Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp., a Canadian bitcoin exchange, is launching a blockchain innovation research lab to build new payments and financial services technology.

The lab's initial project will be developing a platform that handles customer onboarding and data management using blockchain technology for financial crime systems. It will also facilitate machine-to-machine payments with companies that are pursuing financial services that can be accessed through web connected devices.

While banks have mostly avoided directly supporting virtual currency, financial institutions are interested in the underlying blockchain technology. As a result, payment companies are increasingly investing in blockchain innovation.

There is "phenominal" opportunity for growth in these areas in a Nov. 13 press release and framed blockchain technology as "crucial" to combatting money laundering, terrorist financing and fraud, said Gerald Cotton, Quadriga's CEO.

Companies can use blockchain technology "to manage digital identities for digital finance at the highest AML legal standards in the world and to be the intersection point for M2M payments for cities as they become digital and need to build in micro-payments," Cotton said in the release.

Christine Duhaime, a legal expert in anti-money laundering and financial crime and co-founder of the Digital Finance Institute, will serve as a strategic advisor on financial regulation, AML and financial crime mitigation, she said. She will also advise on financial oversight, banking compliance and connectivity to cities, "given that in internet of things, all cities will have to effectively be in the micro payments business."

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