Transcription Episode 52

Hey everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Nick Lambert. Nick is the CEO at Dock.

With Dock you can make any document basically tamper-proof. Docksearch is an all-in-one suite for verifiable credentials and it helps organizations to issue digital credentials and certificates that are automatically and instantly verifiable, making it fraud-proof and auditable as well. It was a very interesting conversation because he comes from a vast experience as well.

His background in tech has been immersive and what they are building at Dock is very pertinent, very relevant for this day and age and I can’t wait for you guys to hear more about it. So let’s deep dive right in. Hi Nick, thank you so much for making the time to speak to us today.

How are you doing? I’m doing really well, thanks for having me. How are you? I am doing great, just fighting a bit of a cold, but otherwise everything is splendid. For our listeners, Nick, can you tell us a little about how you got into Web3 and what you’re building currently? Yeah, I was actually in Web3 before I actually knew I was in it, which is kind of strange, but I think like you were saying when we were speaking just before you started recording, Tarisha, it wasn’t called Web3 until more recently, but I was working for a decentralized storage startup called Matesafe and it was kind of like a bit torn on steroids, so we created some software that everyone could run their computers at home to create this kind of massive kind of world network, a little bit like the IPFS and Filecoin before it existed, and we were trying to understand how can we incentivize people having their computers turned on at home so they can join this big network? And we looked around and we saw obviously Bitcoin was already doing this, so it was obviously rewarding miners for providing their hash power to that network, and we thought, well, that’s a great idea.

We should potentially have some kind of token built into this network, and that was in 2013, and that’s kind of when you became aware of Bitcoin and you saw all the upsides for it in terms of like cross-border payments and you started to think about different ways you could use blockchain, you started to realize the potential. So for me, it was probably late 2013 before I really started to take notice. Wow, okay, awesome.

So you’ve been around a while and pretty much very similar journeys, I think, we’ve had. We started when mining was just starting off and kicking off, so what are you building currently with Dock? Yeah, with Dock we’re building, so there’s a major problem today that we’re probably all aware of where it becomes harder to trust the information that we’re seeing, whether that’s on a social network or within the news, and the difficulty we have there is it’s very easy to fake things, particularly with AI coming along, it’s going to become even easier. Yeah.

And also for businesses as well, Tarusha, it’s very difficult for them to actually verify information. So for example, if you’re a large company looking to employ someone, you have to do a lot of manual checking and verification that they are who they say they are, they’ve got all the qualifications, they’re not going to lie to you. And so that’s quite a broken system right now.

So what Docker have built is a way to verify exactly who provided, let’s say a degree certificate within the example of the employer that I just gave and when it was issued, and then that can all be verified instantly because it’s using cryptography to digitally sign these certificates so you know who it was issued and who it was issued to. So really Docker building a bunch of basically a platform that enables organizations to issue what we call credentials to individuals and companies, and they can then use that information to prove they’ve obtained something. So really trying to get away from all the kind of false information that exists and enabling companies to verify information really, really quickly.

So you guys are first targeting the niche where you’re getting the verification of personal data done right, and then you’ll be moving to other avenues, is that correct? Yes, and personal data can be anything. So it could be, you know, it typically does involve individuals, but then it’s mostly used by companies. So we’re targeting companies who are going to be issuing these credentials and then wanting to verify them.

So the use cases I gave like a university is a really good example because we all go to, you know, colleges and universities today, and I was at university a little while ago, I’ll not tell you how long, but they, you know, there was standard practice then and it still is for some that they issue you with a paper certificate and then you maybe get something in PDF format or you scan it and you send that on, and obviously that’s very easy to fake and change. And so one of the use cases that we see that’s a really good way of explaining what we do is that having a university actually issue your degree certificate as a verifiable credential. So that’s a digital document that you can control within, let’s say a wallet, maybe on your phone, and only you can control that.

And then you can decide to send it on to whoever you like. And so it is about personal information and it’s about the ability for the individual to control that, which is obviously one of the key aspects of Web3. Great, yeah, I think that is a wonderful use case and especially as you said, you know, post-COVID I feel like a lot of teams and, you know, are working remotely and you’re hiring like globally, and it is a lot of loops that one has to cross as a firm to verify the veracity of the candidate’s claims.

And this seems like a godsend, absolutely. Absolutely, yeah, we think it’s going to be a great use case and it’s also nice to give the individual control. That’s a big part of what crypto meant to many people.

It was like now that it’s no longer necessarily banks that control your funds, you can control them if you want to and it’s the same now with your identity, which is really the space that Dock is involved in, identity and also the credentials, and those credentials can take many forms. So it can be degree certificates and time, it could be your driver’s license, it could be your license to practice medicine, it could be all of these types of things. Right, so what are the kind of, you know, challenges that you’re facing in establishing a platform that is, you know, providing fraud-proof verifiable credentials and instant verification? Because I feel that, you know, the time aspect must be a bit of a challenge as well.

How did you address it and what are the other challenges that you’ve come across? Yeah, that’s a really good question. The challenges that we see is trying to, so I think with a lot of us working in this space, decentralization as a concept, when you become used to centralized technology is quite an alien thing to explain and it takes a while for people to get it. So that’s been a challenge trying to educate people about what decentralized identity is versus like the identities that everyone’s used to today, so that’s been one challenge.

I think the other one that we see, Tarusha, is also trying to, if you’re working with larger companies, is actually trying to get them to change how their systems work. So maybe some processes and also maybe integrating different systems, that can be quite a slow process for large companies. So that’s probably one of the kind of challenges that we see and that’s maybe why we’ve tended to favor smaller companies because they’re a bit more nimble and they’re able to move more quickly.

And also trying to work with companies within this Web3 space because you don’t need to educate them about the technology, they totally get it and they see the upsides. So yeah, but those are some of the challenges that we’ve seen. Right, yeah.

I do think that for larger companies, it’s not that they are a little closed off to newer ideas because they have already these existing processes, right? And they feel that if a new variable is added to it, the processes might break and that poses like a lot of resistance in incorporating anything new in their existing challenges. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s understandable as well, but it does make things a little bit more slow.

And that’s why it’s important, you really need to hammer home the business benefit, because I think sometimes our Web3 space is quite guilty of selling it as the fact it’s decentralized, like that should mean something or in itself it’s a benefit. But actually, a lot of people don’t really care if it’s decentralized or centralized, but you need to sell the benefits of why being decentralized is a good thing. And so that’s something that we need to make sure that we tell companies of all the benefits of moving to this new way of working, otherwise they won’t change.

Absolutely. I think it’s very important that as stakeholders in the Web3 space, we kind of go out of our way to educate others about what, why, and the what of a decentralization and how it can benefit them. Because I feel that as entrepreneurs, we tend to talk a lot about the features of what we are building, but the benefits somehow we are not, we don’t do a very good job of translating that, because it’s very clear in our head, why this is beneficial.

But for somebody that is perhaps coming from the Web2 space, or somebody who has some old school wisdom and shine within their processes, then it becomes a bit of a challenge for them to even see the benefits. That’s right. And as you said, if they’re having to adapt to what they’re doing, they need to be absolutely clear about what the business benefit is.

And the benefit must be, I can either make more money and charge more for the service, or it costs me less to provide what I provide, and therefore I’ve got more margin. Those kind of have to be the things that businesses can understand. Because if there’s no business benefit, no financial benefit for businesses, the likelihood is they won’t change.

So I totally agree with what you’re saying. Yeah, I think so too. If you had to perhaps give a business an elevator pitch for the benefits that they would be at the receiving end of if they’re using Dock, how would you summarize it? That’s tricky.

I would say it’s the ability to eliminate fraudulent data. Yeah, I think that kind of covers it. Because right now, they’re probably spending a lot of time and resources, and not just time, perhaps financially also they’re facing losses if they are dealing with any kind of fraudulent data.

But that comes later, even initially just to verify the veracity of the data, they must be spending time. And I feel like time is the biggest currency that businesses have, apart from capital. So that is something that you’re helping them save as well.

Yeah, I mean, some of the things that we see, like even like some of the different things like within the we’ve talked a little bit about degree certificates and academic achievement, like that whole industry of fake degrees is worth billions of dollars. If you start to look into it, it’s quite interesting. But lots of people literally buy degrees from universities that really, they don’t really exist.

And then those to get jobs and it does cost, you know, as an employer, you’re maybe taking on somebody you think is well educated or well educated in a specific field. And the reality is that they’re not. So yeah, the cost, the cost impact can be absolutely huge.

And so yeah, fraudulent data is a pretty powerful thing. Absolutely. So tell me a little about your team.

And, you know, where you guys stand vis-a-vis the product, like can anybody go and sign up on your website and become your customer? They can. So they can go to So And they can, we have like free trials and stuff. So anyone can sign up.

So you can sign up as a developer and we have like an API there you can use if you want to integrate with your own backend system. We’ve also got a no-code solution. So it’s a really nice way for people that are non-technical that they can just go in and they can create their own decentralized identifier or identity as some people would see it.

And then they can start to send credentials to themselves, their family, the other people within their business to start to experiment, to see how it works. And the no-code solution was really a response to when we were speaking to people at the start to Russia and trying to start to commercialize what we’d built. And we found that there were quite a lot of smaller teams that wanted this technology and saw the upside of it, advantages, but they didn’t have access to developers.

And it was too expensive to bring these guys on board to help them. So the no-code solution there exists for that purpose. You can also download our wallet app.

It’s available in both app stores. And so of course you can then start to receive these credentials within your mobile device and start to play around with them there. So that would be a great first place for anyone who’s interested to go and try and dock out.

Yeah, okay. So that is pretty straightforward. And I’m so glad that you guys have incorporated a no-code solution as well, because I feel that that becomes a bit of a resistance point for a lot of companies who might not have the technical prowess, but smaller teams basically.

Yeah, exactly. And I feel like, and I don’t know what you found to Russia in your journey, you were explaining before that we got going, that you’ve been involved in lots of different startups or dealing with developers and things as well. But I feel like one of the things that we find is to, for most people, some people really love getting into the details of how blockchains work and what type of cryptography you’re using.

But for the most part, they don’t want to know that stuff. They want it to be as easy as possible to build something or start using something. And so what we’ve really been doing for the last couple of years is abstracting as much complexity as possible from both developers and from end users, just to make the tools as simple as possible to use.

And that’s the only way that we’re going to get adoption on a large scale as an industry. Yeah, I absolutely agree. I think that is something that I say a lot, and that is essentially what I’m doing currently.

I feel that any kind of a tech solution, ultimately technology is there to make life more efficient and easy for people or for the end user, any kind of tech, be it blockchain or just Web2 in general. And a lot of people nowadays, especially, they are on the internet, right? Not everybody understands how the internet works, but they are on the internet simply because it’s solving some sort of a problem for them. And I feel that Web3 needs to get there.

We need to provide solutions which are technically sound, but the user doesn’t necessarily need to know the nitty gritties. And as long as it’s solving a problem for them, and it is efficient, and it’s helping them either save money, time, or adding value in their life in some way, I feel that these kind of solutions are what is going to create the next Bullrun. Yeah, I agree.

I think we’ll know we’ve got there when people are using Web3 and they don’t even know it’s Web3. They don’t know whether it’s Web3. That whole thing.

I think once we get to that point, that’s when we’ll start to see the kind of adoption that we’re all craving. Yeah, absolutely. I think that is the point where we will see a lot of people being a part of the Web3 revolution.

And as you said, they’re not even fully aware that, okay, this is the Web3 revolution. It’s just that they’re using these applications because it’s solving a problem for them. Exactly right.

I agree. So tell me a little about your team and where you are with the team size. Have you guys raised any funds? Are you looking to raise any funds? Yeah, great question.

So the team is now up to, we’ve got someone else starting in the start of August. I think at that point, we’ll be up to 19, which is a decent enough size, I suppose. And we’re totally like the technology.

We’re all decentralized. So the company is headquartered in Switzerland, just because it makes the legalities of having a token involved in your network quite clear for us. And it’s easy to become compliant and to understand that, but then everyone works from home.

So that’s challenging at times because we end up using Zoom quite a lot and lots of these types of calls, but we do try and make the time for certain members of the team to kind of meet up at conferences throughout the year, because of course, face-to-face communication, there’s nothing like it. Yeah, definitely trying to kind of organize more of that team time is important, but we could not be spread more widely. So I think we’re on like five continents.

So it’s almost like we’re not deliberately trying to spread everyone out as much as possible. But I think when you’re looking for quite specific skill sets and niche skills, like we are, you tend to need to go far and wide to find them. So we’ve ended up with a very spread team, but we can make it work.

So it works well. And in terms of funding, so before I joined, I joined in 2019, but in 2018, the team did an ICO and they raised about $20 million, I think through private qualified investors, then a public sale as well. And then we’re actually now at the point of just starting to look at raising a seed round as well.

So we’re just starting to make some early inquiries into that area to really allow DOC to start to get product market fit and then scale. So we’re going through that fun journey at the moment. So, you know, you’ve been around since the time when ICO was not infamous.

That’s been quite a journey. That’s wonderful. So you guys, would you be open to sharing how much you’re raising? What kind of investors you’re looking for? Maybe somebody is lifting in and they can get in touch with you and how to get in touch with you as well? Yeah, of course.

I think, yeah, probably the types of investors we’re looking for are obviously, like I said, seed stage investors looking really specifically at equity. I’m really looking for investors that probably don’t have another identity or credentialing company in their portfolio, because of course, they typically would want to back one horse. But really, a type of fund that is looking to support decentralized technologies or identity products and understands the space.

I think that’s what we’d be looking for. And we’re kind of pretty much, you know, we don’t really mind where they would be based, of course. So that’s probably what we’re looking for.

I probably wouldn’t share how much we’re looking for. But that would be for them. And then in terms of getting in touch, yeah, probably looking me up on LinkedIn is probably a good way to do that.

And maybe you can put my profile in the show notes. Absolutely. Yeah, we can totally do that.

We’ll link up your profile in the podcast description. And, you know, whoever wants to get in touch with Nick and their wonderful team and talk, please do so. Tell me a little about, this is like more of a philosophical question, I think, but I would love to know what you think is the potential to, you know, potential of impact of verifiable credentials and self-sovereign identity on other sectors, you know, apart from, say, employment and education.

How do you see these technologies transforming traditional systems and processes in, you know, different sectors and various other sectors other than perhaps education and employment? Yeah, definitely. So I’ll give you two examples. So one would be healthcare.

So it could be, and this part is, healthcare could definitely work much more quickly from a workforce perspective. So in many countries in the world, if you’re a medical practitioner, a nurse, a doctor, when you work and move in a different region, so in the UK, we have this notion of the NHS and NHS trusts. If you then move into a different trust, which is a different region of the UK, you would then need to physically go to an office and to take all of your qualifications with you so they can verify that you’re actually trained sufficiently and you’re therefore compliant to practice, which takes obviously a lot of time.

It can take many months, it requires an in-person meeting and it’s generally quite difficult. But imagine, if that nurse had a verifiable credentials issued to her by the NHS or by whoever had trained her and she can have a request made by a trust for her to send her applications from her digital wallet and she could send those without needing to go anywhere and she could send this credential across and they would know that that was issued to her and that she is the owner of that and who issued it to her. She could then show up for work and they would have confidence that she was sufficiently trained to be a nurse and qualified and compliant, removing all of that headache of all the time it would take to manually verify.

That’s one really cool use case. Another one might be things like financial services where accessing loans is pretty annoying for most of us if you need to take one out. You need to fill out a bunch of forms and then somebody needs to underwrite and prove all of that stuff.

You need to find a way of how do I prove where I live, how much I earn, all of that type of stuff. But imagine you could take all the information that employers hold about us and you could basically have the employer issue a verifiable credential to you that informs on credential what your name is, where you live, how much you earn, how long you’ve been working there, what type of job you do, what type of contract you’re on, and you could send that off to a loan company and they could basically on the back of that and maybe a few other questions approve you for a loan much more quickly without you needing to fill out all of these forms. Those are a couple of great use cases where I think decentralized identity and verifiable credentials will become transformative in everyday life.

Wow, the picture that you’re painting is about exactly what we’re touching upon, what we’re talking about, that technology that is actually making processes more efficient and making life easier for the end user. Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s what it’s all about and I think we just can’t lose sight of that.

I think if we fall in love with this technology too much and we don’t do enough to make sure it’s making a meaningful difference over what exists today, then it won’t work. I think there’s certainly a lot of excitement around decentralized identity right now and with really good reason. Yeah, absolutely.

I think decentralized identity is the sovereign verifiable information. All of this is going to become so big like you mentioned because with the advent of AI, it becomes even more pertinent that we look at these things and relook. My question, the next question is actually to do with AI.

What is your take on this massively produced false information, false information pictures by AI that are being generated and being put online? What is your take on it in general and how do you think we can do our bit as folks in tech in this space to perhaps curb that? Yeah, I mean, yeah, it’s very worrying, isn’t it? Because many of us might be quite reasoned and if we see a photo that looks a little bit outrageous, we might question it, but not everyone takes that approach. It’s definitely quite worrying that you can actually influence potentially like incite a population to act in a certain way and manipulate them with this type of information. Exactly.

Yeah, exactly. It is very scary. Just the pictures that I see at times online.

Because you and I are in this space and this might be coming from a place of privilege, we try to question it or we look it up and we have ways to look it up and we know how to look it up. But not everybody is that tech savvy. Again, kind of underlying that not everybody understands how the internet or AI completely works, but they are there and they’re consuming this information.

So it’s very scary to me that some false information or a false picture being circulated online or on WhatsApp or Telegram or something can actually incite violence as well. Yeah. I would say they’re not young kids anymore, but I’ve got an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter.

Even the way that they interact with technology, the sites that they’ll believe and what they’ll call news, you say, well, where did you hear about that? It’s like, oh, I saw it on TikTok and it’s like their way that they think that for them is a legitimate news source now. And that’s what makes it as well. For me, I would question everything on that platform just because of, I guess, your kind of age and stuff.

But yeah, definitely where people are finding news these days is very different to maybe where you or I might have looked for it in the past. And I think what we’ve looked at, Tarusha, is we’ve potentially got the technology there as long as the processes are put in place to mitigate against some of this fake information. So what you could actually do is have using credentialing technology and identity technology, you could actually have a producer of content that produces a legitimate, so let’s say an independent journalist, shoots a video of something happening.

And so they can then basically put a hash of the video, let’s say, within a verifiable credential and then distribute that out. And so let’s say a news organization then picks up that story, let’s say it’s the BBC, they can then actually go and look at who actually captured this video. And if that’s a name that they know and trust, they can then say, well, actually, I think this is valid.

And they can confirm that. And they can then write the story about this video, the BBC news. And then we as consumers can actually request the authenticity of this news story potentially from the BBC.

And they can send us what we call a verifiable presentation, which is basically a digital document or credential that tells us who captured the video and that the BBC are actually the ones reporting on it. And we can check those signatures and verify that information. So if we trust the BBC as an organization, and we trust that they’re kind of newsworthy and they’re fairly independent in their views, we can then take a decision as to whether we trust that news story.

And it can work like that. I know that sounds a little bit clunky as a process, but that technology does exist to enable that. And then it should be a case of trying to refine that to make it much more slick and usable.

But it is possible to verify who did what and when. So that can be quite a good way to try and mitigate against the risks of AI and its ability to put forward fake information. Yeah, I think, you know, as you said that the technology kind of already exists, I think as we move forward, and perhaps, you know, more people become aware about this, the technology will stop being clunky as well, you know, as we kind of grow, because this will become so pertinent that it would have to be made, perhaps a bit easier, the process.

Yeah, I think so. I think so. And it’s, yeah, it’s definitely worrying, because you kind of wonder where it stops, like, will we get to a point in five or 10 years time, Tarusha, where we’re skeptical about every single thing that we read? And that would be a issue, wouldn’t it? Because at least right now, you kind of mostly trust stuff, but then you’re kind of a little bit more conscious that this information might not be correct.

And it might be the case that that becomes reversed in five or 10 years time, where we assume everything is fake, until it’s proven otherwise. And that would be a real shame, because that would be a really inefficient way to pass information around. Yeah, and it becomes such a sad way to live our lives, right? Like you’re sort of, you feel like the burden is on you to sort of find out everything about everything that you’re reading.

Exactly, exactly. So hopefully, it won’t come to that. But I do think that technologies do exist that would help us fight against stuff like that.

And the other thing I would say as well is, I mean, AI does have a lot of benefits. So it’s not like we’re saying that we think AI’s only got this real negative stuff. I mean, we’re already as a business to help us produce content and to make our lives more efficient.

Like behind the scenes, I’m kind of playing about trading a personal AI to help make your life much more efficient. And you can be in multiple places at once. So I think there’s a lot of really good things from AI that are going to come out as well.

But there are going to be some negative things, like any new technology that we need to be aware of. Absolutely. I think any new technology comes with its own challenges.

When there was, the telegram had come along, there were some bad folks trying to give it a bad reputation there, when there was IVR and phone calls. There was phishing and there was scams then as well. So I think there are always going to be some bad elements.

But whenever a conversation takes a turn like this, I like Codling Anderson DeNopolis. In one of the Internet of Money volumes, he talks about how there’ll always be bad elements to tinkering and trying to see how the new technology can benefit them. But it’s good to perhaps remember that there are more good people and good elements in this space than the bad ones.

So the bad eggs would be there, but if the good guys sort of make enough noise about what we’re doing, it wouldn’t all be just all bad. Agreed. Another thing as well as technology itself is not good or bad, it’s the people that are good or bad.

The technology exists for us to harness in whatever way that we want. And so, of course, a technology, it’s the people that use it that make it good or bad. Absolutely.

It’s like money, right? It’s exactly like money. It comes down to the people who are using that money. What are you utilizing that money for? Are you using it to do more good or are you utilizing that money to perhaps create negativity? So I think it’s just a medium.

And ultimately, it is the person who is utilizing the tech or who is creating the tech. It actually comes down to just human beings. Yes.

Yeah, absolutely. The human condition. Yeah.

So now, moving from this philosophical side of things, I would love to know a little bit more about the Decentralized Identity Foundation. I believe you guys are a member there, right? Can you tell me a little about what the DIF does and how do you guys contribute? Yeah, so there’s a few. I’d say DIF is a very good one.

And so they are a non-profit organization really focused on building standards and bringing together all the people and companies and projects working in the identity space. So one of the key things about new technology is making people build to standards so that they’re interoperable. So one example might be mobile phone chargers as an example.

If everyone built a different type of mobile phone charger, none of them would be interoperable. So everyone that used Android would have a different type of phone charger cable depending upon which brand that they used. And of course, standards using USB-C made it possible to have the same type of charger.

And the same is true of identity technology. So what we’re trying to get to a place where, whether it’s a credential created on some other system, they’re compatible within all the mobile wallets and they’re interoperable. It doesn’t really matter what chain necessarily that you’re on.

The identities can be created and then the credentials pass through these chains and pass through everyone’s wallets so that the whole system can work together. I know that’s still a ways off. That’s still a work in progress.

But a big part of what the Decentralized Identity Foundation are doing are laying down the frameworks that the companies are tiered to, to make sure that interoperability is in place. So that’s a big part of what they do. They also have events and things to try and bring together the creative people and the founders from these spaces so that we can help each other.

So that’s a couple of key things that they would do. Wow. So if a founder in this space wants to perhaps join the DIF, what would be the steps that would be entailed here? Yeah, I think we can just go to their website and literally sign up, which is what we did.

So yeah, and they have kind of different kind of tiers of membership, but yeah, I think you just go to, I guess, or something like that and you can just sign up there and then start contributing. And there’s also like another, a couple of other groups that we’re involved in, the W3C. So the Web Free Consortium, which was the, again, non-profit group ultimately set up by Tim Berners-Lee.

They’re involved in lots of different things, but identity and credentials is a key part. And so there’s the Linux Foundation also do some work in this space as well. So it’s great to see lots of these non-profit organizations all trying to ultimately make the web a better place and make sure it works better for all of us is, I guess, what they’re trying to do.

So there’s quite a few of the identity space. And I think that speaks to the impact that identity is going to have in our future lives over the next few years. Absolutely.

So now, I think that you guys are contributing in a bigger to the ecosystem and to your product, you’re building something very exciting. I feel it’s such a relevant use case and it’s going to become more relevant over time. What is like the next big milestone that you’re very excited about for Doc? Yeah, that’s a good question.

I think it’s about starting to make the technology more like user centric and more privacy focused. So you’ll probably have heard about ZKP or Zero Knowledge Proofs, which is a kind of range of different features, I guess, that we can incorporate into identity products. So for example, if you’re wanting to, let’s say, go online and prove you’re old enough to go access a gambling site, so like a proof of age thing.

So at the moment, you might have to go online and then reveal not only exactly when your birthday is, you’d have to reveal how old you are, and you might have to reveal a bunch of other stuff that was in with whatever credential that you were using. It was a driver’s license, they would see a picture of you, they would see where your address is and all that type of stuff. But you can start to harness these Zero Knowledge Proof technologies to only reveal certain aspects that you want to reveal.

So just enough that that site permits you access. So you might just want to say what my name is, maybe you have to reveal your address, but I don’t want to give you my picture. And I might also not want to tell you when exactly my birthday is, but I might just want to say I’m over 18.

And so you can use Zero Knowledge Proof technology to effectively decide what you want to reveal and selectively disclose. And then also use range proofs as what we would call the ability to only reveal that you’re over 18, as opposed to revealing that you’re actually 22, and you were born in September the 22nd or something. So those are the technologies that excite me most about what we’re building.

And some of this stuff is actually working today in our production systems, and some of it we’re still developing. So those are the technologies that excite me the most, really giving users really granular control over credentials that they can use in lots of different ways without giving too much away. Wow, that’s super exciting that you guys are trying to make this more palatable for the end user.

And this will all help in more adoption, right? And I think that is essentially what all the stakeholders want in their tree. Yeah, I’d agree. And I think then it’s back to what we talked about before, to Rishabh, making that easy to use as well as quite complex technology.

And it’s basically just making sure that they can literally just click on a screen and decide, I want to reveal this, not that. And it’s just really, really simple to use. So that’s the kind of journey that we’re on with that stuff now.

But yeah, I think it’s very, very powerful. Absolutely, I agree. So tell me, because we are running a little short on time, this is another wonderful conversation.

I almost forgot that we started in 45 minutes. So I want to cut to the chase and ask you, meet your questions that the users perhaps or one of the entrepreneurs want to listen in on. You’ve been in this space for a while, right? And if there are entrepreneurs that are specifically building in the identity space or in Web3 in general, what would be your suggestion to them? Especially because they are building right now in this bear market, right? And it can be a little disheartening if you’re looking for capital.

It’s slow. I think that good capital is available for a good solid project even now, but it can be a slow process. So what would be your advice to these entrepreneurs who are looking to make a positive impact in this space? Yeah, what I would say is, this is kind of cliched advice, but almost get the minimum viable product or thing that you want and actually have that ready and people potentially start to play around with it as early as possible.

So I think we’ve sometimes got into a way, particularly around ICOs and things where companies would raise a lot of funding upfront and not really build anything. And I think the deal with that is you actually don’t know, like, are you going to build something that people want? And also, like the funding thing that you mentioned there, funders for the most part are understandably a little more cautious with their capital these days. So they want to take the risk out of development.

They want something that exists already. And the only risk they have is, can this team actually scale it? So I would say, as soon as you possibly can, even if it’s like the most bare bones thing, get something shipped and get people using it. And that’s the fastest way you’ll find out whether is your idea viable.

And also like, to make it better for the people that use it. Because I think we can all try to be perfectionists and build this fancy thing where you let anyone see it. And that’s not the most efficient way to do it.

So I would say build something really fast, really bare bones, a bit rough, get people using it. And so that proves to you that there’s actually a genuine need here. But also, if you do want to go down the funding route, and it’s not the only way, but if you do want to go down that route, then you also have something that you can show to investors to say, look, my team are capable.

We’ve built this thing. And really now, we’re just wanting to scale it. So I would say move fast and break things is probably a good piece of advice.

I think those are wonderful suggestions. I think getting the memory payout is so important. And I’ve been building in deep tech and web suite for a while too.

And this is what I tell all the startups that I try to give advice to, that let’s just create something that is an MVP and ship it out there. Because there’s no other way to validate your idea, right? You can get feedback, and you can get questionnaires filled. But all of that comes to naught if nobody is ready to use your product.

And it’s very easy. You touched upon how easy it is to fall in love with your own idea, and you become a perfectionist, that you want even this feature and that feature in the MVP. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

That’s right. Yeah, it shouldn’t be that way. We’ve even found ourselves at times internally arguing internally about different features and ideas.

And it’s like we’re all proven wrong about what actually customers want. Maybe it’s too complex to use, or maybe they don’t even want it at all. So yeah, definitely get it into customers hands as soon as you possibly can.

Yeah, absolutely. So Nick, now that we’re kind of wrapping up, I would like to ask you one question that I ask everybody who comes on this podcast. If there is somebody perhaps peering in from the Web 2 side and looking into Web 3, what would be your top three suggestions for this person to start living on blockchain? Wow, that’s a good question.

Yeah, I think it’s, yeah, don’t close your minds off to something that’s decentralized. Like I said at the start, it’s so alien, like the notion that something doesn’t need to be controlled by like an entity or a company that you can control it yourself. So I’d say like opening themselves up to that notion, I think that’s going to be huge.

I think the second thing I would say is there’s, I think, certain more traditional businesses have become turned off to blockchain because of like a lot of the crypto scams that go on, which is a real shame. It’s like we said at the start, like just a minute ago, like technology is not good or bad, it’s how it’s used. And so a lot of people turn themselves away from blockchain because of crypto fraud and stuff like that.

But fraud hits centralized banking probably as much, if not more so than the crypto world. So I would say don’t be turned off to blockchain just because of some of the kind of news reports that you would see. And those are two, I’m probably struggling for a third off the top of my head, but hopefully two is sufficient.

Yeah, absolutely. I think those are very good suggestions. It’s very easy.

I think the best way to get in the space is to have an open mind. As long as you have an open mind and you have a mind where you can perhaps, you’re ready to unlearn notions that are already there in your head. Those are the people who are good at unlearning, who will really benefit out of Web3 and take on Web3 in a bigger way, I feel, and in a faster way.

Exactly. Yeah, it says that we’ve had similar kind of experiences to Rishabh. I’d agree with that.

Thank you so much, Nick. This has been such a wonderful conversation. In the beginning, I said it’ll take 30, 45 minutes.

I think we’ve spoken for nearly an hour. And really wonderful, Jack. Thank you so much for taking all the time.

Any parting thoughts before we wrap this up? No, just keep doing the work that you’re doing. I think we’re all trying to promote this whole space together. And I think working together and helping each other, I think that’s going to get us where we need to go.

So yeah, just keep doing what you’re doing. And yeah, I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. And I really appreciate you having me on.

The honor is all mine. I’m really grateful we could make the time. Thank you so much, Nick.

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