SelfKey – Sovereign Identity Management

SelfKey is a decentralized, blockchain based self sovereign identity ecosystem. SelfKey raised over $5 million worth of KEY tokens in a hugely successful private presale. Furthermore, they have announced a public presale of KEY tokens on December 15th, 2017.


SelfKey’s whitepaper starts with: “Problem: You do not own your identity”. Most existing identity systems consist of a central storage point. These systems do not integrate with other services, and do not place the identity owner in a place of entitlement and power. Besides that, these central systems have very serious security issues.


SelfKey is built on Ethereum and allows individuals to share their identity attributes with services or companies. The actual identity data is not stored on the blockchain, only the permissions you yield to companies. In addition, SelfKey wants to bring the platform to the next level by providing a marketplace of products and services.

Proof of Individuality (Biometric Research)

An important element of the SelfKey project is that a persons’ identity starts with a human life, instead of a government document. SelfKey plans to invest time into research on Proof of Individuality (POI) so that anyone, anywhere, is able to prove their existence.

SelfKey Identity Wallet

SelfKey is developing an identity wallet where users can access their identity documents which are stored locally on their personal device. Only access permissions are stored on the blockchain. ID documents can be verified by qualified certifiers, such as an eNotary, which will receive KEY tokens for delivering these certifications.

This solves the problem of reapplying for services with your ID documents every time. The SelfKey Identity Wallet guarantees the authenticity and validity of your documents.

The ID data on the Identity Wallet is tamper-proof as the data is encrypted with the person’s public key. Only the corresponding private key is able to decrypt the stored data. A user is able to create a backup of his identity onto another device or a personal backup solution.

SelfKey’s Background

The company behind SelfKey is KYC-chain. It is an already successful company which takes care of the KYC process of onboarding new customers for businesses and financial institutions, while ensuring they follow compliance to regulatory standards. The core value of the company is providing an efficient and easy KYC process, and last but not least – provide end users with the ability to be the sole owners of their identity data.

Token Sale and Usage

The SelfKey (KEY) token can be used for services like:

  • Exchange signup
  • Citizenship by Investment programs
  • Bank account application
  • E-wallets
  • Gold and Metal purchase
  • Token sales

The KEY token functions in some cases as a proof-of-stake. Verifiers have to place KEY tokens in a locked contract to access the network or prove their identity.

Major Competitors

Here Civic is the number one competitor. Civic performed an ICO much earlier, which gives them the benefit of being a first-mover. Civic is building an ecosystem that is designed to facilitate on-demand, secure and low-cost access to identity verification services via the blockchain, such that background and personal information verification checks will no longer need to be undertaken from the ground up every time. Civic has the same core goals as SelfKey. However, SelfKey wants to make itself distinct by providing an entire marketplace and a personal identity wallet, where Civic focuses on mobile usability.


The first thing we noticed is that there is a large team. We picked some interesting people:

Edmund John L– the founder of Slefkey, he also founded KYC-Chain.

Simon Emil Bierling has previous experience as a business developer and account manager at Twitter Barcelona.

Bryan Blair was a managing director for Mobile Topup and Thailand Topup, both providing online topup services for 80 million users of Thai prepaid mobile phones as well as an API. He is familiar with handling and managing large systems.

Peter Colegate is part of the legal team. He has seniority in the FinTech industry. His interests lay in data privacy and protection and he’s a member of the Joint Committee on the Protection of Data and the Cayman Islands Government Working Group on Data Protection.

Virdgil Griffith, an Etherum advisor, he was one of founder and operator of, the most popular darkweb search engine in the world.

Key Points on the Roadmap

2018 Q1
SelfKey Token Sale – January 15th, 2018

SelfKey Desktop app Alpha Launch

Identity Wallet supports cryptocurrency transactions

2018 Q3

Partnership work with governments and utility providers begins

2019 Q4

Alpha launch of Proof-of-Identity (Proof of Concept)


  • Large team to support the token sale
  • Development of physical device for identity management (Identity Wallet)
  • Desktop App development
  • Marketplace to integrate with identity management
  • There is a huge need for identity management


  • Existing idea – major competitor Civic
  • Large team, but almost no LinkedIn profiles added
  • Whitepaper is a bit short and doesn’t include technical details or specifics on their roadmap and Identity Wallet

The Bottom Line

We like the integration between an identity wallet and a marketplace for services. An easy to use and efficient KYC system is much needed, especially in the world of crypto. Civic is a big competitor and is focused on mobile development. It is good to have competition within this niche which will push the products even further.


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