ShoCard is a digital ID card on the blockchain – TechCrunch


Meet ShoCard, a startup that stores your identity on Bitcoin blockchain so you can prove your identity whenever you need to. ShoCard wants to replace the tedious bank and credit card identification processes with something much more secure and convenient. The startup is launching today on stage in Disrupt NY.

“A lot of companies are looking at blockchain for things other than bitcoin. We’ve created a digital ID card that’s as easy to use as a driver’s license, but so secure that a bank can trust it, ”Jeff Weitzman, co-founder of ShoCard, told me. “We use public and private keys, data hashing, multi-factor authentication. “

It’s a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with how bitcoin works, but it’s very interesting. Your ShoCard is essentially a small file that only you can handle. When you create your ShoCard, you first scan your ID and sign it. Then the mobile app will generate a private and public key to seal this record. It is encrypted, hashed, and sent to the network of communicating nodes running the bitcoin software for further use.

After this initial creation process, you will use the company app to retrieve your information. But the best part about this technological prowess is that ShoCard hides all this complexity for the consumer. There are several use cases for something like ShoCard, starting with online shopping.

“There are systems currently that banks are using – it might be a window that pops up from your bank and tells you that you need to log in here and use that PIN that we gave you three years ago. years, ”Weitzman said.

ShoCard wants to partner with banks to replace these weird redirects when making an online purchase. It’s a win-win situation: ShoCard gives you peace of mind as you have to approve purchases with your phone and the credit card company gets a final identity check.

There is also an added security benefit. If someone uses your credit card to buy something online, you will receive a notification and you can block the purchase immediately.

Other projects have taken advantage of the blockchain to create an identity layer, such as A name or Global Citizenship. But ShoCard is tackling this problem with use cases in mind and is already in talks with companies that deal with identity management – credit card networks, banks, anti-phishing companies and others.

Working with banks is a smart first step for the startup. Banks have been subject to “know your customer” laws and must already carefully verify your identity when you open an account. They can verify your identity before it is sealed using ShoCard, which greatly simplifies this process for getting started.

I would like to see my bank use something like ShoCard. However, the startup still has a big challenge to overcome. How do you convince slow-moving institutions like banks to partner with you and switch to a whole new identity management system?

questions and answers

Judges: Kanyi Maqubela (Collaboration Fund), Minerva Tantoco (New York), Matt Turck (Capital FirstMark) and Yossi Vardi (angel investor).

Matt Turck: There is a network effect. The obvious problem is always how to get there, the chicken and egg problem. You mention the large financial institutions that are notoriously difficult to sell. How do you start this?
Reply: They maintain a relationship of trust with customers. We recognize that selling to a large corporation takes longer. Alternatively, there are other paths we could take to use ShoCard, but we still believe that banks are the best path.

Kanyi Maqubela: You get a social security card by law, but you only get a passport when you travel, you only get a driver’s license when you drive. What problem are you solving?
Reply: We are starting in an area where there are huge losses. There is a financial incentive for the banks. There is currently a system called 3-D Secure which is not widely adopted right now because it is a very bad customer experience. And there is a lot of fraud. There is a real financial engine there that will help the banks to present this to consumers. Next, we intend to extend the use cases.

Yossi Vardi: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Answer 1 (Armin Ebrahimi): My experience is software technology. I worked at Yahoo from 1998 to 2008, I was the SVP for platforms. After that, I was at Buysight, a startup that we sold to AOL in 2012. And for the two experienced, I worked with Jeff.
Answer 2 (Jeff Weitzman): After Yahoo, I became President and COO of It is truly a financial transaction processing company.

Yossi Vardi: How many people work for ShoCard?
Reply: We are two.

Yossi Vardi: What is your aspiration?
Reply: We want ID cards to be mobile, the same way Apple did with Apple Pay and credit cards.

Kanyi Maqubela: Have you thought about targeting a particular demographic such as the elderly or the undocumented?
Reply: Going through the financial industry, credit card authentication is where the real losses lie. There are other use cases. We use some really powerful things like two-factor authentication, we hid everything so that it is easy to understand.

Matt Turck: I find the world of blockchain applications fascinating. Do you think the infrastructure is mature enough for something as critical as security?
Reply: Absoutely. Often people confuse blockchain and applications above blockchain. The blockchain itself is an incredible infrastructure. There are questions about bitcoin, but it’s an app above the blockchain. It has all been quite mature.

Matt Turck: Are the banks convinced of this?
Reply: When we talk to banks, when we talk about bitcoin, they want to stay away. We don’t use bitcoin, we use blockchain. And we don’t use it just to say that we are using the blockchain. This allows us to avoid being a trusted third party.

Tantoco neck brace: Who are your competitors? Do you see Apple Pay as a competitor?
Reply: Most of our competitors are legacy identity verification systems. There are a variety of things that we think we are superior to them. In terms of Apple Pay, Apple and Google both have the potential to compete, we think we have more potential to do something that takes advantage of their platforms.


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