Blockchain-based Identity Could Save Democracy

Arwen Smit discusses the importance of private and personal data and the loss of identity via impermanent institutions. She outlines how our identity needs to be individually controlled, as a basis of democracy.

She outlines why we need a new way to reclaim our identities and offers blockchain-based identity as a solution that can help us pave the way for a more equitable form of democracy.

The central idea is that we, as individuals, should control our personal data. What we can do with blockchain is control a repository of personal data silos so that we determine who gets what data.

For example, if a hotel only need to know if we are older than 18, they can verify that instantly via blockchain, without also accessing other personal information that is unrelated to their requirements.

If you live in an environment where the government or data institutions collapse, with blockchain you can still have your personal data and identity intact.

Arwen Smit founded several blockchain companies, including DOVU and MintBit. She believes that decentralised technologies will be the foundation of new economic and political models. She writes and speaks about blockchain internationally, is an advisor to Tomorrow’s Journey, and mentor to female entrepreneurs at Rotterdam School of Management, London Business School and Berkeley University.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at