cheqd is a technology company enabling individuals and organisations to take full control of their data. It provides payment rails, customisable commercial models and governance structures for authentic data, including self-sovereign identity (SSI). Based on blockchain technology, cheqd is built upon a public permissionless network with a dedicated token – $CHEQ. We’re making it easier for individuals and organisations to trust each other.
Founded in 2021 by CEO Fraser Edwards and CTO Ankur Banerjee, cheqd is a driver for innovation backed by Outlier Ventures, Evernym, TitanBlock, 3GR, Cosmos’ Tendermint Ventures and private investors, receiving a total raise of just over £2.4 million in its Seed investment round.
Tell us about yourself?
My background is a unique blend of people, product and operations experience. I’ve been delivering blockchain and distributed ledger products (DLT) from strategy and innovation to live production products at Accenture. I have a keen interest in pioneering 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. I’m also passionate about financial inclusion and engaging with marginalised communities, which have been underserved with existing systems and technologies.
What problem does your business solve?
The current identity model is fundamentally broken as it’s all built and controlled by companies rather than individuals. The result of such a set-up from a user experience is that an individual has over 100 different accounts all tied to the same email address. It is in many ways a paradise for threat actors, as they can target organisations’ data silos, as well as individuals that have forgotten their passwords and accounts linked to their email addresses.
Self-sovereign identity (SSI), as the concept is known, safeguards privacy by removing the need to store personal information on a central database and giving the individual control over what information they share. It also could be key to unlocking access to banking, government benefits or other services, and research suggests it could boost economic growth by 3% in the UK in 2030.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our co-founder and CEO Fraser Edwards explains this very well in our recent press release around mainnet launch:
The concerns around data privacy have been around for some time, and as we continue to transition to a digital economy, it has become apparent that we must take it more seriously. Trust, in both the physical and digital worlds, is too important to leave it in the hands of big-tech, that is why at cheqd we believe that introducing our mainnet network and the subsequent payments and commercial incentives for self-sovereign identity ramps up the adoption of the technology and puts users truly at the centre with full ownership.CEO – Fraser Edwards
No more data silos to be leaked or hacked. No more data sold without consent. No more relationships and transactions without trust. That’s what we, at cheqd, are working on.
What is your magic sauce?
Our magic sauce, or rather its secret ingredient, is that we enable never-seen-before business models, where verifiable credentials are exchanged in a trusted, reusable, safer, and cheaper way. We’re making it easier to create authentic data ecosystems through customisable commercial models and governance structures, all built upon a public permissionless network with a dedicated token for payment.
We help SSI companies create new business models to stay viable, profitable, and successful. Issuers of data benefit from a recurring revenue stream whenever that data is used in the future without needing to process it constantly. And, data recipients can lower their costs since any data they receive is digital, trustable and reusable, reducing the processing overhead.
Through our network, anyone can verify identities quickly and securely.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our vision is to become the de-facto payment mechanism for authentic/trusted data regardless of country, industry or underlying technology. This is all in service of a much greater mission – to give people and companies back their privacy and control of their data. We believe this is achieved by turbocharging the adoption of self-sovereign identity (SSI) through the implementation of sustainable payment systems and other economic incentives.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
It’s been a fantastic journey so far, and we’re lucky to have an amazing team and a wonderful community of investors, partners and supporters! I’d say If I were to give a piece of advice, I’d say make sure always to prioritise people, whether the team or a wider community, as they are key to success.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
And of course, please make sure to cheq in: