SelfKey ICO Review – KEY Investment Analysis

ICO Details

Symbol – KEY


When – January 14th, 2018

Hard Cap – 21.78 Million USD

Total Max Market Cap At ICO – 65.34 Million USD

Exchange Rate: 1 KEY = 0.015 USD

Total Tokens in Circulation At ICO – 6 Billion KEY


SelfKey is a new digital identity verification project built on the Ethereum network. SelfKey identifies several problems with the current KYC and legacy attestation/verification systems put in place such as costs, vulnerability, and efficiency.

As a basic example, if you would like to do something digitally (such as buying into a token sale or service) there is a KYC process that needs to be carried out by both parties. For the buyer, they need to provide proofs and data that correlates directly with the information about their identity. This is often a nuisance, causing delays in gathering the required information, and locking out some people from participating at all.

Secondly, the party requesting the KYC documentation needs to run all of the data through a KYC compliant company, that does all of the background checks and make sure that the submitted proofs check out. Overall, it’s a long and lengthy process, and KYC acceptance to one service doesn’t mean KYC acceptance for a different service. Even if it’s the exact same KYC procedure that needs to be done by the new receiving party, previous KYC acceptances from other companies who have done the background checks on a client simply aren’t accepted.

KYC is generally a great thing to have – it ensures safety, avoids fraud, and is compliant with many national laws. Therein lies another problem though – many laws (such as European KYC laws) do not directly correlate with other laws (such as North American KYC laws). Ultimately, the legacy system is one that is extremely inefficient and has plenty of potential to be improved.

This is where the SelfKey solution comes into play. With SelfKey, users can create their own digital identites and perform all KYC and proofs submitting once and not have to repeat the process many times. Data is stored locally on a user’s computer, and is not replicated on the blockchain. This means that all KYC data will remain completely within the control of the user, and that makes SelfKey the most powerful version of KYC that will exist in the near future.

Continuing with our previous example, if a user would like to sign up to a service that requires KYC, instead of submitting documents and initiating a lengthy KYC check, a user could simply transmit the required approvals from their SelfKey wallet. It’s a genius little innovation, but SelfKey streamlines the entire process to the ease of a button press, making it faster, easier, and much more cost effective to implement over traditional KYC solutions.

Many centralized identity systems have very serious security issues.vii The recent
Equifax data breach where the personal data of up to 143 million individuals
may have been compromised highlights the vulnerability of centralized
databases and calls into question the continued practice of collecting large
centralized sets of highly sensitive data. In some instances, the citizens of
entire countries (such as Sweden) have suffered potentially devastating
personal data breaches. These breaches often do not occur as a result of
hacking or other malicious efforts but, instead, because appropriate safeguards
did not exist to prevent unauthorized access to the data.

As for the SelfKey token itself, it will be used to facilitate all of the transactions on the SelfKey ecosystem, charging a nominal fee for users to use their SelfKey information – ultimately, these charges will remain much cheaper than the expensive implementation of incumbent KYC companies.



Simon Bierling

Simon is a former Neuroscientist currently exploring the world of Blockchain and Business. He has work experience with Twitter.



Mellisa Virahsawmy

Mellisa has experience working in her field with companies such as Appleby and Deloitte. Her legal experience will help to solidify SelfKey as it grows to become the de facto standard in the industry.



Roger Lim

Roger Lim is a well known blockchain investor from the Chinese scene, and will be backing the SelfKey project. He has backed several other recent ICO projects as an advisor, such as Bluzelle, TheKey, Qlink, and CoinFi.
This is one of the larger teams that I’ve seen for a blockchain based project, and that’s generally a good thing; while smaller teams are more flexible and able to adjust more quickly to the evolving landscape, the larger team of SelfKey will be able to draw from many more years of cumulative experience and deliver a more polished finished product.



SelfKey is a great product, and one that will likely have lots of use right from the start. Instead of companies having to pay millions of dollars to work with a KYC compliance company, they could simply implement SelfKey and use that information to be legally KYC compliant. It’s a concept that goes beyond the whitepaper and has an easy to understand usecase that should get some major traction in short order.

Another great thing about SelfKey is their terms of their token sale. Capped at around 20 million dollars, it’s on the smaller end of token sales that generally go for 30 million+ for their raise. For such a large team it’s great that they are still asking for contributions that actually make sense for the project, and leave a lot of room for upwards potential in this market.

Finally, it’s great that SelfKey is a non-profit organization. While they have added enough token metrics and solutions to make their tokens valuable and have use, having a for profit company behind a project generally leads to some less-than-perfect incentives. SelfKey is a protocol dapp that feels right at home in the Ethereum lineup, and should enjoy future success due to its utility.


SelfKey does have several competitors in the space, such as Civic. Civic is currently valued at 140 million dollars, and while this does mean SelfKey will be coming out of the gates at a much lower valuation, it also portends to a time and first-to-market advantage in the favor of Civic. Secondly, there is THEKEY, which is a Chinese project and upcoming ICO which will also be a challenger for SelfKey, adding additional competition for SelfKey to overcome. An investor does not necessarily need to shy away from SelfKey for these reasons, but it will pay to do due diligence on other solutions and pick out the best one.



SelfKey is a solid project, and one of the things that will give cryptocurrency and blockchain a tangible, respectable leverage when in discussions regarding the actual value of the crypto economy. There is a lot of sense and grounded thinking that went into the whitepaper, and it is a pleasure to see that the team isn’t overpromising only to underdeliver in the future. These guys know what they’re doing, they know their niche, and should easily achieve their goals. While competition is fierce, I expect SelfKey to carve out their own space in the market and remain a strong service in the months and years to come.

Investment Grade: 80%

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4 thoughts on “SelfKey ICO Review – KEY Investment Analysis

  1. Hi Global Halo,

    This is only the second ICO that I will have invested in; however for this one they are asking for ID documents and selfies to confirm registration. Is this normal?



    1. Absolutely, this is known as KYC (know your customer) authorization and is a required of most present ICO’s to comply with regulations and laws.


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