WORBLI: The Blockchain that Makes Compliance Easy

Jul 15, 2019 · 6 min read

WORBLI was created with one overarching goal in mind — to make the global financial system work for everyone. We believe this is achieved through improving access and efficiency.

People are empowered when they have access to faster and more efficient systems for peer to peer and business transactions. Even in developed countries, there are many who are unable to efficiently sell their products and services. They have to rely on middlemen, who often take high fees for unnecessary services. The situation is even worse in developing countries. Those who produce the most value — the farmers, the builders, the backbone of a society — are exploited by companies that specialize in buying the products of their labor for pennies and selling them to the highest bidder.

Our vision is to create opportunities for startups and small businesses. We want to make launching and running their blockchain-based applications as affordable and easy as possible. So where does “compliance” fit in this picture?

Compliance is actually one of the biggest barriers to entry for small businesses in any highly regulated industry. Financial services businesses bear some of the highest compliance costs of any industry. The cost of financial compliance has been rising steadily for the past several decades. There is no indication this trend will stop or reverse. We can expect it will continue costing more and more until only the largest and wealthiest corporations are able to do business. The costs and compliance burdens are steadily rising even for companies whose primary business isn’t of a financial nature, if they process any payments or financial transactions.

This effective barrier creates an unfair advantage for large corporations and often destroys small businesses before they can grow big enough to handle these costs. Regardless of the reasons for this phenomenon, something needs to be done to level the playing field. Otherwise, the costs will keep rising until there is no longer an opportunity for innovators to disrupt business incumbents, effectively killing the current movement of blockchain startups aimed at bringing a new era of financial services to everyone. Innovation and disruption are part of the normal, healthy business cycle in any industry. Change is the constant which propels humanity forward. Financial systems are at the heart of all human industry and they have not undergone substantial change in decades.

Crypto startups have so far been able to fly under the radar but this seems to be changing rapidly. In the past few months, many regulators have come up with new directives, policies and recommendations to regulate crypto businesses. We’ve seen crypto startups closing shop as they are unable to comply with these new regulatory frameworks. Frankly, we were expecting this, and that’s why WORBLI has made compliance one of its key value propositions from its inception.

If we really want to achieve our vision, we have to play by the rules to some degree. Some of these rules may be bad or outdated, but they have to be followed. Otherwise, all we are going to have is a black market with low penetration that won’t achieve much with regards to our goal to improve global financial systems. Changing the bad rules is also important, but it involves interacting with slow and inflexible organizations. This takes time, energy, and, most importantly, the ability to show that the current rules are inadequate and a better way exists. This won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, we need to have a way for all the revolutionary apps enabled by blockchain technology to exist and be legally compliant.

For all of the above reasons, we have been working on the world’s first public “compliant blockchain”. What does a “compliant blockchain” mean, you may ask? It’s a fair question, because no regulatory authority has provided a clear definition thus far. We have the unique opportunity to define it, making sure the definition evolves with the changes most of us believe blockchain technology enables. Transparency, sound money, and global access to a new financial system are the unborn promises of the blockchain community.

Let’s talk about the most relevant regulation which creates the highest amount of friction for both users and application developers — KYC/AML. KYC stands for “Know Your Customer” and AML stands for “Anti Money Laundering”. These are a set of regulations that require all service providers, engaging in the transmission of value, to reliably identify everyone they do business with. Financial services businesses must understand the nature of their users’ transactions and submit reports to relevant authorities on a regular basis.

KYC is done by asking customers to provide their identification documents and other necessary supporting information. The documents are analysed to make sure they aren’t fake, stolen or otherwise compromised and to gain reasonable certainty the customer really is who they say they are. This has a significant cost tied to it that is often prohibitive to small businesses. Unfortunately, almost every crypto startup falls under these regulations, which makes it very hard for someone with a good idea to just launch their application.

We have good news for you! In WORBLI, each user’s identity is verified before they are able to create an account on the blockchain. This information can be shared with apps running on the network, after explicit consent has been given by the user. This not only removes the cost of identifying each new user being onboarded, but greatly reduces user friction. Users now only have to go through the process of identification once. Which means every app can piggyback on this information. This reduces the friction (time and money) for both users and businesses.

The AML part is a bit more complicated. At this point we still can’t automate everything for apps running on the network (although we do have some bold plans in this regard). We are working on sourcing trusted and affordable vendors that apps can utilize for doing a risk assessment on their customers and submitting the required reports to the relevant authorities. We also consult every app developer on the compliance they need to do, because, frankly, that’s another barrier to entry — knowing exactly what you have to do in order to be compliant is not trivial.

Our goal is to be a safe place for any entrepreneur who has a cool idea that can benefit the world. If you believe you fit in that category, just come to us and we can guarantee you’ll worry less about compliance and you’ll be able to focus on what you do best — developing your software.

Finally, we are working on novel concepts to put all of this into a system. Effectively resulting in “compliance by design”. This enables us to “decentralize” compliance and completely remove the need for middlemen. Ultimately, this will involve changes in laws and regulations, which we’ve already begun to work on. For now we need to begin showing regulators what blockchain technology is capable of and how much value it can add to people’s lives. Let’s rebuild the world’s financial system together.

The WORBLI business development team loves working with great projects. If you think WORBLI’s state of the art financial services blockchain could help your business or application, send an email to mitch@worbli.io

To learn more about WORBLI or create an account? visit www.worbli.io

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