Everest Ecosystem: The Next Generation of Blockchain, Crypto, and Identity
The Everest Foundation, an independent non-profit foundation, operating as a DAO will be endowed to (a) give away 15 billion digital wallets, biometric identities, and associated ID tokens for free, and (b) open a fast, permissionless, decentralized blockchain to be governed by network participants. Everest Network Ltd., a separate entity from the foundation, will supply regulated financial services to anyone with an identity and wallet, and leverage the open, permissionless chain. The combination of capabilities of the foundation and Everest Network will create the Everest Ecosystem, empowering humanity with access to a suite of financial services and a network “owned” by participants. Akin to Estonia’s eGovernment or India’s Aadhaar + India Stack, which give their citizenry an identity, account, currency, and transaction ledger, the Everest ecosystem is giving every human being not only a digital identity that they own and control, but an account, wallet and access to financial services…..a “blockchain nation and bank”, governed by the community.
A decentralized, permissionless blockchain governed by validators, combined with a user-owned, pseudonymous identity solution, and connected to a licensed crypto custodial wallet powers a synergistic ecosystem that ushers in the next evolution of society where users control their own data and crypto is regulatory-compliant. In this new ecosystem, users can manage their identity credentials, documents, and money in a user-centric way, and transact over a fast, cheap permissionless chain, or over a regulated, licensed chain. Every user will be given 0.001 ID tokens to unlock access the Everest ecosystem, opening up a suite of services from cross-border payments, to buy, sell, trade crypto, to supply chain and health records — all leveraging a permissionless, decentralized, L1 chain, which accesses a licensed “universal stablecoin” and regulated chain.
In the below, we’re going to explore the Everest ecosystem through the lens of Everest Network, Ltd. (EN), and the Everest Foundation (EF) — and discover the components made available to users of the Everest ecosystem through this synergy. Let’s start with the common components which form the basis of the user experience.
Common components of the Everest Ecosystem
In order to understand the specific roles of Everest Network, Ltd. (EN) and the Everest Foundation (EF), we must first explore the common components of the ecosystem as a whole. These components are integral to the functioning of both EN and EF, and the Everest Ecosystem at large.
Collectively, these include:
● EverChain — Commonly shared and of principal importance to both parties, EverChain is a fast and cost-effective proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, secured by Validators running full nodes, and built using open-source tools, similar to other L1s. It is open, permissionless, decentralized, EVM-compatible, has 5 second completion times, and able to process 25k TPS; historically, EverChain could process 300k TPS, but in an effort to be more decentralized and achieve EVM compatibility, a design tradeoff was made. EverChain is used for executing smart contracts, processing transactions, and utilizes the ID token for payments — such as those originating from applications built on top of EverChain. The EverChain blockchain can function independently of both EN and EF.
● IDChain — Separate from EverChain, the IDChain is a Proof of Authority (PoA) blockchain in which no entity carries absolute authority or decision making, thus providing privacy and user-control for data access. The IDChain provides pointers to credentials and documents in distributed storage, empowering users to granularly share their identity elements; identity data can be shared by users as ZK proofs (i.e. a proof that I am not on AML, CFT or PEP lists, but not divulge my personally identifiable information), or in limited ways (i.e. here’s my x-rays, but access to the doctor times out in two days). The biometrics stored in IPFS also form the foundation of EverWallet, ensuring that only the owner of the account can access with their live biometrics + PIN. The separation of EverChain and IDChain further reinforces privacy for user transactions by preventing metadata correlation, while at the same time facilitating the bare minimum of ID data is attached when required for a regulated financial transaction.
● EverID — EverID is a user-owned identity built with a user’s biometrics, which function like a private key to unlock pointers to smart contracts on IDChain and locations in IPFS storage, which opens their ERC20 wallet account, credentials, documents, tokens and money. All societies with complex economies and governance require deduplicated identity, which is the function of EverID. However, unlike a nation, users control their identity in this ecosystem.
● ID Token — The ID token is used to access and pay for a huge variety of services within the ecosystem. These include identity creation and verification, payments, global remittances, eKYC, DeFi services, minting new fungible or non-fungible tokens, and buying EN’s universal stablecoin, CRDT, which can be pegged against any fiat deposit. The ID token also has governance functions, where validators and delegators can vote on governance decisions of EverChain, the decentralized, permissionless blockchain. Only 800 million ID tokens will ever enter circulation, and 15 million are already set aside for user identity + wallet creation. Every transaction requires multiple ID tokens (i.e. 5 IDs for eKYC/AML, or 250,000 IDs for an enterprise or bank to access multiple services), and 50–60% of transaction fees in ID tokens will be burned, removing tokens from circulation. We will explore this in greater detail in our tokenomics deep-dive.
● EverWallet — Better thought of as an account, capable of holding documents, credentials, fiat money and crypto — all privately secured by a user’s biometrics + PIN. With EverWallet, users can store and transact using multiple fiat currencies and crypto assets, as well as safeguard their identity documents, banking information, medical records, and even crypto private keys. This single sign-on wallet, locked with each user’s totally unique biometry, is the Google account of crypto — one wallet to rule them all.
Everest Network, Ltd. (EN)
Now that we’ve reviewed the common components of the ecosystem, we can examine Everest Network, Ltd. (EN) more closely. It is a licensed crypto custodian with the world’s first regulated, programmable stablecoin. As a regulated financial institution, it has a board of directors, management and strictly adheres to GDPR. It does not manage or influence the Everest Foundation, and the two are separate entities. EN offers users and enterprises a portfolio of financial services, including eKYC/AML, crypto trading with access to 200+ coin pairs, earning and borrowing features, payments, international remittances, staking, token minting and issuing, etc.
Everest Network, Ltd. (EN) contributes to the ecosystem with the following:
● RegChain — RegChain is a POA that fits into the ecosystem similar to a ZK rollup or sidechain to the permissionless, decentralized EverChain. As we’ve learned, through EverChain, individuals can make private transactions with no personally-identifiable user data attached, similar to how Ethereum enables transactions from one wallet address to another in a pseudo-anonymous fashion. Likewise, through IDChain, users are the sovereign, ultimate authority on what data of theirs is shared.
Most all jurisdictions require some level of identity disclosure to perform regulated activities (i.e. send over $10,000 across national borders). In this ecosystem, users are empowered to share the bare minimum, legally required identity information for a given regulated service by surfacing, for example, their name and address (but not reveal their gender, age, height, weight, glasses, etc.). In such a scenario, a user provides information by utilizing IDChain, and EN subsequently processes the transaction over RegChain; when completed, the transaction on RegChain is posted to EverChain to ensure public auditability of the anonymized transaction.
● The CRDT Stablecoin — With its licensed, programmable and regulated stablecoin, EN delivers a compliant solution for ANY fiat to be programmed for time, place or function (i.e. convert to crypto). Every dollar, euro, peso, yen, dinar, rupiah accepted as a deposit is held in a bank, and backed one-to-one with the issued CRDT. As such, users in the Philippines could purchase USD accounts by depositing in PHP, and requesting EN to convert into USD, thus receiving a CRDT voucher the stored USD. Since EN issues and redeems CRDTs over RegChain (as opposed to having it tradeable on exchanges), EN has been able to establish fiat bank accounts & agreements, and crypto accounts covering 44 countries — thus facilitating fiat-in/out and an “exchange network” to seamlessly move value cross-border.
● The Hub — Simply put, the Hub is a set of cross-chain bridges which links other blockchain ecosystems, such as Polygon, Ethereum, BSC or Polkadot, to the Everest ecosystem. Not only will the Hub open up access to flows of the ID and CRDT tokens, it will empower users to share identity data pseudonymously, securely and privately into other blockchain ecosystems. From a user perspective, the current false choice of what chain should perform a given transaction will be moot, as the Hub, plus EverChain and/or RegChain means that users won’t know or care which L1 is processing the transaction.
● OrgEverID — Just as EverID bestows an identity to individuals, OrgEverID provides organizations with access to their own verifiable identity. And like an EverID, all OrgEverIDs come with an account for fiat, crypto, docs and credentials — all of which facilitates easier transactions with other entities, and similarly helps with compliance (which is required for mass adoption of existing entities).
As you can see, Everest Network, Ltd. (EN) deals primarily with commercial applications of the ecosystem. So, what role does the Everest Foundation play?
The Everest Foundation (EF)
The Everest Foundation (EF) is a non-profit governed as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), with the mission of promoting the Everest ecosystem — particularly the common components focused on identity sovereignty and access to financial services. It has a different board, operating mandate, and is totally separate from Everest Network, Ltd.
As stated previously, the EF is giving every human being an identity + wallet, plus ID tokens, and opening EverChain, a decentralized, permissionless blockchain. Its role in the ecosystem is primarily to facilitate governance of the various components per the below:
● Validator Governance: The EF is arranging the first vote by the community on pricing, burn percentage, and validator reward percentages similar to other PoS-based blockchains. There will be 100 validator nodes, each required to stake 400,000 ID tokens, for a minimum of 12 weeks. Any ID token holder, regardless of amount, may delegate their stake to Validators in return for staking rewards, which empowers anyone with ID tokens to participate in the governance of the decentralized network.
● Identity Governance: Identity governance is centered around access and recourse, as opposed to transaction throughput. That is, users are concerned about who has access to their identity data, who might be profiting from their data (surveillance capitalism is fundamentally unfair to users), and what can they do to ensure they have access to their identity data. As such, the EverID construct of implementing a decentralized DAG using IPFS, plus IDChain (pointers to users’ data), with live biometrics + PIN ensures users identity data is private and secure. The EF took extra steps to provide ongoing privacy and security by putting in place a policy that code updates, hacks/restoration and/or recourse required by a user requires four of five keyholders to sign off; it added additional safeguards by determining that no entity shall possess enough keys to perform these actions. Hence, the EF will give three keys to organizations or individuals drawn from internationally and regionally recognized international organizations, NGOs, IGOs and philanthropic organizations with principles aligned with the Principles of Identity for Sustainable Development Goals. No single Key Holder or entity will have access to user data, nor possess sufficient keys to open the network unilaterally.
The EF is responsible for facilitating free user identity and wallet creation, and acting as a safeguard against any entity that may want access to users’ identity; again, neither EF nor EN have a way to open users’ identity. Additionally, EF is charged with enabling validators and the broader decentralized community to secure EverChain as a fast, cost-effective L1.
To recap, the ecosystem combines EverChain, a permissionless, decentralized, fast, cheap, L1 blockchain, plus IDChain for user-owned, pseudonymous identity sharing, and RegChain for regulated financial transactions. The synergy of the three chains allows users, organizations and dApps to perform private transactions across EverChain, sharing only the info that they choose from IDChain, and simultaneously accessing a portfolio of financial services, such as buying, selling, trading over 200 token pairs, earning and borrowing features, payments, remittances, staking over RegChain.
The Everest community will shortly be voting on the ID token’s tokenomics model, pricing, rewards, and burn percentage.
In our next article, we will explore the tokenomics of the IDToken and the CRDT stablecoin, followed by a deep-dive into the specific role, responsibilities, and rewards for Validators and Stakers within the Everest ecosystem.