Blockchain Expert says Crypto Tools will Revolutionize Lending
Blockchain technology can seem complex, but many individuals operating companies that utilize the technology are planning for their world to collide with mainstream finance very soon. Mark Shekleton, CEO of Smart Seal, a company that provides digital identifications for physical goods, believes that those in fintech and small business lending will utilize the technology that blockchains offer on a daily basis in the near future. The technology that will be most useful according to Shekleton, is a type of token he refers to as an (non-transferable token) NTT.
“When I’m talking about NTTs, I’m talking about a token that is like an NFT, but it can’t be transferred. It’s issued against a wallet and it can be revoked from that wallet by the issuer,” said Shekleton.
“By issuing NTTs, you allow [merchants] operating in the crypto space to gain reputation and credit for the activity they do under that wallet. So if I am operating a business, and I’m using a crypto wallet to operate, and I borrow some money, and I pay it back, the lender can issue me a positive credit report; a positive token. A token that symbolizes a positive [payment history].”
This token, issued as a one-way NFT, would be a permanent record on an objective platform that could be referenced by anyone who is looking to view the credit history of a specific merchant.
“If I go to another lender [as a merchant], they can look at all of these NTTs that are issued against my wallet and they can say ‘hey look, we saw this other lender issue one of these tokens’, [thus] you paid back your loan, and have this positive piece of reputation associated with your wallet.”
“As you go, the level of trust around a certain wallet increases. If you operate your business, and you can demonstrate that you are trustworthy, and you have people who are issuing these tokens in your wallet, you can prove to anyone else that you are a trustworthy business.”
Shekleton expanded his ideas of potential uses for blockchain technology into identity verification as well. He explained how the same process used for credit history for merchants can be used for individuals or businesses when trying to prove who they are virtually.
“Companies or banks that have services where they’re verifying the identifying of online customers, there’s a really good opportunity here for (Know Your Customer) KYC companies to issue identity tokens,” said Shekleton.
“Say I have a wallet. And right now I created a new wallet, it’s completely anonymous, I’ve never associated my identity with it. But I want to use that wallet to borrow money. I want to make sure there’s no money laundering, the lender needs to know my identity. I go to a KYC issuer, I upload my ID, meet all my requirements to verify my ID, and I sign with the wallet to prove that I’m the holder of this wallet. Then, they issue an identity token, and I can’t transfer that token to anyone else’s wallet, it can only stay in my wallet.”
According to Shekleton, an NTT’s ability to be revoked by the issuer makes it a great way to counteract fraud or identity theft, as the authenticity of the token can be revoked at any time, making the token visibly unusable to all who attempt to use it fraudulently. When asked why this idea hasn’t caught on, and why he referred to NTTs as “not talked about, and complex” at NFT.NYC last week, he blamed the infancy of NFTs and how NTTs are just too new to be widespread.
“The technology itself is just in its infancy. I think there’s a huge opportunity here, virtually untapped, but it’s still very young so it’s going to be a couple of years before anyone realizes the gains of this tech if you start building it now. I think when you start talking about NFTs as utilities to fintech and lending companies, I just don’t think they are awake to that yet. They haven’t started building.”Last modified: November 11, 2021
Adam Zaki was a Reporter at deBanked.