They are our clients, our friends, good contacts or just people we met in the crypto-community. They have new vision, they are running great projects, they are developing new services or they just want to share their story. Havas Blockchain is interviewing key people of the blockchain ecosystem.
We are today with Benjamin Souloumiac, CEO Thesaurio :
First of all, can you present us Thesaurio and your team?
We created Thesaurio in March 2017 as four Blockchain enthusiasts with different backgrounds (banking, tech…). We initially specialized in Blockchain advisory and dedicated technical development.
At this time many of our clients had the same common needs: technical advisory and smart-contract development for their ICOs, as well as a payment funnel.
As such we shifted to focus exclusively on this market and create a single all-in-one platform for ICOs.
We decided to tackle the compliance side of ICOs, namely contributor verifications. Since there was little to no regulation for ICOs in France we took inspiration from banking processes and best practices. Indeed, cashing out the cryptocurrency earned during an ICO is no easy task. Being able to justify the funds origin and legitimacy is an indispensable condition to use them in the traditional economy.
Today Thesaurio provides everything from subscription to payment solutions to a project holder dashboard in order to see the evolution of their ICO. All KYC and AML checks are integrated nicely in the payment flow.
What are KYC and AML and why are they key for ICOs?
ICOs allow project holders to pre-sell products or services on the Blockchain. These presales are a new way for companies to fund projects and researches based on their current technological achievements.
This is a huge benefit and there are many other advantages in the inclusion of a token economy in some services. However, ICOs do have some drawbacks. The nature of the Blockchain, its anonymity and decentralization, conflicts with the needs for customer identification (KYC) and funds origin knowledge and analysis (AML).
These processes are normally done through banking channels. As Blockchains and ICOs lie outside these channels, KYC and AML have to be reimplemented. It actually became a very interesting technical challenge to overcome: How to prove that someone’s identity is verified and their funds valid, without breaking the decentralization or revealing personal information?
All in all it can be overwhelming for an ICO project to achieve all this by themselves. This is why Thesaurio provides an all-in-one platform for contributors to subscribe, identify themselves and pay with several methods (euros and cryptocurrencies).
Note that in some situations (particularly large investments and operations) more steps are taken. For example, establishing the comprehension of the project by the contributor or their investor profile.
What is your next objective?
On the ICO side, we will keep being close to the regulatory authorities and match their upcoming demands.
We are also building tools for the next step of ICOs: Using the token. We aim to bring the token economy and usage to the largest possible audience. We will use our expertise and technology to achieve this in the most user-friendly and secure way.
For example, as users already have an identity thanks to their KYC, we can reuse it for the services offered through tokens. This identity can also be used to sell the token in a safe and decentralized way. It can be used by the companies themselves to assert who a certain client is and what they are able to do with their tokens. IT systems in general, not just the ones on the Blockchain, will be able to make use of this data through dedicated APIs.
ICOs are only the very first step to a new improved crypto-asset economy. There are many systems to build on top of them for new use case and business opportunities.
We are transforming Thesaurio to be completely ubiquitous in the new token economy.