In the digital technology world, blockchain is synonymous with data anonymity, all tied to a public address. For businesses, however, this represents a major barrier to adoption, as regulatory laws often require an enterprise or stakeholder to identify clients, suppliers, and strategic partners in real time.
On-Chain identity systems have often been touted as the solution to this prevailing issue. Yet their impact within the blockchain landscape has been negligible due to a lack interoperability and viable permissioned systems for enforcing network rules.
Leading the global movement to alter this narrative is LTO Network, a hybrid blockchain ecosystem featuring a public and private chain. The LTO team is on a mission to create and maintain a fully decentralized and highly efficient blockchain infrastructure, one that’s directly aimed at securing, verifying, and exchanging vital data and information for organizations worldwide.
Since 2017 this Amsterdam-based company has been relentlessly pursuing blockchain technology solutions aimed at improving workflow automation for B2B clients. Widely recognized as the first permissionless blockchain in the world, LTO delivers a robust framework driven by network consensus, allowing organizations with varying systems and data needs to work together privately, efficiently, and securely through live exchanges.
LTO solutions can be utilized by any enterprise seeking a production-ready blockchain fueled by Leased-Proof-of-Stake. This provides business or stakeholder communities a mechanism for achieving consensus via hashed versions of digital agreements on a public chain, all within General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance guidelines.
Founded by Rick Schmitz and Martijn Migchelsen, the company is on the cutting edge of new process management discoveries. A former M&A tax lawyer at PwC, Schmitz in 2014 became enthralled with Blockchain’s emergence. Co-Founder Migchelsen, who serves as CFO, met Schmitz while at PwC.
Fostering New Blockchain Discoveries
LTO Network has a pretty long history and auspicious journey, although it didn’t actually begin as a blockchain project. It saw its genesis in 2014 as a tech startup focusing on company incorporation and business entities, acquiring around 10% of the Dutch market share.
Over time the LTO team began noticing a demand for workflow automation. This led to the decision by company leaders to begin delivering centralized software solutions to a number of large European corporations.
In a move to foster new advancements in this realm, LTO began exploring the use of blockchain technology as a way of maintaining efficiencies without compromising the data integrity of companies. This led to the development of a range of GDPR compliant applications such as Proofi, FillTheDoc, and LetsFlow.
LTO Network has seen a steady, significant rise in its profile buoyed by a 5.2 million Initial Coin offering round and development of Mainet (a fully functioning blockchain network) in just two years’ time. In February of 2020, LTO became listed on Binance, further solidifying the company’s repute in the global blockchain constellation.
When discussing this flurry of achievements, CEO Schmitz is quick to point out that the path to LTO’s success has been filled with missteps and challenges along the way, which he touts as a positive thing. He notes:
“I believe that success only occurs because of yesterday’s mistakes, which everyone makes. As an entrepreneur, I believe it’s important to embrace them, knowing that they will teach you something.”
Lofty Aims and Practical Use Cases
Schmitz says the cultivation of favorable relationships with government authorities and organizations like the U.N have been pivotal to LTO’s growth and advancement. The company has forged many collaborations leading to successful use case projects tied to digital signature procurement, artwork authenticity, legal contracts, and smart QR codes.
LTO, however, is best known for the blockchain-based land registry they helped develop, one that aims to mitigate property ownership disputes in Afghanistan.
In September 2019, replete with an open source approach two United Nations organizations, the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology and UN-Habitat signed a memorandum of understanding with the Afghan government. With the aim of creating a land registry to support the government’s City for All program, LTO Network was sought out to create the blockchain component.
In due course the property registry will be fully transferred over to the Afghan government. They will then populate it with information from over 2.8 million land parcels, leading to a first-of-a-kind curated repository of land owner information throughout the country.
Seen as a key element in Afghan efforts around economic development and increased GDP, it is considered a model for similar projects in other countries that are seeking to ensure indisputable proof of ownership. This will allow for a recognized means of mitigating landowner property disputes that often disincentivize development and production activities.
In addition to this collaborative milestone with a national government, LTO Network was involved in saving the Dutch and Belgian governments €7 million via a blockchain-centric waste transportation system.
Says Schmitz: “We have a proud history of building land registry systems for countries throughout the globe via a collaborative solution we developed with UN-Habitat and UN-OICT. The future for land registries, we believe, involves hybrid blockchain solutions that decentralize and maximize data exchanges among stakeholders involved in the land registry process without having to resort to prohibitively expensive IT-overhauls.”
Looking ahead, Schmitz says his team remains undaunted by the pandemic related economic disruptions that continue to create challenges worldwide. As Covid’s impact continues to subside, LTO has been immersed in the development of a digital identity platform (DID) that is able to generate and index DID’s of other Blockchains such as Ethereum as well as more complex ones that can be created using associations.
Schmitz concludes: “Covid-19 did slow down the pace of our global business despite our wealth of clients worldwide. We do believe, however, that with our focus on DIDs, we’ll be able to attract more international clients moving forward. We are quite up-to-date and always try our best to live up to our promises and fulfill our roadmap of becoming the best identity provider throughout the world and on the planet.”