60. cheqd

Cheqd is a privacy-preserving and credential network that brings a portable approach to data and identity management.

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Founders: Fraser Edwards, Ankur Banerjee
Year founded: 2021
Website: cheqd.io

Data is everywhere, but how do you know whether or not to trust it?

The dawn of generative AI such as ChatGPT has brought with it an immense amount of new data being created every single day. With this, there's an ever-increasing potential for fraud and malpractice that this unchecked data deluge breeds. Individuals and organisations are currently struggling to know how to manage it all.

Enter, cheqd.

Whether in personal or professional life, cheqd allows users to gain control and portability of key information and identification. For individuals, this could be passports and driving licences; for businesses, this may be licences, invoices or endorsements. cheqd takes this trusted data and “banks” it. .

The lightbulb moment came when co-founders Fraser Edwards and Ankur Banerjee participated in a hackathon five years ago, finishing third with a solution that utilised behavioural economics and open-banking data to enhance financial behaviour. This spurred their interest in a system that could not be hacked so easily, and an infrastructure where information could be better protected.

The information is decentralised, preventing unauthorised changes being made from anyone other than the creator.

With cheqd, anyone involved in issuing some form of credentials – Web3 entities, as well as large companies and public bodies – can verify their identities once and use them securely across different platforms.

The information is decentralised, preventing unauthorised tampering or changes being made from anyone other than the creator.

While decentralised identity technology has been available for some time, what makes cheqd’s offering stand out is it adds an economic incentive to the trusted data market.

“By introducing ‘payment rails’, it creates new revenue models for organisations and individuals. One can now issue credentials and get paid to do so,” explain the founders.

cheqd also has a portable, reusable, private and secure system called Creds, which a business or organisation can integrate as a means to build a reputation across platforms and communities.

By introducing payment rails, it creates new revenue models for organisations and individuals.

With Creds, projects can confirm personhood and ownership of handles, wallets, and reputation, proving admin and moderator role/status across platforms, including Discord and Telegram, and preventing impersonation, Sybil attacks, and scams.

With a hefty client list of over 40 SSI partners representing more than 65% of known self-sovereign identity vendor market, cheqd has also secured investors including Avast (via Evernym), Outlier Ventures, TitanBlock, and 3GR.

The Startups judges felt cheqd’s forward thinking focus on safeguarding credentials on a highly protected yet portable platform is undoubtedly data worth sharing.

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