Verida 2020 — Building a tech startup in the midst of a global pandemic

What a year 2020 has been! We have all faced our own challenges introduced by COVID19, government lockdowns and travel bans across the world.

However, through this disruptive lens, we have seen rapid adoption of new technology and a greater awareness of issues around personal data. None more so than the ongoing conversation about COVID19 credentials and sharing personal health information with third parties.

I believe there’s a huge market for application developers to create privacy first applications replicating many of the current centralised SaaS product offerings. It will be a trend that will gain momentum in the coming years and be a significant revolution in how we all control our data.

Over the past 12 months I have spoken with people across the world who fundamentally believe in this shift.

They are building startups to create this future. They are positioning their established businesses to offer trust and privacy as differentiators in crowded markets. They are developing foundational technology to make this future a reality.

While everyone is currently focussed on #defi, we’re quietly seeding the #opendata movement that will have an even greater impact — bringing decentralized technology to the masses and reinventing every business to consumer interaction.

Verida’s progress in 2020

In January, just weeks before COVID19 took over our lives, I wrote that it was time we regained control of our data. At that stage I had little more than a proof of concept and lots of ideas.

Since then it has been a whirlwind year of technology R&D, strategic planning and formation of industry relationships. I am immensely proud of what has been achieved as a self-funded startup during the most challenging global health crisis in my lifetime.

Projects and Partnerships

Singapore COVID19 PoC: During the middle of the year a COVID19 credential proof of concept was developed by Verida and tested with health professionals in Singapore.

Partnership with Care Protocol to launch Ikigai Network: A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to establish the Ikigai network as a foundational example of deploying the Verida technology to the health industry.

There’s a great foundational team in place with multiple MOU’s for projects to start building and integrating in 2021. There is also strong relationships being formed with leading crypto communities where there are multiple win-win collaborations taking shape.

In the health industry itself, there is a great deal of excitement about the opportunities that open up once patient’s own their data. These include running better clinical trials and incentivising patients to create better clinical outcomes.

Other projects

We are currently collaborating on multiple projects that have the potential to bring widespread user adoption of the Verida technology to significant numbers of users in their respective industries / geographies. More information on these projects will be made available in due course.

Verida was also invited to participate in the Odyssey Momentum hackathon in the Netherlands, however we weren’t able to participate due to COVID.

Technology growth

A huge amount of research and development effort has been invested in the core Verida technology which includes open source libraries for developers and decentralized apps (dApps) showcasing the technology.

This has included:

  1. Verida datastore release for dApp developers
  2. Testnet release — including the Verida Vault dApp and Electronic Medical Record dApp
  3. COVID19 credentialing solution — including a dApp for pathology labs and generic credential scanner
  4. Developer sandbox
  5. Developer documentation
  6. Ceramic + Verida PoC added to the official Ceramic network playground
  7. Verida joined the DIF Secure Data Storage working group and will continue to help shape the development of standards in this area

Announcements & Talks

The official announcement of Ikigai Network took centre stage as 2020 drew to a close, however I was also invited to give a couple of talks to share more about the Verida vision and technology.

I was invited to join a fantastic panel of guests at Decentralized OS to discuss how decentralized technology can be applied for meaningful benefits in the healthcare sector. Watch on Youtube.

The University of British Columbia has a monthly guest speaker to present new technology and developments to their blockchain community. I was joined by Ray from Ikigai Network to talk more about the technology and do a real world demonstration of patient data flowing between a centralised system, patient controlled data vault and finally being received by a doctor in a decentralized health system. Watch on Youtube.

Next up 2021…

While 2020 was building a foundation, 2021 is shaping as the year for take off.

It will be full steam ahead executing the Verida technology roadmap to support partners developing new applications, integrations and ecosystems. I anticipate the Verida Vault mobile app to be a game changer for dApp developers and offer a UX that jumpstarts broader adoption of blockchain to consumers (more on this soon).

Verida is on target for first revenues to be received in Q1 2021 and, when combined with other initiatives, will support a growing team that can execute on the broader Verida vision. This includes world class software engineers, niche technology experts and community builders. Please reach out if you are interested in getting involved.

On the technology front, I expect to see the launch of:

  1. Verida mainnet — providing off-chain data infrastructure anchored by existing public blockchain(s)
  2. Verida Vault mobile — providing a free mobile app for users to own their identity, data and credentials
  3. Verida trusted transaction framework — powering the first data ecosystem
  4. Verida datastore v2 — providing an improved developer UX, including typescript support

The first projects powered by Verida will go live and showcase this exciting new future where users own their data and new business models (built on trust and privacy) become a reality.

At the same time, we are establishing closer relationships with experienced blockchain software development agencies to provide implementation support to our partners building using the Verida Technology.

I look forward to an exciting 2021, with a bit less of the drama from 2020.

In the meantime, please reach out if you are interested in learning more or getting involved.

Chris.

Ver/id/a = Verified, Identity, Data.

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