Chintai, an EOS VC recipient, is reducing the cost of compliance with automated EOSIO-powered alternatives to today’s financial and digital processes and systems.
From the onset, Chintai established itself in the EOSIO blockchain ecosystem by grappling with the challenges of resource allocation and compliance. Prior to the implementation of REX, a resource exchange for the EOS Public Blockchain, Chintai focused on early iterations of a structured, scalable approach to EOS resource allocation.
Maintaining a foothold in the blockchain ecosystem, Chintai held a token-based fundraising round for their CHEX token. After experiencing the complexity and challenges of compliance first-hand, Chintai pivoted to provide industries access to streamlined, compliant digital asset infrastructures.
Addressing the Costs of Compliance
Phillip Hamnett, Chintai CTO, explains that, for financial institutions, compliance related costs are staggering. “If you look at financial services at institutions in Europe, for example, on average they spend about €7 million a year on compliance specifically governing the financial industry. For some of the larger businesses the annual cost is over €100 million.”
Part of the reason for these high costs have to do with antiquated financial systems that hinge on labor intensive manual checks. Before blockchain technology, the automation of such a system would require a single administrative account, the power of which might be abused to shield or obfuscate illicit monetary transactions. Such limitations prevented the implementation of automated confirmation and settlement systems for financial services.
Chintai primarily caters to issuers from small and large businesses. While smaller enterprises focus on ease of use and affordability, the larger companies are more concerned with the intricacies of the compliance engine and its ability to satisfy internal and external policies.
“We’re providing the ability to create, issue, and trade digital assets through the full lifecycle, with all the compliance rules built into the system so you don’t need to be concerned over the legal aspects,” says Phillip. “We do it in a way that is fully auditable because the whole system is running on an EOSIO blockchain.”
Chintai’s systems are designed to provide participating companies the benefit of a full audit trail. Whenever digital assets are issued and traded on the platform, the system is designed to perform an internal check to ensure that any subsequent transactions adhere to the applicable regional compliance requirements. “We have this built into the token layer itself,” Phillip explains. “If someone tries to buy a token on behalf of someone else, who is prohibited from trading that token due to regulatory restraints, the transfer would fail because the compliance rules are woven into the token framework.” This type of geofencing helps to prevent illicit transactions on Chintai’s network.
By codifying regulatory guidelines at the system level, the network provides an automated solution that can also adapt to changing rules. To deliver this, Chintai utilizes smart contracts that manage which transactions are prohibited on a token by token basis. A separate smart contract utilizes a table to determine the country an account is associated with, either as a country of residence or citizenship, and thus which rules apply. The smart contracts can be updated as needed when regulations change based on new legal definitions, or regional jurisdictions.
“This is the difficult part, because we have to take legalese and convert it into code.” To tackle this challenge, Chintai has partnered with Bovill, a Singapore based blockchain regulatory compliance consultancy, in order to attain regulatory licensing from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and take the existing legal framework, codify it, as well as track and maintain that code over time.
Driven By Traceability and Security on EOSIO
A number of the features Chintai offers on its platform would not be possible if not for the innovations of EOSIO.
EOSIO-based smart contracts make it possible for Chintai to implement any updates based on changes in compliance rules en masse, rather than each issuer being forced to manually track and implement changes.
Chintai also employs the EOSIO protocol to address grey areas where subjective legal rules are at play, such as cases when transactions may fall under scrutiny due to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Chintai uses a mixture of AI and human follow up to maintain the integrity of its AML compliance protocol.
Overall, the network permits autonomous activity. If a transaction on the network sets off an alert, it triggers additional permission checks to ensure compliance and protect network participants. In some cases, compliance officers help to determine whether a transaction is valid or not. Ultimately Chintai aims to streamline this process to reduce the amount of human interaction.
For every step in the compliance process, Chintai maintains an EOSIO blockchain backed record. “If we detect a suspicious transaction, we forward it to the compliance officer, and we do so on-chain. When the officer opens the application to look at the list of suspicious transactions, they click on one to view the details and look at the evidence and approve or deny it, all of this will be recorded on-chain. This allows us to really show every single step involved, right from the beginning of the moment where a transfer occurred, through to eventually a suspicious transaction report being sent to authorities or the compliance officer approving it and allowing it to happen and all the steps in between, are all recorded.”
Chintai configured its EOSIO blockchain with an account permissions structure where active keys are managed by the user, and a strongly secured owner key is controlled by Chintai, making it possible to perform account recovery. In addition, Chintai has integrated WebAuthn-based support to reduce login complexity and improve account security with biometric two factor authentication.
The permission structure of EOSIO allows for very granular control of how a business would be able to use Chintai’s system. For instance, a banking institution that uses the platform does so through multiple departments that create and issue tokens, manage dividend payments, and manage compliance rules associated with those tokens. Within each department there are users with accounts on the Chintai blockchain with permissions set up to accommodate the associated use-case. For handling corporate actions, such as paying dividends to stakeholders, specific accounts can be associated with multi-signature permissions pertaining to the desired transaction.
Chintai also takes advantage of additional EOSIO product features, such as the nodeos failover system and the ability to prune context free data. “Having this sort of failover system in place allows you to have the redundancy of a public chain with the controls of a private chain, and the controls of a private chain are necessary in order to handle these compliance aspects of things. We use the context-free data aspects of EOSIO, because we have these issues of GDPR compliance where we have to be able to delete data from the blockchain after the fact, and having the ability to prune data from these context free actions is a feature that is also very useful.”
Meet Chintai’s Cofounder and CTO
Phillip Hamnett is the CTO of Chintai, and manages the tech and product side of the company. Before founding Chintai, Phillip worked as a software programmer at Airbus. Prior to his aviation industry experience Phillip researched new fundamental particles in Hamburg, handling huge data sets from the Large Hadron Collider. He moved on to professional software engineering at Airbus and in mid 2018 Phillip was introduced to blockchain technology. Shortly after he co-founded Chintai.
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