Netki & Bitt Production Release Underway with Caribbean Financial Institution

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Netki, a provider of Open Source and Open Standards compliance solutions for Blockchains, announced the first production platform for Central Banks using its Digital Identity Service. Bitt and Netki provide the solution through a Blockchain based central bank digital currency issuance that has the potential to modernize the financial system of the region, thereby ushering in the establishment of a stronger payment and settlement framework with unprecedented levels of economic growth.

Bitt is the architect of Blockchain and distributed ledger based technology infrastructure for interbank transactions and cash digitization systems for central banks.

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“Bitt joined forces with Netki as part of our ongoing initiative to bolster compliance efforts and provide an effective means for all people, including underbanked individuals to engage in the global economy through digital payments that are low cost, secure, easy to use and highly efficient,” said Gabriel Abed, CEO of Bitt.

“Correspondent banks have de-risked some local Caribbean banks based on perceived higher risk and lower returns. This prevents these local Caribbean banks from having access to foreign markets and also hurts merchants and customers who are unable to access foreign banks and financial institutions,” said Oliver Gale, President of Bitt.

Across more than 7000 islands, the Caribbean has 13 sovereign island nations and 12 dependent territories, most with their own financial system and currency. To try and stabilize their independent currencies, a number of local currencies are pegged to the US dollar or Euro. Many Caribbean nations are still struggling with low economic growth, the effects of de-risking by US correspondent banks and the high cost of compliance. Central bank digital currency issuance is a viable solution to solve a number of problems in the payments system today. With both Bitt and Netki working together, central banks in their role as regulators and banks will have all the necessary identity information required for transactions. This will lower risk levels and increase the ease of doing business.

Netki CEO Justin Newton, Bitt CEO Gabriel Abed and Central Bank of Aruba General Manager Economic Policy Ryan Petersen are presenting a keynote today on the main stage at Consensus. The presentation begins with an overview of Netki and Bitt’s technology and how it meets the risk and compliance requirements of central banks and ends with the Bank of Aruba’s representative joining the conversation to discuss goals, challenges and opportunities for Blockchain technology as a tool for financial inclusion and market access.

“For new innovation, inclusion and value creation to happen on the Blockchain, financial institutions must meet risk and compliance regulations, which Netki provides through its Digital Identity Service,” said Justin Newton, CEO of Netki. “With a digital identity standard in place, financial institutions can realize the benefits of Blockchain, expand their service offerings and market coverage.”

Netki Digital Identity Solutions are being used with Bitt’s Mobile Wallet, Merchant Processor, Teller, ATM, Debit Card, and Exchange. Bitt is providing the payment network to interconnect the Caribbean using the Blockchain to form the Caribbean Settlement Network.

The Netki Digital Identity Solution manages the onboarding process through identification, know your customer requirements and compliance. Netki issues certificates for communication between peers using the BIP75 protocol where identities are exchanged meeting risk and compliance regulations. Additionally, the Netki solution streamlines onboarding of new customers, merchants and banks to use this process.

Founded in 2014, Netki is a Los Angeles based financial technology company developing Open Source and Open Standards based Digital Identity solutions that allow financial service companies to meet regulatory compliance requirements and legal non repudiation on both public and private Blockchains. Netki’s digital identity solutions are part of the IBM Blockchain ecosystem and PwC Australia’s Digital Asset Services. For more information, visit https://www.netki.com.

Bitt’s business model is focused on using Blockchain technology to facilitate digital payments, the issuance of digital fiat currency by central banks and the introduction of a regional settlement network for the Caribbean. Bitt is headquartered in Barbados, and locally employs approximately 50 people. In April 2016, US based Overstock.com, partnered with Bitt to boost the company’s development providing investment, operational, legal and other strategic resources leveraging the vast network of talent from their own team as well as teams from related ventures such as T0 and PeerNova. For more information visit https://www.bitt.com.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST
2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency
($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company
Blockchain Partners
(Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser
at leading industry event CryptoFinancing (Europe's first ICO event now
branded Tokenomicon)
– Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher,
innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards
of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500
articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and
has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.  Irish Tech News put him in the top
10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of
Blockchain
at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang
at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he
was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School
for Business Automation 4.0 programme. Chevalier (Knight) - Ordre des
Arts et des Technologies at Crypto Chain University and an Advisory
Board Member of International Decentralized Association Of
Cryptocurrency And Blockchain (IDABC) as well as Advisory Board Member
at U.S. Blockchain Association. Over a half a decade experience judging
and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the
European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor
and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain
technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels,
Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki,
London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, San
Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel
Aviv,  Utrecht, Venice,  Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and
Zurich.  His network is global and extensive.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has
ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean
& Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business
Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work
and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and
French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart,
Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to
TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to
marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian
expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the
world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called,
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on
yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently
lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage
daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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