Los Angeles-based Netki, founded in 2014, provides digital identity verification solutions that enable its customers to comply with KYC regulatory requirements, as well as anti-money laundering laws. The company has partnered with El Salvador to integrate its flagship product, OnboardID, with Chivo, the country’s government-backed bitcoin (BTC) wallet.
Chivo blows away stats with Netki’s OnboardID
El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender in September 2021. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had said he wanted to bring digital banking to more than 70 percent of the unbanked population. In October 2021, he explained that “3 million users are already using” Chivo. The country just took another major step in the adoption of its BTC wallet.
On January 18, 2022, Netki announced in a press release, the integration of a total of 4 million users to Chivo, thanks to OnboardID.
The population of El Salvador is estimated at 6.5 million people. The company estimates that its digital identity verification product “has enabled 70% of the country’s previously unbanked population to access the Chivo wallet for the first time with full compliance.”
According to the release, OnboardID enables “passport and national ID validation” and other KYC-related transactions in less than 15 seconds, and sends all of that information back to Chivo. This high processing speed thus allows OnboardID to meet scaling requirements.
This Netki product would also account for diversity and be able to identify “any face, regardless of location.”
“it reads over 5,000 global identity documents, recognizes various native alphabets, offers multilingual support and is absolutely not limited by different skin colors.”
Overview of Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador
El Salvador’s decision to make bitcoin legal tender was fiercely criticized by international institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The threats have not stopped the government from continuing to work towards the adoption of Bitcoin, including the deployment of Bitcoin ATMs in the country, but also by sending ATMs beyond its borders for the Salvadoran diaspora.
El Salvador has also taken advantage of the lows to buy bitcoin and thus gradually increase the national stock of BTC at lower prices. It has also embarked on a bitcoin mining project powered by geothermal energy from volcanoes and is currently working on issuing bitcoin-based government bonds.
This growing adoption of bitcoin in the country has not been without incident, however. Some users have recently complained about losing their bitcoins stored in their Chivo wallets.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had started this year 2022 with an optimistic outlook for bitcoin. The four million Chivo users mentioned by Netki will certainly contribute to the realization of these predictions.