InkSight7: Building a compliance layer to meet regulators — an interview with Astra Protocol CIO Sakhib Waseem

Ink Finance
5 min readFeb 14, 2023

Sakhib Waseem is the Chief Innovation Officer at Astra Protocol and is leading the technology build-out of the company. His an executive-level technology expert in the finance sector. Sakhib has consulted a number of top-tier financial institutions, including Bank of America, MBNA, and the National Australia Group, designing and implementing multiple transformative technology-driven solutions from inception. Sakhib has played a leading role in the design and build of specialist technology and reporting analysis to financial regulatory bodies, as well as designing operational technology platforms driving multi-million dollar savings through efficiency.

1. Astra Protocol is the world’s first globally patented decentralized compliance layer designed for Web3 and crypto. Would you explain to us what “Decentralized Legal Network ” is and how it works?

Astra’s Decentralized Legal Network (DLN) is a community of professionals from renowned backgrounds with experience in compliance, regulation, and Customer Due Diligence across a range of jurisdictions. While it allows us to validate identity, no blockchain or crypto-related information ever reaches the DLN, keeping Personally Identifiable Information separate from their online identity, preserving their anonymity and privacy. Astra’s decentralized KYC service uniquely brings these professionals on-chain to perform audit services, which ensures that all KYC, KYB and AML procedures are accurate, thorough, and the most secure in the market. Biometric technology and document recognition software is excellent, but without advanced audit capabilities, gaps can be found and exploited by criminals. Weak or inadequate compliance services can be costly, but Astra offers the most secure service, thanks to the DLN.

2. Recently Astra Protocol launched its $ASTRA token on MEXC, KuCoin and How does Astra see its success in the centralized exchange sector?

Astra’s recent token launch on MEXC, KuCoin and was exciting for everyone involved. The prolonged bear market has been tough on the whole industry, but I might optimistically suggest that it is showing signs of coming to an end. We have high hopes for the $ASTRA token, and we believe its utility will be a principal strength going forward. We have already experienced daily trading volumes of around 1 million shortly after launch. We are gearing up to launch on several other major global exchanges, the details of which will be made public soon, so expect to see more of $ASTRA shortly!

3. Tokenomics plays a critical role especially for a decentralized platform. What is $Astra’s economy design?

Astra is a utility token that operates on a fixed supply model with only 1 billion tokens to be minted. Many of these tokens will be available on exchanges; some will be used for community and DLN rewards, and some for ecosystem development.

We use a dApp lockup system which ranks dApp requests based on their lockup positions. This naturally creates a prioritization and queuing mechanism for KYC and compliance requests. Ultimately, the $ASTRA token allows for a more efficient allocation of resources and ensures that dApps receive the highest quality services. The token provides a lower average cost of KYC and investment compared to a traditional software as a service (SAAS) model, making it a more attractive option for dApps looking to comply with regulations while maximizing their return on investment.

“Ink Finance’s platform provides an excellent no-code interface for organizations to easily adopt and participate in the growth of assets generated by new ecosystems. Their long-term goal aligns completely with Astra’s and is to make it simple and efficient for organizations to set up, operate and iterate in the fast-paced and ever-changing regulatory environment of the decentralized world. With its focus on simplicity and innovation, Ink Finance is poised to become a key player in the DeFi space.”

4. What’s the achievement of the Astra Protocol so far? And what’s your plan for 2023?

Astra Protocol has made significant strides in its development and growth, solidifying its position as a leading player in decentralized compliance. Astra began with global patents granted for its unique mechanism, a testament to the innovative nature of the platform. The successful completion of a seed round at the end of 2021 was another significant milestone for the team. The addition of prominent names from around the world to the advisory board, including former chief of staff at the White House Mick Mulvaney, along with other well-known individuals in regulation such as Kirstjen Nielsen, Phil Hogan, and Lord McNicol, further demonstrates the level of expertise and support behind Astra.

The platform has made significant progress in its technical development and deployment. Hacken, a smart contract audit company, awarded Astra one of the highest possible scores for tech security with a 9.8 rating. Astra has also formed major partnerships with traditional companies such as KPMG and well-known players in the Web3 space such as Republic Crypto, cFund, GDA Capital, and many others. These achievements are a testament to Astra’s commitment to innovation, security, and progress.

2023 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Astra Protocol, with further growth and adoption on the horizon. The company’s innovative compliance software has already caught the attention of many Web3 companies, with multiple integrations already scheduled to take place. Astra is poised for even more partnerships and announcements in the coming months, signaling an exciting time for the platform. In addition, the $ASTRA token is set to launch on more global exchanges, providing more comprehensive access for users. With these developments in place, 2023 promises to be a year of evolution and success for Astra Protocol.

5. Given the tightening regulatory environment crypto industry is in, how does Astra see its partnership with Web3 financial infrastructure such as Ink Finance?

The partnership between Astra Protocol and Ink Finance, as well as other Web3 financial service platforms, is poised to play a crucial role in the institutional adoption of DeFi.

Astra is vital in the transition that crypto is undergoing. Our technology helps with the regulatory overhaul, adds consumer protection, and eliminates bad actors from DeFi and Web3. The platform provides an extra layer of security while preserving the privacy and anonymity that are foundational to the crypto space. Ink Finance is helping bring DAO technology to the masses, and Astra will help reduce the risks and provide the all-important compliance layer that regulators are looking for. The partnership between Astra and Ink Finance is a significant milestone in the DeFi market and demonstrates a commitment to delivering secure and compliant financial services to users.

To read more about Astra and INK’s collaboration, please click and view the announcement details.

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