AMA Recap Crypto Library with Cheqd


On 24th September 2021, Cheqd conducted an AMA in the Crypto Library Community. Our guest is Fraser, Ross, and Eduardo. Lots of questions as usual from the Community about Cheqd progress. The Cheqd team took part in a very interesting AMA session which included introductions, questions from twitter, and a live AMA session with the Crypto Library community. If you missed the AMA in person, read this recap for a deeper insight into Cheqd.

Let’s take a look at the most interesting points of our conversation.

Crypto Library Team : So, before we start the AMA could you please introduce yourself to our community?
Fraser (Cheqd) : Hi, I’m Fraser -> CEO although really I just try and stay out of the way of our amazing team as they smash stuff out!

In terms of history, I was recently the lead of the Known Traveller Digital Identity project ( working with the world economic forum and the Dutch and Canadian governments on self-sovereign ID

Before that I worked on the Jasper Ubin project between the Canadian and Singaporean central banks.
Ross (Cheqd) : Hey everyone - Ross Power here (as in Austin 😉) I previously worked in the blockchain sales team and blockchain product team at Accenture. Worked on some great projects with FTSE100 co's and startups. Saw the light and went into the startup space! My background is a mix of Product, Innovation and Strategy and I've been involved in blockchain since uni where I wrote my dissertation on blockchain and trust-building.

Eduardo (Cheqd) : Howdy, I'm Eduardo, Head of Marketing and Community, working on creating a cool brand and an open and fun cheqd community.

If you want to join our community and have cool marketing ideas please get in touch.
Crypto Library Team : What is cheqd? and how does it work?
Fraser (Cheqd) : We're building the authentic data economy. What is that I hear you ask? Well, we're building a dedicated network and token for self-sovereign identity

That network and token will allow  individuals and organisations to take full control of their personal data.

Think about when you go to a bank to open a new account. You need to provide documents to prove who you are. Or there are other scenarios when you have to prove authentic data, such as when travelling.

We're working on making this process digital and more secure, and in the control of the user. That's why it's called "Self Sovereign" (i.e., in your control) identity.

That token will be called a CHEQ, so companies and individuals can monetise self-sovereign identity. It enables new business models, where verifiable credentials are exchanged in a trusted, reusable, safer, and cheaper way.

Crypto Library Team : Why should we choose cheqd than other projects out there?
Fraser (Cheqd) :  

So this makes it nice and simple but the main thing is we're unique (at least we think so and our Mum's agree)
But really it comes down to:
- We're one of the only networks to be building payments / commercial models and incentives for SSI
- But we also do it in a safe, legal and standards based approach. So no personal information on the ledger
The reason why that's important is it keeps people's privacy intact but also avoids legal issues with things like GDPR

Oh and a big couple of differences

We're backed by evernym, who are the company behind this: 
Plus, we're only 6 months old and close to launch, so we work quick!!

Crypto Library Team : Could you give us some information about your roadmap, and also your milestones?
Ross (Cheqd) :  

Here's a high-level view of our roadmap. Key things here, we're aiming to launch our mainet and list on exchanges in the next 4 - 6 weeks.

Fraser (Cheqd) :  
So big milestones:

- We launched our testnet a few weeks / months ago to show we're legit and out there
- We announced our latest fundraise yesterday taking us to $40m company valuation

- Our next milestone though is getting the network live and the token liquid and launched - no biggie
Ross (Cheqd) : Beyond this we will be working with our SSI vendors to bring help onboard them to the cheqd network and support in building their customisable commerical models using the pluggable tokenomics enabled by the Cosmos
Here's more of a tech focus on the roadmap 
Crypto Library Team : What are the future goals of cheqd?
Fraser (Cheqd) : Our immediate goals with cheqd is to become the de facto payment mechanism for sharing Verifiable Credentials. This means working with SSI vendors (self soverign identity companies) to support them in improving the user experience and privacy for their customer. Think travel, signing up to a bank, moving house, getting a mortgage, recieving university certificate, applying for a job - all of this can be so so much easier, cheaper and more secure -- and we know how 😉
Long term this is where we want to get to. Making money move without anyone needing to worry about the underlying crypto.

We see this as key to getting global adoption. And really, if we can make payments and commercial models for identity easy, there's no reason we can't do it for everything else!

Another part of this is that if by creating revenue streams for identity, we can create new secondary markets with tokenised identity. So a new DeFi protocol for identity!

Crypto Library Team : Has cheqd project been audited? How safe is it using your platform? Can you tell us about the security measures you have implemented??
Fraser (Cheqd) : Great question, especially given everything that's happened recently!

So the main thing to say is we're building on Cosmos so there's no shady smart contracts to disappear everyone's eth. We've also open sourced the code so everyone can take a look, the best antiseptic is sunlight after all!

So in terms of other security measures, we're leveraging everything cosmos offers and then adding our own security on top such as using secure key storage for any infrastructure we're running, recommending the same to our other node operators and also segregating infrastructure where we need to.

One big item is for us is we're starting to work with custodians (e.g. propine) so that we can leverage their custodial solutions and workflows to prevent issues there.

Done although there is a link from cosmos I want to drop in

Just need to dig it out

here we go:

Crypto Library Team : Can we expect cheqd to build partnerships with a variety of projects/platforms/protocols in the future? Could you provide us some examples of how $cheqd has been applied to other projects?
Fraser Edwards (Cheqd) : Another good one and shame we don't have Toby, our head of partnerships on here!

We're not live yet but that's not stopping us building partnerships both in traditional world and crypto / DeFi!

Ross (Cheqd) : We have multiple partnership engagement strategies running concurrently at cheqd.

1. Self-Sovereign Identity vendors (who will also light up nodes on our network) - we've already onboarded onto testnet our GTM partner and market leading SSI vendor Evernym, and also key SSI vendor DIDx. We're currently onboarding other influential SSI vendors: DIDx, DanubeTech, Tykn, Trinsic, Esatus, ContinuumLoop, Randa Solutions, Condatis, Dhiway, EarthID, Crucible Network, Convergence. SSI partnerships in our scope once we achieve critical mass: Jolocom, Mavennet, Transmute, Mattr, Affinidi and many more SSI players.

2. Node operators who aren't SSI vendors - We're aggressively targeting large enterprise partners who we have close access to, and also other more crypto centric node ops who are primarily established in the Cosmos ecosystem.

3. In the Crypto space - we have notable partnerships with Unizen, CeDefi Alliance around how cheqd can help CeFi and DeFi merge as the risky nature of CeDeFi transfers has been holding back many institutional users. Institutional participation is an influential driver for mass adoption, and the introduction of SSI through cheqd of that level can result in significant growth of decentralised finance. Our crypto alliances pipeline is forming with Cosmos Cash for joint development and we're in advanced discussions with Sonar, Curio, Blocto, Mintable, Source, and many more forming daily (we’re just getting started!) about how SSI can benefit the DeFi ecosystem.

4. Enterprise partnerships and Implementation partners: Moodie Davitt - largest publisher in the airline / airport industry globally. And meetings have been had / are being set up with enterprise partners like Barclays and Avast. We're also creating interesting partnership models all over the world to make sure our ecosystem grows rapidly!

Crypto Library Team : How strong is your team ? Many projects starts with good impression and later abandoned the project. What makes your project different than others?
Ross (Cheqd) : We currnently have 8 members in our core team and 7 developers - and we're expanding fast. Here's a little bit of info on some of us:

Fraser Edwards (CEO), Fraser was Delivery lead for Known Traveller Digital Identity ( a self sovereign identity project for international travel with the World Economic Forum, Dutch and Canadian governments. Fraser has patents in cross-ledger payments. Fraser is ex-Accenture blockchain. 

Ankur Banerjee (CTO), Ankur co-invented the hyperledger blockchain automation framework and spent time as disruptive tech lead for the Accenture Fintech accelerator, before joining IDWorks followed by R3 on shorter contracts. Ankur is ex-Accenture blockchain.

Tobias Halloran (Head of Partnerships), , Tobias has had senior leadership positions in top start-ups from Oxford University's Computer Science department and the wider Oxford eco-system. He has also founded start-ups powered by Oxford University Innovation and the European Space Agency. He has seven years experience as a start-up operator in strategy, strategic partnerships and BD. 

Javed Khattak (CFO): Javed is an award-winning C-suite executive, a qualified actuary and a serial entrepreneur who has led multi-billion dollar funds/projects and successful ventures. He has advised governments, central banks and global brands like PwC, GSK, M&S, HSBC, and Thomson Reuters. Javed has the valuable experience of structuring and scaling blockchain products. He also brings passion for the transformational nature of blockchain technology as we build DeFi identity that underpins digital and real-world interactions. 

Alex Tweeddale (Governance Lead): An enterprising professional with a unique skillset in the intersection between law and decentralised identity ecosystems. Alex has led ground-breaking identity projects across multiple roles, including work with tier-1 pharmaceutical companies and financial services, as well as the US Department of Homeland Security on the use of verifiable credentials for tracing products across the eCommerce supply chain. Alex is also a notable contributor to SSI community initiatives such as Trust over IP and the Covid Credentials Initiative. 

Eduardo Hotta (Head of Marketing): Eduardo is a branding and demand generation expert, and has led successful marketing teams in several industries, including data analytics, cyber security, and marketing automation. 

Ross Power (Operations Lead): Ross brings a unique blend of people, product and operations experience. He’s been a leading figure in delivering blockchain and distributed ledger products (DLT) from strategy & innovation to live production products. Ross has a keen interest in the employee experience and the Future of Work. He is eager to pioneer new and emerging ways of working that respect individual preferences, create a strong company culture, strengthen connections, and build, test and scale products as efficiently as possible. He is also passionate about financial inclusion and engaging with marginalised communities, which have been underserved with existing systems and technologies. Ross is excited to immerse himself in the world of self-sovereign identity fully. Ross is ex-Accenture.  

Elina Yumasheva (Communications lead): Elina Yumasheva is a purpose-driven marketing and communications professional who brings a unique blend of technology and sustainability knowledge. As a dynamic and performance-driven innovator, Elina strives to increase revenue and business growth. She has a track record in developing communication strategies, product positioning, analysing market trends, managing projects, and leading teams. With over ten years of experience in the corporate sustainability and technology sector, Elina has worked with the largest global brands, leading NGOs and governments. She is committed to making a positive impact on the world through her professional activities. 

Crypto Library Team :
Getting the trust of users in this bear season is indeed a big problem. What marketing strategies are implemented by Cheqd_io to gain more user belief? On what factors should me as an investor invest? How are you planning to expand your market to non-crypto users ?
Fraser (Cheqd) : So we have an unusual market for token in that it'll be both traders and companies buying to us the platform. So we'll have a lot of demand come in from companies on top of individiuals. This should see us nicely through any bear market as the companies won't be affected by a low price if that happens, in fact it'll suit them for the utility of the network, hopefully moving the price up.

So we're approaching the market in two ways, all the business partnerships we're building so there's solid company demand across the months. But then making sure we're building the community since cheqd really could give people back their data and their control.

Is there a better pitch than "crypto to get your privacy back"?

And expanding to non-crypto users, we're going to work with exchanges and custodians so the end clients don't need to worry about underlying tokens, they just see data and make payments without having to think about how it's moving!
Basically this vision

Crypto Library Team : Can you list 1-3 killer features of this project that makes it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your project has that you feel most confident about?
Ross (Cheqd) : Easily accessible common and public infrastructure

Most SSI blockchain ID projects are private permissioned, and we want to change this to public permissionless

Our core hypothesis is that self-sovereign identity needs commercial models that accelerate its adoption. Having worked in SSI for 3-4 years, there aren't really any viable projects that have made business models happen yet
We’re providing a common and public infrastructure easily accessible to anyone and any organisation with payment rails between issuers, holders, and receivers of trusted data.

Standards, compliance and interoperability focus

Unlike a lot of other projects, we have deep expertise in digital identity, and working with large trustworthy organisations and governments. I worked on international travel with the World Economic Forum; and Ankur, our CTO, worked with the UK govt and banks on digital ID.

A lot of other projects are not compatible with the technical and legal standards for how private data should be handled, and we're working very closely with the community to make sure ours is compliant - and therefore have better adoption

Revenue model as being unique in multiple ways.

We help individuals regain control of their data and their privacy by putting them at the centre of the identity ecosystem. We help companies monetise self-sovereign identity so that they can adopt the new paradigm whilst staying viable, profitable and ultimately more successful. For data issuers, we create a recurring revenue stream for whenever data is used without them needing to process it. For data receivers, we help lower their costs since data is digital, trustable and re-usable.

Crypto Library Team : Will you have any other DeFI feature like staking, yiekd farm or NFT in the future? Can share a little about your roadmap about project?
Fraser (Cheqd) : So we're looking at features across DeFi and NFT

- NFTs:
  - Proving who created, owned, currently owns NFTs across their lifecycle as well as providing ownership of fractions.

- Crypto & DeFi:
  - Re-usable KYC, so doing KYC once and then being able to re-use it across exchanges, IDO platforms, nft marketplaces etc
  - p2p transfers / payments where you can share a small piece of identity info (like a TG handle) to prove who you are, but without anyone knowing, so no more test payments to check wallets
  - Doing KYC'd loan pools without needing to store the data, only storing yes or no answers, like "do you live outside the US?"

But crucially we see SSI working with DeFi in different ways, like, once you have a recurring revenue stream for identity, you can then tokenise that and create new secondary markets for that identity. Like being able to own a fraction of a celebrity's signature and getting a payment whenever they use it.

We'll be building ourselves but also integrating with other platforms to take advantage of their functionality to move quickly, e.g. settling using USDC or UST (Terra) so that we can have stable settlement quickly.

Crypto Library Team : From where you get the project name? What does it means to you? And why you choose this name for your project? What is your mission and vision to built this project? What you want to achieve Through in future?
Eduardo (Cheqd) : We're really passionate about giving people back their privacy and control of their data. This in fact was one of the reasons I joined cheqd. The best way we can see of delivering upon this is by making self-sovereign identity (SSI) successful. Which is why we are building commercial models through a blockchain network, token(s) and tokenomics to make SSI commercially viable.

We truly believe that by introducing payments and other incentives we can turbocharge the adoption of SSI and return control and privacy to individuals as well as enable new business models for trusted data. So, the links between the name and our mission:

1. Across the lifecycle of trusted data, documents are c̶h̶e̶c̶k̶e̶d̶ cheqd, trusted data is c̶h̶e̶c̶k̶e̶d̶ cheqd

2. We will be enabling payments between two parties for trusted data. Cheques were/are (depending on where you are in the world) used for payments between two parties. Crucially, they also have the name of the recipient and the signature of the sender. So, a great blend of identity and payments! This is an analogy we’ll be leaning on heavily as SSI isn’t the easiest topic to step into.

Oh, and Alex, our Governance & Compliance Lead, actually came up with the name, that we all liked.