Hello Astra Community! Earlier this week, we had an enlightening AMA session as part of the Reef Labs Accelerator Program. Sakhib Waseem, our CTO and Chief Innovation Officer, took the center stage to shed light on the journey, vision, and technology behind Astra.
From discussing Astra’s unique strengths in KYC, KYB & AML to diving into the synergy between Astra and Reef with the Accelerator Program, Sak opened up on how Astra is shaping the future of Web3 compliance. If you missed the live session, here’s a detailed transcript to catch up!
Could you please introduce yourself and describe your role at Astra, sharing how the idea of Astra’s Web3 compliance invested and germinated and how the founding team came together?
I’m Sak Waseem, I’m the CTO and chief innovation officer at ASTRA Protocol. I’m responsible for building the tech, managing our team, and working with clients to deploy our amazing technology. Our founders come from a patent background so they held some amazing parents around the validation of smart contracts for several years. We took a good look at the future of crypto, DeFi and digital assets and we determined that eventually there would be a huge need for compliance and regulatory infrastructure. We’ve all been hurt before, scams, etc and there is a shady underside to crypto. Money laundering, illicit finance. So we developed a KYC platform that manages screening of users on DApps. Safely, securely and anonymously while adhering to regulatory policies for 155 countries.
What sets us apart is speed, privacy and cost. We hired probably the biggest and most high profile team in the industry too.
Can you explain the vision that fuels this journey and the primary mission you’re striving towards?
Unless we bring suitable regulations into crypto it could face difficulty in growth and long term sustainability. Banking access to traditional clients and users becomes pretty hard.
Rather than using web2 based platforms to achieve this. We created Astra which delivers on chain proof of valuation without exposing your personal information. DApps can trust our validation to prove their users are not sanctioned, involved in scams, or illicit finance. We’re seeing massive changes in regulation right now which means KYC and AML must be implemented and we’re happy to play a leading role.
Can you outline how Astra’s KYC/KYB & AML work and its unique strengths that makes Astra a standout in the space?
- Huge sanction and screening lists covering 155 countries
- Full AML and txn monitoring
- Fastest in the industry
- Covers both Web2 Web3
Could you please also explain how Astra is winning the game of global interoperability and why do you think Reef Chain plays a key role in levelling up this game?
Of course regulation is needed by all chains. So we’ve been working diligently with the reef team to integrate our platforms so that any DApp can use ASTRA protocol and keep their ecosystems safe. Reef has a great community and ecosystem. Astra will play a leading role in keeping their economy safe and free of money laundering and illegal finance.
Could you please address how Astra strikes a balance between decentralization and regulation while ensuring a seamless experience for users?
We think both are important. Decentralised systems provide the ability to transact fast, efficiently and cost effectively. As well as gain access to huge limitless economies and ecosystems. However bringing regulatory controls is important to keep out illicit finance, terrorist funding and all potentially nasty sides of totally anon systems. So we are the balance between the two.
Why do you consider the Reef Ecosystem a helpful hand to accelerate Astra’s expansion and growth?
100% reef has a huge growing community and developers who take building safely very seriously. So we’re very complimentary of each other. Astra has already had great reception from the Reef community and DApps. So being part of the Accelerator Program is amazing.
What guarantee will we have that with Astra Protocol we will be able to comply with the regulations and guidelines of each country which are totally very different and not that only the regulations could be complied with in a few countries?
We take the latest standards from over 155 countries. We use these standards to differentiate based on where the end user is living or their nationality.
Mass adoption of blockchain technology cannot occur without meaningful privacy protections. What significant progress has Astra made in driving web3 adoption with its compliance solution?
We’ve been actively deploying our solution with a number of major web2 and web3 clients. And wider chain integration like reef opens up even further markets to ASTRA.
Core focus of Web3 has been on privacy/ownership of data and individual data control. How does Astra ID guarantee top level security of user data? How Astra’s offerings ensure users have control over their personal data?
PII and blockchain/wallet data never touch each other and we use the latest encryption and security and have a large security team to ensure it’s lock and key.
I see Non-crypto users as very important for the future and also for mainstream adoption. How is Astra Protocol planning so we can attract the non-crypto users to Astra Protocol? Kindly name any upcoming partnership if it is coming.
Makes no difference to ASTRA. We work with both web2 and web3 in some instances we actually help drive web3 adoption from Major web2 companies.
What benefits does Astra’s decentralized compliance technology offer in the RWA space?
Better compliance, better analytics, more security and regulation, more adoption and more web2 to web3 movement!
Astra: KYC for Web3
Astra’s mission is to provide a range of regulatory compliance tools for crypto applications, ensuring that financial compliance standards can be met across the Web3 industry.