An Interview with Uniris’ Head of R&D, Akshay Kumar
When did you start working in the crypto space?
I was introduced to crypto for the first time in 2014, during my second year of university when Bitcoin went from 250$ to 1100$ in 2 weeks. Two years later I was in touch with the early developers of Ethereum, sharing ideas and feedback around consensus mechanisms.
Then with the launch of EOS I became very interested in fundraising and ICOs and especially in the tokonomics behind EOS. Today with Uniris, my main focus is on developing a blockchain that also uses biometrics to encode user identities and also the economics behind Uniris.
What is Uniris?
Uniris is a blockchain platform that uses the ARCH (Atomic Rotating Commitment Heuristic) consensus model, which requires less energy (3.6 billion times less) than the Bitcoin blockchain to validate transactions. It is also very scalable, with a throughput of one million transactions per seconds.
But the key feature that differentiates Uniris from other blockchains is its decentralized biometric technology. With just the tip of the finger, users can generate their private keys on-demand and once the transaction is initiated, the private keys will be automatically deleted.
Uniris’ native cryptocurrency, UCO, has a built-in self-destruct (burning) mechanism designed to deflate the currency over time using an algorithm that favors early investors.
How will this be used for the 2024 Paris Olympics?
The Uniris blockchain, with its biometric technology, can be used to enhance security at major events such as the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Rugby World Cup 2023. Different groups of people can be pre-defined with specific restrictions on access. The restrictions will then be linked to their unique identities.
For instance, specific areas can be restricted to only security agents and event personnel whose bodies need to be scanned to be allowed in. Meanwhile the general public will be equipped with an IoT or QR code that gives them more restricted access.
As depicted in the picture below, every access is managed by one specific smart-contract per group of people. Since each smart-contract is upgradable and the keys are shared between several authorized groups, it becomes easy to manage and edit the different levels of access, even after the smart contract is already launched. A security agent for instance won’t have access to visitors’ private information but he will be able to check if a specific person is allowed in.
What type of hardware do you need to read fingertips like that?
The image below shows how Uniris does not need to store a person’s biometric (or derived) data to irrefutably authenticate them. Identification is no longer based on something to remember or an object to possess but on a patented technology that uses the body itself. Simply put, the venous network of one or more fingers will automatically generate a series of keys whose locks will be used to encrypt the data – this key being completely deleted immediately after use – so that as soon as anyone presents a known finger, it will unlock the lock of the associated data and then allow that person to be irrefutably identified – as the venous network is unique for each person and no social media like a Facebook photo can reveal its content.
Do you need to collect personal data with every transaction? How do you abide by the GDPR regulations since this will be in Europe?
Inside the Uniris Blockchain, the data remains in the ownership of the user (everything encrypted with the user’s crypto-biometric keys). We have developed an advanced way to manage decentralized identity interaction with suppliers like Google, websites, IoT, etc. where the users will always have the final word about their supplier identity management (a specific transaction chain owned by the user will be shared with each supplier) and the users will be able to decide to remove/selectively share as they wish.