Validated ID was born in 2012 with the purpose of offering a digital signature service with high legal robustness and very easy to use. They bring their experience in different areas of work and developed VIDsigner Bio, a handwritten electronic signature service on tablet, very easy to integrate and above all, legally secure.
Today, we have the pleasure to talk with Ivan Basart, Validated ID CTO. His professional career is specialized in cryptography, digital identity and digital signature services. He is currently in charge of the technical evolution of our digital signature service VIDsigner and the construction of our digital identity service (SSI), VIDchain. He also participates in forums related to sovereign identity, such as DIF and RWOT.
1. Introduce yourself and your company, and explain what makes you different.
My name is Iván Basart and I have more than 20 years of professional experience in the field of cryptography, electronic signatures and digital identity. I develop my professional activity as CTO of Validated ID and as one of the founders of the company, my role is to handle the technical evolution of VIDsigner, our digital signature service, as well as the construction of our digital identity service (SSI), VIDchain.
We have been pioneers in the field of SSI. We started working on it in 2017 when it was at the very beginning. We have participated in various international forums and initiatives such as the DIF (we are founding members) the RWOT, IIW, Sovrin, Alastria, EBSI, Lacchain…. I have been a regular speaker at events related to the topic such as the European Blockchain convention, and the Global Legal Tech and I have been a professor in the three-point blockchain master for 4 editions.
At Validated ID we offer security trust services for electronic signature and digital identity verification processes. We are a Qualified Trust Service Provider and Issuer of Digital Certificates and qualified seals, in compliance with the eIDAS Regulation. Our solutions, certified by ENS, ISO and HDS, help improve processes and offer the security and confidence that both companies and individuals need. We are one of the few companies working on SSI that have an in-depth experience in the field of eIDAS and being a QTSP (Qualified Trust Service Provide)
2. What services or products do you offer?
We offer solutions that help achieve a more digital and sustainable world, improve our quality of life and guarantee the privacy, rights and freedom of people.
With our portfolio of solutions: VIDsigner (the multi-channel electronic signature service); VIDchain (the digital identity service); and SP4i (the electronic invoicing service), our goal is to consolidate ourselves as technological leaders in these services, both nationally and internationally.
With VIDchain we want to solve the fundamental problem of the Internet with the issue of digital identity, providing a service with which you can own, control and manage your own digital identity and from your phone. VIDchain is based on a new universal digital identity paradigm called Self Sovereign Identityor SSI, and it’s built on blockchain technology. The new Web3 will not exist until we have a reliable and universal digital identity scheme that guarantees our privacy.
With the VIDsigner multi-channel electronic signature service, we seek to offer a safe and easy way to sign documents online.Our different types of electronic signatures are adapted to our customer needs: whether it is a handwritten signature on a tablet, remotely with a smartphone or through digital certificates. Our technology is based on the collection of the maximum evidence, which is why we ensure that the maximum amount of evidence possible is collected in each signature process: from biometric information during the electronic signature process on a tablet (speed, inclination, pressure, etc.); to two-factor authentication, unique IP or certificates and more, all from any device.
On the other hand, we have SP4i, an electronic billing system that has been developed to send and receive billing documents between companies and/or public administrations. With SP4i, companies and freelancers can create and send invoices to customers and public administrations within the European Union.
3. What milestones have you achieved so far since your project launch?
We have been working with national and international partners, such as Sovrin,DIF, Alastria, ToIP, COVID Credentials Initiativeand Good Health Pass, to establish an open and decentralized identity ecosystem accessible to everyone.
Our digital identity and attribute verification solution has been awarded first place in Cuatrecasas and Telefónicaaccelerator and first place in the Alastria Open Call Cataluñaproject competition, the leading blockchain consortium in Spain.
Since we started developing VIDchain, we have participated in a large number of projects and won several awards and recognitions for our contributions:
Here is a list of our recent projects and achievements:
- Santander X Global Challenge– Winner of the Scale Up category of the Santander X Global Challenge
- EBSI Wallet Conformance– VIDwallet is the first ID wallet to become EBSI compliant – Early Adopters EBSI program– We successfully designed a scenario where students in Europe can get quick and direct access to all kinds of discounts with their student cards. – Gavius Project– As experts in SSI and EBSI, we help create solutions to facilitate the communication and social benefit requests between local administrations and citizens. – Star4big Project– We created a solution to showcase how users can request, hold and present VC supported on different blockchains using VIDwallet.
- SportChain – We have created a decentralized ecosystem for the sports Industry to elevate the trust in sports data.
- eIDAS Brige-We help ensure legal validity of electronic documents and cross border trust services, such as electronic signatures and seals. To make eIDAS available as a trust framework in the SSI ecosystem, the European Commission developed the eIDAS bridge.
4. What have you achieved with your idea thanks to eSSIF_Lab project?
In the eSSIF Lab we worked on a project called eIDAS Bridge. The idea behind this project is that although there are many credential wallets under development and several companies like us are looking forward to this prominent paradigm, the reality is that the legal framework is still not fully mature. Currently, we have the eIDAS regulation, mostly focused on traditional PKIs and Certificates. In June 2021, the EC approved a new draft of this regulation that states that the new identities of European citizens will be based on the SSI principles and backed by identity wallets. However, this regulation still needs to be formally approved and developed”. In a nutshell, there is still not a clear trust framework. Therefore, the eIDAS bridge has been raised as an in-between step.
We started working on the eIDAS Bridge project as an initiative by the European Commission (EC) within the ISA2 program where Validated ID participated as expert of matter in PKI and SSI. The EC developed eIDAS bridge to promote eIDAS as a trust framework for the SSI ecosystem. In a nutshell, this project pretends to provide a solution to one of the most urgent existing challenges SSI faces: having a trust framework on which to rely on. The result of this project, i.e. the technical specifications, integration guidelines and legal reports produced, can be found here.
Sometime later, thanks to the eSSIF Lab, we had the opportunity to evolve the original idea and project developed in the ISA2 program. The main achievement during the eSSIF Lab has been to provide an implementation of eIDAS bridge and to prove the interoperability between different provider implementations. The results of this project are available as open source.
5. What are your goals for the middle/long-time future?
As a Trust Service Provider, we are building the services that will allow us to position ourselves as one of the relevant players in the new eIDAS 2.0 scenario. We are participating in the ETSI ESI groups in order to get ready for the upcoming standards in this space.
We try to deliver an easy-to-consume service that packages the complexity on the technology behind SSI, that supports the evolving standards in this space and that fulfils the requirements of the upcoming regulation.
We already have an ID Wallet (EBSI compliant). As most of the existing ID wallets have been made by and for tech users, but at some point, everybody, also older people or with no technical background should be able to use the wallet. UX is often forgotten but very important. We are working on a full redesign in order to deliver a UX that makes possible that ID Wallets will be easy to use an understand by any user.
6. Any piece of advice for those who are looking for public funding?
It is very important to select properly the program to which you are applying. Beyond the money needs to be aligned with the objectives of your company otherwise you will have the risk of losing focus on the core things of your company. Think in a more strategic way than in a tactical way.
Be resilient, getting public funding is not easy and many people are competing for it. Take advantage of the feedback you get from the rejections in order to improve the proposals for resubmission.