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SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain

11 Dec 2018
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Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.

SingleSource is the brainchild of Kelvin Chandran and Aaron McDonald. It uses blockchain to generate real-time risk scores based on their fraud exposure.

While there are a number of ways to build risk profiles through the likes of identity verification and credit scores,

SingleSource believes those methods aren’t enough to combat fraud.

“The information can be easily falsified or manipulated while fraud lists or transactional data are fragmented across multiple organisations, preventing an individual's risk from being assessed in its entirety,” the company says.

SingleSource takes a different approach. It uses a decentralised risk scoring platform that uses blockchain. This, according to the company, has the advantage of storing transaction records in a distributed and immutable environment. 

Individuals’ digital identity and risk scores will be created, stored and accessed via this blockchain technology using SingleSource’s platform.

“This grant will help us extend our capability sooner, so we can accelerate development of the technologies we believe will have a significant impact on how New Zealanders secure and use their digital identity in the near future,” comments Chandran, who is also SingleSource’s CEO. 

The grant, which is for up to $318,000 over 12 months, will help the company research, design and implement new secure technologies. It will also help support the company’s development team that brings specific knowledge and skills.

SingleSource believes the system will satisfy the needs of both individuals and businesses; control of digital identity remaining in the hands of the individual while enabling secure access to transparent, trusted data for financial organisations. 

Individuals can have faith that the information used to verify their identity and their risk profile will be accurate when used by financial organisations to make risk assessments while enjoying improved transactional experiences, the company says.

“It’s gratifying that the government, through its recent initiatives has clearly indicated it understands the importance of developing robust digital identity solutions for New Zealand businesses and individuals alike," Chandran continues.

Digital identity has become a hot topic in New Zealand recently – at the beginning of December NZTech launched Digital Identity NZ, an organisation that has a mission to create a strong digital identity ecosystem. SingleSource is one of the founding members.

The government will also pour $5.15 million into a research project designed to explore digital identity options for both businesses and individuals. The project will be led by the Department of Internal Affairs.