30 Best Small Companies to Watch 2017


thesiliconreview-graphic1-dominode-2017The blockchain is a developing technology with the potential to revolutionize the way we live and do business. Global companies like Oracle, NASDAQ, and IBM are building supply chain, financing and mainstream business applications on the blockchain, and many private and government initiatives are in play. Still, there is a critical need to create a secure and transparent digital identity solution for professionals and businesses operating in regulated industries, and blockchain is the ideal technology to meet this need. Just in the U.S. alone, 22 percent of all jobs are in a regulated occupation, and 27 million businesses must be licensed or permitted to operate.

As serial entrepreneurs with deep experience building and deploying technology solutions for businesses in regulated industries, John Toohey and Cherie Duncan, CEO and COO of Dominode, Inc., recognize that professionals and businesses struggle with exacting sets of rules and reporting, and the management of sharing and securing highly personal digital assets while remaining in compliance with evolving regulatory requirements. And, given recent accounts of significant data breaches putting hundreds of millions of users at risk, there is a critical and immediate need to give licensed professionals full control over their personal and professional digital identities.

The Dominode team is building a portable verified digital identity solution to give professionals ownership of their suitability profile, including certifications, financial and credit status, academic and military service information, and overall fitness for a role within a regulated industry. Further, regulators have a compliant, secure and scalable solution to leverage the verification efforts of peer agencies while still adhering to applicant privacy obligations. All this data is immutably stored within a secure and permissioned network leveraging blockchain, smart contracts, and state of the art cryptography.

In conversation with John Toohey, Dominode CEO & Co-founder

Why is a verified digital identity solution critical for regulated industries?

After many years working in a regulated industry, it was clear to us that license management, the process of applying for or updating a license, was a critical problem begging for a brilliant solution. In the United States alone, there are nearly 27 million businesses that must be licensed or permitted to operate legally in more than 78,000 licensing jurisdictions. Every distinct jurisdiction and industry demands a diverse set of processes, and businesses need to know who they are doing business with, and who they are hiring. Add to that the 28 million workers who have licensure requirements, including professionals in legal and protective services, community and social services, as do pilots and aviation mechanics, real estate agents, and many financial advisors and accountants. It’s a complicated, often redundant process with data security and privacy requirements intensifying the risk for businesses and professionals.

Once licensed, professionals have no control over their digital assets or where the information is stored. Businesses incur significant costs associated with gathering and submitting information that must be updated on a regular basis, and regulators suffer the burden of supporting and verifying the information, along with the ongoing requirements of record retention and disposal. We believe the practice of storing your sensitive data in someone else’s filing cabinet or central servers must stop. Dominode is committed to delivering a verified self-sovereign digital ID solution, fully encrypted, where you control who can see what, when and for how long.

Tell us about your first product.

We have several use cases that demonstrate Dominode is a game-changer for professionals and businesses in regulated industries, and the government agencies that are charged with oversight.

Because the Dominode leadership team has more than 60 years combined experience in the regulated gaming industry, a verified digital identity solution for that sector was a logical first step. Today there are more than 400 licensing jurisdictions in the gaming industry worldwide, with 860 casino operators/competitors on 3,600 properties. We have determined that more than 65,000 licenses are annually sourced or maintained for more than 500,000 professionals.

The Dominode blockchain solution solves a common business problem where professionals, and multiple and often competing entities need to share critical documents in an ultra-secure, private and cost-effective network without an intermediary. It also gives professionals and business operators full control over their digital assets, with an emphasis on privacy, protection, and portability.

What strategies do you employ to accelerate adoption with your stakeholders?

Supporting the Dominode solution is a system of token-based incentives that promote collaboration and efficiency throughout the network. In the Dominode ecosystem, regulators, companies, and licensed professionals establish and maintain an absolute digital reputation of trust both within and beyond jurisdictional borders so that transactions no longer need to be undertaken from the ground up. The Dominode trust token is a form of settlement between transacting partners and paid as a reward for validating identity data elements, as well as for providing necessary services to participants.

What feedback have you received from your stakeholders?

The response has been very positive. Across the board, we’ve been told that we’ve clearly identified a critical problem in need of a solution. We’ve learned through conversations and informal focus groups that the pain point extends far beyond the gaming industry. And, before the advent of blockchain, the Dominode solution would not have been possible. Recognizing that this is a relatively new technology, we are investing significant time educating stakeholders about the benefits of the blockchain, and the associated benefits of a secure, decentralized, immutable shared database.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We envision Dominode as the world’s leading verified digital identity solution for professionals and businesses operating in regulated industries, and we are currently exploring use cases in regulated gaming, healthcare, insurance, aviation, and financial services industries.

Today, our primary focus is to become the very best in a target set of verticals through flawless execution of blockchain, smart contracts, and cryptography, and by leveraging our deep understanding of the issues and the regulatory environment.

Meet The Chief

John Toohey, CEO, and Co-founder of Dominode has nearly 20 years’ experience in the design, development, and delivery of commercial grade distributed fault-tolerant and secure systems, as well as loosely coupled modular, asynchronous and event-driven platforms. He is committed to harnessing the power of blockchain technology to build a first-class digital identity solution for licensed professionals and businesses operating in regulated industries. Previously, John was the Chief Software Architect for a Fortune 1000 company providing technology platforms, hardware and services to the worldwide regulated gaming industry. Born to innovate, he has built and sold two technology companies and has a proven ability for building and motivating global teams.


“The practice of storing your sensitive data in someone else’s filing cabinet or central servers must stop. Dominode is committed to delivering a verified self-sovereign digital ID solution, fully encrypted, where you control who can see what, when and for how long.”