information (PII) through the blockchain and sends their “attestation” that the data provided remains true. Once enough of these “Validators” have approved a given request, the Identity Requester is notified that the Civic user is who they say they are.
The actual check is performed using a broad range of public records, such as the user’s social media accounts, contact information, and credit checks. Third-party Validators may use any information they have on the individual when auditing their requests. There are also fraud detection algorithms and manual audits that help the network approve valid requests while rejecting fraudulent ones at a high success rate.
Civic Platform Review & Practical Application
After downloading the Civic app on my iPhone and providing some personal information, it was time to put Civic to the test and authenticate my identity with a real website.
The process was as simple as clicking q button titled “Continue with Civic” and proceeding to scan a QR code generated by Civic to be scanned with my iPhone using the Civic app. There were no hiccups, authentication was fast. It was awesome to see my identity verified without using email or a social network where security may have been previously compromised allowing a user to gain access without permission to another access point.
Here’s some examples of sites which have already integrated Civic:
What If Civic Gets Hacked?
Civic doesn’t keep PII (personally identifiable information) for their users on file. Instead, data is stored within the Civic app on the user’s mobile device. Transactions may not be initiated without a biometric proof of identity, such as a facial, voice recognition, or thumb print. This ensures that only users can access their sensitive information.
This security is further enhanced by third-party wallet software. Like other blockchains, all transactions on the SIP must be authenticated with a private key that acts as a password. Civic does not have the private keys used by any of their users on file, so hacking the company would be of little benefit.
All of the personal information on the blockchain appears as hashes, so it’s safe there too.
Real World Benefits
Civic’s website offers numerous examples of how their technology is practical in the real world. For instance, a government agency could verify an individual’s identity and then attest to that verification through Civic’s SIP. That individual’s Civic app would then be as reliable as a physical driver’s license or passport, and perhaps more so due to the inability of third parties to influence the Civic network while physical IDs may be stolen.
Companies may also use Civic’s technology to offer perks to customers. For example, a bank could verify the identity of their customers to allow expedited boarding of an aircraft.
As of today, however, Civic has no means of delivering any of these potential benefits. Civic’s grand plan involves getting multiple major governments, key financial institutions, and a broad variety of popular merchants to agree to use their system.
To date their only real partners are in the cryptocurrency space. The technology is promising, but Civic is a long way away from realizing their vision.
What’s important to remember is that if Civic an gain traction in the cryptocurrency space, they’ll be more likely to gain traction service other areas of financial service after proving they have a better solution to verify identity.
What Civic Offers Today
With little progress toward implementing their master plan, it is natural to wonder whether Civic is worth looking into at all from an investment perspective at this time. Thankfully, the company already has an identity theft prevention service with global distribution, allowing it to generate revenue while simultaneously delivering value to early supporters.
Civic has partnered with TransUnion to allow users to receive on demand credit reports from a known credit bureau. The company also sends users a notification whenever their identity is used to open a bank account, apply for a job, declare bankruptcy, file a Change of Address form, or any other potential fraud alert. If the user is really taking whatever action is described, they can confirm they’re the ones doing it. If not, they can deny the request in real-time and prevent the identity theft from taking place.
This is a significant advantage over traditional credit monitoring services, who generally notify subscribers of fraud only after it has taken place. Civic’s services are also cheaper than more conventional alternatives, costing only $2.95 per month for a comparable suite of services other companies demand $8.95 for.
Finally, Civic is already providing members with $1 million in Identity Theft Insurance to help cover the costs of any lawyers, investigators, and accountants engaged to help recoup losses. Users can actually get this insurance with a free membership, establishing it as an incentive to sample what Civic has to offer, an incredible value!
Civic plans on expanding its credit monitoring services in the near future, with Stolen Funds Replacement, Black Market Monitoring, mass Data Breach Notifications, and Secure ID Authentication through the Civic app.
Civic’s Cryptocurrency ($CVC) – Sound Investment?
The cryptocurrency associated with Civic ($CVC) is provided as a reward for both the validators verifying a given identity and users for trusting the Civic platform with their information. This is somewhat reminiscent of Bitcoin’s mining process in that it releases new tokens into the marketplace up to the total supply 1 billion $CVC tokens.
What’s remarkable about this model is the more people who utilize Civic (users, validators, websites, etc.) the more widely distributed the token will be which may positively impact pricing over the long-term, similar to Bitcoin or any other high volume and market cap cryptocurrency which has a mining incentive.
A third of that cap was sold in the company’s initial coin offering (ICO), and another third was retained by Civic. The remaining third is distributed to users as described above, with the leftover one percent being used to fund the initial token sale.
$CVC seems like an afterthought in Civic’s grand plan. It may be used to purchase identity-related products and services on the Civic platform, but there are no plans to expand its use beyond that. It is possible that Civic’s platform becomes the global standard in security, but that day seems very far away.
Considering $CVC has a high-planned circulation of 1 billion tokens, it’s probably not a good cryptocurrency for the short-term investor to speculate on but excellent for the long-term investor to consider for a variety of reasons.
Compelling Reasons for “Going Long” on Civic
1) Vinny Lingham is a business development beast.
Vinny is still early in his career at 38 years old, yet has a lifetime of business experience under his belt. Vinny has been a featured “shark” on Shark Tank South Africa, is a current board member of The Bitcoin Foundation, and successfully exited from Gyft in 2014 for more than $54 million dollars.
Vinny has a track record of building profitable businesses which scaled quickly and many investments he’s made in the blockchain space could utilize Civic, making all of Vinny’s investments the perfect integration partners.
2) Online fraud is a serious problem.
Civic provides a better solution to tackle a big problem. Identity fraud happens daily from underage people using a fake ID to get into a nightclub through nefarious characters impersonating people to gain access to money or sensitive financial information.
3) Authenticating using centralized platforms such as Twitter or FB isn’t secure.
While everyone loves how easy it is to authenticate using Twitter or FB, how secure is that if your Twitter or FB account became compromised? Civic offers more security through a decentralized platform that’s easy for users where more friction than necessary isn’t created to access a website. Also, there are websites adopting Civic for authentication where proof of concept can be experience today.
4) ID verification is a huge global industry.
Solve big problems, earn big rewards. Think about how many times each day identity verification happens from new Uber and Lyft driver applicants, to tenant background checks at apartment buildings, etc. There are so many use cases and Civic offers a solution to verify identity cheaper, faster, and more securely.
Legitimate clients can be obtained which creates a true revenue model. Without even looking at today’s “token price” on CoinMarketCap.com, if you’re looking to invest in a company which can support itself through selling services on a massive scale which will generate revenue, Civic fits that role.
Final Thoughts on Civic
CVC may not be a favorite for a crypto day-trader, but Civic offers an enticing security product. It also boasts strong leadership with CEO, Vinny Lingham at the helm. It may be a while before they have the integration partners and customer to fully realize their vision, but there is a lot of potential here.