Blog > 2021 > September

Acuant's new strategic partnership with IOG and Atala PRISM to offer enhanced security in the DeFi space

New capability will eliminate bad actors and strengthen security by offering fraud prevention and anti-money laundering technology

29 September 2021 Fernando Sanchez 3 mins read

Acuant's new strategic partnership with IOG and Atala PRISM to offer enhanced security in the DeFi space

During the Cardano Summit, we announced a new strategic partnership between IOG and Acuant, an identity verification, document authentication, and fraud prevention technology services provider. Its goal? To create a safer decentralized finance (DeFi) environment with Atala PRISM, IOG's decentralized identity platform.

This deal has been forged in response to evolving regulatory requirements for blockchain-based finance and identity platforms. Many regulatory bodies now require that blockchain projects can prove a user’s identity and ensure that malicious actors are kept out. The integration with IOG's platform will mean that Atala PRISM has access to over 300 sanction lists and watch lists. This digital awareness, and the implementation of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance checks will prevent bad actors from infiltrating the ecosystem.

One of the fundamental principles of digital identity is that individuals should be able to hold the keys to their own identities, rather than be dependent on fragmented and siloed third parties. This is something that both IOG and Acuant are firm believers in. Having a verifiable identity credential could be a game-changer for the 1.7 billion people globally who currently cannot prove their identity. By leveraging blockchain technology to foster financial inclusion, all these people could gain access to vital services like bank accounts, loans, healthcare, and many others.

Partnering with Acuant will allow us to enrich Atala PRISM, and offer a more secure digital ID verification process, ensuring provable identity is available to everyone. The creation of verifiable and secure identity credentials makes ID checks easier and more reliable. Ultimately, all these factors combine to create inherent trust in the system.

Global partners in every major industry

Atala PRISM is built on Cardano, a third-generation proof-of-stake blockchain. Combining Cardano’s provable security, scalability, and speed with Acuant’s market position and regulatory compliance technology creates a feasible alternative to current national identity systems. This opens up financial and social services to billions of underserved sectors of the global population.

Acuant has worked with hundreds of global partners in every major industry and almost in every country and territory in the world. The company has verified billions of identities worldwide for transactions ranging from simple age verification to border-crossing or opening a bank account, and it currently collaborates with almost one hundred blockchain based businesses, including more than 50 digital currency exchanges.

Speaking during the Summit, Jose Caldera, Acuant’s Chief Product Officer, said: “Our trusted identity platform has been built with purpose and serves our mission to power trust for all. We aim to empower our clients with inclusive technology that allows them to execute their vision of providing services to all demographics, even those that may be otherwise financially underserved.”

“This partnership with IOG is so exciting to us,” he continued. “We share the belief in creating technologies that have a positive social impact. The fundamental concepts that are built within the Cardano blockchain align with our principle of democratization of trust.”

US mobile operator calls on Cardano

Dish Network aims to create services for 20m TV and Boost cellular subscribers

28 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

US mobile operator calls on Cardano

Dish Network and Input Output Global (IOG) have formed a strategic collaboration to explore using the Cardano blockchain across the Nasdaq-listed US satellite television and cellular network group. 

The two companies aim to build new services for customers of the Boost mobile network, Dish satellite TV, and Sling streaming television service. Between them, Dish has 11.4 million TV subscribers and 9.4 million wireless subscribers.

Dish announced this month it had chosen to implement IBM technology for its 5G mobile phone network, which aims to cover at least a fifth of the 383-million-strong US population by next summer.

Charles Hoskinson, chief executive of IOG, sees great potential for the use of distributed ledger technology in the telecoms industry. ‘Today, when we look at telco, we see intersections between the use of identity and the movement of data, and as Dish unleashes its next generation network, we see tremendous opportunity to move these innovations forward together.’

Dish became a nationwide wireless carrier in 2020 when it took over Boost, and is now building the first virtualized broadband network in the US, based on open radio access network (O-RAN) technology.  

Chris Ergen, head of the innovation office at Dish Wireless said: ‘Dish has always been a leader in innovation within its business and industry. With this endeavor, we find ourselves at the intersection of two rapidly changing and radically transformative industries; blockchain and telecommunications. Both ecosystems somewhat depend on each other for survival and scale, while maintaining security and privacy. 

‘It’s a really exciting time in both fields, and we’re thrilled to be working with Charles, the IOG team and the Cardano community to develop great systems that many will find useful.’ 

Dish Network was formed 1980 and listed on the Nasdaq exchange in 1995. It is now one of the 200 largest US companies by revenue in the ranking compiled by Fortune, the business magazine. ‘I see Dish as a rebel in the telco space, dating back to the early days of the company,” said Hoskinson. ‘They've gone through many iterations and innovations, and every step of the way they were always leading and transforming their entire industry.’ 

IOHK is already working to build new mobile services in Africa with World Mobile.

Catch up on all the announcements from the Cardano Summit 2021 website and IOHK’s Twitter.

Oasis Pro deal will give developing world better access to financial markets

Partnership aims to break dominance banks have on low-risk investment from primary bond markets

26 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

Oasis Pro deal will give developing world better access to financial markets

IOHK and Oasis Pro have formed a ground-breaking partnership to develop an alternative trading system that will use blockchain technology to open up participation in primary bond markets to developing countries.

The two companies are joining forces to create a bond issuance platform. Oasis Pro is the parent company of Oasis Pro Markets, which already operates a multi-asset alternative trading system called OATSPRO in the US. This allows secondary trading of public and private multi-asset digital securities.

The Oasis Pro technology facilitates digital cash for digital securities transactions, and the use of the Cardano blockchain to remove the need for intermediaries such as banks from the process will cut trading fees by half. The combined platform provides a viable and secure financing alternative for governments of developing nations.

With recent reductions in foreign aid and investment, many governments are struggling to access capital. The integration of OATSPRO technology with users of Cardano’s ada cryptocurrency – with a market capitalization of $70 billion – will enable a new source of foreign investment to be tapped for crucial infrastructure projects.

John O’Connor, director of African operations at IO Global, said: ‘At IO Global, our mission is to build systems which widen and democratize access to vital financial and social services, for both governments and citizens alike. This was the drive for our partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education this year to bring provable educational credentials to students and teachers across the country, and it is the same for our work with Oasis.

‘Systems like the one Oasis is developing are essential to bridge the growing global investment gap and give developing nations the tools to level the playing field and invest in critical infrastructure.’

Pat LaVecchia, chief executive of Oasis, said: ‘Developing nations often lack the access to overseas capital that other nations have. We want to ensure that this changes. IO Global’s vision to democratize opportunity aligns closely with our desire to ensure access to financial markets for developing nations, and this partnership represents a key step in enabling greater accessibility to international capital markets for those that require it.’

Cardano enters the age of AI as it welcomes Grace, the AI robot designed to revolutionize global healthcare

Cardano will become a secure and private environment for Grace's AI modules, so her work can meet international healthcare requirements

26 September 2021 Fernando Sanchez 2 mins read

Cardano enters the age of AI as it welcomes Grace, the AI robot designed to revolutionize global healthcare

AI is coming to the Cardano blockchain in the form of Grace, the AI robot developed by Awakening Health, a joint venture between Hanson Robotics and SingularityNET. They have chosen Cardano to ensure that Grace meets the stringent guidelines set out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) framework.

Grace has been designed to interact with the elderly and others who have been isolated, whether because of the Covid-19 pandemic or for other reasons. She looks like a healthcare worker, speaks English and Korean, and takes patients’ temperatures using a thermal camera. She can also measure people’s responsiveness and mirror their emotions, helping her not just to come up with diagnoses but also to respond empathetically.

Apart from the inherent security and privacy that it will provide, the move to Cardano will dramatically improve Grace's performance and lead to lower, predictable, and stable costs. Cardano also solves the scalability challenge, meaning Grace’s brain can operate at the highest level and process biodata quicker.

Ben Goertzel, creator of the AI technology for Grace and CEO of SingularityNET, said: ‘While Covid-19 has had a huge impact on physical health, the mental health impacts will echo long after the lockdowns lift.

‘This is why solutions like Grace are so important, to combat loneliness and ease the burden on frontline workers. And with Cardano’s market-leading capabilities, she will be able to scale to meet this global challenge.

‘As we gradually ramp up Grace's general-intelligence capabilities over the next few years, she will be able to serve more and more valuable functions in the elder-care and medical space – learning more and more about humanity and absorbing human values as she goes.’

COTI to issue Djed stablecoin on Cardano

Innovative coin for the fast-growing ecosystem announced today at Cardano Summit 2021

26 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

COTI to issue Djed stablecoin on Cardano

At the Cardano Summit stage in Laramie, Wyoming, on Sunday, Charles Hoskinson and Shahaf Bar-Geffen announced that the COTI platform would be the official issuer of Djed, a new stablecoin for Cardano.

Djed is based on an algorithmic design that uses smart contracts to ensure price stability. Smart contract programming is also used to ensure that the stablecoin will work effectively for decentralized finance (DeFi) transactions. 

Djed operates by maintaining a reserve of base coins, while minting and burning various other stable assets and reserve coins. It is designed to be used for paying transaction fees on the Cardano network. One benefit of this is to make transaction costs more predictable, so avoiding volatile and exorbitant gas fees for users. 

The COTI development team believes that stablecoins are a 'killer app' that will be adopted by a large number of crypto users for settling payments and covering fees. The company was the first recipient of equity investment from the cFund for Cardano developments. 

Shahaf Bar-Geffen, chief executive of COTI Group, said: 'The stablecoin ecosystem has matured tremendously over the past few years. Blockchain participants are using stablecoins to engage in everyday transactions because they allow monetary value to be exchanged in a seamless manner, regardless of the sender and recipient’s location.

'I believe that adding the Djed stablecoin to the Cardano blockchain will significantly improve how transactions are settled on the platform.' 

IO Global chief executive Charles Hoskinson said: 'The Djed stablecoin could be a game-changer in the crypto space, appealing to an entirely new audience at a time when the industry is already experiencing astronomical growth. Djed shares our commitment to formal verification, proving a robust method of combating price volatility of crypto markets.

'COTI has been a long-time partner of the Cardano ecosystem. It’s great to have them on board with this new venture.'

Check out the Djed website.