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Astra Protocol Announces Legal Compliance Layer for the Sandbox Metaverse

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In a recently released report, Astra Protocol said that it plans to roll out a legal compliance layer for the Sandbox Metaverse. The compliance layer will increase the security measures to protect the Sandbox Metaverse users.

Astra Protocol and the Sandbox Metaverse

Astra Protocol has announced that it will add a new compliance and security tool to the sandbox metaverse. The tool will help introduce Astra’s technology to the Metaverse and protect all users.

According to the announcement, the safety brought by the new compliance layer will significantly benefit the Sandbox Metaverse. It will make the metaverse users feel more secure, thus enhancing their Sandbox Metaverse experience.

Per Jez Ali, the founder of Astra Protocol, the new compliance layer features Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering(AML) features, these features are critical to any crypto project that wants to keep its users safe from bad players. Ali also noted that the Metaverse sector had seen an incredible growth rate, improving it.

He also added that the Sandbox innovation is “an exciting area of Web3” that his team was glad to support through the compliance layer.

A Viable Partnership

Astra Protocol is a blockchain-powered platform that integrates decentralized dispute and compliance layers to other blockchains and crypto ecosystems. It operates in 195 countries to provide its clients with KYC/AML services.

In the new joint effort with Sandbox Metaverse, users will benefit from it by connecting to Astra’s DLN through the compliance layer. They will also benefit from being protected from malicious accounts and bad players.

The Sandbox is among the most popular and fastest developing metaverse project. It is an Ethereum based project with a market capitalization of $3.6 billion. This market cap puts it in second place after Decentraland in the category of Metaverse crypto projects.

Is Metaverse The Future?

The Metaverse is a fantasy-based innovation that institutions can use to communicate and diversify the reality of their services. The innovation is virtual and currently touches more on video games, even though several other institutions have joined it. Facebook was the first company to join the Metaverse. It began by rebranding and announcing building a metaverse.

The CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, claims that the Metaverse will be a revolutionary development that will carry radical change to the current internet. According to him, this technology will help to unite people from different locations virtually while giving them a chance to witness the turns of events.

It is expected that the Metaverse will not be uniform since almost every interested institution is making its iteration. Recently, CNBC announced that Walmart, a US-based multinational retail company, was also planning to join the Metaverse via NFTs. Apple CEO Tim Cook also said that his company sees potential in the Metaverse.

Microsoft CEO also said that his company sees potential in the Metaverse and may build one. He detailed that if they succeed in building one, it will serve as the venue for most company meetings. Even though these developments are enticing, it is good to keep an eye on further developments since the Metaverse is still young. Therefore, subject to significant changes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Astra Protocol Secures a $9 Million Investment Round To Set Forth Decentralized Compliance in The DeFi Space

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·3 min read

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND / ACCESSWIRE / December 22, 2021 / Astra Protocol is pleased to announce it has secured $9 million through its token raise. In addition, top-tier investment groups and individuals have backed the project, confirming the need for decentralized compliance in the decentralized finance industry.

Things are progressing rapidly for Astra and its globally patented protocol. The initiative focuses on equipping DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer. That layer offers both Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering capabilities. Moreover, the compliance layer can act as a tool to resolve any real-world compliance issues with the help of various renowned legal firms.

The ongoing growth of decentralized finance has shown a need to adhere to strict rules determined by society. The majority of protocols on the market today do not provide this functionality, yet the change will be inevitable. Without a compliance layer, developers and users may lose control of the ecosystem.

Moreover, the current technology landscape allows for overcoming and resolving any disputes that may arise. Therefore, an on-chain dispute resolution system is crucial, particularly for decentralized finance and the high risks it can present. Astra Protocol offers legal assurance, framework, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance for lending and borrowing, derivatives, stablecoins, asset management, decentralized insurance, and decentralized exchanges.

The Astra Protocol token raise concluded recently, raising $9 million for the team to keep building and evolving its compliance layer. Notable investors in the project include Republic, DAOMaker, Fundamental Labs, Faculty, Richard Dai, and Wave GP Cardano.

Jonathan Han, Partner at Republic comments:

“We believe Astra’s solution is a key part of the critical movement for DeFi to become mainstream. We are excited to back the Astra team who works diligently to bring the benefits of DeFi to more people and organizations”.

Astra Protocol co-founder Arthur Ali comments:

“We are extremely pleased to announce the closure of our token raise and proud to announce strong backing from the top tier investment groups and individuals such as; Republic, DAOMaker, Richard Dai, Fundamental Labs, and institutional backing. We firmly believe that ASTRA is key to the future of DeFi. It will allow us to unlock the next path of growth in the industry, allowing more compliant practices across multiple countries and ensuring further participation from major traditional institutions. Our globally patented technology will seamlessly allow DeFi to continue its growth whilst promoting greater confidence from regulators without compromising decentralization.”

Astra Protocol has secured further globally recognised partnerships with the world’s leading legal and auditing firms, with further announcements released imminently.

About Astra Protocol

Our mission is to equip all DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer, including KYC & AML capabilities, to act as a tool to resolve real-world compliance issues using the expertise of trusted legal firms.

CONTACT:
Arthur Ali
[email protected]

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Astra Protocol raises $9M in private sale to bring decentralized compliance to the DeFi ecosystem

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Astra Protocol is pleased to announce it has secured $9 million through its token raise. In addition, top-tier investment groups and individuals have backed the project, confirming the need for decentralized compliance in the decentralized finance industry.

Things are progressing rapidly for Astra and its globally patented protocol. The initiative focuses on equipping DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer. That layer offers both Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering capabilities. Moreover, the compliance layer can act as a tool to resolve any real-world compliance issues with the help of various renowned legal firms.

The ongoing growth of decentralized finance has shown a need to adhere to strict rules determined by society. The majority of protocols on the market today do not provide this functionality, yet the change will be inevitable. Without a compliance layer, developers and users may lose control of the ecosystem.

Moreover, the current technology landscape allows for overcoming and resolving any disputes that may arise. Therefore, an on-chain dispute resolution system is crucial, particularly for decentralized finance and the high risks it can present. Astra Protocol offers legal assurance, framework, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance for lending and borrowing, derivatives, stablecoins, asset management, decentralized insurance, and decentralized exchanges.

The Astra Protocol token raise concluded recently, raising $9 million for the team to keep building and evolving its compliance layer. Notable investors in the project include Republic, DAOMaker, Fundamental Labs, Faculty, Richard Dai, and Wave GP Cardano.

Jonathan Han, Partner at Republic comments:

“We believe Astra’s solution is a key part of the critical movement for DeFi to become mainstream. We are excited to back the Astra team who works diligently to bring the benefits of DeFi to more people and organizations”.

Astra Protocol co-founder Arthur Ali comments:

“We are extremely pleased to announce the closure of our token raise and proud to announce strong backing from the top tier investment groups and individuals such as; Republic, DAOMaker, Richard Dai, Fundamental Labs, and institutional backing. We firmly believe that ASTRA is key to the future of DeFi. It will allow us to unlock the next path of growth in the industry, allowing more compliant practices across multiple countries and ensuring further participation from major traditional institutions. Our globally patented technology will seamlessly allow DeFi to continue its growth whilst promoting greater confidence from regulators without compromising decentralization.”

Astra Protocol has secured further globally recognised partnerships with the world’s leading legal and auditing firms, with further announcements released imminently.

About Astra Protocol

Our mission is to equip all DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer, including KYC & AML capabilities, to act as a tool to resolve real-world compliance issues using the expertise of trusted legal firms.

Contacts

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Astra Protocol Team Explains How to Create Trust Beyond Blockchain-based Smart Contracts

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The use of blockchain-powered smart contracts, which automate and support a democratized decision-making system, is becoming a salient feature of nearly all decentralized projects.

Smart contracts are considered an essential component of any decentralized system, including the emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, because such automated agreements help establish trust in platforms or projects. This way, a newly-launched initiative may be perceived (and actually be) as safe for investment.

Given the recent increase of new DeFi projects, as well as the rising number of disturbing exits, a blockchain initiative may need more than just smart contracts to really earn the trust of investors and stakeholders. So, what can be done that would make a meaningful and positive difference?

Patenting Smart Contracts May Address Key Business Requirements

One viable solution to these issues is a patent. Unlike the blockchain itself, which is an open-source tech and data structure that can’t be patented (in most scenarios), smart contracts can form new digital agreements that may be well-suited for a specific project. This is the reason why patenting smart contracts may be considered ethical and even essential for blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects.

Proof of Trust is an innovation that aims to support the role of patents as a key part of a company’s end-to-end business processes.

The intellectual property (IP) of Proof of Trust is reported to number more than 30 awarded patent claims, with all patents reportedly being issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This could give investors a lot more confidence in a project and its commitment to deliver on its promises.

In addition to these developments, the Astra Protocol has been developed to provide decentralized organizations a legitimate means to adhere to regulatory guidelines while remaining operating in a decentralized manner. At a critical time in which there’s a sharp rise in fraudulent activity, Astra plans to provide the confidence required by industry participants to enter the crypto space.

Astra intends to offer the legal technology or Legaltech layer for crypto that may be integrated with emerging DeFi protocols. Funds must always reach the intended destination in a safe manner, which is what Astra plans to provide.

And in case there are any problems, then the team can take care of them and return the money in a seamless manner. Any issues can be addressed amicably with the addition of a conflict clause (which is actually what Proof of Trust is) to the platform and its smart contract.

As noted by the Astra team, this is all based on a Proof of Trust system, which is a built-in protection layer and mechanism that ensures peace of mind when performing monetary transfers and finalizing contracts through extra-judicial and extra-jurisdictional dispute resolution systems.

Establishing Trust Beyond Just Smart Contracts

It’s worth noting that filing for a patent can take a really long time and the process can be quite intense. On average, it can take anywhere between 12 to 22 months for a patent application to be processed and approved.

And the majority of patents are issued for a limited timeframe, which is usually around 20 years, and after this period has elapsed, the patent is made open-source. Moreover, the Astra Protocol team explains that greater trust also means more responsibility, for any initiative, especially when having to put in the additional time and effort.

As the crypto markets continue to mature, there’s been an alarming increase in illicit activities carried out by blockchain-related projects. That’s why it is important to look out for reasons to establish trust in a project beyond just smart contracts. In the majority of cases, a patented project should provide the reassurance that’s required to get involved.

The team at Astra Protocol has also previously noted that operating within DeFi space comes with “unpredictability” but also key opportunities. They’ve explained that many of the potential benefits of the underlying blockchain and smart contract tech also come with certain challenges.

The DeFi market is growing steadily and malicious actors are known to anonymously exploit different weaknesses in protocols to steal large amounts of funds.

In these scenarios, there’s usually no path to justice for the victims, the Astra Protocol team has explained. They also noted that with its rise in adoption during 2021, the news that often gets associated with DeFi involves damaging security breaches.

In 2020, 17 large DeFi scams had taken place and led to a loss of at least $154 million, the Astra Protocol team reveals. And by July of this year, DeFi-related exploits represented over 75% of crypto-related crime.

Providing a Decentralized LegalTech Layer

The Astra Protocol team has pointed out that there’s “a signal of uncertainty to potential investors in the sector” and motivation for law enforcement and financial authorities “to intervene within the market.”

In order to address these issues, Astra aims to serve as the decentralized legal technology platform focused on protecting industry participants from criminal activities. Astra also mentioned that they aim to bring trust to the DeFi market and reassure users that their investments are adequately protected.

With the appropriate protection from Astra, DeFi and digital assets are set for institutional adoption, the developers have noted.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Astra Protocol May Assist the US SEC with Ensuring Protection of DeFi Users’ Assets, Allowing for Safer Crypto Adoption

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Major crypto firms such as Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and Ripple have suggested a framework for crypto and digital asset regulation.

Overall, their approach is meant to provide a proper way for the blockchain and crypto industry to move forward. Crypto analysts believe that an effective approach to regulation would account for the key capabilities of virtual currency platforms and give them an opportunity to develop their products and services.

Industry analysts believe that ideal public policy outcomes may be achieved by close collaboration between public-private entities. A truly effective approach should be able to help with adapting applicable regulatory frameworks while encouraging the establishment of crypto innovation sandboxes.

Digital currency and blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT) platforms require clear regulatory and licensing frameworks, which can address the different challenges the industry has been facing.

DeFi Industry Needs More Regulatory Clarity

The suggested measures in these proposed digital asset frameworks intend to offer more legal clarity to industry participants as well as a better alternative to regulation-by-enforcement, which is a controversial (and heavily criticized) approach taken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Lawmakers in the US and other nations are seriously looking into learning more about the wide range of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. It has become imperative to create a comprehensive policy framework for crypto-assets and this may be achieved through  clear communication between private and public actors, according to industry experts.

Crypto professionals also believe that public-private collaboration needs to be at the center of any meaningful legislative proposal. Any policy framework that’s meant to regulate digital currencies needs to encourage continuous dialogue between regulatory authorities and crypto industry participants. Moreover, public-private collaboration could result in improved policy outcomes for the crypto sector as well as individual consumers.

US financial markets are globally recognized because of their effective regulatory framework under which they consistently operate.

Astra Protocol May Help Authorities with Regulating Crypto Platforms

An innovative platform launched by developers of the Astra Protocol aims to serve as the decentralized compliance layer for DeFi. The Protocol’s developers have noted that the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has pointed out that consumer protection needs to improve in the crypto-asset industry.

Gensler and other US policymakers have called for improved regulations for the nascent crypto and DeFi space in order to prevent fraud and other serious issues. The Astra Protocol team also notes that large-scale money laundering cases across different DeFi platforms has led to regulators paying a lot more attention to this emerging industry.

According to the Astra Protocol team, we need a highly secure, decentralized compliance platform to address these serious concerns while being able to seamlessly adapt to ever-evolving and sophisticated criminal activity.

Notably, the platform needs to be able to handle the constantly-changing regulatory landscape, as laws including the “Cryptocurrency Bill 2021” and the “Keep Innovation in America Act” are passed.

As explained by Astra, the Bank Secrecy Act requires decentralized institutions that are trading regulated financial instruments to conduct KYC and ensure proper AML compliance rules are being implemented.

As noted by the Astra team, one of these updated requirements is “Independent testing for compliance to be conducted by the futures commission merchant or introducing broker in commodities’ personnel or by a qualified outside party.” In order to address these guidelines,  Astra Protocol has specifically developed their platform to fulfil this role for DeFi and crypto networks.

As noted by Astra, the “Travel Rule” is an effective way to address issues involving money laundering, terrorist financing, and other types of illicit activities. At present, virtual-asset and DeFi platforms have a wide range of approaches to ensuring due diligence, KYC, and handling  AML/CFT procedures.

US Crypto Investors Still Facing Serious Risks

But there are still a fairly large number of platforms still accessible to US investors that have no standardized or proper KYC processes. Moreover, weak KYC is still a serious issue as would-be criminals are able to circumvent these barriers. And investors are still at considerable risk from exploits/hacks, fraudulent activities, and theft as long as they are not working within a system that offers robust KYC/AML solutions.

As DeFi gains more users, it will definitely require a proper regulatory system so that investors are afforded the protection they need. In order to play by the rules, DeFi protocols will have to make significant investments in a proper compliance layer as soon as possible. If they don’t take such measures, then governing entities could strictly penalize those who violate applicable AML rules, as the SEC has clarified on many occasions.

Astra further notes that their mission is to provide all DeFi protocols and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) with a completely decentralized compliance layer. Their product offerings include KYC/AML services to act as a tool to tackle everyday compliance issues by leveraging the industry know-how of reputable legal firms.

As noted by its creators, Astra has been specifically designed to bridge the gap between regulators and crypto/DeFi industry innovators. Astra Protocol’s offering aims to support the best quality KYC and other appropriate due diligence procedures via applicable frameworks from renowned legal organizations.

Astra Protocol to Offer Comprehensive LegalTech for Different Jurisdictions

Their platform provides decentralized organizations and VASPs a proper mechanism to follow various regulations implemented by jurisdictions throughout the world. For novice DeFi traders or investors, their patented tech calls upon industry professionals from different legal and accounting companies to carry out relevant AML/KYC processes.

They aim to provide a secure service to all customers that has been tailored to any jurisdiction’s specific requirements. In addition, they provide clients a comprehensive analysis of various risks for any DeFi user based on recognized money laundering / terrorism financing flags. With Astra, decentralized platforms are able to regularly demonstrate that they’re aware of and effectively reacting to serious dangers while preventing suspicious transactions as needed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

What Should Regulation Look Like For DeFi?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the world steadily adopting cryptocurrencies and adjoining innovations, many have also continued to cry foul about the risk of putting money in a young market. While traditional systems have remained relatively stagnant and overregulated, DeFi offers an alternative that is ever innovative.

Peer-to-peer payments enabled by cryptocurrency have increased involvement in the global economy for millions of people who do not have access to traditional banking services. The advent of decentralized finance (DeFi) promises to broaden access to financial services such as savings, loans, derivatives, asset management, and insurance.

People use DeFi to lend or borrow money and earn interest. However, instead of transacting through a third party acting as a mediator, users can interact directly between themselves (with no intermediary) via smart-contract programs.

This financial inclusion-enabling innovation should be able to thrive in a regulated environment in which individuals and institutions are safeguarded and suspicious conduct is discovered and reported. But how do you regulate without fully eliminating the key features of financial inclusion and decentralization? Astra Protocol has the answer.

The DeFi Regulation Problem

Decentralization is the core philosophy behind DeFi. DeFi has grown during a period of overall economic prosperity and continuous rise in cryptocurrency prices. The steady increase in the value of collateral locked in DeFi protocols indicates that neither individual protocols nor the system as a whole has yet been stressed. It is unclear what will happen to interconnected protocols if one or more of them suffers from significant market-wide pricing fluctuations or large-scale technical outages.

This is a significant concern because DeFi has the potential to be a vector for all three of the primary risks that financial regulators are tasked with managing. The first category is criminal conduct, which includes money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing. The second issue is fraud, which was on full show during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) boom, helped by early implementations of DeFi. The third goal is to reduce systemic risk. DeFi and crypto are still unlikely to be large or influential enough to cause widespread financial disruption in the case of a significant market collapse or system failure, but you never know.

Regulators have traditionally relied heavily on the people who administer traditional platforms to control those risks by monitoring their customers and suspicious activity on their platforms. The situation is different with DeFi.

DeFi transactions done between individual users using unhosted wallets, for example, are exempt from Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) procedures like as Know-Your-Customer and anti-money laundering checks. The applicability of the BSA and related FinCEN laws is dependent on the participation of intermediaries offering hosted wallet, exchange, or other specified services, according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance. Furthermore, because DeFi protocols permit anonymous transactions, market participants subject to the BSA currently have no practical way of determining what obligations apply to their DeFi transactions. These are also all applicable when thinking about sanctions that apply to DeFi activities.

Although DeFi projects do not fit well into the present financial regulatory framework, this does not mean that policymakers or regulators should not or cannot control them. As DeFi projects grow in size, it’s becoming clear that they may pose the same kinds of risks that financial regulation is supposed to address. Financial crime, consumer protection, and financial stability issues are among them.

What Does Regulation Look Like?

To address DeFi issues, regulators must incorporate them into their public policy objectives, which include investor protection, market integrity, and the prevention of financial crime. Classification considerations will be difficult, as they are in any new market. The plethora of existing regulatory categories evolved as a result of many statutory and administrative frameworks built with centralized financial services in mind.

Regulators must modify the existing regulatory framework to accommodate DeFi services. They can learn from approaches that are working in the current cryptocurrency industry. Specialized divisions, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s FinHub and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s LabCFTC, enable regulators to gain experience in new technology, communicate productively with the sector, and provide informal regulatory guidance. Disclosure rules or safe harbors might encourage market players to give regulators with information that will assist them in better understanding market dynamics and developing best practices.

Regulatory sandboxes, such as the one established for fintech by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, provide a safe area for regulators and new services to work through challenges. Security and Futures Act in Singapore also represents a similar regulatory model. Furthermore, authorities should initially clarify relatively simple issues in order to provide direction to the industry. This allows regulators to focus on more difficult issues while ensuring market participants remain secure.

Another way to regulate without sacrificing decentralization is to implement regulatory protocols hard-coded into DeFi platforms or added as a layer to existing platforms. One of such layer is the Astra Layer, a legal compliance and regulatory protocol for the DeFi space.

Astra As A Regulator 

The Astra Protocol provides a unique way for decentralized entities to comply with global standards and regulatory norms while remaining decentralized. At a crucial moment when there is so much skepticism, Astra strives to instill the required trust in the crypto and blockchain ecosystems.

Astra’s goal is to develop a legal layer that can be linked to any existing DeFi platform. Astra ensures that funds are always delivered safely to their intended recipient. If there is a problem, the team can quickly rectify it and return the cash. Any issues can be resolved amicably by including a conflict clause – also known as proof of trust – in the platform and smart contract.

This innovation is predicated on a Proof of Trust system, which delivers peace of mind in commercial transactions and contracts via an extra-judicial and extra-jurisdictional dispute resolution method. The PoT system aids in the rapid resolution of inadvertent or fraudulent transactions, hence protecting stakeholders.

To resolve all problems, Astra uses a combination of human knowledge and technology. This includes human mistakes, accidental payments, and fraudulent transactions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Astra Protocol, a Compliance Layer for DeFi, Could Help US SEC, Other Regulators with Ensuring Consumer Protection for Crypto Investors

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Astra Protocol, which is focused on equipping all DeFi smart contracts with a decentralized compliance layer, including KYC/AML capabilities, in order to resolve real-world compliance issues, notes that the US Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Chair, Gary Gensler, has said that consumer protection needs to improve considerably in the digital asset industry.

Regulatory authorities in the US and globally believe that better regulations are required to prevent fraudulent activities and other potentially serious issues in crypto markets.

The Astra Protocol team points out that high-profile money laundering cases across multiple financial platforms have led to regulators paying close attention to the nascent decentralized finance (DeFi) space.

Decentralized Compliance Platform Needed to Address Financial Crime

Astra explains that an innovative, highly-secure, decentralized compliance platform is required to address these growing concerns and adapt to increasingly sophisticated criminal activities. Crucially, the platform needs to effectively deal with the fast-changing regulatory environment, as laws like the “Cryptocurrency Bill 2021” and the “Keep Innovation in America Act” become effective.

Astra Protocol developers further noted that under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), any decentralized institution found trading regulated financial instruments are required by law to carry out KYC while ensuring proper AML compliance. These measures must be taken to satisfy the appropriate regulatory guidelines.

As noted by Astra Protocol developers, one of these requirements is “Independent testing” for compliance to be carried out by the futures commission merchant or introducing broker in commodities’ personnel or “by a qualified outside party.”

Astra Protocol has been created to address these requirements for all DeFi and cryptocurrency platforms.

As noted by Astra, the “Travel Rule” is considered one of the most effective approaches to prevent money laundering and other illicit activities like terrorist financing. At present, virtual-asset firms and DeFi organizations have varied approaches to handling customer due diligence, KYC, and AML/CFT requirements.

US Consumers Still Accessing Loosely Regulated Crypto Platforms

But there are still many platforms accessible to US residents that have no proper KYC procedures in place, the Astra Protocol team reveals. They’ve noted that weak and porous KYC remains a critical issue as would-be criminals may be able to circumvent these barriers.

Investors and customers are currently at risk due to damaging hacks/exploits, Internet-based scams, and theft in cases where they cannot take advantage of a consistent approach to KYC and AML across the US and beyond.

Astra further notes that as DeFi continues to evolve, it will require a proper framework for adhering to appropriate rules determined by members of society.

According to the Astra Protocol team, DeFi protocols will have to make considerable investments in a proper compliance layer. If the fail to do this, then the relevant authorities will harshly penalize those in violation of money laundering and terrorist financing laws, as the SEC has confirmed.

Equipping DeFi Protocols with Decentralized Compliance Layer

Astra says its goal is to equip all DeFi protocols and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) with a fully decentralized compliance layer. Their service offerings reportedly include KYC & AML capabilities to serve as a tool to address real-world compliance matters using the expertise of trusted legal firms.

Astra has been designed to bridge the gap between regulators and innovators. The Protocol’s offering aims to support the highest quality KYC and various other due diligence processes using applicable frameworks from established legal firms.

Their platform offers decentralized organizations and VASPs a proper mechanism to help them with following appropriate regulations that are implemented by different jurisdictions.

For inexperienced DeFi investors, their technology calls upon professionals from well-known legal and accounting companies to conduct extensive KYC processes, and then return their decisions on the progress.

Astra offers a secure service to all customers, which is tailored to any jurisdiction’s specific requirements. They also provide clients with a clear breakdown of potential risks for any DeFi user based on recognized money laundering/terrorism financing flags.

By leveraging the Astra Protocol, decentralized platforms are able to reliably demonstrate that they are aware of and are addressing potential dangers while preventing suspicious or fraudulent transactions accordingly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

As DeFi adoption grows, Astra Protocol will rescue the sector from mishaps

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Since the release of Satoshi’s Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008, numerous key developments in the blockchain industry have evolved, altering the direction of the entire ecosystem and the broader financial market. One of these trends is decentralized finance (DeFi).

The exponential expansion of the DeFi market highlights the promise of digital currencies and decentralized platforms to provide an alternative to the traditional finance system, which has experienced persistent stagnation for decades, restricting innovation and deemphasizing financial inclusion. Within the growing digital economy, DeFi is laying the groundwork for permissionless, blockchain-based financial services.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) enjoyed a boom in 2020, with a 14x increase that year. DeFi is already a billion-dollar market worth $80.4 billion, and experts predict much greater growth in the coming year. Matthew Roszak, an experienced crypto investor, believes that the DeFi sector would grow tenfold to become an $800 billion sector as a result of growing mainstream crypto acceptance, the worldwide search for yield, and increased inflation.

However, despite the gold rush for the sweet spots of the DeFi sector, there are several issues facing this new sector. Astra, a legal compliance and dispute resolution protocol is here to help.

DeFi explained

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is an umbrella word for a multitude of public blockchain applications and projects aimed at disrupting the existing finance world. DeFi is defined as financial applications built on blockchain technologies, generally employing smart contracts, and is inspired by blockchain technology. Smart contracts are automated enforceable agreements that can be accessed by anybody with an internet connection and do not require middlemen to execute.

DeFi refers to applications and peer-to-peer protocols built on decentralized blockchain networks that do not require access rights for simple lending, borrowing, or exchanging of financial tools.

One of the most appealing aspects of adopting blockchain technology to reimagine banking is how the market may become permissionless and available to everybody. Another draw is the concept of composability, which means that anyone can combine any existing DeFi offering to create a new one. The modularity of such a network, which is essentially made up of interlocking blocks, also means that subsequent developments and demands in the finance space may be readily built on top of the network and integrated together, with everything governed by smart contracts.

Because smart contracts are essential to DeFi applications, the majority of DeFi projects are being developed on the Ethereum network. This is due to the widespread availability of developer capabilities to work with Ethereum’s Solidity programming language, which allows for the generation of the required smart contracts. However, several other blockchain networks, such as Solana, Polygon, and BSC, now allow DeFi applications as well.

DeFi sectors continue to thrive

Despite the fall in May, DeFi has continued to grow exponentially.

  1. Decentralized exchanges (DEX):

Trading volumes on DEX increased by over 8,000 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to Messari. Curve Finance and Uniswap are the two largest DEXs in terms of trading volume and TVL.

  1. Asset management: 

Yearn.finance continues to dominate DeFi’s asset management sector. Yearn’s TVL has increased from around $500 million at the start of the year to nearly $4.5 billion as of today.

  1. Stablecoins:

Stablecoins have played a significant part in DeFi, serving as a link between the burgeoning digital economy and traditional finance. USD Coin (USDC), a USD-backed digital currency developed in 2018 by Circle and Coinbase, was the fastest-growing stablecoin in both 2020 and 2021. The overall market cap of stablecoins has risen from around $25 billion in January to more than $109 billion as of June 2021.

  1. Derivatives: 

Futures and options are the next big thing being built on decentralized exchanges. Projects such as Hegic, Perpetual Protocol, and Mirror Chain are gaining traction in the DeFi community.

Growth with risk attached

Many DeFi programs on the market today have a host of flaws. Hundreds of more projects lack the financial and regulatory safeguards and compliance requirements that are presumably required of them, rendering them vulnerable to a regulatory crackdown. Some of these projects, such as Yearn.Finance, has also been hacked and has lost millions of dollars.

Another problem associated with DeFi is that they are emerging types of products created by non-financial people. Product structuring is a sophisticated procedure that is best refined by skilled financial engineers at investment banks.

Other risks arise from smart contract failures and other human errors as a result of centralization on “DeFi” systems that are not totally decentralized due to a lack of experience in the embryonic DeFi sector.

In addition, there is no clear regulation of the world’s fragmented financial system. Most individuals do not trust the system because governments or central banks have no control over transactions. Furthermore, municipal governments in some nations may restrict cryptocurrency without prior notice. This is one of the most serious issues with DeFi technology.

The risk of criminal conduct is likewise increased due to a lack of regulation. Because the system provides anonymity, anyone can send or receive money without identifying their identities, giving crooks greater alternatives.

Furthermore, because smart contracts act as middlemen for DeFi platforms, their flaws might disrupt the operation of DeFi ecosystems. Smart contracts are programmable algorithms that simulate traditional (actual) contracts.

After the conditions are entered into it, a smart contract controls the execution of the contract between the two parties. The presence of an error or bug in the code, on the other hand, can result in the loss of funds locked in the smart contract.

Knowing all the aforementioned risks may drastically reduce trust in the DeFi sector. Billionaire crypto investor Michael Novogratz tweeted that if the risk persists, the sector may face further regulatory sanctions and legislation. He advised that DeFi developers should add a compliance layer to help mitigate these risks.

As DeFi developers and users grapple with these issues, the Astra protocol has been developed to serve as the backbone of DeFi in terms of regulation and stakeholder protection. By providing legal assurance to smart contracts, the protocol works as an on-chain dispute resolution layer.

Astra Protocol: DeFi’s compliance layer

The Astra protocol provides a legal layer that connects to any existing DeFi platform. Astra is the default mechanism for resolving any potential issues that may arise from blockchain transactions.

To be more specific, smart contracts are essential components of any decentralized system, such as DeFi. It aids in the establishment of trust in a secure investment. However, there is no regulator or oversight role in place to supervise decentralized protocols that successfully reduce doubt, potential fraud, and provide a competent dispute resolution system. All of these capabilities, in addition, would pave the way for everyone to have public, permissionless blockchains – exactly what Astra Protocol aims to provide.

To tackle all issues, Astra employs a combination of human skill and technology. This includes, if they occur, human mistakes, fraudulent transactions, and accidental payments.

As a result, all parties and transactions are completely legally protected. It is a cost-effective and expedient method of resolving any issues that may emerge, as well as adding an added layer of peace of mind to any engagement.

Conclusion

It is a difficult undertaking to provide a layer of assurance to decentralized finance. With so many initiatives, protocols, services, and yield farms, huge sums of money are freely flowing with huge risks. Astra provides a solution to DeFi issues by simply incorporating their protocol into the platforms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ASTRA Protocol and Squire Patton Boggs Partner on Crypto Compliance for Institutional Investors

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dublin, Ireland, 8th November 2021,

Squire Patton Boggs, one of the world’s leading full-service legal companies for ensuring cross-border compliance counselling as well as incident response, has announced a new partnership with internationally-patented ASTRA Protocol, in order to give assurance and compliance confidence to the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

Squire Patton Boggs maintains business offices in 20 different countries on four continents. The firm’s international legal practice is in key markets where clients regularly carry out high volumes of business, focused on the digital assets sector.

Their ecosystem also includes strategic working relationships with independent companies operating in European and Latin American markets. Their extensive practice and industry expertise are shared through one of the most advanced tech platforms in the legal industry along with an ongoing rotation of legal professionals to their offices across the globe. In addition, the firm applies industry knowledge as well as project-management tools to implement regular business process enhancements and improve the overall value of their legal services.

Astra Protocol, a cutting-edge legal and compliance layer that brings unmatched assurance to public blockchains, is pleased to confirm that it is working cooperatively with Squire Patton Boggs, which will be accepting ASTRA as its first DeFi payment method.

Leveraging Decentralized Assurance Layer on Public Blockchains

Although current blockchain and crypto firms have created challenges for regulatory authorities throughout the world, Astra Protocol offers a decentralized assurance layer on public blockchains to support the exponential growth of DeFi.

Astra’s assurance layer is able to plug into an existing DeFi platform in order to ensure that the funds arrive at their intended destination, via its internationally patented technology. The protocol has been designed to prevent insecure or invalid smart contracts from executing. If a transaction turns out to be fraudulent or if the funds end up in the incorrect crypto wallet address, then Astra is able to resolve the dispute and restore the funds right away, while also following applicable regulatory guidelines.

Joe Crowley, Senior Policy Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs, is also an American politician who served as U.S. Representative from New York’s 14th congressional district from 1999 to 2019, said “We are pleased to partner with the ASTRA Protocol team and are looking forward to working with their colleagues around the globe”.

Crowley added “ASTRA is the preeminent compliance protocol business within the DeFi industry that is able to give assurance to regulatory agencies as well as individual clients, which in turn will help boost confidence in DeFi’s legitimacy as a global industry”.

Sakhib Waseem, Chief Innovation Officer at ASTRA Protocol said “We are extremely pleased with our partnership with Squire Patton Boggs and look forward to working with Congressman Crowley and his organisation. As we at the ASTRA Protocol define the next generation of decentralised global compliance structure across the DeFi industry, it is important to have key partners who understand the needs of both the crypto community and are in tune with the latest changes in the regulatory space”.

“Squire Patton Boggs have a great presence across the US and internationally, this partnership is another affirmation we have the latest understanding of regulatory enhancements around the world and can provide an industry leading standard to our customers and clients”, Sakhib adds.

About Astra

Astra Protocol’s mission is to equip the DeFi world with a full legal layer. Removing doubt, eliminating fraud and dealing with disputes making public blockchains safe for all users. Unlocking the future growth of the industry.

Decentralised Finance, or DeFi, has become one of the most attractive, exciting and lucrative blockchain markets. But the harsh reality is that if funds are sent to the wrong wallet address or the transaction is a scam — money is likely to be lost forever. With very few regulations in place to protect consumers, DeFi is too high-risk for big corporations. What is missing is an assurance layer that connects the crypto world and the real world to provide trust and peace of mind.

Our solution is ASTRA. This revolutionary legal layer plugs into any existing platform, ensuring all funds arrive safely at their correct destination. Even if something goes wrong, we can quickly and efficiently resolve the issue with ASTRA and restore your funds immediately.

About Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs is a full service global law firm providing insight at the point where law, business and government meet, giving you a voice, supporting your ambitions and achieving successful outcomes.

To view the company’s legal notices, please visit: https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en/footer/legal-notices.

With a multidisciplinary team of over 1,500 lawyers in 45 offices across 20 countries, the firm is well-established geographically with strong local and regional positions in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America, and our practice experience spans all key sectors.

Contacts

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Astra Protocol set to launch ASTRA token

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As the world of DeFi has matured, the new financial market is becoming quite prominent every day – at least according to Astra Protocol.

The company’s purpose is to ensure that DeFi protocols and other crypto organisations can stick to the rules set out by regulators – not just in the US but also in Europe and the rest of the world.

Astra Protocol’s technology utilises legal professionals to provide a security layer that does not compromise decentralisation.

Coin Rivet talked with Astra Protocol’s CEO – Sakhib Waseem – who explained Astra was the tool that facilitated the growth of DeFi in a safe way.

Waseem confirmed that the company was currently in the process of launching its ASTRA Token, which he describes as “a very exciting process”, and added there would be further updates to follow.

“We are helping platforms and their users navigate regulatory compliance,” he said.

“Effectively, we have created the first decentralised compliance protocol, which can be used by DeFi applications to manage the onboarding process and services such as KYC, AML, travel rule and regulatory reporting for 127 countries.”

Waseem added that DeFi had been incredibly successful, So much so that, while currently being largely retail-based, it has enticed traditional institutional firms.

“They see the incredible benefits of huge yield across many different platforms but their fears are focused on participating in defy without the necessary compliance, AML and regulatory oversight, and that’s where Astra comes in,” he said.

“We provide the checks and balances in a decentralized way that fits the traditional firms, the regulators, the crypto community and the DeFi apps.”

The CEO went on to explain that Astra Protocol sported a number of interesting features.

“We are firstly really proud of the fact that we are decentralised – we utilise a transparent matchmaking engine to connect users’ requests to the decentralized panel of adjudicators for those issues that they’re trying to resolve,” he said.

“Secondarily we’re very proud of the fact that this is powered by the ASTRA token which allows DeFi applications and the crypto community to be in control of how fast they want their compliance checks to be completed.

“The more tokens they push into the application, the faster they will be queued. We’re also incredibly proud of the fact that we have partnered with some of the major business advisory firms, audit firms and legal firms in the world to create the very first decentralised legal network.”

Astra Protocol’s own token

Coin Rivet asked Waseem about his prediction regarding the growing DeFi sector. He answered that he thinks DeFi is only at the start of a long journey.

“My prediction for the sector is that we will continue to see immense growth, we will see more mainstream adoption, but we will also see more regulatory involvement, more clarity on regulation and also the movement of large financial institutions into the ecosystem,” he suggested.

He also added that DeFi can be broken down into many different verticals.

“It is difficult for me to name all the ones that I love, but from a personal perspective, here are a few: DEX, UNISWAP, SUSHI, PANCAKE and an upcoming one is SUNDAESWAP,” he said.

“Beyond these, I’m also a big fan of 1inch. They have a great team and have an amazing product.

“Lending Protocols: AAVE and Compound both are doing incredibly well. Insurance: Nexus Mutual.”

Waseem also said the company would soon have some major announcements regarding partnerships in its release plan through to the end of the year and early next year.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]