Questions about Atala Prism

What does it mean to have a finacial ID
Why do so many africans dont have a financial ID
What are the benefits of a digital/financial ID outside of DeFi

Hello @Pierre_Pt
i think you mean the point “digital ID” on the website of Atala Prism right?

Question 1:
To understand why this is good or needed we need to think outside of the crypto world. An casual bank need an proof of identity that you can set up an account (they are forced to do that by laws). So in the US they need your passport or driver license, in germany a bank need you passport or identity card. It is the law for them. Digital ID for financial institutes.

Question 2:
You cant say africans in general, that is important. But some especially smaller countries doesnt have an good and strong goverment. Maybe they doesnt have an working goverment at all or the goverment is corrupt that nobdy trust IDs issued by them or something else. In the other hand: why would you need as an single african an ID? You dont travel, have no big companies or banks that need them at all. So why?

Question 3:
Its an proof of identity or an proof of ownership. To explain it in an culture that we know (the US): This IDs fight identity theft, they fight falsification of a document and so on. The goverment have the only power to mine an ID. The ID number is unique and nobody else can get the same one. How do you want to fake an ID if you technically cant do it?

I hope that answers you some of your questions. Greetings from Germany!

Hey @Jonny22 thank you so much for your response :slight_smile:
I have some follow up questions:
1.Do i understand it right that it is the case for some that theire national banks wont let them set up an account because they dont trust them that theire passport is legit?
2.If a government is corrupt they will probably not allow Atala Prism anyways, or could it be benificial for them in another way?

So the reasons for Atala Prism are mainly to fight identity theft and to give people access to a financial infrastructure. But the reason of giving them access to a financial ifrastructure only makes sense to me if my 1. question is true for a lot of people otherwise they could just set up a bank account and get access to DeFi

Dont get me wrong, i am actually a big fan of Atala Prism and the idea of owning my identity etc. but i am just trying to figure out the situation in those developing countries and why Atala Prism could be needed there

I recently spent 17 months working in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa), one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. Perhaps I can give some practical examples of the usefulness of a digital identification system in a country like this.
Guinea-Bissau did not have a specially developed landline telephone network. It went from a rudimentary phone communication system directly to GSM cellphone network. Although quite expensive, in the capital Bissau (the reality I know best), many people have a cell phone with an Internet connection, and there are two international telecommunications operators. However, many people I had to work with did not have an identification card, or had photocopies of an identity card, often already out of date. The control of expenses involving payments implied systematic personal identification and issuing of receipts - which was complicated due to the precariousness of the documents. Moreover, these people are unable to open a bank account, taking on civil responsibilities and even less to apply for a touristic or working visa from abroad. Just like what happened with the telecommunications system, the identification system can also go from a rudimentary and precarious structure to an advanced system, and why not, directly to the most advanced in the world ?! The resulting social and economic development would be very significant.
Even in the face of a complex political, economic and social reality, I do not believe that a digital identity certification system is something that governments will oppose, on the contrary. Having a huge population without identity control is certainly more pernicious in every way, even (and above all) if that is the case of a totalitarian political system (which I am not saying is the case in Guinea-Bissau).
I would very much like to have had a digital identity management tool to streamline all the hiring, payment and human resources management processes that I have had to deal with.


Hey @Pierre_Pt
its how @anon11665776 said it.

The most people doesnt have an ID or it alredy expired.
So Atala PRISM gives them an cheap way to manage their identity. An passport and an ID are equal but in an totalitarian country you have higher chances to get an ID than an passport.
To see the main thing we need to look outside of the box. On an global scale, it is better to give them an ID that could be globally accepted, it is better to give them proof of employment and proof of education that is globally accepted. So an Bachlor Degree of for example Guinea-Bissau is worth nothing in our industrial countries. So to see on an global scale: if they even have an ID from their country or they have something else the people and business of our countries doesnt trust them. This is also the reason why if they would have an credit card they have transaction costs up to 20 or 40%.

To point 2:
Not everyone in the government is corrupt and even when, i would think that for them is it better to have an cheap identity system to track every person right?



Hello Pierre, I’ve know Côte d’Ivoire for decades and moved there 10 years ago. I know west Africa pretty well (lived in Liberia 3 years, visited Senegal, Mali, Burkina, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania)

To make my very long draft very short

  1. People can set up financial account if they have national ID but many don’t have national ID
  2. Governements may be interested in better records of its population because they don’t have good ones up to now.

People don’t have national ID because :

  • many don’t have formal job that would require them
  • It cost money and time to establish and it’s not really usefull to eat, laugh, think or sleep.

They could make use of one if it was easier to establish and more usefull.

I still don’t undestand why most ID cards have a peremption date

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@maliky @Jonny22 @anon11665776 Thank you guys, i now have a much better understanding in why Atala PRISM could be useful. Really helpful :slight_smile: