ShareRing Foundation: Paving the way forward for Web3 identity
We know you’ve been patiently waiting for new updates about our latest developments and what we’re working on in the identity space. There have been a number of major developments in the last 6 months - I'm excited to give you a rundown of what’s changed, how our narrative will be told, and where we’re headed in the future.
This is Part 1 of 2 in an introduction to ShareRing Foundation, the Web3 division of ShareRing.
Background of the last 6 months
Before we even dive into the last 6 months, I want to draw your attention to ShareRing Vault, one of ShareRing’s holy grail products since our founding in 2018. Throughout the years we’ve developed a number of features and focused on the intellectual property ownership of our solutions. You’ve tried and used quite a lot of the features we’ve built, and then there are the ones that have yet to be released publicly.
(Hint. Sign up for our beta testing here: https://www.sharering.network/beta-program)
Outside of the features we’ve built, one product that has remained consistent is the Vault. This is where you manage your digital self. As Tim would put it-
“The Vault is like a filing cabinet of all your personal information - it is a collection of all your attributes and traits as a unique individual. It’s a digital me.” Tim Bos, CEO of ShareRing
Bearing this in mind, our leadership team made a strategic decision to focus a large part our efforts on the Vault, where it remains at the heart and soul of the company. Rather than ‘boil the ocean’, our focus would be building ShareLedger, smart contracts, APIs, client libraries, SDKs, and apps that support the Vault as the underlying technology.
That was a quick summary of how we found ourselves in the current landscape of digital identities. Now, let’s dive right into ShareRing Foundation and later on, introduce you to this division’s roadmap!
What is SF?
“ShareRing Foundation is the blockchain division of the company that oversees the development of ShareLedger, and the ShareRing Web3 ecosystem. As custodians of ShareLedger, the division is dedicated to the development of Web3 identity, blockchain tools, partnership growth, security advancements, and user adoption of the protocol.”
Part of SF is to build well-designed identity infrastructure technology that facilitates the growth of the Cosmos ecosystem, whilst creating user-centric experiences. You might have heard Tim use the terminology ‘self-sovereign’ many times; this is a core principle of what ShareRing does, returning ownership and control of data back to the user.
If there is one thing that we learned in 2022, it is that the user experience across Web3 infra is still in a nascent stage. There’s still the inconvenience and complexity of self-custody solutions which burdens the overall UX, the barriers around cross-chain solutions, security risks and bridge hacks which have an aggregated loss of $2.5b (cumulative over the last 2 years), and the standard openness of blockchain which results in complete on-chain transparency and a lack of privacy. As a collective, these problems around infra have contributed to the continuation of capital moving into centralized services, despite the painful collapse and severe breach of trust we all experienced across CeFi in 2022, and the banking systems so far in 2023.
Taking these lessons into account, ShareRing Foundation’s approach to Web3 identity and ShareLedger infrastructure is based on the principle of self-sovereignty for user data, as well as the privacy and control over your digital identity at all times, in all places.
What are the goals and vision?
Our vision for ShareRing Foundation is broken into short-medium-long term objectives.
In the short term, we are focused on building technology that enables users to create their Web3 identity. That means inside the Vault, users can add and verify different attributes about themselves (even including a custom, on-chain, avatar).
In the medium term, our focus is to provide additional and ongoing utility for your Web3 identity. Aside from the actual experience you would engage in, there are also the mechanics behind the sharing of your Web3 identity with external parties, which are privacy-preserving and controlled by the user.
And finally, in the long term, our vision is for ShareLedger to be universally known as The Identity Chain for Web3. This means having the tools and infrastructure in place for developers to build their dapps and leverage our identity chain.
- Short term - allow users to create their Web3 identity
- Medium term - provide utility to users for their Web3 identity
- Long term - developers to develop identity-enabled dapps that leverage ShareLedger
Our goals are the more ‘tangible’ metrics that we are focussed on achieving.
- More involvement with the Cosmos community
- More Web3 partnerships that complement our offerings
- More transactions on ShareLedger
- More developers interacting with ShareLedger
- More users leveraging the Vault
- More utility for $SHR
What is ShareLedger?
Before moving into the Vault, let’s explore The Identity Chain for Web3, ShareLedger. ShareLedger is the identity chain of Web3, providing a highly secure network for dapps to build and enable identity/information-gated experiences. As an IBC-enabled chain, cross-chain communication is made seamless and provides builders and users with a wider set of options for their digital identity and assets.
A unique element of the ShareRing Vault and ShareLedger is that when verifiable identity data is added, each attribute is hashed onto the blockchain so that, whilst the user has complete control over the information, they cannot alter it in any way.
The Vault is also designed to work seamlessly across Web2, Web3 and IRL scenarios. Builders can also leverage soulbound tokens, or verifiable credentials into their dapps and design on-chain and off-chain identity solutions where the user is still in control of their identity.
What is ShareToken?
ShareToken is the native token of ShareLedger and underpins every element of Web3 identity. It enables the creation of one’s Web3 identity, minting of soulbound tokens, minting on custom NFT avatars based on the user’s identity, staking, paying for gas on shareledger, and settling transactions on-chain.
For more information, please visit CoinMarketCap
How does the Vault sit at the core of SF? The wallet for your Web3 identity and credentials
For those who are familiar with Web3 and dapps, it is common knowledge that you need to own and control a wallet in order to interact with a dapp. Though your wallet is the intermediary through which you can access your on-chain digital assets (as opposed to a means of storage) it bears a self-custodial element. We constantly hear “Not your keys, not your coins”. A similar pattern of thought can be applied to the Vault, which is self-custodial for your Web3 identity. “Not your keys, not your identity.”
The Vault sits at the heart of ShareRing Foundation and this is where users can create, manage, and control their Web3 identity. Imagine you were accessing a metaverse that was 18+ restricted. In the future, you would connect your Vault, use your Web3 identity to prove that you were 18+, remain pseudonymous, and then enter the metaverse.
Another example we often hear from Tim:
- A private pool on a DEX is only made available to users who can prove that their nationality is any but North Korean.
- You own an SBT that verifies your nationality as other than North Korean.
- You connect your Vault to the DEX
- You prove that you own the SBT above, and still remain pseudonymous
- You are granted access to the private pool.
Similar to a wallet, the Vault is where you control your Web3 credentials. Your Web3 identity is a combination of all your attributes (based on your credentials) inside the Vault, and you are free to represent yourself as you desire, as long as it’s verified and attested.
One unique feature of the Vault is that it allows you to store your digital identity off-chain, utilizing local device storage space on your mobile device. This is a distinguishing feature when compared to other Web3 identity solutions in the market, as those rely on third-party IPFS, decentralized storage solutions, or encrypted data that’s stored on chain. The assumption is that one day, this data will be hacked and your identity will be leaked and exploited.
As of now, the Vault supports the management of your passport, driver's license, and government-issued IDs. (Remember, these are all offline and off-chain, and nowhere else online or on-chain). We have also built the support for medical certificates, work credentials, and event tickets - these are to be published at a future date.
We understand that everyone’s identity is unique. This is why we also added a function in the Vault to add your own custom information. Imagine going into a shop that automatically knows your shoe size, favorite brands, and styles of sneakers - all because this information was available inside your Vault.
You can also connect an external wallet from another blockchain (such as Ethereum, Polygon or Cronos)to your Vault and verify the ownership of your NFTs. Our roadmap includes the support of soulbound tokens that represent specific attributes of your Web3 identity, verify ownership of your social profiles, and manage your passwords. In fact, we’ve already built the soulbound token contracts (they’re on our testnet), but we will be building the mechanism for minting them from the app.
Here’s an example scenario. You create your Web3 identity via the Vault by verifying your passport. This entire process is done off-chain, and none of your data is online or on-chain (we do store an assymetrically encrypted hash of your attributes on chain as a mechanism to ensure that, whilst you control it, the data can’t be altered). After your Web3 identity is verified, you would have the option of minting a soulbound token that represents your Web3 identity as being ‘over the age of 18.’ This soulbound token would be attached to your ShareLedger address, would be available on-chain, and doesn’t reveal any sensitive information about your Web3 identity. You now have a hybrid off and on chain solution for your Web3 identity,
How will the Vault be available? SF Pro
Your Web3 identity starts with you, and goes with you wherever you are. So does your mobile phone.
The Vault will be available inside our Web3 app, ShareRing Pro. Available on iOS, Android, and Galaxy. It’s also available on our new Web2 app, Identifi Me (more on that later), and built into our SDK’s so that people can write their own apps.
Be on the lookout for additional capabilities in the future. We’ll have ledger support on the way, as well as a web-based wallet on Chrome. The ShareRing Pro App will be released with our 2 main features, Vault and Wallet.
Our wallet currently supports these tokens:
- ShareLedger Network: ShareToken, SHR
Users can also bridge their ShareToken from Ethereum, or Binance Smart Chain to ShareLedger inside the app, and vice versa. This bridge functionality will be available in our web wallet too, as well as the ability to bridge to other Cosmos chains via IBC.
Once they have bridged their ShareToken, they can then support the stability of the network via staking, and earning rewards (such as early access to new features), for locking up their tokens.
With ShareToken, users can also mint SBTs that are reflective of their Web3 identity, mint custom avatar NFTs based on their identity, and pay for the transaction fees of the various smart contracts our team is building right now.
Interested to participate in building out Web3 identity across ShareLedger and Cosmos?
To build Web3 identity, we’ll need more than just our team and a big dream. It’ll be a collaboration amongst the Web3 community.
- Do you have a credential or identity that you want us to support?
- Interested in enabling Web3 identity for your product/user experience?
- Have a Web3 DeFi product, metaverse, or something else that needs to be gated with some sort of information such as age, location, NFT ownership, favorite color, etc?
- Building in Cosmos and want to chat with us?
- Just want to chat to our team and community?
Contact Jonathon on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re refreshing our community at the moment, and will be moving to discord. We’ll let you know when that happens (it’s next month).
This is what you have all been waiting for, the roadmap. Take a look below.
Share this across Twitter and our telegram group, and we want to hear from you! What do you think this all means, and which items are you most curious to learn more about? Part 2 will be available next week. Make sure you turn on your Twitter notifications to stay up to date with the release.