We have been hard at work developing the technology that will power financial services on the blockchain. Last week, we showcased the first paper in our technical series, Data Vaults: Strategies for storing, verifying and sharing private data. The paper outlines an implementation-agnostic approach for our technology, and today we are excited to give you a first look at our alpha implementation of Bright Network and Data Vaults.
Introducing the Bright app, our mobile app for iOS and Android that provides small businesses with access to lending through Bright Network.
The Bright app facilitates the entire lifecycle of a small business acquiring a loan by using their data to evidence their creditworthiness. The alpha version of the app allows businesses to do the following: register with Bright, verify their identity and their business, receive and use BRT tokens to access the Network, record business data to their private vault, verify other users’ business data through Peer-to-Peer verification, request credit scoring services and receive a loan from the marketplace of lending providers available on Bright Network.
Our alpha version currently operates on our private testnet, implements our Data Vaults technology and uses machine learning to perform credit risk analysis. More details about how these components work can be found in our White Paper.
As it’s an early version, some features are not yet available, but it demonstrates core components of our technical vision as well as our UX approach. We will be publishing further updates on our blog and in our community as they develop, so follow us there and stay tuned!
Although we know that our go-to-markets have high rates of smartphone penetration, mainstream cryptocurrency adoption is still developing across all markets, and it is often quoted that high barriers to entry and bad user experiences are to blame for this.
As a response, we are focusing on creating a delightful, easy to use experience and most importantly requiring no crypto knowledge. We genuinely believe that blockchain is best when hidden beneath the surface - providing all of the benefits but none of the barriers to use. This is a challenge for everyone in the space, and we will be openly sharing our discoveries and learnings as part of our values to give back to the industry. We hope lessons we learn can benefit other companies solving for this challenge.
The alpha app serves as a wallet for BRT tokens and holds the keys to the business’s Data Vault. However, businesses who want to borrow don’t need to purchase BRT in order to use the app: as part of the registration process, by validating their identity and business, Bright Bank will airdrop BRT tokens to the user to let them join the network and start using Bright services - for free!
All data submitted through the app is encrypted according to the standards defined in the Data Vaults paper, ensuring the ownership and control of that data always resides with the user of the app. The magic performed by Bright Network is orchestrating how to secure and share this data where necessary.
Multiple types of financial and non-financial data can be added to a user’s Vault through the app, such as bank transaction feeds, social feeds or manually added data. Each data point added helps to establish the business on the network by describing characteristics such as how it operates, what its cash flow is, how legitimate its operations and identity are, and what its historical performance was like.
A fundamental feature of Bright Network and the Data Vaults model is how it enables services to operate safely in a low-trust environment. Services on the network can rely on mathematical definitions of whether they can trust a customer, rather than on manual, subjective (or biased) judgements of a user or business’s legitimacy. This is a key capability we wanted to demonstrate in the alpha version of the app.
Data uploaded through an approved feed is verified at source, for example by a bank through an open banking API. However, when a user manually adds data to their vault, it exists as a “claim”; i.e. a user is claiming the data as truthful, however no-one else on the network has an objective way to verify it. The solution to this problem is to allow users to attest the trustworthiness of other users and services according to their past experiences with them. By analysing the links of people trusting each other, we can mathematically evaluate whether a specific user or claim is indeed trustworthy. This concept is generally called a web of trust and is leveraged for all actors on the network; service providers and users alike.
To technically demonstrate such a network of claims and attestations, the alpha app introduces this concept in a simple form: allowing businesses to manually add bills and invoices as claims to their Vault. They can specify the counterparty to that business transaction, who is notified about the invoice claim made against them. This counterparty can either verify the claim so that both businesses benefit from the verified data, or reject the claim if it is false.
In a traditional borrowing scenario a business might present its accounts, three years of P&Ls and Balance sheets and other similar data to a lender to enable them to acquire a business loan (after a long period of manual processing and checking by an underwriting team).
By using machine learning to power our credit scoring on business data, we can automatically make fast and accurate lending decisions that are based on a much wider spectrum of data, including financial and non-financial information.
When a business has been issued a credit score, it is added as a verified data point to their Vault. With this verified score, the business can request loan quotes from the marketplace of lenders on Bright Network.
By creating an open marketplace of lending providers -- of which Bright Bank will be just one -- users are provided with greater choice to find the most attractive loans based on their credit score and data.
Now you’ve seen a little more about how the Bright app works, check out our White Paper to see what we’ll be building into the app next.
We will be sharing more technical papers in the coming weeks that describe the inner workings of Bright Network and Bright Bank and will make further announcements on Telegram and Twitter so be sure to be following to be first to know!