Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton caught up with Coinfirm.io CEO Pawel Kuskowski to be the first to hear the new expansion plans for the UK-based business of the Blockchain Compliance as a Service.
Coinfirm.io is working with pan-European Polish Bank PKO BP to roll out a new platform that secures the origination of documents that will deliver better provenance and verification of originals. It is a part of the PwC program that supports young entrepreneurs and startups working within the Blockchain and Fintech industries.
Pawel Kuskowski says:
“The banking industry has a lot of issues with fake documents, or adjusted copies of originals that cannot be trusted. We identify the original documents and secure the provenance using our core technologies, we then store the metadata of the documents which are hashed to the Blockchain with secure encrypted key access only.”
“It means that documents as part of a transaction can be trusted. It will deliver significant benefits – speeding up transaction flow, reducing the amount of time trying to validate and check information sources. The information, once stored the trusted document, can be used again with the assurance it hasn’t been changed or tampered with.”
Pawel Kuskowski is championing the move to global standards. The current KYC and AML compliance as a service encourages the sharing of information relating to “bad actors” and those addresses that indicate a high level of risk.
“There are 160,000 companies using digital currencies that can make traditional banks nervous because they assume the worst,” says Pawel and adds:
“Banks simply don’t understand the risks and when they see a company advertising on their website they accept Bitcoin, are tempted to close their bank account. Companies don’t know how to deal with the argument and banks due diligence often makes a quick assumption and comes up with the wrong answer.”
“At Coinfirm we are building the solutions to tackle the problem. Through our API’s we make available information to banks, trading exchanges and other capital markets participants of digital currency accounts (crypto addresses) that our platform indicates as high risk.”
“Our platform allows for banks to share information and directly benefit from collaborating as an industry. We process huge amounts of data and the more information that is shared the more able we are to rid the digital currency system from fraud and money laundering, something traditional banks have not been able to do.”
Cointelegraph: Coinfirm was a part of the PwC collider accelerator program, what has changed?
Pawel Kuskowski: Coinfirm have joined the MIT Enterprise Accelerator program, and I would like to confirm that we have succeeded in raising seed capital. Now we can focus on building the businesses much quicker. We have several clients in Europe using our KYC/AML platform and we will be announcing some new clients in February.
Raising seed capital enables us to firm up our roadmap and product development plans. We are in discussions with partners in China, Hong Kong and Japan and hope to enter these markets during 2017. All going well, we expect to enter the US market in the second half of 2017.
CT: Do you need to make adjustments to the compliance as a service platform?
PK: No, not really, as all banks tend to have a similar requirement and same approach to KYC and AML in most geographies these days. International Banking Standards are shared and the ethos is similar. This is why I am convinced we can encourage the use of global standards.
CT: Is China supportive of cryptocurrencies?
PK: There has been a maturing of position in China by the government and the central banks, where after a tricky start that saw Bitcoin fluctuating, are now embracing cryptocurrencies.
CT: Is it a case of “can’t beat em join em?”
PK: In a sense, it was inevitable that China would need to understand the cryptocurrency landscape and resolve the outflow of currency issues into Bitcoin. They had to take digital currencies seriously and it is really great news for us and also why China is now part of our market expansion strategies.