Bitfury Invests in Shyft Network to Build Decentralized Identity Products

The Bitfury Group has made what it calls a “strategic acquisition” in decentralized credential provider Shyft Network as it prepares to build out government-facing identity products.

AccessTimeIconDec 11, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:48 a.m. UTC

The Bitfury Group has made what it calls a “strategic acquisition” in decentralized credential provider Shyft Network as it prepares to build out government-facing identity products. Bitfury did not say how much it is investing in the product.

The deal, as outlined in a press statement Wednesday, will see Bitfury invest in Shyft’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) travel compliance solution. 

Under the FATF’s June guidance, crypto exchanges face tough requirements in documenting, disclosing and sharing their customers’ data. A blockchain-based compliance solution could be one way to coordinate moving that information across exchanges. 

Shyft has been building out its travel rule product’s partners and teams for much of 2019. It onboarded two former FATF executives in October and, according to its website, claims it has at least 20 partners across the industry. 

Now, Bitfury subsidiaries Exonum, an enterprise blockchain firm, and Crystal, an on-chain analysis firm, will also be joining that effort, the press release said. 

Notably, Shyft has not announced virtual asset service providers like Binance and Bitfinex – the actual target of the FATF travel rule – as partners at the time of publication. Joseph Weinberg, co-founder of Shyft, hinted in an email statement that exchanges are indeed assisting in the product set to launch alongside the Shyft mainnet early next year. 

“We're actively working on pre-integration testing with our exchange partners, and aiming for release of the Travel Rule solution during [first quarter] 2020,” Weinberg said.

The partnership will also bolster the company’s government-facing digital identity solution, according to the press release. Shyft is building such a system for the government of Bermuda in conjunction with Perseid. 

Weinberg said more governments may also contract with Shyft. 

“We have been working with several African and western countries [that] are looking to adopt the identity platform for different use cases in 2020,” he said.

Photo by John Petalcurin on Unsplash

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