Biometrids Rating Review
|Start ICO||19 Feb 2018|
|End ICO||19 Mar 2018|
We assign the Biometrids project a "Stable" rating.
Biometrids is planning to create an identification system by reading biometric data and storing it using blockchain. The team have given a high-quality, honest view of both the problem and its solution, describing the team’s future work as thoroughly as possible.
There is much to be done and the project is a long-term one. There is no technical development as yet, nor an MVP. Product development will begin after the crowdsale; the first beta version will be released only six months later and utility demand for tokens sold during the ICO is foreseen only by Q3 2019.
The project's tokens will be used to pay platform commissions. Token holders will be able to create their own nodes and participate in the process of confirming transactions utilising smart contracts with software developed by Biometrids. PoS is used; 10,000 tokens are needed to create a node.
The token economy looks well-planned; excluding tokens from exchange turnover will favorably affect the prospects of growth in value but all this will happen a year and a half after the completion of the crowdsale, according to the roadmap.
In addition to a long period of planned development, we should note that Biometrids will have to work in conditions of severe competition. Moreover, Biometrids’ ICO coincides with the ICO of a similar project, Decentralized, which could negatively affect the prospects for both crowdsales.
General information about the Project and ICO
Biometrids is a platform project that offers a solution for identifying users by reading their biometric data and storing it using blockchain. The platform offers the use of a proprietary face recognition system.
Biometrids aims to enable companies and individuals to use a reliable identification system that can be used in different situations and solve different problems:
Create greater security and reliability for electronic payments
Reducing the role of intermediaries in transaction processing and user identification
Improve the "credibility" of ICO-projects which will make the crowdsale market more transparent and reduce the share of SCUM
Reduce fraud and identity theft
Solve the problem of identification of sharers of remote products or facilities (Car sharing, Airbnb, any kind of "sharing")
Enter the developing segment of the internet of things
The main elements of Biometrids are a face recognition system and decentralized storage on the Ethereum blockchain. This will enable using modern means of identification and using multiple nodes for storing personal data.
The problem with most data storage services is that they store everything in one database which has higher risk (a possibility for hacking and stealing), fault tolerance (communication failure, server problems) and other issues. The use of a decentralized system will upgrade this type of facility to a new level.
Biometrids is planning to compete with such giants as Apple, with their ready-working Face ID (iPhone X) system and Samsung’s similar technology to be used in their S9 smartphone.
The project plans to stage an ICO both to raise funds and to involve users in the future ecosystem. The Biometrids token is a utility which carries a compensation function with participation in the face recognition system by users who have created their own nodes (they need to own at least 10,000 tokens for this).
The company’s incorporation, its name and legal structure are not disclosed via public sources but it is intended that the offices will initially be located in Denmark and the UAE (with headquarters in Dubai).
Token emission: 100 000 000
Token distribution: the founders – 10% (3 year freeze), the team - 10% (3 year freeze), crowdsale – 70%, pre-investors – 5% (3% - 4 month freeze), bounty & advisors – 5% (2 year freeze).
Each token unsold during the ICO will be frozen for five years. Five years later, the remaining tokens will be sold to early investors as part of a private fundraising campaign. They will not be sold on exchanges.
Round 1: Pre-ICO (closed)
Price: 4000 IDS/1 eth
Collected: 7.6 ETH from 1250 ETH.
Round 2: Public sale
Soft Cap: 3500 ETH
Hard Cap: 23,000 ETH
19th Feb - 25th Feb: 3000 IDS/1 ETH
26th Feb - 4th Mar: 2600 IDS/1 ETH
5th Mar - 11th Mar: 2200 IDS/1 ETH
12th Mar - 19th Mar: 2000 IDS/1 ETH
Minimum Transaction: -
Maximum Transaction: -
Accepted currencies: ETH
Token Issue Date: no data
The team will not have access to funds until the soft cap is reached
There are no restrictions on participation
There is no referral program
There is no need to pass KYC verification
Bounty Campaign: up to 5 million IDS tokens. Tokens unused within the bounty program will be spent on attracting additional consultants.
Description of the services and scope of the project
The Biometrids platform enables identification via face recognition using smartphones. An immutable distributed registry is used where each person and each identifier are unique. When registering on the system, it will be impossible to manage or copy this identifier. This will prevent theft of personal data or fraud.
Motivation and prerequisites for creating the platform:
The vulnerability of single nodes for storing personal and biometric data.
Improving the fault tolerance of user authentication systems for various services.
Request for a distributed identity storage system especially from the blockchain community.
Use of modern standards of identification and security when accessing crypto wallets, payment systems and investment banking services.
Ability to use the platform to speed up the scaling of sharing services and the "internet of things”.
In this section we will consider the general working pattern for the Biometrids platform, as well as possibilities for its application in various fields.
General working pattern.
The whole chain of identification can be defined as follows:
1. Preliminary image processing
Preparing an image in a way that changes are as minimal as possible and to improve recognition functions in the future. Preparation uses color segmentation and light control. Light control is performed only on color brightness (i.e., the Y component of YUV space or the V component of HSV space), while maintaining the color consistency of the image (UV-YUV space and HS-HSV space).
The flowchart for processing can be represented as follows:
2. Face detection.
Certain trigger scenarios are used to recognize a person such as detecting the skin, nose, mouth, eyes, etc. Training methods can be used (such as Adaboost or a decision tree).
3. Creation of a 3d model of face ID template using smartphone.
At this stage, a person must create a standard (one or more) of a 3d image of his face that further images will be compared with.
Two implementation options are provided for this purpose:
A user photographs his face from several angles recreating a spatial model from several images using software (an accurate but somewhat slow method; the preferred one for implementation in this project)
The user photographs his face 1 time creating a 2d-projection, recreating the spatial model using software (fast but not the most accurate method; the reserve method for implementation in the project)
The user's face ID will be segmented, divided into pieces of data and saved on the Ethereum blockchain.
4. Face recognition.
When a user is identified, the facial image is compared with a template using machine learning algorithms. For this purpose it is possible to use algorithms such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA), ICP, LDA, LBP, Haar classifiers, etc.
In this component, the new model is compared with a reference model and a coefficient of correspondence is estimated between values of 0 and 1, where 0 is the minimum match and 1 is the maximum.
The system will collect the data, process it using machine learning algorithms and apply the match/mismatch scenarios, after which a password will be requested. If the system does not match the face but the password is correct, a new record will be made in blockchain to improve user authentication.
For system functioning there are nodes that will process transactions and receive a reward of 0.1 IDS per transaction.
The platform will have its own API for interaction with third-party services and companies that need a system for identification and further user authentication.
Examples of scope
Electronic payments, crypto exchanges and investment banking services.
Biometrids is designed to make electronic payments even more secure. The use of Apple Face ID in executing payments has proven itself, but there are threats of identity theft and hacker attacks on the company's servers. Face identification and use of distributed databases will make this area even safer and will help accelerate its scaling.
The need for identification of bank clients and the nuances of using EDS (electronic digital signatures) in the future will oblige various identification systems to be developed including the use of face recognition.
Authors of the project indicate that when using the system one ID verification will be sufficient for one user account. In the future, this user will be unable to create another user account.
Crypto instruments are already using various ways to improve security in identification, such as SMS-confirmation and Google authenticator. Using Biometrids will make crypto exchanges and transactions even safer.
"Sharing" and rental services.
Many sharing services (car sharing, Airbnb, etc.) require the reliable identification of customers. When using the Biometrids API, any sharing service may provide remote access to its services without fear of unauthorized access. A card or access key could be transferred to a third party and has unpredictable risks for a company. In the case of Biometrids, this risk is offset.
The same applies to the leasing of real estate. Integration with Airbnb will allay fears that homes or apartments might be used by a different person than the one a user had an agreement with.
Use of Biometrids might be advisable when delivering a parcel, if it is necessary to identify a person who ordered something online and wants to receive the package "hand to hand".
Service for ICO and SCUM prevention.
Projects that conduct crowdsales can use Biometrids for protection against fraudulent ICOs, identifying their founders and team members. This will increase security and transparency for projects seeking ICO funding.
System and service evaluation.
The essence of the project and the need for identification for various systems is understandable. It is possible to use other data, such as a fingerprint, iris, etc. as biometric data for identification as well as facial recognition.
According to the team’s estimations the risks of manipulation when using face recognition are 95% lower than when using fingerprints for identification.
There is complexity in involving people with the platform; only a small number of smartphones have a face recognition system; these smartphones are in the upper price segment. This currently creates limitations for participation in the platform, however, with the development of technologies more and more devices in different price ranges will be able carry out face recognition.
The fingerprint system is much more common with smartphones and the image of a fingerprint can also be stored on a distributed decentralized network. IT and infrastructure costs would be much less since fingerprint recognition technology is simpler. This would also increase the potential user market and reduce terms for product creation. Apple - one of the largest capitalised companies - has created its own face recognition system which does not always work perfectly; they admit that it takes time to debug. It would be naive to consider that it is possible to create a similar system within 1-2 years, even taking into account segmentation and distribution in blockchain with fewer labor and money reserves.
The use of a password after face recognition begs a question. In the logic of the project, if a recognition algorithm result is negative, a user enters a password and the system improves recognition in the future.
First, it is unclear where this password is stored and how it is encrypted. Secondly, why is face recognition needed if a password is required under either outcome (match/mismatch). It turns out that this is a simple login with a password. If this is a temporary measure for machine learning of face recognition, how much iteration does it take to authenticate a person without a password?
The project has only a concept; there is no MVP prototype so many characteristics of the system will be changed as more people are involved in the project and the road map is followed.
The project submitted a prototype of an iOS app working on iPhone X. The project submitted a prototype of an iOS app working on iPhone X.
4.1 Market analysis
Biometrids offers a solution in the market for identification services and authentication of users with the use of face recognition on blockchain.
Analysts consider authentication to consist of decisions enabling confirmation of identity in several stages. Researchers distinguish between two, three, four and five-factor authentication, depending on the number of stages. Multifactor authentication solutions can combine a hardware token, one-time password, user password or PIN code and biometric identification.
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is most often used in critical areas such as the banking and financial sector, government services, defense and health. Maximal confirmation of a person's identity is of particular importance for these spheres. Clearly, protection against unauthorized access to data, fraud, illegal crossing of borders and other threats are vital in these areas. Two-factor authentication covers almost 90% of the multifactor authentication market, according to analysts [Research and Markets "Multi-Factor Authentication Market - Global Trend & Forecast to 2014-2020"]. Three, four and five-factor authentication is used less often.
Three-factor authentication solutions include smart cards with a pin code and biometric technologies, smart cards with two biometric recognition technologies, pin code plus two biometrics or three biometric factors. Three-factor authentication is used in areas that require high confidentiality: bank safes, secret data stores, defense systems, etc.
The market for Biometrids will be the Identity and Access Management (IAM) market and that for Information Security (IS) systems.
The structure of IS expenses includes, among others, consumer software for information security and identification and access control systems. Gartner [Gartner - A research and consulting company specializing in information technology markets.] estimates costs in these areas at $4.64 billion and $4.3 billion in 2017, while in 2016 the figures were $4.57 billion and $3.9 billion respectively.
Gartner’s forecast for 2018 envisages an increase in costs for all major areas. Thus, $4.74 billion is for consumer software and $4.69 billion is for IAM-systems.
Analysts expect further growth in the IS market: In 2018, organizations will increase spending on cyber defense by 8% and will allocate a total of $96.3 billion to these purposes. Among growth factors, specialists cited changing regulation in the IS area, the awareness of new threats and companies focusing on strategy for digital business.
Between 2015 and 2020, banks, discrete manufacturing and organizations associated with central governments will spend the most on hardware, software and identification services at a global level. Together, these three sectors will bring producers and service providers about 30% of all revenues.
"In general, the cost of cybersecurity largely arises from companies' reaction to IS incidents, as the number of resonant cyber-attacks and information leaks that afflict organizations are increasing worldwide," comments Ruggero Contu, Gartner research director.
Among recent cyber incidents that directly affected IS costs are attacks by the WannaCry and NotPetya cryptographic viruses, as well as data leakage from the Equifax credit history bureau.
The market makes great demands on solutions in the field of identification and access control. This is not only for high levels of reliability, security and fault tolerance; if biometric authentication methods are used, they are subject to special requirements [SPECTRUM]:
Universality: This attribute must be present for all people without exception.
Uniqueness: Biometrics denies the existence of two people with the same physical and behavioral parameters.
Consistency: Consistency in time is needed for correct authentication.
Measurability: Professionals should be able to measure a characteristic by some device for further entry into the database.
Eligibility: Society should not be against the collection and measurement of a biometric parameter.
Compliance with all the criteria, the creation of unique selling propositions (USP) in such a complex and competitive market that will satisfy market demands better, faster and more cheaply, will give a company-provider advantages and enable it to take a place in the market in the future.
Thus the most likely segment for Biometrids technology to enter could reach $4.69 billion in 2018 and grow from year to year by about 10%. At the same time, this market is extremely challenging from a technical point of view and also quite competitive.
Any state imposes strict legislative requirements on the storage of personal and especially biometric data of its citizens.
In the European Union, the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) regulates the area of personal data, including biometric data.
GDPR defines biometric data as "special categories of personal data" and prohibits its "processing", thereby protecting people from having their information shared with third parties without their consent.
“Biometric data” means any personal data resulting from specific technical processing relating to the physical, physiological or behavioral characteristics of an individual which enables or confirms the unique identification of that individual, such as facial images, or dactyloscopic data". [http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9565-2015-INIT/en/pdf]
Processing of such data for the purpose of the "unambiguous identification of an individual" is prohibited but there are exceptions:
If consent is explicitly given
If biometric information is necessary to fulfill the obligations of the controller or data subject in the areas of employment, social security and social protection legislation
If it is necessary to protect the vital interests of a person and he cannot give consent
If vital for any legal requirements
If necessary for reasons of public interest in public health.
In addition, these rules enable member states to impose other restrictions on the processing of biometric information [GEMALTO].
There is no single comprehensive federal law in the United States governing the collection and use of biometric data. However, Washington, following Illinois and Texas, passed a law on biometric privacy in June 2017. US regulators are focusing on the use of biometric data. [GEMALTO]
It is necessary to comply strictly with local laws and pay special attention to legal aspects of the service when working with biometric data, despite the distributed registry.
4.2 Competitive analysis
The Biometrids service will be a product focused primarily on the B2B segment (B2G secondarily). Its distinctive feature - face-to-face authentication - must prove both greater efficiency and impossibility of unauthorized access, as opposed to voice or fingerprint authentication for example.
There are well known and well-established non-blockchain companies and younger blockchain projects among competitors for Biometrids.
Decentralized.id – a project from the UK for creating a decentralized platform for authentication on blockchain. It enables storing ID-related information such as a fingerprint in a distributed network. The project is closely cooperating with a government department in a pilot study for the placement of national ID cards on blockchain. We may cite Decentralized as the main competitor, as the project is at the ICO stage until February 22. It has a much more thoughtful technical component and a shorter implementation period (Q4 2018).
Humaniq – decentralized application based on the Ethereum blockchain which provides access to bank instruments for approximately 2 billion people worldwide who do not have an opportunity to use more traditional institutions, and uses biometric technology to protect against fraudsters. The application runs on smartphones which makes the technology available worldwide. Humaniq is using its own developments in biometrics and user identification.
Gemalto – One of the world leaders in the field of information security. It provides various technologies for companies and governments for authentication and data protection. The company employs about 15,000 people in 48 countries; turnover amounted to 3.1 billion Euros in 2016. It is a public Dutch company listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Paris. [GEMALTO]
RSA – an American company, one of the world’s largest in the field of information security. Their services and products are used by 90% of Fortune 500 companies [RSA]. They provide solutions in the field of cybersecurity, data protection, identity management and user access. On September 7, 2016 RSA was acquired by and became a subsidiary of the Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions Group.
ValidSoft – this company provides solutions for user voice authentication. It operates mainly in the sectors of industrial production, financial, and B2G. Its key product is a multi-factor authentication platform called SMART (Secure Mobile Architecture) for real-time transactions that uses mobile devices for biometric voice recognition.
Suprema - one of the world leaders in the field of biometrics and data protection technology. The wide portfolio of Suprema products includes biometric access control systems, time and attendance devices, fingerprint/live scanners and built-in fingerprint modules. The company covers more than 130 countries and has a listing on the Korean stock market.
Crossmatch Technologies – a serious player in the field of biometric identification. The company offers biometric solutions for various security and surveillance programs that protect people, property and confidentiality. The company's products include fingerprint and palm scanners, face recognition, iris capture systems, document readers, software and related services. Areas of operation: Finance, health, law, retail, gaming and government.
Microsoft – this world famous corporation announced on February 13, 2018 that it is developing its own identification system on blockchain and integrating it into its own mobile application for smartphones, Microsoft Authenticator. [ZDNet]
ShoCard – a blockchain solution enabling users and businesses to identify each other in a secure, verified way so that any operation such as logging in, sharing personal information or a financial transaction can be executed quickly and without problems. Creation of a ShoCard identifier can be performed via a smartphone application, or organizations can implement ShoCard technology into their existing applications via special SDK (Software Development Kit). The company has a well-developed legal side for compliance with GDPR.
HYPR – an American service for decentralized authentication which significantly reduces the risk of disruption of mass data, by eliminating the need for centralized storage of accounts. HYPR offers enterprises the ability to deploy any combination of biometric data such as voice, touch, eye, palm or behavioral authentication - all provided by decentralized security. HYPR provides dozens of biometric methods ready for use, fully integrated into any application and ready to be deployed through billions of devices and sensors. There is a prototype in demo mode.
Summing up the competitive analysis, it is worth noting that face recognition technology is not used frequently; only Crossmatch Technologies and HYPR mention it. Apple and Samsung have developed their own algorithm and use it to access mobile devices. With a working identification system, it is easier to implement blockchain as a storage system, rather than write face recognition technology from scratch. This is possible only by having a powerful technological team, a budget for development and much patience on the part of investors.
Gemalto, RSA, Suprema – these are large companies that have long been active but do not use blockchain. In the current situation, it is easier to sell a blockchain solution than a non-blockchain one; however, this is so only if there is a ready-made prototype or even a product. Otherwise, the market will use old but proven methods.
Decentralized.id – one of the most powerful competitors. It chose fingerprints as biometrics which enabled it to enter the B2G market due to the use of fingerprints in the administration of driver's licenses and ID cards.
In general, the market is very complex and competitive. It is necessary to demonstrate the necessity of blockchain to the “old economy”, to compete with blockchain solutions through higher quality and reliable products and to have an established channel to attract customers at the design stage, primarily blockchain businesses. Otherwise it will be problematic to reach a volume of 100,000,000 transactions per month.
Team and stakeholders
The team is concentrated mainly in Denmark and Eastern Europe. The team lacks experience in the field of biometrics, identification and access control. The experience of the majority of the team members is significant, but only in indirectly-related areas. There is not enough experience in creating IT products, distributed databases or cybersecurity.
Morten Nielsen – Founder and executive director – described by the project as a crypto-enthusiast with a deep understanding of blockchain technology. He is passionate about new technologies and usage cases, and is an entrepreneur who has created and sold many online stores. However, there are no links to previous jobs or social media profiles.
Daniel Broe – Head of business development – works in the field of business planning at itelligence Nordic, also one of the co-founders of the Blockchain Association in Denmark. He has education and experience 5+ years in the field of finance and business.
Jolene Sapsworth – Marketing manager - 10 years of marketing and sales experience in the retail and media industries. No experience in promoting high-tech IT products or at least none specified.
Kirill Beresnev – Ethereum developer - about 4 years in web development, including back-end and front-end systems (full stack), experience in developing Ethereum smart contracts for ICOs. Worked with Smartum Pro and Hyerledger Fabric.
Kiril Ganchev – Head of development department - 9 years of experience in developing software products in C, C++, C#. Has experience working with 3d images and neural networks, very important when developing the product in question.
Jana Antonova – Graphic designer - 5.5 years of experience as a graphic designer and photographer, parallel freelancing. Has a high rating and over 235 completed projects. Has experience with User Interface (UI), which is very important when working with the front-end project system.
Igor Novaković – Blockchain and web developer - Has a bachelor's degree in business information systems. He graduated from the direction "Agile Software Development - SCRUM methodology". Has a little less than 2 years of experience in the field of web-programming, the experience of blockchain development is not specified.
Regarding the composition of the team, experience in developing a complex technological product from a basic level should be present for at least one team member, but unfortunately no one has such experience.
The key member of the team, the CEO, has unconfirmed experience in the areas declared. This raises questions about the level of competence in the organization of the team, the creation of a motivation system and the motivation itself, and also as to what advantage he and his team have in the market as there are neither team members from competing companies, nor established links with companies and relevant projects.
Kiril Ganchev is, from a technical point of view, the key employee responsible for developing the technology for reading face reliefs; the remaining technical staff will be responsible for the blockchain component of the project but their experience is not sufficient. The team needs blockchain specialists with successful product development experience, technical analysts, as well as specialists with experience in the field of cyber security and the creation of identification systems and access control. It is simply impossible to implement the intended product without expertise in these areas.
Biometrids is placing its IDS utility tokens during the ICO. IDS will be used as "fuel" for the system.
In the white paper, the team discusses using tokens as follows: "Tokens are used for transferring data between individuals. This means that the token will be transferring requests and requested data. For example: Someone sends a request for a person to identify themselves. They use their phone or application to send the request. The request to send a message to the person that contains information on what they want to know. This could be the identity of the person. Then the person scans their face and sends back a token to the requester. The token is sent in the system”. It is not clear what is meant by transferring data between individuals by means of the token. Apparently, it is implied that the data is "sewn up" in a smart contract and the token is used to pay commissions related to the transfer of smart contracts.
Commissions are distributed in a ratio of 90/10. 10% of tokens are sent to the Biometrids foundation, where they will be used to finance operating costs of the platform. 90% are paid to the nodes.
The task of a node is to use the software developed by Biometrids to validate transactions of smart contracts. To identify each transaction, up to 5% of nodes are randomly selected. In order to run a node, it is necessary to hold at least 10,000 IDS (i.e. about $3000 depending on the rate of ETH/USD). Biometrids plans to reach a capacity of 100 million transactions per month, taking into account the transaction cost of 0.1 IDS token.
The expediency of using the token in the system is unquestionable.
Analysis of factors affecting the future value of the token
However, the unconditional feasibility of introducing the token does not imply any favorable prospects for its exchange value.
Biometrids is a very long-term project with almost no development at the time of the ICO, except for a common understanding of the product being developed. The roadmap for the project is laid out until 2021. The whole development is divided into 5 stages; work on Stage 1 will begin only after the completion of the crowdsale and it will run until Q3 2018.
However, we cannot talk about possible utility demand for tokens even six months after the crowdsale. According to the roadmap, nodes will appear only in Stage 3, i.e. only by Q3 2019.
Apparently, it is assumed that the value of the token will be maintained by high demand from nodes on one side and users of the platform on the other side, if some of the tokens are removed from free circulation by nodes. In this sense, the concept of the token economy contributes to the growth of the value of the token; however, its implementation is possible only in the perspective of several years’ operation.
The duration of the roadmap is certainly one of the risks for the project. The team recognizes this problem and discusses it in the documentation. However, from the point of view of a token holder, motives for participating in the ICO from an economic point of view are unclear. Only motives regarding supporting a potentially promising and useful project are evident.
Growing competition is also a risks for the project. There are many competitors with completely different budgets, opportunities, ideas and stages of elaboration. Against a backdrop of many competitors, Biometrids seems to be losing primarily due to the lack of both operating time and seed capital for financing independent R&D. In addition, we note that Biometrids’ ICO coincides in timing with the DID ICO. The coincidence of two similar ICOs negatively affects the results of both crowdsales as a rule, and leads to a dilution of liquidity; the result of which is a reduced probability of achieving the respective hard caps for both projects.
The team also lacks high-level specialists, which are certainly required to develop the planned product. The team understands this and hiring of programmers, node developers, etc. has been budgeted for the 2018-2019 period. However, this does not reduce a risk that in the process of development the team will face unpredictable difficulties at this stage.