Blue, a company that offers identity verification services for decentralized-finance traders to assist with know your customer and anti-money-laundering compliance, launched from stealth today with $3.2 million in funding.
The funds were raised in a seed funding round co-led by Blockchange Ventures and Fenbushi Capital, the company said in a blog post. Other investors participating in the round included DoraHacks, Knollwood Investment Advisory, Gate.io, and Wave Financial. Including this seed funding, Blue has raised $3.3 million in capital since its inception.
Decentralized finance, also known as DeFi, allows for peer-to-peer transactions executed using blockchain technology, which permits people to participate in financial services without the need for middlemen such as banks or brokerages. Using DeFi, software governs the movement of currency in the form of cryptocurrency tokens between parties, who can buy, sell and trade, as well as invest and lend. All of these functions are usually done using centralized authorities such as banks.
Blue’s products, part of the Blue Network, allow retail and institutional investors, to engage in DeFi trading with other parties with identity verification in order to comply with know your customer and anti-money laundering regulations.
Blue Network allows any DeFi protocol to be traded in a permissioned manner by offering a Safe Token that can only be traded by KYC/AML-verified wallets. These special tokens are wrapped around ERC20 tokens that automatically enforce identify verification checks on wallets involved in trades and are recognized by BlueID on the network using a credential aggregator that allows users to attest to claims regarding KYC, AML or jurisdiction for non-U.S. regulatory compliance.
Compliance with KYC/AML regulations is becoming increasingly important for cryptocurrency trading as regulators begin to focus more on fraud, scams and other bad actors in the crypto industry. Especially after the fallout following the dramatic collapse and bankruptcy of FTX Trading Ltd.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. notably reached a $100 million settlement with regulators in the New York Department of Financial Services earlier in January for failing to comply with anti-money-laundering rules.
Major protocols such as Uniswap, Curve, Balancer and more will be available for integration with the KYC/AML product upon launch and it is capable of integrating with a variety of DeFi markets and products including exchanges, derivatives, bridges and more. Currently, the Blue Network supports Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, but more Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible layer 1 and layer 2 chains will be added throughout 2023.