Civic Blog

A Technical Q&A With Snowcrash About Partnering With Civic

A conversation with Tamay Aykut, VP of Engineering at Snowcrash, and Dan Kelleher, VP of Engineering at Civic.


Can you tell us a bit about the Snowcrash platform?


Absolutely! Snowcrash is a platform for non-fungible digital goods and social tokens, which we all know as NFTs, that is built on the Solana blockchain. We work with major IP holders and brands, artists, generative scientists, and more to create collections of master and or limited editions, streaming rights and digital goods over a broad category of digital assets, which could be visual art, music, movies, sports, anything collectible, basically.

We recently announced the platform’s partnership with Sony Music and Universal Music Group and we like to think of the platform as the nexus of Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.

Our main goal is to offer a safe, intuitive, and frictionless experience to end users who want to own digital collectibles from world-class IP holders.

So, in short, we are a fully integrated premium digital platform, and a creative production studio, providing concepts, state of the art production facilities, marketing, minting, even sales services, with a strong engineering team. And, we’re excited to be partnering with Civic to help make the platform even more user-friendly.


That’s an awesome description. Snowcrash has some really impressive partners.


We agree! It’s very inspiring for us and we’re incredibly proud of the partnerships we’ve been able to announce thus far. All of this just speaks to the incredible growth of the NFT market and the groundbreaking opportunities it offers to IP holders and artists to establish and control their digital legacy on the blockchain.

In a few years the landscape is going to be very different, and we’re laying the groundwork now because we believe in a bigger, more dynamic future for the NFT market. We’re doing what we can to be stewards to the big players, offering up a safe and intuitive experience for people outside of the crypto ecosystem to come in and realize the potential this new medium holds.


When you initially started working with Civic, what were you trying to accomplish in relation to identity? What kind of problems were you looking to solve?


We think an incredibly important component of our platform is going to be good bot protection. Insofar as in the wider NFT marketplace, bots are a big problem for genuine fans and users to engage with platforms because bots undermine the fairness of NFT minting and drops.

Our mission is to bring existing and new IP into the world of NFTs and blockchain, and since we are dealing with very high-level content. It’s our duty to protect those digital assets as much as possible and provide a fair and safe marketplace to our customers – which can be big organization brands, artists, but also those of the users, the fans who want to own the content produced by their favorite artists. So, our search for a solution that is secure, flexible and user friendly led us straight to Civic!


That’s great. After you became acquainted with Civic’s bot protection, what appealed to you about how Civic handles digital identity?


We would first say that the Civic solution is very user friendly and scalable. We have assessed several solutions and ultimately, we found Civic’s solutions the most elegant. Outside of bot protection depending on the type of drop we also need certain know-your-client functionality. But we want this process to be as frictionless as possible for the end-user. We want to break down the barriers of entry, not make it annoying to get into the world of NFTs. Imagine you have to go through a verification process for every platform, and marketplace you want to engage with. In the worst case, you have to share all your details with different third parties over and over again. And that sounds horrible. Right? So that’s not something you want. That’s where Civic Pass really shines. You do the verification only once and then it’s on-chain. Once verified you have your ID token which is attached to your wallet, you can prove your identity across different marketplaces and platforms like ours. And we emphasize the importance and need of such a scalable solution.


Now that you’ve been working with Civic, what kind of experiences are you building for your users that these identity solutions help provide? Also, what features would you like to see in the near future?


Having those ID tokens integrated into our system allows us to have a frictionless and user-friendly experience both for the organizations, the artists, and also the consumers. That’s very important for us because some of the content is only meant to be accessed by the owner. 

This all just helps us to protect these assets from everyone’s perspective all at once. It’s like an elegant Web2 solution for Web3 – this is what we’ve all been imagining when we think about being able to onboard people into the Web3 space.

In the future, we think another nice feature would be on-chain whitelisting with ID tokens. Assuming that we will have our NFT membership tokens and other NFTs, they will have utilities, right? And they may be an entry to exclusive communities or give you access to other limited NFT additions. So, we would like to work on a solution that makes all this happen in an on-chain way.


You mentioned that the user will only be expected to go through the ID verification process once. That is certainly one aspect where I think that it’s an example of doing things the right way rather than going to every separate organization, every separate portal, and providing the same information that gets transferred around multiple times. One of the other things we talk about is representing identity on-chain and sometimes that’s misunderstood as storing identity on chain, which obviously we don’t do. We store essentially a proxy or an avatar on-chain. And you, as the protocol, don’t need to know anything about the end user – just that they’ve gone through the checks that you require. And our thesis right now is that these checks are common. Nobody’s going around reinventing the wheel. 

There are obviously various multiple versions, but the number of special cases are outweighed by the number of common cases. So, this ties in with the idea that there’s true self-sovereignty in the ecosystem. An end-user shares their information only with the organizations they want to share with, and as few as possible. But then this proxy that you get on-chain is sufficient to unlock various products on-chain, who in principle don’t need to know anything about the user. They just need to know that they meet those requirements. Be those requirements, simple ones like “I am not a bot,” or slightly more complicated like “I am over 21,” or “I’m not living in a certain region.” These are the important things that users must be able to prove. But it’s important that they go through these verification steps as few times as possible. And that’s really the core of what we’re building and that is essentially what we’ve released with the integration of Civic Pass on Snowcrash.


Let’s talk for a second about Web3 and its founding principles. It offers an ownership layer that essentially, gives power back to the user. What are the values that go into building an NFT platform like this and how are you translating the ethos of Web3 and blockchain, and even rock’n’roll and all of these rebellious ideas into this new technology?


Lovely question! We think one of the concepts that Web3 enables is the internet of value, right? So, an internet of everything, or anything of value from money to IP, can travel as fast as information itself. So how does it translate into the user experience that we are building? I think I want to cite one of our founders, Walter De Brouwer actually, who summed it up pretty nicely. In three simple terms. It’s collect, exhibit, and belong

So, number one, collect – it all starts with a digital wallet and these wallets will be the browsers of the future, bringing users from Web 2.0 to Web3. And Snowcrash is providing a smooth and user-friendly integration of wallets functioning as frictionless on and off ramps, featuring, of course, a user friendly on-chain verification with Civic Pass to help everything begin!

Number two, exhibit. What you collect is who you are and how you want to represent yourself. This is essential to finding kindred spirits and likeminded people in this digital environment to truly form communities. With Snowcrash, you can display your NFTs on your media profile like one might utilize Twitter, Facebook, Discord, etc. Community building opportunities are limitless. 

And number three is belong. NFTs will become a social token and have certain utilities. There will be a lot of services coupled to them and adventures will be driven by these clubs, and even some competitions might start. So, the members will be proud to belong as well as allow you to leverage any privileges you have by being involved with these groups.


Wonderful. Thank you so much, this has been a really fun chat! We are super excited to collaborate with Snowcrash and can’t wait to share more exciting news with our community as we continue down this road together!


Thank you!

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