Consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion is moving in the direction of Web3. The Illinois-based company announced this week it will bring off-chain consumer credit, identity, and compliance information to public blockchain networks.
The move is made possible via a partnership with Spring Labs, a company that offers decentralized infrastructure for credit and identity data. Spring Labs allows network participants, such as financial institutions, to share information about credit and identity data without needing to share the underlying data itself. Specifically, TransUnion will bring its VantageScore to Spring Labs’ ky0x Digital Passport, a tool that enables blockchain and smart contract applications to access off-chain data sources to create new, permission-controlled decentralized Web3 services and applications.
“We believe in the growth potential of DeFi,” said TransUnion President of U.S. Markets and Consumer Interactive Steve Chaouki. “Providing credit and identity data on-chain is a huge step towards improving the financial products available in the space. Working with Spring’s ky0x, we now have a solution for users to control and share their data on blockchain in a privacy-preserving way, enabling them to safely interact with a broader set of financial products.”
Transporting consumer credit data to the blockchain allows users to offer up information about themselves while maintaining privacy and anonymity of their identity. This secure data sharing allows users to access smart contract applications and helps DeFi and Web3 apps to scale.
Ultimately, the move should benefit both end users and lenders. By having their credit score available on-chain, users can receive better interest rates from DeFi lenders. Simultaneously, DeFi lenders can reduce their risk.
“Enabling access to an industry-standard, trusted credit risk score like VantageScore on-chain and in a consumer permissioned, anonymous way opens the door to greater growth and financial inclusion in the DeFi space,” said TransUnion SVP Consumer Lending Business Leader Liz Pagel. “Paired with ky0x’s AML and KYC capabilities, DeFi lenders can transact with confidence at lower rates, potentially paving the way for lending without the over-collateralization that is standard today.”
To be honest, there is a potential downside to this partnership. Traditional credit scores are prone to racial bias and have negative consequences for borrowers who have no established credit. By porting this imperfect risk underwriting model to the decentralized world, we may be doing ourselves a disservice.