SelfKey ICO Review – Digital Identity Management System - Crush Crypto

SelfKey ICO Review – Digital Identity Management System

This article was originally published on 2017-12-15.

Updates on 2018-01-05: SelfKey has changed their crowdsale dates to January 14 to 31, 2018. 


  • Project name: SelfKey
  • Token symbol: KEY
  • Website:
  • White paper:
  • Hard cap: $21,780,000 (ICO contributors own 33% of total token supply)
  • Conversion rate: Total supply is 6,000,000,000 KEY tokens
  • Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: US$66 million
  • Bonus structure: 50% or 70% bonus during private pre-sale (if opt for 70%, half of the tokens will be locked up for 6 months) / 30% bonus during public presale
  • Presale or white list: Presale has ended
  • ERC-20 Token: Yes
  • Countries excluded: United States of America, China, and New Zealand
  • Timeline: Public presale has ended / crowdsale will take place between January 14 to 31, 2018 (please refer to SelfKey’s website for the most up-to-date information)
  • Token distribution date: Within 7 days after the end of ICO
Video summary (video is 11:46 long):

Project Overview

What does the company/project do?

SelfKey is a decentralized identity system whereby users can instantly verify their identity to access a variety of products and services such as financial services, exchanges, token sales, passport/citizenship registration, and more.

With SelfKey, the pain of KYC onboarding will be eliminated. Users only need to enter their information once, and their information can used for any products on the SelfKey marketplace.

SelfKey’s products include (1) an identity wallet, (2) a marketplace with over 300 products and services including residency and citizenship by investment, company incorporation, bank account set up, etc., and (3) a protocol and API built for KYC.

Some of the sample use cases for SelfKey are listed below:

  • Company incorporation
  • Residence permit application
  • Citizenship by investment
  • Economic Citizenship Real Estate developments
  • Money Transmission services sign up
  • International Insurance
  • eWallet / SFV facilities
  • Bank account setups
  • Digital assets exchanges signup
  • Precious metals purchase and storage
  • Token Sales
Selfkey flowchart
How advanced is the project?

KYC Chain, the company behind SelfKey, has been used to power KYC onboarding for different companies since 2013. KYC Chain has gone through 3 startup accelerators: Digital Ventures (setup by Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand), Accenture Fintech Lab, and Supercharger.

KYC Chain has been working with established and reputable companies including Standard Chartered Bank, a British bank with operations in over 70 countries and 87,000 employees, NTL immigration, immigration agency since 1994, Gatecoin, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, Lykke, Kyber, AirSwap, Polymath, ZILLA,, TitanFx, Gatcoin, DollarSmart, and more.

In a blog post, SelfKey also listed other companies that are currently in discussion or are working with KYC Chain: tier 1 global banks, tier 1 global law firms, 3 large immigration firms (NTL Trust, Global Advisory Group, Vanuatu Information Center), a luxury services company, various legal service providers, one of China’s largest travel companies, the largest travel technology company in the world, various governments, notary publics, global compliance firms, and major bitcoin exchanges.

SelfKey has developed an alpha, which you can check out here: Below are two screenshots of the alpha:

KEY Screenshot
KEY Screenshot

Here is the development roadmap of the project:

2018 Q1

  • SelfKey Desktop app Alpha Launch (scheduled to launch before crowdsale)
  • Token Sales and Exchanges Marketplaces Launch
  • Identity Wallet supports cryptocurrency transactions

2018 Q2

  • Integration work begins with select crypto asset product provider partners
  • Support re-use of select KYC components for Relying Parties

2018 Q3

  • Alpha Launch of SelfKey mobile app
  • Alpha Launch of SelfKey Corporate Identity Wallet desktop app
  • Partnership work with governments and utility providers begins
  • Launch Trusts, Foundations, Companies, Residencies, and Passport verticals in SelfKey desktop app

2018 Q4

  • SelfKey roll out dedicated functionality for utility providers as Claims Issuers
  • Beta launch of SelfKey desktop app

2019 Q1

  • Self-service marketplace listing sign-up for Relying Parties within select verticals
  • Launch precious metals vertical in SelfKey apps

2019 Q2

  • Launch digital wallets and money transmission verticals in SelfKey apps
  • Beta launch of SelfKey Corporate Identity Wallet, including multi-user support functionality

2019 Q3

  • Introduction of the SelfKey Reputation system

2019 Q4

  • Alpha Launch of POI proof of concept
What are the tokens used for and how can token value appreciate?

KEY tokens will be used to power the SelfKey network in a number of ways. Each member of the ecosystem, such as users, certifiers, and relying parties, will need to stake a certain amount of KEY tokens in order to participate.

KEY tokens are also used for payments on the SelfKey platform. Example of uses include paying for request attestations, receiving identity claims, and paying for marketplace listings.

As KEY tokens are needed for staking and transact on the SelfKey platform, the more usage and transaction the platform has, the more valuable KEY tokens should be.

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KYC Chain is a Hong-Kong based company with a development team in Georgia. SelfKey has a large team of 48 full-time and part-time employees.

Below are the bios of the key team members:

Edmund Lowell, Founder – Serial entrepreneur. Founder of KYC Chain,,,,,, ReactCRM, and Ring.Md.

Joonas Routsalainen, VP of Engineering – Former developer at Iglu, Lean Development Oy, and Tiksis Technologies Oy.

Andre Goncalves, Lead Developer – Frontend Developer of, Instant Weather Inc., and Rival Schools Japan.

On the website, SelfKey lists over 70 advisors, but we believe only a minority of them actually work closely with the team.

The advisers include Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum developer working on Casper implementation, Chris Skinner, leading commentator and strategist on the financial markets, and Dr. Douglas Arner, a finance veteran with connections with many Asian banks, among others.


  • The team has proved their capabilities with KYC Chain which is already working with different blue-chip organizations. It is very difficult for startups to be commissioned by established financial institutions and government agencies, so this speaks to the team’s ability.
  • We believe that ICO projects are entrepreneurial pursuits, therefore the history of building a successful company carries a lot more weight than the LinkedIn profile of the team members.
  • The client base of KYC Chain is highly complementary to SelfKey. The partnerships that are in place with various ICO projects such as Kyber, AirSwap, Polymath and others should help drive the adoption of SelfKey quickly because the target users are already familiar with cryptocurrency.
  • After the Equifax hack which allowed attackers to obtain crucial personal identity information for 143 million people, the public realizes the importance of a decentralized identity system.
  • Going forward, SelfKey will be mentioned every time their technology is used in a token sale. In cryptocurrency, news flow is one of the main factors that drives valuation because the field is so speculative.


  • The completed product won’t be finished until 2019 and beyond according to the roadmap, which is a fairly long time.
  • There are other blockchain projects in the identity authentication space, including Civic and Sovrin, so SelfKey may not be the winner in the space. However, we believe SelfKey has a broader scope and is further along in development/adoption.


Overall, we like both the short- and long-term potential for this ICO. Our thoughts of the tokens for short term and long term are as follows:

For short-term holding

Good. Very few ICO projects have the level of real world partnership and adoption that SelfKey is expected to have.

There were higher bonus tiers before the public presale, but there is an anti-dumping policy in place (i.e. in order to qualify for the highest bonus tier, half of the tokens are locked up for 6 months). Therefore, we believe there should be enough unmet demand for this project to have good short-term potential assuming the current market environment holds.

For long-term holding

Good. KYC Chain has partnerships with numerous well-known organizations in the crypto space that are complementary to SelfKey’s business. We believe SelfKey can become the market leader in KYC for token sales and get the ball rolling in adoption, which is one of the most important factors in determining whether the project will be successful.

In terms of adoption, use cases, and valuation, we believe SelfKey is a better project than Civic (which has a market cap of $148 million at the time of writing) but without the Vinny Lingham hype.

For more information about the ICO, please visit the following links:





FAQ page: 


* The information contained in this article is for education purpose only and not financial advice. Do your own research before making any investment decisions.

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