Blockchain identity startup Civic just acquired Identity.com. The startup plans to turn the domain into a personal data marketplace powered by blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
As reported by Coindesk, Civic purchased the domain for an unidentified sum of money. The domain is already redirecting to Civic.com, and the company plans to turn it into a marketplace hosting the Civic protocol in the near future.
In 2017, Civic raised $33 million in a token sale. The money raised during that token sale is being used to create decentralized infrastructure for a personal data marketplace. Apparently, it’s also being used to acquire highly-coveted domains.
Vinny Lingham, co-founder and CEO of Civic, had coveted Identity.com for a long time but admitted that he “never thought we’d get it.” The website will be the ideal starting point for putting personally-identifiable data in the control of users.
It’s unclear how much Civic paid for the coveted domain. However, the domain has always been a high-value commodity. The previous owner, as reported by Crunchbase, was a company named Inflection. That company has owned the domain as far back as 2006.
The fact that Civic purchased the domain is a big deal – and a welcome surprise for the blockchain-based personal data company:
“At first, the domain seemed out of reach, given that it was controlled by an established business,” reported Coindesk. “But all that changed when Civic learned that the firm had made the decision to call it quits on that line of business.”
Civic is forbidden from disclosing the amount they paid to acquire the address. The secrecy is part of the deal. As of today, however, Civic’s tokens have a market capitalization of $65.9 million, and the company previously raised $33 million in their token sale last year.
The only hint we have about the price paid for Identity.com is that “it wasn’t pocket change,” according to Lingham.
Civic is expected to launch their blockchain-based personal data management system in the near future. Civic’s protocol is built on the idea that users control their own data. The information sits on the user’s device, not on Civic’s servers.
With that goal in mind, Identity.com will serve as a hub for businesses that have information and those that need it. instead of one company selling data about its users directly to another firm, the first company that can verify data would share that attestation with the user, and the user would then share that data with the second firm needing that information.
All transactions take place over the blockchain. The blockchain allows the company receiving the information to verify that the attestation held by the consumer is legitimate.
Under Civic’s data management system, multiple companies would be able to verify that a specific user has a valid driver’s license, for example, although other companies might have different levels of trust in each other. Via Identity.com and the Civic protocol, these companies will be able to setup relationships and tell consumers whose attestations they trust.
The entire marketplace will be fueled by Civic tokens, or CVC. Companies that require verification will pay the verifying companies in CVC tokens. All transactions are processed using smart contracts. These smart contracts ensure validators get paid after the company requesting the information has received that information.
Civic is moving fast to take advantage of Identity.com. Starting at 22:00 UTC, the Identity.com domain began redirecting to a Civic-controlled website. Identity.com will now host a business-to-business marketplace for companies looking to sell attestations about individuals and other companies willing to pay for those attestations. It’s a big marketplace for personal data.
Civic’s protocol is currently closed source. However, they plan to make their marketplace and protocol open source by the end of the year. In fact, the long-term goal is to step back from the project.
“We don’t want to be the ones behind it,” Lingham explained in a statement to Coindesk. “Initially we start off being a bit more stewards, but, over the long term – hopefully, we don’t need to be.”
When the data marketplace launches, Civic will be one of the companies involved in the transaction process. Civic plans to make it easy for sites that want to use its network to verify people to integrate it. With that in mind, Civic will release APIs and similar tools.
Ultimately, getting a coveted domain like Identity.com is going to make it easier for Civic to make the next step towards introducing a futuristic identity verification marketplace. Visit Identity.com today to discover the Civic protocol in action.