Decentralization of personal data with Soulbound tokens (SBT)

Maciej Zieliński

29 May 2022
Decentralization of personal data with Soulbound tokens (SBT)

NFT and tokens are one of the most popular forms of indicating ownership rights or commercial products. For several years, this area of blockchain has been constantly evolving and has been used in art, gaming and finance. What can the new tokens proposed by one of the biggest crypto visionaries, Vitalik Buterin, bring to the market? What are Soulbound tokens? We're writing about it below!

Vitalik Buterin and SBT

The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, pointed out some time ago that it would be a good idea to implement a new kind of tokens that will help to test the actions, achievements, antipathies and other factors among potential crypto users. Due to the fact that, according to Vitalik, they will be a sort of "look into the soul", the tokens were called Soulbound. These tokens are non-transferable NFT and are stored in special crypto portfolios called “Souls”. Vitalik points out that they can be used in many ways – from educational certification to credit assessment.

How does SBT work?

SBT will be a kind of medium for our information, which will facilitate the everyday lives of many people thanks to full automation and decentralization. For example, our SBT will gather information regarding CV, education, interests and other factors. Thus, if a university is interested in our potential application, the SBT will analyze all the information indicating whether we are a good candidate or not. It also works the other way around – with all the information regarding a particular University, the SBT will be able to assess if it meets our requirements. The decentralization of information will be outside the reach of all bureaucracy, major institutions and companies. Moreover, you do not need to create a database because it will be stored in a separate location – you will get an access key.

What to do if you lose the key to your SBT?

The lack of access to your wallet is one of the worst problems you can imagine in the cryptocurrency industry. What if you lose the keys to the SBT? Many people are now probably asking themselves whether all your information, certificates, university diplomas, etc., will disappear if the keys are lost. There will probably be a solution to this situation. If you lose your keys, you will be able to recover your wallet if you get the permission of the SBT community.

Spam – as a problem in SBT

Can other users smuggle content into your token? This question also appears among NFT users. The answer to it is simple: Vitalik proposed the possibility of hiding SBT keys from the public.

Is personal information stored using SBT safe?

Leaving aside the issue of spam, private key protection, and disclosure of critical information regarding our person - attaching all this to a public blockchain sounds intriguing! Unfortunately, if there's no way to hide these NFTs from other people, they could turn out to be dangerous. Someone with access to an entity's data will have the ability to influence it in many ways. Some point out that SBT is a bit like China's social credit system in China, which is used in a very negative way. It involves rating the public on a number of levels, from party affiliation to education to reporting on other citizens. For each action, the system accrues points. Those who have fewer points have poorer access to education, cannot buy better equipment, and their social situation constantly weakens. Without a doubt, this is simply a categorization of citizens. Nevertheless, SBT is not intended to categorize people, but to store data outside of central authorities and automate any bureaucratic process. 

SBT Safe

Can an SBT token be transferred to another person?  

Since we cannot trade our token or transfer it to other people, what can be done with it? Here are some examples of a potential SBT solution: 

  • DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) aims to create an environmental community. Attendees of environmental conferences and graduates of environmental programs can obtain SBT by airdrop from the DAO. 
  • Security of documentation - if universities will issue diplomas and certificates in the form of SBT, by the very definition - they cannot sell their documents or forge them thanks to blockchain technology. 
  • Experience verification - if, for example, a given IT company wants to hire programmers specializing in blockchain technology, it will check their experience, projects, and education automatically using SBT. After the initial data analysis, potential candidates can be invited for an interview. 

SBT tokens show a person's university affiliation, membership in academic programs, and qualifications. Additionally, this token will be able to represent the unique and individual characteristics of the subject. It is safe to say that this kind of token will help in building reputation and protecting identity. Vitalik himself indicates that we are moving towards a society that will be fully decentralized and independent of state bodies and entities. 

How to transfer SBT from one wallet to another?

What if a user wants to move all his assets (SBT) from one wallet to another? There are several solutions to this situation: 

  • Store the item at an address that is an abbreviation of the index, the recipient's address, and a secret belonging to the recipient. You can reveal your secret to the interface, which will then scan all possible items belonging to you, but no one without your secret will be able to see which items belong to you.
  • Publish a hash of multiple objects and give each recipient its Merkle branch.
  • If a smart contract needs to verify that you have an item, you can provide ZK-SNARK.

Transfers can take place over the network. The technique that is least complicated should be using ZK-SNARK. In this case, a transaction will be made that invokes a factory contract to make the old item invalid and the new item valid. Everything is done using ZK-SNARK, which makes the operation valid. According to Buterin - transferability mainly shows the money orientation of Web 3.0 and how it can hurt the long-term stability of the next generation. Vitalik also shows the advantage of SBT over NFT. According to him, you can buy and sell NFTs to support artists, charities, etc, but this kind of technology cannot be used for the Soulbound Tokens concept as it could create a wide scope for infringement. 

When will SBTs be created? 

Vitalik, claims that Soulbound Tokens (SBTs) will be available as early as 2022, and by the end of 2024, they will already be popular worldwide. Hopefully, this kind of new technology will greatly improve the transfer of information and protect it with a decentralized structure! 

Are SBTs the future of NFT? 

It is likely that SBTs can be used by institutions native to web3 - DAO. It is assumed that Stanford University will recognize degrees held in NFT in about 5 years. It may be that the university's blockchain program itself will offer SBTs and other solutions from NFT to graduates of its university. Let's look at the number of clerks, staff, faculty, and bureaucracy it takes to process a simple resume or graduate school document. Imagine all these solutions will be redundant with a single token that fully automates the entire hiring process. Without a doubt, SBTs are the future of NFT. 

Benefits of implementing SBTs

The potential benefits of decentralizing personal data could be:

  • reducing government service costs, 
  • improving the flow of capital within a company by automating the transfer of documents,
  • improving employee and student recruitment, 
  • increased security of workflows in the private and public sectors, 
  • a more practical system for a single person - all documents in one place - no paper accumulation. 
SBT vs NFT

Summary 

SBTs are tokens that can make all bureaucracy as well as documentation fully automated and digitized. Thanks to blockchain technology and the innovative design of the SBT token, many states and businesses will have the opportunity to reduce costs. In particular, such a solution will be helpful when recruiting employees, and students, transferring information between hospitals, or insurance. The possibilities of decentralizing information are endless!  What do you think about SBT? Let us know in the comments! 

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Authorization and Identity: Chainlink Use Cases

Karolina

14 Feb 2024
Authorization and Identity: Chainlink Use Cases

Chainlink stands at the forefront of enhancing security and compliance within smart contract-enabled blockchain networks. By enabling direct access to real-world data, Chainlink ensures that blockchain applications can operate with the same level of trust and verification as traditional systems. This integration is crucial for a wide range of applications, from financial services requiring Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance to any form of digital agreement that needs to securely verify the identity of parties involved.

Overview

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that plays a critical role in bridging the gap between smart contracts on blockchain networks and real-world data. It enables smart contracts to securely interact with external data.

  • Decentralized Data Oracles. Chainlink's network of decentralized oracles ensures that data fed into smart contracts is accurate and tamper-proof, mitigating risks associated with relying on a single data source.
  • Smart Contract Connectivity to Real-World Data. It facilitates the seamless integration of external data sources, such as financial market data, weather information, and much more, enabling smart contracts to execute based on inputs from the real world.
  • Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function). This feature provides a secure and provably fair source of randomness for blockchain applications, crucial for gaming, NFTs, and any application requiring random number generation.

READ: "What is Chainlink"

When it comes to authorization and identity verification, Chainlink's role becomes even more crucial. By connecting smart contracts with external data sources, such as governmental identity databases or digital identity verification services, Chainlink enables the creation of blockchain applications that require verified human identities. This capability is essential for applications that must adhere to regulatory standards or for those seeking to mitigate the risk of fraud.

Moreover, Chainlink's decentralized nature ensures that the process of identity verification is not only secure but also resistant to manipulation. By leveraging multiple independent oracles to fetch and validate data before it's provided to a smart contract, Chainlink ensures a level of reliability and trustworthiness that centralized data sources cannot match. This decentralized approach to authorization and identity verification opens up new possibilities for blockchain applications, making them more accessible, compliant, and secure for users around the globe.

The integration of Chainlink's decentralized oracle network into the domain of authorization and identity verification heralds a new era of security, efficiency, and compliance for blockchain applications. By leveraging real-world data and external verification services, Chainlink enables smart contracts to perform functions that were previously unthinkable in the blockchain space. Here, we explore several key use cases where Chainlink's technology significantly impacts authorization and identity verification processes.

E-Signatures

In the digital age, e-signatures have become the norm for legally binding agreements, eliminating the need for physical presence or paper-based documents. Chainlink oracles facilitate the integration of blockchain applications with leading e-signature providers like DocuSign. This integration ensures that e-signatures can be verified and recorded on the blockchain, providing immutable evidence of agreement and authorization. Furthermore, by enabling smart contracts to interact with e-signature solutions, Chainlink opens the door to automated contract execution based on the completion of digitally signed agreements, thereby streamlining business processes and reducing the time and cost associated with manual verification.

Biometrics for Smart Contract Authorization

Unstoppable Domains uses Chainlink oracles to enable users to tie their off-chain Twitter identity to their on-chain Ethereum domain name (Source: chain.link)

Biometric verification offers a high level of security and convenience for identity verification, leveraging unique physical characteristics such as fingerprints or retinal patterns. Chainlink enables smart contracts to securely access and verify biometric data, ensuring that only authorized individuals can trigger certain actions on the blockchain. This use case is particularly relevant for access control systems, secure transactions, and identity verification processes that require a high degree of trust and security. By connecting smart contracts with biometric databases and verification services through Chainlink oracles, blockchain applications can achieve a new level of security and fraud prevention.

Credential Verification

Credential verification is crucial in numerous applications, from financial transactions requiring proof of funds to access systems demanding specific security clearances. Chainlink oracles play a pivotal role by securely relaying credential verifications from external systems to the blockchain. This capability allows smart contracts to automatically verify users' credentials in real-time, facilitating seamless transactions and interactions that require verified identity or authorization credentials. For example, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform can use Chainlink to verify a user's creditworthiness or asset ownership before allowing them to participate in lending or borrowing services.

Social Media Identity and Domain Names

The integration of social media identities with blockchain applications enhances user experience by providing more intuitive and human-readable identifiers, such as domain names or social media handles. Chainlink oracles facilitate this by securely linking off-chain social media identities to on-chain addresses or domain names. This use case not only improves the usability of blockchain applications but also adds an extra layer of verification, as users can easily confirm the authenticity of the parties they are interacting with.

Intellectual Property Management

Chainlink's decentralized oracle network enables smart contracts to interact with external IP databases for verifying ownership and facilitating transactions related to intellectual property (IP). This application is particularly useful for copyright and trademark management, patent licensing, and royalty distribution. By automating IP verification and transactions through Chainlink, creators and owners can more efficiently manage their rights and receive payments, while users gain access to verified IP assets.

Contribution Bounties in Open Source Projects

Open-source projects can leverage Chainlink oracles to automate the verification of contributions and the distribution of bounties. By connecting smart contracts with public code repositories like GitHub, Chainlink allows projects to automatically track contributions, verify the fulfillment of predefined conditions, and release payments to contributors. This application streamlines the contribution process, incentivizes open-source development, and ensures that contributors are fairly compensated for their work.

Conclusion

Chainlink significantly impacts blockchain, enhancing security and compliance, especially in authorization and identity. It bridges real-world data with blockchain, ensuring trust and wider adoption. As blockchain evolves, Chainlink's innovations promise a more inclusive digital future. Its key role in securing and streamlining blockchain applications marks a crucial step forward for digital interactions. Chainlink is pivotal for a secure, compliant, and efficient blockchain ecosystem, shaping the future of digital transactions.

If you are interested in utilizing Chainlink or other blockchain-based solutions for your project, please reach out to contact@nextrope.com

Chainlink vs. Avalanche: Exploring the Blockchain Frontier

Karolina

13 Feb 2024
Chainlink vs. Avalanche: Exploring the Blockchain Frontier

Chainlink emerges as the bridge between the real world and the blockchain. On the other side, Avalanche flashes through the blockchain space with a lightning speed platform that promises scalability without compromise. Both are revolutionaries in their own right, yet their paths are markedly different. Chainlink's quest to secure the integrity of off-chain data in a decentralized manner contrasts with Avalanche's mission to redefine blockchain's scalability and usability. But what happens when these paths intersect?

Overview

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that plays a critical role in bridging the gap between smart contracts on blockchain networks and real-world data. It enables smart contracts to securely interact with external data.

  • Decentralized Data Oracles. Chainlink's network of decentralized oracles ensures that data fed into smart contracts is accurate and tamper-proof, mitigating risks associated with relying on a single data source.
  • Smart Contract Connectivity to Real-World Data. It facilitates the seamless integration of external data sources, such as financial market data, weather information, and much more, enabling smart contracts to execute based on inputs from the real world.
  • Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function). This feature provides a secure and provably fair source of randomness for blockchain applications, crucial for gaming, NFTs, and any application requiring random number generation.

READ: "What is Chainlink"

What is Avalanche?

Overview

Avalanche is a highly scalable blockchain platform designed for decentralized applications (dApps) and custom blockchain networks. It distinguishes itself with its emphasis on scalability, speed, and eco-friendliness.

Key Features of Avalanche

  • High Throughput and Low Latency. Avalanche boasts a high transaction output rate with low latency, making it an ideal platform for scaling dApps and financial solutions.
  • Eco-friendly Consensus Mechanism. Unlike proof-of-work (PoW) systems that require significant energy expenditure, Avalanche uses a novel consensus mechanism that is energy-efficient, contributing to a more sustainable blockchain ecosystem.
  • Scalability and Interoperability. The platform supports the creation of multiple custom blockchains that can interoperate seamlessly, facilitating a diverse and scalable ecosystem of applications.

READ: "Avalanche’s Investment in Real-World Assets Tokenization"

As blockchain technology continues to evolve, understanding the nuances between different platforms and solutions like Chainlink and Avalanche becomes increasingly important. Here's how these two blockchain giants stack up against each other:

Underlying Technologies and Architectures:

  • Avalanche utilizes a unique consensus protocol known as Avalanche consensus, combining the benefits of classical consensus algorithms with the decentralized nature of blockchains. This protocol allows for high throughput, quick finality, and energy efficiency.
  • Chainlink, on the other hand, is not a blockchain but a decentralized network of nodes that provide data to blockchain networks. It uses a network of independent node operators who are incentivized to provide accurate data to smart contracts.

Consensus Mechanisms:

  • Avalanche employs a Proof of Stake (PoS) model designed to be lightweight and energy-efficient. Validators participate in reaching consensus by staking AVAX tokens, contributing to the network's security and governance.
  • Chainlink does not use a consensus mechanism in the same way a blockchain network like Avalanche does. Instead, it relies on a decentralized network of oracles to validate and relay data, ensuring the integrity of information provided to smart contracts.

Chainlink is best suited for applications that require secure, reliable, and tamper-proof data inputs from the real world. This includes:

Avalanche is optimized for a wide range of blockchain applications needing high throughput, quick finality, and scalable infrastructure, such as:

  • Scalable DeFi platforms and DEXes.
  • Enterprise blockchain solutions.
  • Custom blockchain networks (subnets).

Examples of Real-World Applications and Partnerships:

  • Chainlink has partnered with Google Cloud for cloud data integration and with numerous DeFi platforms like Synthetix and Aave for price feeds and randomness.
  • Avalanche has formed partnerships with Deloitte for enhancing security and speed in disaster relief platforms and with top DeFi protocols to build on its highly scalable network.

Ecosystem and Community

Development Community and Ecosystem Support:

  • Both Chainlink and Avalanche boast robust and active communities. Chainlink's community is highly engaged in developing external adapters and securing data for smart contracts. Avalanche's community focuses on developing dApps and custom blockchain networks.

Tools, Resources, and Support:

  • Chainlink offers extensive documentation, a vibrant developer community, and grants for projects integrating Chainlink's technology.
  • Avalanche provides developers with comprehensive resources, including tutorials, technical documentation, and funding for ecosystem growth through the Avalanche Foundation.

Tokenomics and Market Performance

  • LINK (Chainlink's token) is used to pay for services within the Chainlink network, including data requests to oracles. It incentivizes node operators to provide accurate data.
  • AVAX (Avalanche's token) serves as the native currency within the Avalanche network, used for transaction fees, staking, and governance.
  • In terms of market performance, both LINK and AVAX have shown significant growth and adoption, reflecting their utility and the demand for their respective network's services. However, their performance can vary based on overall market trends, technological advancements, and adoption rates in their specific use cases.

LINK vs AVAX

Potential for Integration

The potential for integration between Chainlink oracles and Avalanche’s blockchain platform is substantial. Chainlink’s decentralized oracles can provide Avalanche-based applications with secure and reliable real-world data, enhancing the functionality and scope of Avalanche’s already fast and scalable blockchain. This integration can benefit a wide range of applications, from DeFi and insurance to gaming and prediction markets, by providing them with the essential data needed to operate effectively and transparently.

Conclusion

Chainlink and Avalanche, while serving distinct purposes within the blockchain ecosystem, demonstrate a powerful synergy when combined. Chainlink’s ability to provide secure, reliable, and decentralized data complements Avalanche’s high-throughput, scalable blockchain platform, enabling developers to build more complex, useful, and transparent applications.

READ ALSO: "Chainlink vs Polkadot"

If you are interested in utilizing Chainlink or other blockchain-based solutions for your project, please reach out to contact@nextrope.com