Fintech Friday: Nuggets
Nuggets is helping people take back control of their data. Alastair Johnson, CEO and founder of Nuggets, spoke with Efma’s Boris Plantier about the company’s origins and how they are working to create a more secure internet environment.
What led to the creation of Nuggets?
The idea initially arose from my own payment details being used fraudulently online. They had been stored in a centralized database with a service that had been compromised, which in turn led to a fraudulent transaction.
The process that followed was both painful and problematic. My card was cancelled. I then had to wait a couple of weeks to receive a new one and in the meantime, the online services that I’d subscribed to were coming to a standstill.
More importantly, like everyone else in that situation, I had no idea what had been compromised and what hadn’t.
It was only then that I realized just how many different services that my card had been associated with and how long it was going to take me to plug my new details into dozens of separate accounts - just to get back to normal.
Having experienced that first hand, I thought there must be a better way. I started to discover just how common wide-scale and damaging data breaches were becoming, how sophisticated social engineering tactics were evolving and the amount of time wasted inputting your username/password credentials across multiple services when you upgrade your mobile device.
Nuggets was a direct result of that pain and frustration and the frightening realization that we all have extremely sensitive personal information all over the internet.
Could you present Nuggets' offer?
Nuggets is all about taking back control of your data. Personal information should be owned and controlled by the person. We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right and a fundamental change is needed in the way we store personal data.
That manifests itself in a platform that keeps personal and payment information secure, and does away with passwords. Using Nuggets, you can pay, login and verify your identity without having to store your personal and payment data with anyone. Not even Nuggets itself.
We use zero knowledge storage, encryption, privacy, security and trust, all combined with a decentralized immutable ledger. This creates an entirely new, blockchain-enabled platform for making simple e-commerce payments without having to sacrifice control of personal data.
Cutting-edge blockchain technology provides the security. While biometric verification (a fingerprint or facial recognition) means using Nuggets means never having to remember another password or username.
This means anyone can take back control of their data. Instead of handing over payment and personal information to merely use an online service, you choose if and when to share your data. And do so only on your terms.
Nuggets also liberates companies from the burden of trying to manage and secure huge data silos. That removes the biggest challenge facing companies today: cybersecurity.
For consumers, Nuggets makes life simpler, faster and safer. For businesses, it spells the end of costly, damaging data breaches – as well as massively reducing fraud and false positives and the number of sales lost to complex checkout processes.
What's coming next for Nuggets?
Something we found while working with partners was a desperate need to avoid personal documentation being left at numerous locations. In the particular case of financial services this became even more poignant when we saw the devastating breaches of bank loan and mortgage documents affecting millions of people.
Luckily, we had already foreseen this issue and it was something that we had started working on with the FCA Regulatory Sandbox in conjunction with a number of other partners. It’s something we feel passionate about; enabling users to take back control of their personal documents, while reassuring banks and the regulators in their needs.
Combined with this we are continually working to get Nuggets out to people and businesses to enable them to start taking back control of their data - it’s an inevitable need.