BISON: The New Bitcoin Identity Security Open Network
The question on the minds of many following the collapse of MtGox has been how to prevent it from happening again in the future. Several countries have voiced their opinions on the matter of regulating bitcoin and bitcoin service providers. But, as yet, no general consensus has been reached. In some European countries (Germany , UK) bitcoin is considered personal money, and is subject to tax in some instances and yet, not others. Yesterday, in the US, the IRS ruled that bitcoin is considered as property, not as currency and will be taxed accordingly. However, for the most part the governments of the world have kept bitcoin and the associated bitcoin economy at arms length. This is good for bitcoin, but the trust of the people still needs to be addressed.
The industry started pulling together with the fall of MtGox and we saw the first initiatives appear to try to get a system of checks and balances put together, from within the bitcoin community, to address these concerns.
Marc Andreesen and Balaji Srinivasan (both of Andreessen Horowitz) spoke at the March 2014 Coin Summit and compared Bitcoin to the early days of the Internet. Both individuals are bullish with respect to the bitcoin economy, but both also agree that regulation and standards are needed to
“engender trust in third-party bitcoin wallets and services.”
Now, eight providers have joined forces to form the Jumio BISON Network, the first of many steps to regulate bitcoin successfully and fairly from within the bitcoin community. The team behind this venture hope that
“by weeding out fraud in the form of fake or manipulated IDs, the network strengthens the ecosystem, following KYC (know your customer) protocol without changing any aspects of the transaction flow.”
Press release, as of 27 March 2014, 8 A.M. ET/ Noon GMT:
Jumio Partners with Eight Leading Bitcoin Providers to Form Identity Security NetworkNew BISON Network to Drive Greater Transaction Legitimacy and Instill Trust Between Bitcoin Buyers and Exchanges or WalletsPalo Alto, CA, March 27, 2014 – Jumio, Inc., the fast growing credentials management tech company today announced the formation of the Bitcoin Identity Security Open Network (BISON). Initial members of the network comprise eight leading Bitcoin exchanges, wallets and ATM providers worldwide including BitAccess, SnapSwap, CoinMkt, Digital Currency Exchange of Texas, CoinRnr, Hashop.io, NoveltyLab and Bitnet Technologies as the initial members.As the Bitcoin industry matures, industry participants see value in proactively self-regulating, and adopting best practices rather than have standards be imposed by outside entities. One such initiative, the BISON Network is designed to instill greater trust and confidence in the Bitcoin ecosystem by providing exchanges an efficient way to collect and validate buyer identities at the point of transaction via any connected device. Transacting customers hold up their driver license or passport issued by over 100 countries to their device camera and Jumio’s integrated technology Netverify scans and validates the ID, extracts the personal info it contains and populates it into the transaction form. The entire process takes place in-real time and contributes to higher completion rates due to its speed and improved user experience.The buyer’s identity is used solely in the relationship with the exchange or wallet and does not change any aspects of the Bitcoin transaction flow. This summer additional functionality will roll out which enables an opted-in, validated customer on one exchange to be automatically validated on another without rescanning their ID. BISON members also receive periodic reviews of fraud trends within the network.“We believe that crypto-currencies, and Bitcoin chiefly among them, are an important new part of the payments world, however, to reach their full potential it’s time to instill a higher degree of confidence in the system,” said Daniel Mattes, Jumio founder and CEO. “The vast majority of Bitcoin users are honest and engaging in a range of legal transactions, but a small minority are not and that threatens the entire ecosystem especially during this formative period. BISON is designed to minimize the problem by weeding out those who use false or manipulated IDs which is a strong indicator of intended fraud or other illegal activity.”“Since our inception, we’ve placed a great emphasis on KYC processes and other regulations,” said Moe Adham, co-founder, BitAccess. “That’s why we chose to work with Jumio in the first place and it’s a natural extension for BitAccess to help develop this initiative.”
Who are Jumio?
Jumio is a next-generation payments and ID software-as-a-service company that utilizes proprietary computer vision technology to reduce mobile/online payment and ID friction and fraud, while increasing revenue and customer satisfaction. The company’s mission is to provide its clients with intuitive, consumer-facing technologies that make it possible to conduct a wide range of mobile transactions without a single keystroke. Half of the top 10 consumer internet companies, along with hundreds of other retailers, financial institutions, marketplaces, gaming companies and more have adopted Jumio products to enable their customers to efficiently speed through sign-up and checkout processes yielding not only higher completion rates but an improved customer experience. The global team at Jumio process customer credentials issued in over 100 countries to date. Jumio has received numerous innovation awards from leading industry associations and is listed on The Sharepost 100 as one of the world’s most innovative and compelling private companies.
Follow CoinReport for more information on this initiative as it develops.
Image Source via Jumio