03 Oct Civic
Civic (CVC): The Feature and Future We Need
Published: 3 October 2018
In this report, we are not only going to introduce you to the next promising project in the crypto space but also show you what is happening behind the crypto curtain.
They say 2017 was the year of ICOs. Legit ones or not – they managed to attract huge amounts of funding. Today, many crypto enthusiasts accuse ICOs of partially causing the current crypto meltdown by mass selling collected ETH.
While that selling definitely plays a role, we believe it is just a huge market correction after huge growth, which happens periodically in crypto.
According to the largest ICO database out there, $5.6B was raised via ICOs in 2017.
And there are still 3 months left until the end of this year.
Let the numbers speak for themselves.
Regular people are far less interested in ICOs these days than they were a year ago.
So… who’s betting billions in crypto?
Your neighbour Joe?
In this case, we are talking about all kinds of investment funds, private ventures and other big bois with deep pockets.
The best time to invest is when everyone is selling. You can pick our favourite projects at bargain prices and invest in ICOs with huge discounts.
Tokenisation of businesses is unavoidable. Sooner or later it’s going to make the dot-com boom look minuscule.
Whales are preparing for one of the largest shifts of money from FIAT to digital tokens.
The question is: are you going to be with us, on board, BEFORE it happens?
Crypto industry is booming behind the curtains and only a few take note.
We know that for many of you it might seem like this bear market is never going to stop.
It’s hard to believe that the trend reversal will happen anytime soon, but if too many people bet on the market fall then there is not much capital needed to change that trend.
Back in early January 2018, the majority was betting on never-ending crypto-mooning. These days the majority of bets are on a never-ending bear market.
If you are here to invest long-term in the next Amazon, Adobe or eBay of crypto you might want this crypto winter to take a bit longer so you can buy as many coins and/or tokens of our favorite projects dirt cheap.
Let’s look at the charts of:
The list goes on… the point is that we are reaching the lowest-lows and that buying window is not going to last forever.
The current market gives us an unusual opportunity to make incredible returns on our investments again.
Let’s take a look at Amazon’s stocks around the time of the dot-com boom.
After the bubble burst, you could buy AMZN for $7.5 per share! Now it trades at $1900…
Adobe? Pretty similar chart
How about Oracle?
Do these crypto and stock charts look similar?
History repeats itself, but crypto will be back on its tracks way faster than the stock markets.
Firstly, crypto has participants all over the world which means people trade 24/7 and companies compete more on a global scale than ever before.
Secondly, we are witnessing an almost ten-year-long bull run in traditional stock markets. Let’s take a look at S&P chart
The question is not if that market is going to crash, but when. Big money is being made but once someone pulls the trigger then… oh boy.
We strongly believe that people from traditional stock markets will try to hedge their money in gold and… crypto. This might happen tomorrow or a few years from now. One day it will happen, but that’s when the crypto space will be finally regulated and prepared to handle that enormous volume of money coming in.
Crypto, as a new asset class, will attract billions raising the value of our carefully handpicked projects.
Players like Coinbase know that very well.
They are massively hiring. On 15 September 2018, they announced a new office with a staff of 100+ which caters to institutional clients.
In an interview with CoinDesk, Adam White, general manager of Coinbase Institutional said:
‘When we saw the market begin to correct, which we all expected, institutions didn’t lose interest. They look at it as an opportunity to enter when things are not too frothy.’
Do you think they don’t know what they are doing and are throwing money into the fire by hiring hundreds for offices in Manhattan?
Obviously, they know very well what they’re doing and they have very good reasons for it.
Without a doubt, the second most irritating thing in the crypto aside from red colors in our portfolios are Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. Whether you like it or not (yeah, rather the latter), you most certainly have faced them at almost every exchange and you are definitely going to face them again.
In order to interact, buy and withdraw crypto these days your profile needs to be verified.
And that’s not a pleasant thing to do.
You have to upload your ID, selfie and sometimes even bills to prove that you are really who you say you are.
Who likes that?
Why do users view KYC as a necessary evil?
Users don’t trust the services they send their precious information to.
Users don’t know where that data goes and how it is processed and stored.
Users don’t like having to go through that process on every crypto exchange out there and beyond.
And what happens to things that no one likes?
Solutions are being developed to avoid them and make them obsolete or at least as minimalistic as they must be.
Now, imagine you could pass KYC once in a secure way and be able to get instantly approved or accepted into any exchange or ICO that requires verification.
Not only would it save your hair from going grey but also grant you peace of mind that none of the data you provided is stored on exchanges or newly started ICOs.
Sounds like a dream?
A service like this already exists and it has the potential to disturb the Identity Verification sector for good. Let’s welcome the next undervalued crypto project:
Back in the early days of the internet when you wanted to create an email account you were asked to provide tons of details. This required information including your name, employment and even the
size of your shoes town you lived in.
As the internet grew, and competition to acquire new users continued to become more difficult, a more user-friendly process was needed. That’s why today we see ‘Sign Up with Facebook/Google’ buttons basically on every website out there.
Why do websites integrate with Facebook or Google rather than create their own registration process?
You probably know the answer: ease of use.
These days people are impatient. They want everything now, instantly, within a mouse click. The more obstacles and forms companies use in order to acquire new user the lower the conversion rate. Lower conversion rate results in lower leads/sales… and profits in the end.
That’s why companies constantly seek to improve their operations to make more money.
It’s that simple.
And the company that is able to provide these types of successful shortcuts is going to be pretty lucrative. Unfortunately, when it comes to services that handle money there is no ‘verify with Facebook’ button or any other sort of a shortcut.
Each of us has to go through the hassle of verification. Sending your private documents to companies all over the world. One by one. That is a huge issue that needs to be addressed.
Enter Civic. Civic harnesses the power of Ethereum Blockchain to become the next ‘Sign Up with Civic’ button for the financial sector and beyond.
Before we dig in, how big is the KYC sector?
The KYC process is a huge pain to financial institutions. In order to onboard a new client, a background check is required by law, resulting in approx. $15-$40 of costs per new client. This cost includes labor and all types of third-party providers who check the data against all different databases.
Thomson Reuters surveyed 1,023 financial institutions from all over the world asking for costs of running KYC operations. The answers are astonishing. KYC costs added up to $48M annually on average.
Let’s think for a while how many of them perform the same background check on the same person. Wouldn’t it be easier to perform a background check once and then share the positive/negative result with others connected to the network?
A ton of money could be saved that way.
Civic does exactly that.
You simply put your data along with your IDs on the Civic app. Once you get verified, you can get approved for exchanges, platforms, and services that partner with Civic by solely scanning a QR-code which usually takes no longer than five seconds.
Pretty impressive, huh?
What’s more impressive – it is not yet another fugazee whitepaper concept.
Civic has a working product with more than 100 partners that already use Civic for their services.
Among their partners, we can find WikiHow (Alexa Global Rank of #178 at the time of writing), which is a huge deal.
And yes, you can also use Civic to create an account simply by scanning a QR code
No logins. No password or email confirmations. Just a QR scan from your Civic app.
But, if I use the Civic app to sign up, am I not giving WikiHow all my IDs and data?
Nope. No need to worry about that.
First of all the data you provide is stored on your mobile device. It is not going anywhere. The data is also encrypted on your device, meaning that the simple service like WikiHow or more advanced crypto exchanges get the response from Civic saying whether your data is legit or not without getting into details.
Let us give you an example of how the zero-knowledge proof works here.
Civic put in a vending machine at the 2018 May Consensus.
Consensus is one of the largest blockchain related conferences in the world.
This was not yet another vending machine. That one was special. It sold beer.
Actually, it was a free beer but you had to install the Civic app and verify that you were over 21 (event took place in the US) to get a Budweiser.
What the vending machine requested from the Civic app was only the proof of age of 21 or greater. Secondly the app only ‘told’ the machine whether or not the user was eligible for a free beer. It didn’t share the exact age of the user.
What’s even more important, the vending machine did not have to download or see your ID. It just received a signal.
This pilot program shows that Civic use cases expand beyond the online world. We are pretty excited about the other types of applications they will no doubt come up with.
Civic app user does not need CVC Tokens to interact with app. Fantastic!
In fact, its users don’t even have to know about their existence. This is a huge step towards wider adoption of Civic.
What drives the need for CVC tokens are its institutional clients which Civic’s CEO, Vinny Lingham, is after.
A company such as a crypto exchange or an insurance firm that uses Civic for its user verification will pay in CVC’s tokens.
Besides that, CVC represents a partial ownership of the company. Even if Civic accepted FIAT for services, we would still advocate for the project.
The Brain Behind Civic
The man behind this month’s pick is Vinny Lingham. Let the numbers speak for themselves that we have the right captain behind the wheel of this ship.
Born and raised in South Africa, this 39-year-old entrepreneur has a pretty impressive track record. If we had an internal London Letter ranking of CEOs’ accomplishments we would definitely place him in second position, right after Brendan Eich.
Naming one of his greatest achievements we could start with the founding of Yola where people are able to create their own websites via drag and drop. He successfully raised over $25M in funding.
His next child which you have probably heard of is called Gyft. A mobile app for gift cards. Gyft even appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show… and that’s a big deal!
Mr Vinny successfully sold Gyft for $54M in 2014.
Excited for more? So are we!
Does the ‘Bitcoin Foundation’ ring any bells? They’re the first, largest and oldest advocacy cryptocurrency organisation in the world. They were founded in 2012 with the purpose of helping the public better comprehend what Bitcoin and blockchain really are and how to utilise them. Some of the things they’re devoting their time to include organising Bitcoin-related conferences, administering Bitcoin-related grants and political lobbying.
Another important thing we could not just walk by is Vinny being one of the hosts from 2014 to 2016 in Shark Tank South Africa Edition.
He not only possesses a true entrepreneur mind but Vinny is also well connected. No wonder he managed in a year’s time to gather more than 100 active partners using Civic.
We know that many crypto projects out there like to brag out with the companies they partnered with or that Forbes wrote about.
Civic isn’t like that. They provide a full list of partners, linkable to each company for everyone to see Civic in action. Not all of them use Civic for login purposes. Some of them use it internally.
In addition to WikiHow, the company that hooked us up was Amadeus. It is probably the largest IT provider for the tourism industry. Just take a peek at those juicy numbers:
These are the sweet fruits that fly under the radars of the majority of crypto enthusiasts. Tourism is a perfect use case for Civic since travelling requires a ton of KYC processes along the way, starting in your home where you book plane tickets all the way through to the airport security check and ending with the hotel check-in.
— Vinny Lingham (@VinnyLingham) July 21, 2017
Aggressive go-to-market strategy
As of 5 September 2018 Civic announced a program called ‘Civic Libre $0 KYC’ not only for the existing customers, but also for the new ones. This incentivizes companies to integrate Civic to see how it works and how it reduces costs of onboarding users. Basically any business can try Civic for free as they cover the costs until the end of 2018. Honestly we can’t wait to see the list of partners at the beginning of 2019. We believe this campaign has a high chance of succeeding as BAT did a pretty similar thing by giving its tokens to Brave users for free this year. Brave Browser users went up from 1 million in late 2017 to… 4 million active monthly users in early September this year.
Latest @Brave stats: 4M users (MAU), 21K verified channels, 26K publisher accounts. We will step on gas w/ brave-core + BAT on mobile this fall, get past 5M easily by EOY, >= 12M next, adding BAT ad deals to token grants, making good on the promise of @attentiontoken economics. — BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) September 2, 2018
In fact, these guys can brainstorm together since they know each other pretty well and Civic has its offices next to Brendan Eich.
It is fantastic to see these visionary projects (both recommended by London Letter) grow strong together.
ID Codes – the feature and future we need
As if the fantastic products and opportunities that Civic works on are not enough, we have something left for the dessert.
Have you ever stumbled across a crypto project/ICO featuring tons of advisors like Vitalik?
A lot of people fell in that trap of fake advisors and blindly invested in shady cryptocurrencies.
This year people are more cautious and do more of a background check on whether the people listed on the website are really backing project XYZ.
Still, this problem occurs on a different scale. Say you are interested in investing in a new, promising ICO and perform a background check on the advisors. You head to their LinkedIn profiles only to discover that not a single piece of information there proves the connection with that ICO.
This raises a yellow flag.
Civic has spotted that issue and launched a service called ID Codes.
Long story short, it allows Civic’s users to prove their connection to a separate entity such as a company.
Let’s see that in action with Hilo startup. After heading to their Advisors & Investors section we are presented with the following:
As you can see, some of the advisors have a Civic badge next to their profile picture. It’s a similar principle to LinkedIn but one that’s more reliable. After clicking on the Civic icon we are presented with this:
A proof of a real connection between Vinny Lingham and Hilo Labs.
You may ask how this is any different from simply linking your LinkedIn profile?
The answer is simple: the accounts made on Civic are fully verified by ID’s, the owner has to manually establish that connection with another entity which in this case is Hilo Labs.
This part of their project is less known than the aforementioned ones but we believe it is highly needed in this space and has the potential of becoming a real game changer across various fields. What do we mean by that?
Well, think about how much emphasis we always put on a projects’ team. As we said many times before: an idea itself is worthless without the right people who are able to turn it into reality. We put an extensive amount of time and effort into researching those people. Separating the wheat from the chaff is somewhat similar to those never-ending KYC stories.
Checking out and proving the validity of profiles on LinkedIn and Xing, Facebook and Twitter, and so on and so on can be (and often is!) time consuming. And we’re not the only ones with that problem. Let’s just take the example of any official account of any entity, be it an entrepreneur, a company or an artist. All of them must validate themselves if they want to have an official account on YouTube or be verified on Reddit while doing an AMA.
All of this could potentially be solved by utilising ID codes, seamlessly and quickly.
Let’s do a swift recap of all the boxes that got checked (and even double-checked!) on our project’s must-have list:
⦁ The right man in the right place at the right time:
Vinny Lingham is an experienced businessman with all the essential tools, skills and connections to reshape the landscape of handling identity information securely. He’s got the necessary know-how on how to turn an idea into hundreds of thousands of dollars. He’s proven it before and we have every reason to believe he’s able to prove it once again.
Additionally, his past successes and achievements make us confident that he can be trusted with our investments. A very nice bonus is his activity as a board member in the Bitcoin Foundation.
⦁ The mass market is more than ready for Civic adoption:
Nowadays there is hardly any mainstream app, game or service that doesn’t include the option of signing up with Google and Facebook. There are some obvious benefits to this, two clicks, chop-chop, and here I am enjoying this new service. I don’t really care what permissions I’ve just given the app, it’s all about the convenience.
But what if I don’t trust either Google or Facebook? What are my options then? There is only one – to trust this new platform and to hope and pray that they’ve spent enough of their budget on security and safe data storage.
Well, what if I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt? What if I don’t trust that new platform with, say, the password that I also use for all my other online activities? That’s the safety and peace of mind that Civic can give you. (For the record, if you’re one of those one-password-people dear reader then, please, please, please, change that habit and your passwords immediately, this is extremely dangerous).
This shows us that users are already there, the demand is present and all we need now is the right kind of supply.
⦁ There are problems out there that desperately need a solution:
Validating your own person or an account on a social media platform is another process that no one is fond of. Just like all the other obsolete processes in the history of mankind that no one was fond of – it must go, it must pass away and be forgotten. Just like everyone takes their tap water for granted and doesn’t even give it a second thought, similarly in time people won’t give a second thought to validating themselves via the ID code map.
Let’s sum up the really mind-blowing matters we’ve discussed. The long processes of KYC cost amounts to an astounding $48 million per institution. Now, think how many institutions would be interested in cutting those costs. It would be literally hundreds of them! First ones that pop to mind are obviously cryptocurrency exchanges but we can go much further than that.
An average cost for a bank to do its KYC is $70 million annually. That’s insane if you really consider the simplicity and triviality of the process!
This trend doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon – on the contrary, it grew 15% since the last time the data was collected.
But Civic, thankfully, intends to change that. They know which way future winds will blow.
And after tuning in to our fine weather forecast, now dear reader, you know too.
ACTION TO TAKE
Want More Badass Content Like This?