Martech Interview with Li Jun, Founder of Ontology

Li Jun, Founder of decentralized identity application: Ontology highlights a few concerns and trends surrounding digital identity in this chat with MarTech Series:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Jun. We’d love to hear more about your journey through the years and what inspired Ontology?

Prior to founding Ontology, I provided technical architecture, management, and planning support to a host of esteemed international IT firms and financial exchanges. While working in these areas, I began to research some of the amazing uses of blockchain technology, which was impacting both fields. As well as blockchain’s potential to generate positive change for the financial sphere, I also became aware of its potential to disrupt a host of other areas, especially within the privacy and security spheres.  

In the midst of ongoing data breaches, hacker scandals, and misuses of digital information, the failure of centralized systems for data storage and protection became all the more apparent to me. As such, I founded Ontology to create a new trust candidate for privacy and security in the form of decentralized identity and data solutions. 

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How Ontology’s features evolved over the years and what are some of the near-term product innovations planned that you’d like to briefly talk about?

Ontology has evolved continuously since its launch on MainNet three years ago, responding to the needs of its users and developing a host of products in line with these needs. ONT ID, our decentralized digital identity application, reaching 1.5 million users was a massive part of this evolution. Since its inception, ONT ID has been embraced by a number of companies across the globe who have helped to create fascinating new use cases for its technology. To name a few, Ontology has partnered with Mercedes Benz-manufacturer Daimler Mobility to develop ‘Welcome Home’, an in-car personalization and management solution that uses ONT ID to store drivers’ in-car preferences. 

More recently, Ontology partnered with ROCKI, a next-generation music streaming service and NFT platform, to use its decentralized identity solutions to prevent bad actors from impersonating artists and help buyers avoid purchasing inauthentic NFTs, which are digital certificates of ownership.

To facilitate its ever expanding user base, ONT ID has undergone an upgrade that will improve user experience, whilst also making it easier for developers to build sophisticated applications and real world use cases. Of course, further product innovations are planned for the future and we will be sure to share them with you soon… watch this space!

Can you talk about some of the biggest concerns surrounding digital identity today and what brands need to be doing better today to safeguard data and boost protection measures for users? 

Every time we interact online we are required to hand over sensitive information, whether that’s email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers or our social security numbers. Currently, internet users have very little oversight over how this personal information is stored and protected by websites. Unfortunately, history continues to show that institutions using centralized systems, meaning systems or databases that are based in one location, such as on a computer hard drive, are no longer able to keep user data safe. Last year more than 37 billion records were exposed as a result of just under 4000 data breaches in the United States alone, and whether it’s Big Tech giants like Facebook or Instagram playing fast and loose with client privacy or national organizations like Ireland’s health service getting hacked due to an employee error, these instances continue to tell us that centralized systems are not sufficient for protecting data. 

In order for brands to better safeguard user data, they should invest in decentralized identity solutions built on blockchain for storing any information they have online. Not only will this help to protect against internal hacks on their systems, but it will also ensure that they are far less likely to engage in any unintentional distribution or exposure of user information.

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How are you seeing newer evolutions in Blockchain impact how digital identity processes and systems are now managed? 

As we move into the next stage of the internet’s evolution or Web 3.0 as it is called in the blockchain sphere, digital identity solutions are developing in new and fascinating ways. One example of where this is happening is in the metaverse, the space where virtual worlds and the real world collide through virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and the internet. As the metaverse develops, people will be able to seamlessly move between different virtual worlds whilst maintaining an unchanging digital identity. In order to do so, decentralized identity solutions that allow them to log into multiple platforms with the same secure, private identity without having to remember passwords will be essential. Solutions like ONT ID, provide the technological infrastructure to allow users to do so.

A few thoughts on the future of digital identity management and what marketers/brands will need to be focusing more on to safeguard user interests as data privacy challenges increase due to stronger threat systems?

Blockchain and crypto are becoming ever-more mainstream and the more these technologies become a part of everyday life, the less people will be willing to accept inefficient and inferior technologies that fail to safeguard user interests and mitigate against privacy challenges. As such, I expect there to be a consistent increase in the number of users looking to manage their digital identity using decentralized solutions. Companies must also look to embrace these solutions in order to ensure security and privacy are maintained going forward. 

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logoOntology brings trust, privacy, and security to Web 3.0 through decentralized identity and data solutions

Li Jun is the Founder of Ontology 

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