Phone numbers are pervasive and continue to proliferate as digital identifiers. In many ways, they are a person’s most personal digital identifier. However, the traditional framework doesn’t allow users to have true ownership of their numbers, and hence, their primary digital identities. Given that phone numbers are allocated by centralized entities, securing a number often means disclosing personal information, thereby posing a risk to individual privacy.
This conventional setup is susceptible to SIM swapping attacks, a rising concern as highlighted by the FBI. In fact, the number of SIM swap fraud cases increased by 400% year over year since 2020. according to a report by the Federal Trade Commission. Such scenarios have led to numerous high-profile thefts, particularly targeting crypto assets and hijacking prominent social media accounts to mislead followers.
Moreover, the existing reliance on SMS technology, which debuted over 30 years ago, is outdated and lacks security measures. The architecture remains largely unchanged, without encryption support, thus exposing messages sent via SMS to unauthorized access within a given cellular network.
3NUM is poised to revolutionize phone communication systems. They are developing a phone number and messaging system that:
- Ensures end-to-end encryption for secure communications.
- Provides true user ownership of mobile phone numbers, fortified by public key cryptography.
- Preserves privacy, enabling users to join the network without relinquishing any personally identifying information.
- Maintains the confidentiality of phone numbers, preventing public disclosure.
- Mitigates SIM-swapping threats as it transcends the dependency on SIM cards or centralized, vulnerable services.
- Integrates with alternative identifiers like ENS, facilitating user-friendly name addressing as opposed to cumbersome multi-digit numbers.
Mobile communication has become the primary modality for people to stay in touch with each other and with the important events happening around them. The time to upgrade this core infrastructure is long overdue. BlueYard is proud to support the 3NUM team in this important mission.