Bloq Outlines Blockchain Solutions for Trade Finance and Supply Chain Management

Bloq Outlines Blockchain Solutions for Trade Finance and Supply Chain Management

Bloq, a Chicago-based blockchain developer and software startup, has joined IBM and Microsoft to develop blockchain platforms and best practices for one of the most promising use cases for blockchain technology: trade finance and supply chain management.

Interest in the use of blockchain for trade is growing rapidly as companies and organizations like IBM, Microsoft, Hyperledger, JP Morgan and Walmart recognize that antiquated trade systems are long overdue for a complete restructuring and that blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the systems that make up global trade.

A common problem with current trade systems is fraud. The trip from farm or factory to store shelves involves numerous opportunities to falsify shipping documents and alter shipping container records or contents with little accountability.

“Global supply chain management has drastically changed in the last 10-15 years,” William Nieusma, Vice President, Government Strategy at Bloq told Bitcoin Magazine: “Regulatory mandates, operational complexity and data security concerns have ramped up the pressure to overhaul these outdated systems.”

Nieusma is one of the authors of Bloq’s recently released white paper, “Accelerating Global Trade Processes with Blockchain,” designed to introduce their new project to develop a model blockchain network for companies involved in trade.

“But it’s not all doom-and-gloom; adopters of blockchain-based systems can cut costs, improve customer service and find new, verified business partners,” added Nieusma.

Alan Cohn, attorney and consultant and advisor to Bloq told us:

“Global trade is an area where blockchain can play a transformative role, not just for industry but also for government.”

Nieusma noted that Bloq believes that in the future, the most significant and valuable business systems, including trade, will run on blockchains.

IBM has recognized the potential of blockchain and trade. In partnership with seven European banks, it is building a pilot blockchain trade program with Hyperledger to enable companies like Walmart and Maersk to use blockchain technology to better track the movement of farm and factory products to the store shelves.

Microsoft is also building a model trade program using the Ethereum blockchain in a pilot project with JPMorgan.

Blockchain Tech and Trade Are a Perfect Fit

Trade finance and supply management lend themselves well to the particular advantages of blockchain technology. The Bloq white paper states:

Blockchain technology holds considerable promise to substantially improve supply chain security and transparency. Blockchain’s inherent architectural attributes solve several weaknesses in current trade IT systems and processes to ensure information immutability and transaction auditing, thereby increasing trade value capture and value creation.

Bloq’s model trade platform promises companies high levels of cybersecurity, reduced waiting times, transparency, ease of revenue payments, low infrastructure investment, easily auditable transactions, efficient accommodation for additional participants, immutability and automatic bonding and payments through smart contracts.

Bloq plans to build a “permissioned, federated network” built on the Bitcoin blockchain that, depending on the client’s needs, will also support Ethereum and Hyperledger. Nieusma said:

“Bloq believes that the future is a multi-chain, multi-network world and that interoperability is a guiding principle in network buildout.”

The Bloq program will connect all parties involved in a trade including buyers, banks, sellers and transporters so that information about a shipment is distributed among all involved parties at the same time.

As the white paper states:

“Trade can be safer, more secure, and more profitable with less human error. We hope this discussion leads to an evolution in trade that benefits all stakeholders.”

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Supercluster Funding Bid Could Supercharge Blockchain Development in Canada

Supercluster Funding Bid Could Supercharge Blockchain Technology in Canada

Four organizations in Canada’s blockchain tech sector are going all out this week to submit their application letter to the federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) before the July 21 deadline to be considered for funding under the government’s new Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

A representative for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains told Bitcoin Magazine that “the Innovation Superclusters Initiative will invest nearly $1 billion to strengthen up to five of Canada’s most promising clusters,”  and confirmed that “federal contributions to selected superclusters will have to be matched with private sector investment for maximum impact.”

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), ColliderX, the Blockchain Association of Canada (BAC) and the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) have teamed up to apply for some of the $950 million offered by the Canadian government for the best bids in future technologies that the government says will create “Silicon Valley-style hubs of industry key to future growth and jobs.”

ColliderX aims to accelerate core technical R&D at levels that will support innovation in Canada and position the sector as a tech leader overseas. BRI contributes the business-level use cases, setting the agenda for strategy leaders. BAC is a major advocacy organization, and ICTC is a long-time, established industry player, well known to high-tech businesses in Canada.

Blockchain Association of Canada: Call to Action

Kyle Kemper, Executive Director of the Blockchain Association of Canada, is working on the supercluster application letter of intent and told us the only thing they’re short of is time to get their application in to the ministry.

He pointed out that it is imperative that blockchain companies and organizations express their support for and commitment to the bid before the application deadline.

“This supercluster initiative is an opportunity to take blockchain technology mainstream and for Canada to take a lead role,” Kemper told Bitcoin Magazine. “In the bid process we are receiving unanimous support from public, private, academic, philanthropic and non-profit organizations.”

If the group manages to secure $50 million in funding commitments from these organizations as part of a successful bid, the federal government will match the next $50 million for each supercluster. The commitments and matched funds will be spread over 5 years, according to the proposal.

Blockchain Research Institute: No Room for Complacency

Don Tapscott, Executive Director of the BRI, notes that many of the other bids like AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things and Quantum are all dependent on blockchain technology as a foundation.

“The blockchain supercluster proposal is late to the table in part because this extraordinary technology is just becoming mainstream,” Tapscott told Bitcoin Magazine. “But it’s no less important than any of the others. In fact, it’s foundational to everything else.”

In a report called The Blockchain Corridor: Building an Innovation Economy in the 2nd Era of the Internet, Don and Alex Tapscott lay out a blueprint for a blockchain tech supercluster and Centre of Excellence in the already highly active “corridor” between Toronto and Waterloo, Ontario.

The report says:

“We cannot afford to be complacent, nor is time on our side. Canada’s leading position in the Blockchain Revolution could quickly evaporate as other hotbeds around the world, such as Berlin, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, London and New York (to say nothing of Silicon Valley) race ahead. The time to act is now.”

According to the report, the corridor could collectively generate around 170,000 new jobs and around $17 billion in GDP by the year 2025.

Tapscott added:

“Blockchain represents nothing less than the second era of the Internet. The first was based in Silicon Valley. As we show in the Blockchain Corridor Report, the second could be based in Canada.

“I’m convinced that we can find $50 million from the private sector for this initiative. So I sure hope that governments will ensure we have a seat at the table going forward to make our case.”

ColliderX: The Underdog Challenge

Bid partner ColliderX is a new non-profit social enterprise working to promote and develop R&D initiatives in the Canadian blockchain tech sector.

ColliderX founder and CEO Iliana Oris Valiente notes that the four bid partner organizations complement each other to create a dynamic supercluster.

“Being considered by ISED to move on to the next stage of the selection process will be a win for the blockchain industry as it will signal Canada’s support of this ecosystem,” Valiente said to Bitcoin Magazine.

“We’re certainly the underdog in this scenario but are promoting a truly new industry, rather than continued investments in areas that are already more established.”

Information and Communications Technology Council

ICTC is an established industry player that brings a wealth of experience in economic development activities and will be involved in bridging the gap between the blockchain industry and a wider segment of the business and political community.

Namir Anani, President & CEO of ICTC, believes that competition to win supercluster funding will be tough but notes that small- and medium-sized entreprises (like most blockchain startups) represent the large majority of Canada’s competitive businesses.

Anani says they will make the point that blockchain technology is a cross-industry enabler and a key catalyst for heightening small business growth and competitiveness in Canada.

Anani told Bitcoin Magazine:

“The global blockchain market is growing at a staggering CAGR [Compound Annual Growth Rate] of 58.7 percent, according to Transparency Market Research. Capitalizing on this fast growth market is key for Canada’s economy and employment potential going forward.

“As Canada continues to expand its trade agreements in an increasingly global market, such as with the newly ratified Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreements (CETA), blockchain is a pivotal trade enabler for fast-tracking Canada’s place in the global economy.”

Making the Deadline

Valiente is confident that crowdfunding will bring in the needed amounts. To date, she has raised $2 million in pledges on behalf of ColliderX, which will be rolled into the supercluster. 

Anani is also confident the private sector will come forward and is passionate about selling the supercluster bid.

“Blockchain has the potential of reshaping all aspects of the global economy in the next number of years, building Canada’s comparative advantage in this space is paramount going forward. The Blockchain Supercluster is a powerful pan-Canadian collaboration that will unleash cross-industry innovations, new economic opportunities and employment prospects for Canadians.”

Kemper reiterated the need for industry support in order for the initiative to succeed. “I urge all organizations that support Blockchain technology and organizations looking to better understand the potential to go to blockchainsc.ca, fill out a letter of commitment and share this news to rally more people to the cause by 12:00 EST on Friday, July 21.”

Thus far, C4 and the Institute on Governance are among those supporting the bid as sponsors.

The group has until December 31, 2017, to raise the remaining supercluster-specific private-sector funding.

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Adding Some Fun and Games to Bitcoin Scaling Debate Angst

Adding Some Fun and Games to Bitcoin Scaling Angst

If you’re good at puzzles and familiar with the world of Bitcoin, you may be interested in signing up for the second round of the CoinGate Bitcoin Challenge, starting Saturday, July 15 at 6 p.m. UTC.

CoinGate, the Lithuanian-based bitcoin and altcoin payment center, is holding its second Bitcoin Challenge to highlight the history and benefits of Bitcoin as their response to the ongoing contentious scaling debate.

Like many in the Bitcoin space, CoinGate CTO Rytis Bieliauskas is watching with some concern and hoping bitcoiners will come back to their roots and remember the origins and original intentions of bitcoin founders.

Every two weeks throughout the summer, CoinGate is publishing a challenge related to Bitcoin and blockchain history. Solving the puzzles quickly requires some knowledge and skill, but mostly the challenges are designed to be “geeky fun” for anyone involved with Bitcoin to some degree.

On Saturday, contestants can register and access a number of challenges of varying degrees of difficulty on CoinGate’s website and on /r/Bitcoin here.

In preparation for the second contest, the Reddit thread is a good source of examples with answers from the last challenge, which began on July 1.

During the July 1st challenge, there was considerable discussion on Reddit among contestants.

“We were really surprised that participants started sharing their thoughts on our Reddit thread, even though there was only one prize for each riddle,” the Coingate team told Bitcoin Magazine. “And so all the riddles were solved and prizes snapped up within just 3 hours.

“Our team is really happy with the results and the number of participants [the challenge] attracted. All in all, we logged over 800 attempts and more than 600 people who were up to solve the tasks in a matter of several hours.”

Contestants received a series of puzzles to choose from, leading to a Bitcoin private key and the address for a wallet containing BTC.

Three challenges of varying difficulty were launched at once, with the most difficult taking from 4-6 hours to solve. As is evident on the Reddit comments, some found the puzzles baffling while a few seemed more than ready for the challenge.

In one puzzle, for example, contestants were given a grid of four CoinGate logos that seemed identical. A private key was hidden in the image and the participants had to figure out what was hidden and assemble the private key leading to the reward.

Most of the puzzles involve steganography — extracting of the meaning of a secret message hidden within an ordinary message.

Some of the solutions will provide a private key, while some others will provide another method to retrieve bitcoins, for example in the form of a wallet “seed.”

The end goal of each challenge is to get access to a Bitcoin address by finding its private key (or otherwise). Depending on the difficulty of the challenge, that address will contain a reward of 0.01 to 0.1 BTC. (The prize will be sent to a Bitcoin address just before the challenge.)

CoinGate: On SegWit and UASF

CoinGate CTO Rytis Bieliauskas told Bitcoin Magazine:

“CoinGate is seeking to attract people back to the basics of Bitcoin and blockchain [technology]. Having been involved in the Bitcoin world since 2011, we deeply love the original blockchain and we strongly believe that consensus [on scaling] will be reached.”

Bieliauskas is concerned about the direction Bitcoin is taking and is asking Bitcoiners to remember what the original essence and intent of Bitcoin was.

Bieliauskas considers himself to be a Core supporter but is hopeful all parties involved will come to a consensus on how to scale Bitcoin.

On the CoinGate blog, he wrote:

“We strongly believe in a future for Bitcoin. As we have officially stated previously, our team strongly supports SegWit as the best Bitcoin scaling solution, and we therefore maintain a close eye on BIP148 (UASF).”

In an email from the CoinGate team, a representative explained: “We have officially expressed our support for SegWit and UASF back in April, though we have not made any comment on the SegWit2x as it was coined after the New York Agreement. We strongly support any scaling solution that will help Bitcoin grow and become accessible and useful to people across the globe.

“However, since we are involved with Bitcoin from its technical side, we know that a scaling solution must not only seem viable ‘on paper,’ but also undergo rigorous testing before it can be launched across the network.”

Regardless of what the future brings, CoinGate has expressed that it is here to stay:

“[W]hatever the changes in the Bitcoin landscape, our team is ready to adjust to any technological developments. In the end, our goal has always been to make cryptocurrencies accessible, simple and convenient for both businesses and individuals.”

CoinGate is a payment gateway/processor for bitcoin and more than 40 altcoins including Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, Dash, Ripple and Golem. According to CoinGate, it is not an exchange because although the site offers customers ways to buy and sell bitcoins, it does not connect customers to each other.

Those interested in applying to play can sign up here.

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Blockchain-Based Remittance Companies Win at RemTECH Awards Ceremony

RemTech Awards

The global remittance industry’s blockchain-based startups got a boost recently at the Remittance Technology (RemTECH) awards held at the United Nations in New York, from June 16 to 18 as part of the UN Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development.

Of the 11 award-winning remittance companies, five startups built on the blockchain were winners. The entries were judged on price, speed, the onboarding of enterprise clients (for white label solutions) and seamless delivery.

The aim of the RemTECH awards is to showcase the most innovative and outstanding ideas, models and projects designed to improve remittance services worldwide by improving transparency, speed, cost and reliability for companies and end-users that send and receive remittances.

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr, Director of the RemTECH Awards, told Bitcoin Magazine:

“Even though large money transfer companies still don’t see the importance of the breakthroughs of blockchain-based and Bitcoin remittance startups, the RemTECH Judging Panel was impressed by some of the solutions presented by companies like Bitso and Everex, just to name two of them.”

“The Awards gave new blockchain startups a chance to shine in the spotlight of the United Nations Forum where the public and private sector met to discuss the challenges of the remittance industry. At IMTC (International Money Transfer Conferences) we are striving to create this dialog of incumbents and fintech firms to work together and create win-win partnerships. It’s not easy but it is happening,” added Cuevas-Mohr.

Bitcoin and blockchain services AirPocket, Bitso, Everex, Moneytis and Trulioo took home the following awards:

Remittances and Financial Inclusion: AirPocket

AirPocket, built on the Bitcoin blockchain, serves Latin America with tens of thousands of payout locations and is supported by the top banks in each country.

Pioneering Spirit: Bitso

Mexican bitcoin exchange Bitso, which raised $2.5 million last September, has been working with Canadian payments startup Paycase to create a new remittance corridor between the two countries and send funds from bank accounts in Canada to Mexico.

Most Innovative Service: Moneytis

Bitcoin blockchain-based Moneytis aims to offer the lowest possible fees to help empower unbanked groups in the developing world. They also have a notification service that monitors all exchange rates in real-time and sends alerts when a significant change happens.

Potential for Growth: Trulioo

Trulioo is a Canadian blockchain-based financial technology company that in addition to remittance services, offers identity verification services for businesses and organizations worldwide using government and private databases.

Service Originality: Everex

Everex was the only Ethereum-based platform nominated. In addition to its contributions to remittance services, Everex has also developed a system for placing national currencies on the blockchain. By doing so, Everex allows people living in cash-based societies to earn a public financial reputation.

“The judges knew about Ethereum, and were excited by the ongoing experiments taking place on the network by individual users, small businesses and multinational corporations,” said Alexi Lane, CEO of Everex, in a statement. “This technology will transform the remittance industry and increase financial inclusion everywhere.”

Greta Geankoplis, a blockchain systems developer and IMTC (International Money Transfer & Payments Conferences) advisor, co-chaired the judges panel. She told Bitcoin Magazine:

“Blockchain (and some Bitcoin specifically) platform-based companies competed shoulder to shoulder with older technology for delivering cross-border value to diverse customers in widely varying environments.

But this is just the beginning. Blockchain platforms in the $700 billion remittance industry holds the promise of leveraging many other needed services in the fastest growing markets: mobile based, micro insurance, loans, education, and remote healthcare to name a few.”

Other blockchain-based companies that were nominated for a RemTECH award included Bitex, Cashaa, DigitalX and OKLink.

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Samson Mow Introduces Liquid Networks at Blockchain Forum in Canada

Samson Mow Introduces Liquid Networks' at Blockchain Forum in Canada

Blockstream’s Samson Mow and Paycase’s Joseph Weinberg unveiled the Liquid network yesterday at the Blockchain Association of Canada’s Government Forum in Ottawa, as a step forward in the ongoing Bitcoin scaling debate.

The Liquid network is a federated sidechain designed to provide new features and benefits to exchanges, users, and businesses by leveraging a sidechain which will process transactions more quickly and efficiently than the main Bitcoin blockchain.

Sidechains like Liquid Networks offer automated real-time audit, a secure open protocol, and unforgeable secure tokens, all of which can be used over the open internet.

Samson Mow, Chief Strategy Officer with Blockstream told Bitcoin Magazine:

“There’s a preference from some people to scale on-chain with block size increases, but that’s a technical dead-end. Scaling off-chain with sidechains means leveraging proven technology that’s already available, and will be far superior to static blocksize increases for trivial on-chain scaling gains.”

Mow explained:

“Sidechains allow for new innovations in security models and features, plus the added benefit of faster and more cost efficient transactions – if more businesses were utilizing sidechains for use cases involving recurring transactions, they would take some pressure off the main Bitcoin blockchain.”

He noted that there are strong indications that cryptographic federations and sidechains in general are a good solution to better distribute networks that currently hold the potential for centralized systemic risk.

“In the case of Liquid, it will also improve bitcoin interchange liquidity, and accelerate trading and security for a large percent of today’s global and currency-paired BTC trading,” added Mow.

Mow explained that Liquid Networks or “Liquid” represents a point-to-point sidechain that provides near-instant, secure transfer of assets (bitcoin initially), all while user and exchange environments remain separate from the movement of the underlying value.

Paycase CEO Joseph Weinberg told the audience that they have been working with users, enterprises, financial institutions and others on solutions that leverage strong federations.

Weinberg told Bitcoin Magazine:

“Sidechains become even more interesting when you have multiple sidechains from an interoperability perspective. As you tokenize the world, you see this marketplace of all assets being liquefied and then rapidly traversed, similar to how currents move liquid water around the world.

“It’s this frictionless flow and interoperability that our economy here in Canada and our geo-political and economic partners around the world are really well positioned to adopt and champion into the mainstream.”

Samson Mow Introduces Liquid Networks' at Blockchain Forum in Canada

Strong Federations and Sidechains

In order to function, a Liquid Network requires explicit trust of a group of parties, governance guarantees whereby you have rule adherence and a network of many participants responsible for network consensus.

While accelerating trading in bitcoin, this system will build an infrastructure that leads to a “trustless” exchange for users.

Best use cases include cryptographic assets, central bank currency issuance, land titles/registries, credit issuance and settlement between large institutions.

Mow noted that what Lightning Networks can do for smaller transactions, the Liquid Network can do for larger transactions between companies and exchanges.

Currently, Liquid Beta participants include Bitso, Bitfinex, Bitt, BTCC, Coins.ph, Streami, Paycase, The Rock Trading, Unocoin and Zaif. Discussions continue with other partners.

Bank of Canada Is Interested in Liquid Networks

While in Ottawa, Mow and Weinberg met with representatives from the central Bank of Canada. Weinberg told us:

“We met with the Bank of Canada and had some great discussions with them about blockchain technology, and use cases and systems like Paycase’s cross-border transaction platform Traverse and Blockstream’s Elements platform.

“There is a sense that the media misrepresented the Bank’s recent comments on the Jasper experiment, which was actually a well-balanced and accurate assessment of the technologies they’ve trialed to date. I think they’re still very much interested in evaluating blockchain technology.”

Weinberg added: “We are also working on other sidechain initiatives that leverage strong federations and confidential assets via the elements project both in Canada and globally that require multi-participant governance guarantees and explicit trust.”

He added that they are excited going forward, not just about Liquid Networks but the whole interoperation and weaving of different technology stacks in the ecosystem to enable new use cases and leverage all the great layers of the blockchain stack that are being built around the world.

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Netki’s Digital ID Service Tackles Global Compliance Challenges

Netki Digital ID Tackles Compliance

Netki, the New York–based software startup, wants to make blockchain technology more user friendly by launching its new universal Netki Digital ID service, so that anyone can access services on blockchains without re-validating their ID at every stop. The Netki Digital ID will be both KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) verified, allowing users to access a variety of blockchain businesses including financial institutions like banks, exchanges and healthcare services.

Netki wants their ID to work on any blockchain, public or private, around the world and to provide automated onboarding and validation of new customers, as well as easy sharing of digital identities.

The company’s goal is to create a digital identity certificate that uses a standard recognized by governments everywhere as legally validated, to process transactions anywhere in the world. Pricing will be based on the number of certificates and the complexity of validations.

The Digital ID uses a new peer-to-peer payment protocol (BIP 75) that allows senders, receivers and their financial partners to exchange all four identities via a private encrypted channel.

According to Netki’s announcement, the Netki Digital ID service will allow for the easy capture of an individual’s documents and biometrics via their smartphone, along with multiple levels of automated and manual verification, including database checks, machine learning and biometric analysis.

International Compliance: A “Herculean Task”

Netki IDs are already in use in the U.S. and Europe on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, and the company is hoping to expand its service both to new jurisdictions around the world and on new blockchain networks.

Netki’s CEO and Co-Founder Justin Newton talked to Bitcoin Magazine about the process of expanding its ID service, despite the challenge of many different legal requirements in an international regulatory environment.

The regulatory landscape is changing around the world at a rapid pace. With this in mind we designed our tools and protocols to be flexible in the case of differing, new or expanding regulatory requirements.

“As we work on each new use case, we work with the customer’s risk and compliance team to determine what requirements are appropriate for their needs.”

Newton told us their team spends time in each new jurisdiction consulting with local regulators before offering their service.

Amber D. Scott, whose company Outlier Solutions  works with blockchain startups on compliance and security issues, admires the spirit and sheer scope of Netki’s undertaking but recognizes that it is a herculean task to have any ID be compliant in every jurisdiction.

She recommends that companies planning to implement any new identification solutions should thoroughly research the requirements of the jurisdictions they are operating in, to ensure “that a solution meets those requirements in their entirety.”

Scott added, “We spend a lot of time with our clients conducting this type of testing, and very few solutions pass the tests.”

Michael Perklin, an internationally recognized security expert who oversees security for ShapeShift, acknowledges that verifying users can be time-consuming and expensive, and agrees that something like a universal ID would make this process easier.

“Many people complain that there are 20+ different identity standards and it seems that Netki is proposing a 21st. It seems like a great idea in theory but its success would depend on the community adopting the Netki ID as the industry standard as opposed to another service like uPort.”

UPort offers a mobile app that allows users to create self-sovereign credentials that would allow them to process transactions on blockchains.

Newton told us that while uPort is focusing on a business model, Netki has open-sourced their protocol. Another important difference between the two companies is that uPort stores private information on the blockchain while Netki stores information off-chain. That being said, Netki is currently partnering with uPort on several projects.

Caribbean Service Bitt Is the Test Case

Netki chose the Caribbean region to test its new service, partnering with fintech company Bitt, which provides a mobile wallet and payment services to anywhere in the world.

Newton told us:

“In terms of the project that we are working on with Bitt, we believe that one of the greatest promises of blockchain [technology] is around financial inclusion. The Caribbean region has far greater mobile phone penetration than banking penetration, and most banking is effectively controlled overseas,” he said.

By creating a locally run and focused alternative, they can lower the cost of remittance, spur inter-island trade and service many people currently excluded from banking and online finance.

Empowering Individuals Over Institutions

Netki’s founders believe that blockchain technology is the game-changer that will take society to the next level, allowing more democratization and levelling of existing silos.

Newton believes that blockchain technology is a means of empowering individuals and changing the way society interacts with each other; however, without easy access for the majority of people, universal adoption will remain a dream.

As part of simplifying and making blockchain technology more user friendly, Netki already offers a wallet-naming service for $9.99 per year, which allows users to register their unwieldy wallet address of letters and numbers to a simple name, making for easier transactions for both users and businesses.

Newton is excited about the future possibilities of blockchain technology for decentralization and democratization, saying:

“For the first time, using the standards we implemented at Bitt, and more broadly with BIP 75, regulated entities such as banks can operate on public networks like bitcoin and ethereum while still meeting their risk and compliance requirements.  With the recent institutional interest, and positive government movement around digital currency, these tools couldn’t come at a better time to enable the ecosystem to really step up to the next level in terms of both usage and opportunity.”

Netki is partnering with IBM in the Hyperledger Project and with PwC Australia in its Vulcan Project.

Investors in Netki incluse O’Reilly, AlphaTech Ventures, Colle Capital, Digital Currency Group, Plug and Play, the Husseine Group, Bitfinex and Base Ventures.

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