Being fascinated by the idea of decentralized banking solution I could not pass up the chance to jump on the call.
Over the course of our conversation we touched on the regulatory realities facing a decentralized bank and the promising partnership with the Bitshares platform.
Within the first 15 minutes of our conversation what became clear was that Jared is an extremely busy person. His efforts with AriseBank notwithstanding, he's involved in volunteer efforts with The Urban Specialists and has a recently completed book due out in weeks.
You can read the description of "From Trap Houses to Penthouses" HERE.
According to the synopsis, "This is a story from nothing to something".
I got the chance to discuss my questions and concerns and I'd like to thank Jared for taking the time to share his perspective with me and, by extension, Steemit and the rest of the interwebz.
Status of Bank Acquisition
According to Jared the process is on track, an LOI has been filed and more details should be available in the near future. Until it is all finalized, it appears to be under wraps in an attempt to thwart detractors who could potentially interfere.
What he was able to share with me was an email he had received that same day, discussing the next steps of the process.
In that email from the bank in question, the Arise team is congratulated on the progress of the acquisition and looks forward to the next steps and further opportunities. According to Jared the email had been received recently though of course he did not share any identifying information.
This naturally led to my first questions regarding the acquisition itself, and what I learned was that this was the most efficient route.
An important clarification in what's happening here is that the acquisition is really about licensing and certifications that will allow the AriseBank platform to engage with credit/debit vendors such as (but not limited to) Marqueta, who provide a variety of card related services. Of course, the licensure acquired would allow for much more than that.
Similarly, it appears that the decades-old investment bank that is part of this acquisition is also an effort to secure appropriate licensing and certifications for their market trading products.
I look forward to the big reveal, as this news will undoubtedly bring a fresh wave of attention towards semi-decentralized banking. It will also uncover a whole series of new questions that will further cement decentralized banking as a social topic in 2018.
Clarifications on AriseID
I think good people don't want to finance terrorism or crime - Jared
In order for an idea like semi-decentralized banking to stand any chance in today's zeitgeist it will have to align with the regulatory landscape, at least as it concerns crime and funding terrorism. Otherwise, the idea will never gain legitimacy among those who would constantly point to the unknown and potentially nefarious actors utilizing the platform as a reason to prevent it from existing at all.
What is unique about AriseID is that the AriseBank group never sees your information. Your private data stays on your mobile and is communicated directly to the verifying entity that performs the KYC/AML. To AriseBank, your account is just a number that's passed the KYC/AML check. They cannot tie that number to you because your data lives on your device, not on a centralized server that can be subpoenaed.
Considering that I have had to provide my personal data to a number of KYC/AML checks to allow me to trade tokens, having to submit one more through the AriseID platform seems to be a pretty reasonable situation. Especially since once you have passed through the KYC/AML you will not have to re-verify for any products on the platform you use or might use in the future.
So this is really like signing up for an exchange with the added benefits of banking services, ai-algorithmic trading accounts, and access to aTMs and more. Very palatable.
Is the Platform dependent upon the AriseBank group?
One of the biggest questions I had regards the relationship between the group known as AriseBank and the platform itself. I wanted to better understand if the platform, once launched, would be dependent upon the group in any way that could create any obstacles for account holders.
Thankfully, this does not seem to be the case. The AriseBank group does not approve/disapprove applications themselves, nor do they seem to be gatekeepers for any part of the platform. Your AriseID is verified between your device and the verifying entity, and each service on the platform utilizes AriseID so there's never a reason for the AriseBank team to be involved in your account.
But more than that, it's not possible for the AriseBank team to individually identify account holders by anything other than the account ID established once verification is completed.
For example, if you request a card for use in the meatspace, you'd do so through one of the partner vendors affiliated with the aPay platform. This is what semi-decentralized banking will be like; we'll want a card and simply request one, potentially from a variety of vendors all eager to offer their services to account holders.
We won't need a central authority to authorize anything.
In our chat I circled back around to the idea that it is important for the platform to exist independently from any humans that could constitute points-of-failure.
Each time, though, Jared made it clear that the existence of the AriseBank platform is not dependent upon the group front running this effort. The Arise Platform, once moving, should continue on well past all of us.
At least that's the idea.
This is serious
What became very clear throughout the course of this conversation was Jared's conviction to this effort. Coupled with verifiable information, this becomes more of an exciting prospect each day.
While I believe you should always do your own research, my current opinion is that this project is not a scam. Whether or not it succeeds is a different story, but all indicators point to this being an actual effort on the part of the AriseBank team to get this platform launched.
Check out the SDK's, available API's, and dig into the conversation for yourself. I think you'll find that there's enough reason to look forward to the deployment of this platform.
As I told Jared, the Bitshares partnership is not to be understated. And when I asked about the rumors that the partnership was a scam, he stated flatly that AriseBank was approached by Bitshares. This relationship only further cements the current legitimacy of an AriseBank,and given what we know about the Bitshares historical data, what is possible into 2018 and beyond.
The power of the Bitshares platform and the underlying technology can only serve to strengthen a semi-decentralized banking solution.
Time will tell, but until then I'll continue to explore all that AriseBank has to offer. There is definitely no lack of information to pore over, so go ahead and get involved.
After all, this could very well be your bank too, and sooner than you think.
Leave a comment below and share your opinions and insights.