Hydrogen, a New York-based company that has recently been named KPMG's fintech startup, has signed a public agreement with the blockchain with TD Bank, the twelfth bank in the world in terms of market capitalization.
Hydrogen is a decentralized financial services ecosystem that combines artificial intelligence, storage, authentication, payments and identity services.
The initial phase of the collaboration will integrate the Hydrogen APIs into TD's WebBroker program, which will allow all TD customers to design their own financial plans and implement custom investment portfolios. Future developments will include several new features for TD retail banking customers, as the planned integration of Hydro & # 39; s Web 3.0 offers will take shape.
Tony Ierullo, TD Bank Group vice president of wealth digital innovation, said about the partnership: "While our initial goal is to improve the experience of self-directed investors, our ultimate goal is to bring investment solutions. digital best-in-class to all TD customers, at every stage of their financial journey. "
This Web 3.0 offering includes Hydrogen's HYDRO token, which provides blockchain-based two-factor authentication (2FA), identity management, document signing, payments, and machine learning protocols integrated into a & # 39; single platform. Hydrogen also includes mobile apps and a proprietary dApp store. The Hydrogen team believes that this decentralized ecosystem will become the norm in financial institutions, providing significantly improved security and efficiency compared to current systems.
The latest version of the project's Hydro mobile app includes their blockchain-protected 2FAs, which are currently being implemented by some of the best fintech companies, including MinexPay. The 2.0 update planned for the fourth quarter of 2018 includes the Snowflake identity management component, which will add a level of identity and privacy verification to the current user authentication level (2FA). This will keep customers' identities safe from financial predators while reducing onboarding time and fees for financial institutions.
The drive for greater security in the banking sector and the role of the blockchain in delivering it is in the midst of growing concerns over fraud and identity theft. On the day of writing, a report by UK Finance revealed that the criminals had stolen £ 500 million (about $ 660 million) through fraudulent activity in Britain alone during the first six months of 2018.
Identity theft cases have been reported to have risen to 16.7 million in 2017, while phishing attacks have tripled since 2013, with over 246 million attempts to access more than 1.2 million phishing sites in 2017. The 2FA based on Blockchain and identity management are considered practical and valid solutions for this ongoing security crisis.
Fintech merges with blockchain
This summer, Hydrogen won the Innovator in finance Award presented by FiNext, which marks the third time that its co-founders Matt and Mike Kane have received awards in this space. Their previous startup Hedgeable, an online investment app, had an impact on the asset wealth management market, winning twice the Finovate Best of Show, one of the industry's most important awards. The app was also named Fintech Startup of the Year at the Great British Tech Awards.
These relationships in the financial sector brought further interest into the team as they ventured into the blockchain space. Even among those who have recently joined Hydrogen are the Principal Financial Group, with $ 673.8 billion under management, and CI Investments – which manage over $ 140 billion in assets.
Recently, Principal Financial and Marsh executives have joined Natixis Investment Managers, a $ 1 trillion asset company, as associate members of FINDI (Financial Industry Decentralization Initiative), a working group initiated by Hydrogen to rival with the R3 private blockchain consortium of Corda.
FINDI serves as an alternative to what Mike Kane, founder of hydrogen, calls "an aggressive campaign by private blockchain consortia, which could potentially leave billions around the world unable to exploit the growing benefits of blockchain technology."
Kane said, "The private blockchain is an oxymoron and centralized financial security is outdated, as we saw with recent hacks from Equifax, BMO, Coinrail, Banco and Bithumb.Together, FINDI members can change the financial paradigm by exploiting public blockchains ".
FINDI membership is free and the consortium welcomes financial professionals, startups, consultants, academics and governments. With over 100 members scheduled for its first year, the consortium will support joint research and provide industrial advice to promote the development of public blockchain technology.
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