Jolocom’s SmartWallet is available now, for everyone, as a free app for your phone. But why would you want it and what does it do?
Put very simply, it’s not that dissimilar to your physical wallet. It belongs to you. You can put in it whatever you want, including proof of identity. Nobody else can see what’s in it, unless you want them to.
But our SmartWallet is not just a digital storage facility. It’s much more.
Just as with a physical wallet, users of the SmartWallet will gather cards and other information over time. For example, your ID card, health insurance card, driver’s license, season tickets, gym memberships and so on.
And, much like a physical wallet, you will be able to use the contents of your SmartWallet to prove your identity, by showing the cards and information you carry to whoever has requested it. However, using self-sovereign identity (SSI) technology the SmartWallet goes further. It gives you complete control over who sees what, as you curate the sources of your identity.
For example, let’s say you need new car insurance and the insurance company wants confirmation that you are who you say you are. Through one quick online transaction, the SmartWallet can share with them your driver’s license, ID card and proof of car ownership. So, there’s no more need for a scan of an ID card, or a signed PDF of paper documents that might not even be accepted digitally and have to be sent in the mail. The whole process of establishing identity is completely sped up.
As mentioned, as soon as you have any proofs of identity in your SmartWallet, it’s completely down to you how you use them and who you share them with. Again, you curate them according to the requests you get.
As for us, all Jolocom does is provide the wallet. Once you’ve downloaded it, we have no further connection with it. We don’t see what you put in it. We don’t see when you take it out. We don’t see what you do with it. Nothing. Just like a physical wallet, it’s yours alone.
If these are the benefits for individuals, the end users, what about the organizations, public and private, governmental and commercial, that work with our SSI and SmartWallet technology? Other than faster transactions with their customers, employees or clients, what do they get?
Essentially, using SSI technology will allow an organization to improve its processes. It will make them cheaper and more secure, plus improve their ability to preserve privacy. That means GDPR compliance can be handled much more effectively.
The processes built using SSI technology will give those organizations four major checks in any interaction with a user, being:
- Whose identity it is
- Whether it’s been changed since it was verified by a third party
- Who the verifying third party is.
- Whether it’s been revoked.
Not only that, but the format this data is held in is very portable, so it can be moved from one organization to another easily and without losing the context or technical interoperability. Or to put it another way, SSI technology using the SmartWallet gives organizations a lot more freedom to achieve interoperability with each other. You might compare this to the way standardized shipping containers have revolutionized international logistics. The format we use for SSI will do the same with any imaginable proof you might need.
In addition to all this, once users have set up a SmartWallet, further onboarding processes become speedier and less involved for the users and the organizations they are interacting with. No longer having to go through an exhaustive registration process each time something new is issued or signed up for delivers a considerably improved user experience.
But if this is what Jolocom’s SmartWallet does, what else is there that makes it unique?
Firstly, our wallet is both production-ready and fully supports GDPR compliance. That means it’s ready to be used now, and provides users and organizations with the privacy guarantees that European law demands.
Secondly, the app has been designed expressly with the challenge of uptake in mind. We’ve considered user experience at every step of the way to create an intuitive interface and the best onboarding flow. We want people’s experience of SSI and their SmartWallets to be fun, so we’ve made ours playful and the onboarding process a pleasurable experience rather than a chore.
Finally, and most importantly, at Jolocom our goal and abiding principle is that everyone should be able to use SSI technology. That’s why we’ve made our SmartWallet and other products openly auditable on Github, and as accessible as possible. Unlike many other SSI solutions, you don’t need to be a part of a specific network or grouping to use our products. Because our technology is agnostic to the separate networks, it will allow you to interact and interoperate with all of them, thus improving individuals’ flexibility and freedom. That desire to improve flexibility and freedom is what all our design decisions are made on.