A new start-up is trying to get people to consider some of the more practical applications of NFTs. Pfpid officially launched its service on April 14, and is using NFTs as a form of identity verification for web3 interactions.
To that end, Pfpid issues unique NFTs to registered users who have completed a more rigorous identity verification process. The Pfpid NFTs differ from more traditional NFTs in that they cannot be exchanged, and therefore have no value as a collectible or a financial asset.
They do, however, have considerable value as an identity marker. Since the NFTs cannot be exchanged, other parties can be assured that the person holding it is a verified user, and is in fact the person they claim to be. The solution is designed to build trust in web3 spaces, serving a function similar to the blue verified checkmark on social media platforms like Twitter.
The Pfpid NFTs are bound to a user’s Ethereum wallet, and could be presented as proof of identity to gain access to events, or when signing into various online services. It could also serve as a secure digital signature when sending an email or another document. The developers describe their solution as a digital ID card that displays a profile picture, the person’s name, and certain blockchain details on top of a unique background. The background image is generated at random, though it draws on a pool of pre-designed assets that can be arranged in eight billion different configurations.
In addition to basic personal information, the cards display an ID number and the date that the NFT was issued and minted to the blockchain. The project is the work of engineers Conor Deegan and Nev Flynn, in collaboration with venture capitalist Finn Murphy.
“There’s always been a need for verifiable identity on the internet. But a centralised internet identity source was never going to be the solution long term,” said Murphy. “We’re excited about Pfpid because NFTs allow it to belong to the users. It’s their tool to prove they are a human behind the screen and attribute their online presence.”
As it stands, most of the chatter around NFTs has focused solely on their utility as digital collectibles, though many exchange platforms have started verifying the identities of new users during onboarding in an effort to prevent fraud. Pfpid will be an interesting test case for NFTs and cryptocurrency more generally, especially if new use cases help establish the long-term viability of blockchain solutions.
Source: The Irish Times