With most of the energy in bitcoin focused on infrastructure issues, creating a more user-friendly environment for new users arguably hasn’t been top of mind.
However, this isn’t stopping startups from moving ahead on this objective. Toward this goal, digital identity startup Netki has announced it has raised$3.5m in a seed round led by O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV).
Joining the round was domain name provider, Donuts, Colle Capital, The Husseini Group, Digital Currency Group, Bitfinex, Plug and Play, Base Ventures and Tom Turney.
In an interview, Netki CEO Justin Newton, explained that the funds were raised to help the company, founded in 2014, continue with its growth.
He told CoinDesk:
“We plan to use the funds to invest in our technology and grow our team in order to support customer growth.”
For O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, this marks its first investment in a blockchain startup.
Ease of use
Netki was launched by Justin and Dawn Newton, both of whom were part of early Internet companies. (Justin Newton designed technology for AboveNet, NetZero/United Online, Demand Media and Blackline, while Dawn grew support operations at NetZero/United Online and worked at Microcom and InterAccess).
At Netki, their primary focus has evolved from this background.
To date, it has seen the entrepreneurs target applications that they believe are ready to be used today that can reduce the barrier of entry for blockchains, with a primary focus on identity projects.
Its first product, the Wallet Name Service, launched in the beginning of 2015 in an attempt to create a cleaner wallet address, and companies that have integrated Netki’s wallet naming service are Purse, BitSo, Bitt and BlockCypher.
Its latest product, announced at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2016, is a soon-to-be launched digital identity certificate, which it has compared to an SSL Certificate for the blockchain.
The company anticipates its digital identity certification offering will be in full production by the end of 2016.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Netki.