Exclusive Interview: George Waller, BlockSafe Technologies CEO
iHodl
Main page Opinion, business, Blockchain-as-a-Service, Wallet, Hacker Attack, Blockchain, Tech
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26 January
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This month, BlockSafe Technologies launched their Securitized Token Offering (STO), enabling investors to purchase BlockSafe’s "BSAFE™" security token - a revenue participation token, paying a passive income to all token holders.

The funds raised from the STO will be used to commercialize and market BlockSafe's solutions, including: CryptoDefender™ that protects crypto wallets by securing desktop and mobile devices, ExchangeDefender™ that protects the internal systems of crypto exchanges, and BlockchainDefender™, which caters to enterprises and industry consortia, by ensuring security for private blockchains.

iHodl spoke exclusively with George Waller, Chief Executive Officer at BlockSafe Technologies, to find out what the crypto future may look like in the foreseeable perspective.

George Waller serves is also a co-founder of StrikeForce Technologies, Inc., and is an entrepreneur and technologist with over 30 years in the computer industry.

He played a pivotal role in introducing two of the leading cybersecurity technologies i.e., out-of-band authentication and keystroke encryption to the marketplace. Today, these technologies are widely used in Banking, Healthcare, Education, manufacturing and government sectors.

Prior to founding StrikeForce, George served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategist at Connexus Corporation, RxRemedy, TeachMeIT, Incubation Systems, and HealthSCOUT.

iHodl: When was the moment you realized "OK, it's high time to start my own company"? How difficult was it?

George Waller: It was 18 years ago. I still remember it like it was yesterday, it was both very scary, and very exciting. Back then I was working as a VP for a medium-sized software development business, when one-day two guys came to me asking how much it would cost to do some development for them. When I learned about what they wanted to be developed, I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved with them. Within a couple of weeks, I quit my job and started raising monies for the new company that we all decided to create.

Now, 18 years later we look back and wonder, how did we ever survive. We had very little funding, it took us years to actually develop our technology, and the problem that we would be solving wasn’t (at that time) a problem that people thought needed solving. We were after all, on the bleeding edge, which is way out front of the leading edge, essentially you bleed monies until it’s your time. We have so many stories in us of the things that we did to survive, to keep alive, it was an amazing ride.

It’s like being on a roller coaster 24 hours a day, with no stopping, or getting off. The highs and lows are not for the faint of heart, but it was all worth it. I would do it all over again. I would encourage everyone to throw their hat in the ring and get involved in a business if they can. The life lessons we learned on a daily basis were invaluable, it’s those lessons that helped prepare & harden us for the next set of life hurdles.

iHodl: Throughout 2018 there were many unfortunate events for the blockchain and crypto industry. Bihumb, Bancor, Zaif, MyEtherWallet and many other crypto-related companies were attacked by hackers. Blockchain, for instance, has a 51% attack weakness. In your opinion, what can, if not improve the security situation in the crypto space, then at least to blunt these attacks?

George Waller: In 2018 hackers stole over $1.1Billion dollars from the blockchain ecosystem (crypto wallets, exchanges & blockchains). Until now, there has been a void of cyber security products specifically designed to protect wallets, exchanges and blockchains. Before our products came out, crypto wallet users had to rely on products like anti-virus software which is a30-year -old reactive technology that gets bypassed on a daily basis. Andpermissioned blockchains lacked the essential security tools required to keep it secure. At BlockSafe, we just released the world’s first keystroke encryption technology specifically designed to protect crypto wallets, and exchanges, and we are developing the industry’s most comprehensive cybersecurity solution for permissioned blockchains.

iHodl: At this moment, your products CryptoDefender™, ExchangeDefender™, and BlockchainDefender™ are mainly focused on an additional layer of encryption. Some would say with quantum computers coming the encryption wouldn’t be enough. What would you say about that?

George Waller: The above statement is not totally accurate. While the core feature of CryptoDefender is keystroke encryption, we have created an entirely new pathway for our encrypted keystrokes to travel through, and we don’t allow other programs access to our encrypted keystrokes. Therefore, quantum computing would be rendered useless because they can get their hands on our encrypted keys. Our ExchangeDefender is a bundle of two technologies, it includes our patented keystroke encryption technology as well as our Multi-Factor Out-of-Band Authentication platform which protects network access control for the exchange employees as well as provides real-time transaction verification for exchange user transactions.

iHodl: According to your roadmap, you are planning to launch the second version of ExchangeDefender™ in Q1, 2019. Do you have any plans of partnership with some cryptocurrency trading platform in the near future?

George Waller: Absolutely, we are in discussions with several of them right now.

iHodl: And finally, which year do you think will abruptly trigger runaway cryptocurrency/blockchain growth if not in terms of adoption, then at least in terms of security?

George Waller: 2019 will be a huge growth year for blockchain, most large companies are either piloting permissioned blockchains, or, planning on a pilot. Blockchain use cases are being published and everyone now sees the value that blockchains deliver, i.e. being more efficient, more productive and more profitable. And now Blockchain-as-a-Service providers are popping up all over the place, enabling just about every company to take advantage of using a blockchain without all the hassles of implementing one yourself. With over $9Million dollars a day stolen from crypto wallets and over $1.1Billion stolen in 2018 from exchanges and blockchains, we feel that this will be a big growth year for our industry-leading cybersecurity products.

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