With the introduction of WORBLI to the Blockchain ecosystem along with their KYC/AML features, this will help the industry bring back TRUST back to the the technology. In this article i want to highlight the current pain points with government regulations and how potentially WORBLI can help fill in the gap.
The current problem with Blockchain technology from a KYC/AML perspective
Blockchain technology will revolutionise our every day life especially the financial sector. Within just a few years we have seen the growth of a decentralized economy that will radically change business and finance in the future. With that being said, Blockchain technology comes with an risks. The extreme high volatility of the cryptocurrency market and anonymity has put the technoclogy into scrutiny by central banks and regulators.
The decentralisation of cryptocurrencies also poises the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing. So in order to prevent this, cryptocurrency efforts to improve “Know Your Customer” (KYC) are more vital and important than ever.
The MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore ) recently released “A Guide to Digital Token Offerings” which outlines the legal procedures for ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings). Within this document clarifies that digital tokens do constitute a product which therefore falls under MAS regulatory law. In Articles 3.2 and 3.3 it requires companies to fully conduct diligent and continuous KYC checks, and balances requiring them report any suspicious or unlawful activities.
Singapore’s MAS regulations will become of policies which are becoming widely adopted in Asia. In Hong Kong The SFC(Securities and Futures Commission) also recently released policies to gocern the risks of ICO’s and the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements of cryptocurrency related entities. Similarly the Central Bank of Malaysia followed, enacting AML along with CFT policies specifically targeting Cryptocurrencies. These new policies address KYC checks as well as other processes to mitigate the possibility of scams or security breaches.
OPEN Banking and API’s
‘Open Banking’ started in the UK on January 13 2018. So what does this mean, well the legislation required banks to open up data on customers to third parties and let them execute transactions on customers’ behalf — with the agreement from the customers. This is a game changing development, which means the change will encourage bank account switching but the long-term potential could shakeup the way banking is done in the UK, Europe and the rest of the World.
The use of APIs by banks is becoming increasingly common as they help to drive speed and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional legacy systems. Developing a global Open Banking Standard would set the framework for security and consumer protection as data sharing increases. So what is API, well it is short for Application Programming Interface. APIs allow developers to simply integrate their existing application with various other software backends, by exchanging the exact data that is needed.
The UK financial services has recently had a shake up after the Competition and Markets Authority stepped in to create “Open Banking” on behalf of the UK Government. Over 3rd Party app developers will be given access to the data you want them to see thus making it easier to put together financial statements from various personal accounts or new business forecasts. A customer would need to grant access to the third party application to access datas from the banks which they would traditionally do via would verify the customer via the For example if you held a current account with bank A, a saving account with Bank B and a Mortgage account with Bank C. The app developers now able to aggregate the data under one application.
So every provider who uses Open Banking to offer products and services is be regulated by the FCA or European equivalent. So far 9 (see list below) of UK largest Banks have enrolled to the “Open Banking”. Opan Banking is now also widely adopted across Europe and most recently in Hong Kong where the HKMA recently introduce the Open Banking Framework.
Within the UK each Bank also supports v2.1 of the Open Data specification includes the following APIs: ATM, branch, personal current accounts, business current accounts, small-medium business loans, and commercial credit cards. The personal current account API, for example, has a complete list of every personal current account offered by the bank, including the interest rate, overdraft fees, etc.
The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) on the other hand requires banks to open their payments infrastructure and customer data assets to third parties that can then develop payments and information services to your customers.
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group (Natwest, Ulster Bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland)
- Barclays Bank
- HSBC Group (HSBC, First Direct, M&S)
- Lloyds Group (Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland)
- Danske Bank
- Bank of Ireland (including the Post Office)
- Allied Irish Banks (including AIB and First Trust Bank)
- Challenger banks
With the Open Banking API’s now in the mainstream. This would now pave way the way for WORBLI to introduce Blockchain Technology to the mass by way of fully developing APIs which enables interoperability between traditional banking services using Open Banking and PSD2.
WORBLI is a financial services network (FSN) where enterprises and individuals can access a broad range of services. Our blockchain ecosystem leverages EOSIO software and is capable of hosting a variety of decentralized applications (dApps) focused on financial innovation, security, reliability, and compliance.
Worbli can build an entire ecosystem of diverse interconnected financial services which can potentially connect to other Blockchains. Which can interope with tradiditional banking services by means of KYC and adhering to AML regulations. The EOS blockchain which they will be side-chaining will enable the Blockchain to scale better and have less confirmation than other Blockchain ecosystems. The interopeability would provide dApp developers on WORBLI not only provide a limited market share from the Cryptocurrency community but this will potentially open the doors to vast general public whom have been reluctant to adopt cryptocurrencies. The current world population is approx around 7.2 Billion and according to The Global Findex database report of 2017 1.7 Billion population is unbanked which concludes that 5.5 Billion has access to banking facilities. If Open Banking continues to be adopted the market potential of WORBLI is a force to reckon with and potentially disrupt the financial services industry.
I’m excited and looking forward to the endless potential dApps can push Blockchain technology to the Mass and i believe WORBLI has all the key ingredients to succeed where so many have failed.
Let me leave you with a quote from Lord Bridges of Headley, Vice-Chair on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain :
“Blockchain has great potential to revolutionize our financial system. It’s critical that the UK grasps the opportunities this new technology creates so that we can continue to build on our position as a global financial center in the decades ahead.”