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Blockchain-based Digital ID Market Could Grow More than $3B



Blockchain-based digital IDs have seen significant growth over time. Different bodies, from the EU to Pacific Islands, have showcased support. The blockchain identity market can grow a further $3.58 billion by 2025 at a compounded annual growth rate of 71%. 

Every day, individuals carry wallets full of cards. But only a few a widely accepted. Society has established global norms for how we present and verify these physical card credentials. But there needs to be a tangible equivalent for digital certificates/credentials.

Traditional IDs concerns

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there needs to be a standard mechanism for issuing digital cards. To give universally acceptable digital cards or credentials, one needs digital identifiers that individuals can own, independent of any entity, organization, or institution.

Email addresses and phone numbers are used as identifiers to access websites and apps. Still, access to these identifiers and personal information is at the mercy of service providers, who can revoke them at anytime. 

Secondly, there are only sometimes accepted standards for expressing, exchanging, and verifying digital credentials across organizational boundaries. This is all about to change. A new form of digital identity based on emerging standards, such as verifiable credentials and decentralized identifiers, can enable such digital credentials to work everywhere. Be more trustworthy, and respect privacy. 

Blockchain IDs Play Here 

Leveraging the power of blockchain and biometrics can modernize identity management for organizations and individuals. Mainly by establishing tracking and managing digital identities in a more efficient, user-friendly, secure, and less open-to-fraud manner. 

Blockchain and Digital Identity: What is Digital Identity and Why Do We Need It?
Source: academy.moralis

Biometrics are securely captured through an individual’s fingerprints, voice, face, or iris scan, which can then be processed to create a unique identifier using multiple security protocols. The identifier can then be recorded on the blockchain, which acts as an index with links to all applicable data. 

This makes it easy to locate, access, and share information without the individual’s data being stored on the blockchain. The system allows individuals to generate their public and private keys. Which they can use to sign the data they send to others. That way, third parties can be sure the information is coming from the right individual and not a fraudulent imposter. 

What’s the Benefit?

The primary benefit of this identity system is that individuals are always in control of their data. An individual determines which information is shared, who sees it, and for how long. Instead of multiple paper documents, this digital identity can use a single, easy-to-use mobile application. 

The system makes life easier for organizations too. It’s interoperable with other databases, so existing identity data stays put. It also makes background checks easier. Trust can be placed in attestations without repeating the process. 

Looking to the end of how decentralized system items might evolve, this digital identity component would unlock pretty much everything. The key focus is to implement it in a privacy-preserving manner rather than allowing governments more control.

What the world needs

Joseph Weinberg, the co-founder of the Shyft Network, aired his thoughts on the regarding matter.

“For the last ten years, identity systems haven’t worked, and the reason is that we need something that’s ten times better than what we have. Regulation is a forcing function of usage and adoption. This adoption hasn’t been organic for a variety of reasons.

Source: YouTube

“Firstly, it’s the implementation. Governments aren’t technology companies. They’re not the fastest in the world at implementing most things. That’s just the function of how a government works. The fastest way for people to adopt and adapt to any new technology at a national or global level is a forced requirement, which seems harder to implement since there is a suite of privacy problems that governments juggle. Secondly, it’s controlled. Once identity and digital technologies are embedded in a society, they never leave.” 

Today’s world is mainly democratic, but it changes quickly. Hence, the question of control of information and subsequent moral questions come into play. Building privacy and anonymity in digital identity systems would be vital to solving some of these problems.

Over the last 20 years, most great technologies, such as Payment Systems, video streaming, and digital currencies, have come from the internet. They haven’t come from governments. It is intuitive to think that digital identities will also come from that. 

Traction Across the Globe

A June 2021 report published by ReportLinker mentioned the potential rise. Herein, the blockchain identity market will grow a further $3.58 billion by 2025 at a compounded annual growth rate of 71%.

The blockchain identity management market is poised to grow by USD 3.58 billion during 2021-2025, progressing at a CAGR of almost 71% during the forecast period.
Source: Technavio

Key factors include the rising demand for digitalization and privacy concerns. As a result, various solutions breached the market serving this need in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT). As well as distributed ledger technology (DLT), and bare-bones blockchain technology.

Geographically speaking, different areas have shown an interest here. 

South Korea aimed to introduce blockchain-based digital IDs for its citizens with a smartphone by 2024, according to Bloomberg. Digital IDs will be installed on smartphones, and work as efficiently as physical resident registration cards.

Other countries and global organizations are interested in building a digital ID program to keep data secure. An example is the GLASS program in the EU.

First Government ID Deployed as NFTs

Moving on to more of an execution approach. The Pacific island nation of Palau became the first sovereign nation in the world to issue digital residency IDs to global citizens.

The Republic of Palau and blockchain development firm Cryptic Labs collaborated to launch the Root Name System (RNS), a digital residency program. 

Sovereignty-Backed Web3 ID releases in a new region.

RNS is the official technology provider for the Palau Digital Residency Program. Also, the world’s first digital Web3 identity platform developed to support the application and issuance of sovereignty-backed IDs.

Bril Wang, the CEO of Cryptic Labs, the integration would provide more transparency.

Quote shared by Cryptic Labs

This program will offer any global citizen a legal, government-issued ID from the comfort of their home. With both a physical ID card and a digital ID for connected services.

The Palau Digital Resident Program’s ID comes in two forms.
Source: RNS

Over 80% of crypto exchanges worldwide support RNS.ID. These include Binance, Coinbase, Bitmart, Kucoin,, Bybit, Huobi, etc. Other reported use cases are boarding an airplane (within jurisdiction borders), hotel check-ins, membership signups, and identity verifications at different institutions like Airbnb.

In addition to this, the digital identity Web3 platform is integrated with RNS.ID makes it the first application of using zero-knowledge proof technology for government identification.

RNS’ on-chain KYC solution is designed around a “privacy engine” to encrypt users’ data. In addition, cryptocurrency exchange Huobi partnered with the Commonwealth of Dominica to roll out a digital identity and national token service. 

Apart from this, Africa, too, saw Blockchain-based IDs roll out to millions of students in collaboration with the blockchain firm and Cardano developer Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK). 

Risks and Concerns 

Demand is there for digital identities. While digital identity comes with several advantages compared to traditional identity systems, regulation becomes a key area to address when discussing a future with digital identities.

Since 2014, blockchain compliance has been very complicated since there was no regulation. 


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US Treasury Sanctions Hit Russian Arms Dealer’s Crypto Wallets




The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed full blocking sanctions on 22 individuals and entities across several countries, including Russia and Cyprus, as part of its sanctions evasion network that supports Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The sanctions were imposed under Executive Order 14024 and are part of the U.S.’s strategy to target sanctions evasion globally, close key channels, and limit Russia’s access to revenue for its war in Ukraine.

US Treasury Goes After Russian Arms Dealer’s Cryptos

The U.S. Treasury’s sanctions were imposed by the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force, a multilateral effort to identify, freeze, and seize assets of sanctioned Russians worldwide. This task force leverages information from international REPO partners and key data from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to share information, track Russian assets, and sever Russian proxies from the international financial system.

The REPO Task Force aims to maximize the impact of multilateral sanctions while preventing opportunities for Russia to evade or circumvent U.S. and partner sanctions.

The primary target of the sanctions is a Russian sanctions evasion network led by Russia and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov and his son Jonatan Zimenkov. The Zimenkov network has been involved in projects related to Russia’s defense capabilities, including supplying a Russian company with high-tech devices after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They have also supported sanctioned state-owned Russian defense entities, Rosoboroneksport OAO and State Corporation Rostec, which are critical components of Russia’s military-industrial complex.

Igor and Jonatan Zimenkov have worked closely together to enable Russian defense sales to third-party governments and have engaged directly with Rosoboroneksport’s potential clients to facilitate sales of Russian defense material. Igor Zimenkov has also supported the Belarusian military-industrial complex by enabling the sales efforts of State Owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise Belspetsvneshtechnika in Latin America.

Today, Igor Zimenkov was designated for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, while Jonatan Zimenkov was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for Igor Zimenkov, Rosoboroneksport, and other sanctioned entities.

The Zimenkov network used front companies to funnel money and maintain a lawful appearance. Singapore-based Zimenkov network shell company Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited and its director, Serena Bee Lin Ng, have sold helicopters to clients in Africa on behalf of the Zimenkov network. Additionally, Cyprus-based Zimenkov network shell company Lobster Management Limited and its director, Mikhail Petrov, have facilitated sanctions evasion by providing support to sanctioned entities.

The Treasury’s OFAC continues to work with its international partners to coordinate information sharing and enforcement and to travel the world in pursuit of sanctions evasion. The sanctions imposed today are a clear signal to Russia and its military-industrial complex that the U.S. and its partners are committed to tightening sanctions enforcement and preventing the evasion of international sanctions.


BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.

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Digital Wallet Growth Will Enable More Closed-Loop Transactions




Crypto and fintech investment firm Ark Invest has made bold predictions about digital wallets, estimating that more than half the world will soon be using at least one.

In its Jan. 31 ‘Big Ideas 2023’ research report, Ark Invest revealed that digital wallet global population penetration is currently 40%. This equates to around 3.2 billion users, the firm added.

However, the research suggests that the number of online wallet users will increase at an annual rate of 8%. The firm predicted that this will result in a global population penetration of 65% by 2030:

“Having onboarded billions of consumers and millions of merchants, digital wallets could transform the economics associated with traditional payment transactions, saving them nearly $50 billion in costs.”

It also noted that digital wallets were gaining market share in online and offline transactions. Cash is definitely in decline, accelerated by government initiatives to go digital, as recently seen in Nigeria.

Payment method trends - Ark Invest
Payment method trends – Ark Invest

Digital Wallet Growth to Continue

Ark reported that digital wallets were scaling faster than accounts at traditional financial institutions. Furthermore, U.S. digital wallet adoption rebounded in 2022, surpassing previous highs following a COVID-induced dip.

The firm estimates that U.S. digital wallet users will increase by 7% annually during the next eight years. This will be a growth of around 160 million in 2022 to more than 260 million by the end of the decade.

Digital wallet user growth - Ark Invest
Digital wallet user growth – Ark Invest

Furthermore, online wallets are enabling “closed-loop” ecosystems. This is where consumers and merchants can transact directly, cutting out the middleman. 

“Digital wallets are onboarding millions of merchants to platforms that enable direct consumer-merchant transactions that disintermediate traditional financial institutions,” it noted.

In this closed-loop environment, wallet providers capture more value per transaction, enabling savings to be shared with merchants and consumers.

Open and Closed Lopp transactions - Ark Invest
Open and Closed Lopp transactions – Ark Invest

Additionally, Ark noted that closed-loop transactions could boost the margin structure of wallet providers.

It used Block Inc. (formerly Square) as an example, stating that it paid around 60% of customer transaction fees to third parties in 2022. The fees were paid for interchange, assessment, processing, and bank settlement fees. Block’s net take rate could more than double if customers transacted directly with merchants.

Block Inc. fee structure - Ark Invest
Block Inc. fee structure – Ark Invest

Closed Loop Transactions Could Top 50%

Finally, Ark predicted that these closed-loop transactions could account for over 50% of digital payments by 2030.

It used China as an example where wallets and merchants are largely internal or domestic only.

Closed loop cost savings - Ark Invest
Closed loop cost savings – Ark Invest

In conclusion, digital wallet growth is set to continue. Cutting out the intermediary which they facilitate is beneficial to both the consumer and merchant.


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Strike Launches Lightning Remittances in the Philippines




Bitcoin fintech giant Strike rolled out its Lightning Network money transfer service Send Globally in the Philippines, a $35 billion remittance market.

Send Globally launched in the Southeast Asian country on Jan. 31, 2023, enabling businesses and tourists to receive international money transfers in the Philippine peso. The country receives $35 billion in remittances globally.

How Strike’s Send Globally Service Works

“Remittances are a broken system and Strike delivers an incredibly empowering experience for people to send money around the world in nearly an instant,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers said.

According to a press release, Strike’s remittance service converts a sender’s fiat into Bitcoin and sends the Bitcoin to a Strike partner in the destination country using the Lightning Network, which in the case of the Philippines, is then converts the Bitcoin to the recipient’s fiat currency and credits their bank or mobile money account, with Strike shielding both parties from the tax implications of handling Bitcoin directly.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a layer-two solution on the Bitcoin blockchain that allows micropayments between nodes over a payment channel. Unlike traditional payment networks, Lightning’s low fees enable almost zero-cost remittances.

Recently, Mallers announced a trial to bring Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to retailers through a partnership with Fiserv’s point-of-sale solution Clover Commerce. The trial allows any application with Lightning capability to pay Bitcoin for goods and services at Clover merchants.

Philippine Smartphone and Internet Adoption Auger Well for Strike

Send Globally rolled out to Strike users in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya on Dec. 6, 2022, where it has reportedly gained rapid traction.

However, mainstream adoption in the Philippines will depend heavily on network effects, driven by smartphone and internet penetration.

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users will increase from 85 million in 2022 to 87 million by 2023. Additionally, forecasts suggest smartphone users will increase to 91.5 million in 2025, representing roughly 83% of the island nation’s population.

Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines
Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines | Source: Statista

Additionally, Statista predicts that about three-quarters of the population will have internet access by the end of 2023. Growing internet access increases the chance of Strike’s success, since it helped drive adoption of crypto game Axie Infinity.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.


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