Civic Around the Web

News

We’re already half-way through the year, so we want to take a second to highlight some of Civic’s biggest moments over the past six months.

From showcasing beer vending machines at SXSW to partnering with new art marketplaces, we’re leading the conversation around the future of identity. Our CEO has been featured in The NextWeb discussing how digital identity can improve elections. We signed partnerships with 12 automated retail companies responsible for more than a million connected vending machines. Civic is playing a major role in building a marketplace where identity and payments combine to boost consumer trust, improve the customer experience, and make transactions more secure. 

Here are just a few of the big news stories around Civic so far this year. 

Blockscale Solutions: Digital ID: A Report on the Digital Identity Landscape & Providers

This white paper was released in January 2019 as the result of a survey Blockscale Solutions sent out to a group of digital identity companies. Civic was among the companies surveyed for the final report, which laid out trends, drivers, obstacles, and potential opportunities for the identity verification market. 

Some of the best examples of early adoption of digital identity verification are happening at the international level: 

“Entire countries like Estonia and Pakistan with their national ID programs, and India with it’s Aadhaar platform, have successfully established large-scale national identity systems to streamline service access for their citizenry with a single ID. Aid agencies, like UNHCR, are also creating biometrically-enabled digital identities for hundreds of thousands of undocumented refugees to allow them better access to aid programs and support. They empower a user to have control over their identity claims without relying on a physical token like a document that could easily be lost, damaged, or controlled by a malevolent party.”

While there are still some obstacles to widespread adoption of blockchain and solutions like Civic, the report remains optimistic about the many promising uses for digital identity in the future. 

AdWeek: “Forget About Quarters, This Beer Vending Machine at SXSW Only Accepts Cryptocurrency” 

Civic was in the news following the tech conference South by Southwest (SXSW), where we launched a new, automated retail solution aimed at driving digital identity adoption. 

Though Civic’s mobile app, a SXSW customer would submit their name, address, email, and social security number. Once verified against records, such as credit history and passport information, Civic then sends 200 CVCs – our own cryptocurrency – to the customer’s wallet app. The vending machine would scan a QR code on the customer’s phone, taking coin out of the customer’s wallet and delivering an ice-cold beer. 

Central to this experience is the fact that a customer never had to present a form of ID to complete the transaction. These smart vending machines relied on blockchain to allow customers to prove they are over 21 with anonymous age verification. This is one of the best examples of Civic’s commitment to merging identity and payments in one smooth user experience. As Titus Capilnean, Civic’s marketing director, said at the time: “We’re trying to get this out to people to make them comfortable and have them learn the habit of using their mobile device to identify themselves and now pay in the same time in the new transactions.” 

The NextWeb: “Rebuilding trust in democracy starts with digital identity verification”

Our Co-Founder and CEO Vinny Lingham authored this article in this NextWeb discussing his vision for the future of digital identity. 

Born in South Africa, Vinny witnessed firsthand the impact identity has on voting and on democracy writ large. As he argues, “It is no longer just about fraud or identity theft; the inability to control and protect our personal information has the ability to impact, not just credit scores, but international relations. Personal data harvested from the largest social network in the world was used to influence the US Presidential elections, showcasing how identity information and personal data is valuable beyond privacy concerns.” 

Civic is leading the way in pioneering the use of blockchain for identity verification – a more secure way of sharing information, adding trust back into transactions, and even paying for groceries. While it’s too late to regain total data privacy, Vinny’s vision for Civic sees a path forward for regaining some control over how our identity is used. 

CoinDesk: “Civic Inks Deal to Bring Blockchain ID to 1,000 Vending Machines”

Fresh off the news from SXSW, Civic’s new app, Civic Pay, was featured in CoinDesk. Civic signed partnerships with 12 major automated retail companies – AAEON, AR Systems, Fastcorp Vending, Global Vending Group, Greenbox Robotics, Invenda, IVM, IVS, Retail Automated Concepts, SandenVendo, The-Venders and Wemp. By the end of 2019, these partnerships will bring Civic Pay to 1,000 vending machines across the US. 

Civic Pay will deploy verification reliant on document scans to confirm age and identity. From there, customers can unlock identity verification steps to purchase tobacco, alcohol, hemp-related products, and eventually, pharmaceuticals. This marks the first big milestone for Civic Pay. Widespread use is officially on the horizon; keep your eyes peeled for our first real-world vending machine. 

TechCrunch: “Pinterest employee #1 launches blockchain art market MakersPlace”

MakersPlace is a new platform that invites artists to create and sell their unique, digital works of art. The goal of the platform is to offer a sustainable, secure way for artists to create art and profit from it. Through identity verification and blockchain, a record is created which prevents a digital work of art from being copied and shared without proper artist attribution and compensation. 

To participate in the MakersPlace market, artists verify their identity through Civic by taking a photo holding their driver’s license. Then, an Ethereum token name, ID, contract ID, and creator’s ID are assigned to make an iron-clad, permanent record of authorship. This ensures no matter where the work is shared, the artist’s identity is always associated with their creation. 

MakersPlace is just one of our partners who are taking on challenges in their market using identity verification solutions. Our partners are going places, and we’re helping them get there. 

Stay tuned for more news and updates from Civic through the end of the year and beyond!