Persona Partners with FintruX: Interview with Stefan Neagu, CEO of Persona.

Persona and FintruX recently announced their partnership to give customers renewed control over their personal details with the first identity management blockchain project developed on its own blockchain. Stefan Neagu, the CEO of Persona will be telling us more about the personal project and the benefits of the partnership with FintruX.

1) Please tell us your name and about yourself?

My Name is Stefan Neagu. I’m 39 years old, and most of my professional skills were developed while working in financial services; banking to be more precise. From 2006 until 2014, I worked for Abn Amro Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

2) What is Persona?

From a personal perspective, Persona is a legacy. From a business perspective, Persona is the melting point between technology and the need for people to be in control of their personal data. Persona is a “zero knowledge digital identity management solution,” an identity protocol that allows individuals to prove that they are who they claim to be. And Persona enables this without requiring access to user IDs or any other personal data, creating a new paradigm for identity management. With Persona, KYC companies no longer play the role of custodians of our personal data.

3) What are the major features and services Persona offers?

Persona runs on its own blockchain, so it is not a token on the Ethereum blockchain, like most of the identity solutions available. It is developed on a blockchain technology with the main scope of interconnecting with other different blockchains, and will eventually be able to confirm identity information across blockchains.

The ID verification process is P2P, so there are no entities that are more truthful than others.

Unlike any other digital identity solution, in Persona the level of trust one individual has depreciates over time, inviting the individual to maintain a certain level of trust so it can still confirm its identity. Based on my experience working for banks, there is a huge amount of effort, time, and money spent by financial institutions to keep their customer data up-to-date.

Now, users can update their details with Persona, and all the entities that they’ve given  access to their data receive the latest version of their details.

Not being built on Ethereum, Persona a is not a “captive” of the rules of another blockchain. We have the advantage of independence and the privilege of choosing our own set of rules, transaction fees, and road map.

4) What is the technology behind Persona and at what stage of development is the platform?

Persona is a fork of Ark, and the reason we’ve chosen Ark is its capability of inter-connecting with different other blockchains.

We are currently in closed testing and we’re aiming to move into public test by mid-December. We’ll stay in public testnet as long as we need to, in order to make sure everything is functioning and is as secure as we anticipated. After this, we will migrate to mainnet.

That’s why we’ve started the implementation with our partners, so our teams can get together and fine-tune the process.

5) Tell us about your partnership with Fintrux, how does it work and what are the benefits?

We will provide KYC/CDD for Fintrux customers according to Fintrux risk appetite.

This means that we can go from common information, like residence, birth date, and ID, to full AML check on all sanctions lists according to US/EU regulations.

6) What is the level of demand for identity management blockchain platforms in lending and Cryptocurrency investing?

Both solutions (Fintrux and Persona) are at the forefront of innovation so the acceptance curve is building. The important thing is to be there when people fully understand that the security of their personal data is paramount.

7) For investors, what are the advantages of participating in the Persona project?

Persona is a protocol. Once you establish a minimum level of trust between two parties, you can build anything you can think of. A decentralized social network, a P2P chat, an AirBnB, or execute transactions in smart contracts with all the parties involved because you know their identity.

We had, by intent, a small TGE. What is important is what we are going to build on top of Persona, once we have all the required elements to establish trust between two or more parties in a decentralized manner.

8) How does the Persona Token work and how do we get it?

The blockchain is a transaction by definition and thus each transaction comes with a fee. The Persona token will be used to pay for these transactions. When a company wants to enroll a new customer and it uses Persona for KYC, the cost of that KYC will be paid in Persona and transferred to the people that verified and validated the identity of the individual that signs up for the service.

There are two types of fees on Persona: A business fee, when someone is claiming an attribute; and a technical fee, to have that attribute registered onto the blockchain.

These fees are very important. With the help of our partners, we need to fine tune them and find the right balance.

9) Please tell us about your team, advisory, technical support and how ready you are for this project?

The team has extensive experience in blockchain, either as founders of other blockchain projects, like myself (I’m one of the co-founders of Ark Ecosystem), or they developed blockchain solutions like Ioana Frincu and Dan Cearnau. Sorin Simplaceanu, is a Persona advisor who has been developing ClimateCoop , a solution to save the environment that received awards from MIT and the UN. The business side is also present, with Johan Gabriels, ex ABN Amro and Royal Bank of Scotland CEO; Cosmin Bucur, Head of Treasury for ABN Amro; Cristian Lina, a seasoned lawyer with Eversheds Lina & Gruia. The complete list of the team can be found on the Persona website:

10) The major aim of Persona is to ensure identity data security, how safe if Persona platform from compliance and cyber threats?

The attributes (the ID, birth date, residence and such) are encrypted with the individual’s private key. They are written over blockchain and can be accessed only with that private key, so Persona is as safe as the current key encryptions are (like PGP for example).

As for compliance, Persona is in line with the latest regulations, and I’m referring to GDPR. Some might say that once recorded on blockchain you can’t actually delete that data. And they are right. But the GDPR point here is to delete the data from the third party that was in a relationship with the individual. In Persona, the third party never becomes custodian of personal data, it just receives access to the data for as long as the relationship between the individual and that third party exists.

However, once moved to the public testnet, we will undergo some security pen tests and the community will be involved.

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