Bruce Silcoff is the CEO of Shyft in Toronto, which is focused on developing blockchain-based solutions for digital identity and KYC/AML processes. It’s easy to question the need for strict know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) controls, as Edan Yago did in a recent CoinDesk op-ed. Who likes the rising complexity and costs of compliance? Who gets excited about relinquishing control of personal data to set up a wallet, let alone access basic financial services? The resulting data duplication across multiple centralized, siloed databases raises the risk profile for organizations large and small, stifling basic operations and thrilling and delighting no one. KYC/AML is an easy target for critics like Yago, who also argue that these practices effectively amount to global surveillance, and therefore stand in direct contradiction to two of the most important aspects of cryptocurrency — privacy and disintermediation. Not only can KYC/AML infringe on a user’s right
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