Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.
Digital credentials are virtual representations of important pieces of data, but there are many problems with how this data is captured, shared, and controlled.
In today’s world, accurate and individually owned data is more important than ever. One’s ability to navigate through life depends heavily on being able to correctly capture and validate various pieces of information that accurately reflects an individual’s identity and accomplishments. These pieces of information can be anything from a passport proving identity and citizenship, a graduation diploma verifying education, or a vocational license confirming the ability to work within a designated field. Digital credentials are virtual representations of these important pieces of data, but there are many problems with how this data is captured, shared, and controlled.
Dock is a company that is focussed on providing solutions to the issues that beset the world of digital credentials today. Through using a number of different features including blockchain technology, the company aims to solve problems related to data silos and gatekeepers, untrusted and inaccurate information, incompatibilities across platforms, inefficiencies with verifying data, and lack of control and privacy for users. Dock is an open and permissionless network that enables any organization or developer to solve these problems.
In an interview with Nick Lambert, CEO of Dock, he explains the significance of Dock’s work and shares his perspective on the importance of solving the digital credential challenges we face today.
According to Nick, the idea of creating Dock came from analyzing and experiencing the huge inefficiencies that exist in today’s world, especially those related to the way we store, distribute and validate some of our most important and cherished pieces of data. Documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, academic qualifications, professional accreditations, and medical records either are held in hardcopy formats or exist in the data silos of the large organizations that created them.
“These archaic practices not only make them difficult to distribute, as the digital copies must be obtained from the issuer rather than them being controlled by the recipient, but they are also easy to forge and as a result, they must be manually validated to prove their authenticity which is both time-consuming and expensive. Dock was created to remove these inefficiencies, to ensure that an individual’s most important data was controlled by them and that the data they distribute can be verified and therefore trusted.”
Dock believes that creating an entirely bespoke solution is critical. Other credentialing solutions that have integrated public blockchains, for example, into their offering have experienced congestion and high transaction costs, which translates to an expensive and under-performing service for their issuers and users.
Dock was specifically built for the purpose of providing verifiable credentials. This means that the network can act as a one-stop shop for any issuer, avoiding the complexities and workarounds that exist with non-specific blockchains. It is also one of the first to utilize the W3C’s Verifiable Credential Data Model (VCDM), a standard born out of work by a diverse international community of experts and an organization that has been at the forefront of software standards for 30 years.
Additionally, Nick also discussed the upcoming launch of Dock’s mainnet. As detailed by the CEO, the mainnet will:
“… Enable issuers, such as universities, colleges, government organizations, and companies the ability to create self-sovereign identities (IDs that are not reliant on any entity to create on their behalf) and to issue credentials that are portable, controlled by the recipient, and, most importantly, can be instantly cryptographically verified and therefore trusted.”
Clearly, solving the biggest digital credential challenges is not an easy task. Existing digital credentials are easy to forge and are controlled by issuers in most cases, which leads to a centralized system where the individual has no control over their data. This adds to the complexity of an already challenging credential verification process. For example, in the process of hiring new employees, the credentials on education, work history, and qualifications provided by job applicants must be manually vetted by contacting each institution separately and receiving confirmation of the credentials’ authenticity. This is both time-consuming and expensive.
“Enabling the recipients to control the distribution of their own credential information should be a fundamental human right and this is what credentialing on Dock offers.”
Become a Validator
Dock also offers the possibility for people to become validators in the network by processing transactions and validating that other validators are also processing information correctly. Validators are also compensated for the work, obtaining Dock tokens in return. According to Nick:
“Validator rewards will vary at each stage of development and during the first phase of the mainnet launch validators will earn 15,000 Dock tokens every 10 days. These tokens can be exchanged for fiat or cryptocurrencies on multiple exchanges, or be used to cast votes as participants in the Dock networks governance process.”
According to Nick Lambert, the launch of the mainnet is just the start for Dock. Within the next couple of months the company will commence a token migration that will move the network away from its existing ERC20 token system to a native token running on the new Dock mainnet. This is huge for Dock since it will greatly increase the utility of the token, transforming it into a valid payment method for services. It will also enable the Dock network to be self-sustaining, incorporating additional features such as decentralized network governance.
Developers looking to find out more can head over to the company’s developer docs following the link.