Isabel Group and norbloc bring blockchain KYC initiative to pilot

BRUSSELS AND STOCKHOLM – March 15, 2018 – Last year, B-Hive, a European innovative collaboration platform connecting fintech startups and established financial service organizations, announced the launch of TrustHive. The initiative started with a working group with AG Insurance, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, Euroclear and KBC with the endorsement of other partners of B-Hive (AXA, Baloise, Allianz, ING, SWIFT, Bank of New York Mellon, Isabel Group, MasterCard), for the creation of a blockchain platform to simplify identity management (Know Your Customer – KYC) for corporates.

After a successful delivery of the proof of concept in October 2017 with TheLedger as technical partner, the initiative rapidly triggered interest from financial and non-financial organizations. For that reason, B-Hive together with the four largest Belgian banks—Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING and KBC—decided to hand over the ownership of the initiative to Isabel Group to manage the governance of the platform, set up a pilot with the four banks and facilitate its future growth.

Following an extensive analysis of different parties, norbloc was selected as a technology partner for the pilot phase due to its experience in similar projects with the platform Fides. This KYC platform allows clients to control how and when their data is shared with different institutions and market participants in a way that is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Combining their international business knowledge with a feature-rich and legally compliant KYC platform made them an ideal collaborative partner.

Jean de Crane, CEO Isabel Group, said, “Instead of a time-consuming and often still paper-based onboarding process, this KYC platform will provide a unified ecosystem for financial organizations and others to onboard clients and legal entities in particular. We will be able to offer one unique KYC file across institutions, reducing duplication of efforts in financial entities and their clients alike. Furthermore, individuals will be able to control how and when their data is shared through a customer-oriented portal, which respects the oncoming GDPR.”

Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO of norbloc, said, “I’m confident that the Fides platform will create great operational and regulatory efficiencies to all participants and we are excited to be working with Isabel Group and four of the leading banks in Belgium on such an ambitious endeavor.”

Wim De Waele, CEO of B-Hive, said, “After nurturing the initiative from idea to proof of concept, we are thrilled that our partners selected a member of B-Hive, norbloc, and we look forward to Isabel Group and the banks launching the pilot. We will continue to support them in the process wherever we can, and are eager to see how we can continue to create bridges across the wider community.”

About B-Hive
B-Hive is a European collaborative innovation fintech platform that brings together major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players. Together, we work on common innovation challenges and build bridges to the startup and scale-up community. We aim to put Brussels on the map as the smart gateway to Europe and leverage on the opportunities offered by the digital transformation for the financial services industry. We believe that building bridges between important fintech hubs and the Eurozone enables both European and non-European companies to grow and expand.

About norbloc
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, norbloc builds regulatory applications on blockchain platforms. Its flagship product, Fides, is a digital solution to KYC processes via a fully regulatory compliant blockchain application that allows KYC files to be shared among financial institutions, removing duplication of efforts and reducing costs. The team behind norbloc holds significant experience in blockchain technology development, financial services and consulting from companies such as UBS, Lehman Brothers, ING and McKinsey & Co. The company is a core member of and frequent contributor to the Hyperledger consortium. Aside from its HQ in Stockholm, norbloc operates a development hub in Athens, Greece and a branch in DIFC, in Dubai UAE.

About Isabel Group
Isabel Group is an independent and trusted market infrastructure player that enables entrepreneurs to grow their business without hassle. As the largest fintech in Belgium, we digitize the financial supply chain by offering a variety of solutions in multibanking (Isabel 6), e-invoicing and e-docs (Zoomit and CodaBox), API connectivity (Ibanity) and corporate identity and security. Isabel Group connects all the stakeholders to develop an ecosystem where banks, corporates, fintechs, SMEs, fiduciaries, etc. can interact most effectively. Headquartered in the heart of Brussels, Isabel Group employs 260 experts. In 2017 the company generated a turnover of €65.4 million.