027. Blockchain Security with Hartej Sawhney

“You have people trying to take advantage of the fundraising mechanism that is an ICO without having a real business. They’re more excited about raising the money and then figuring it out. That’s a lot of the people. A lot of the people that have ICOed will not stay standing. It will be just like the dot com explosion.”

Hartej had read Satoshi’s White Paper back in 2011 but he spent a lot of time in the space without creating his own place in it. Now he and his Hosho co-founder Yo Sub Kwan have founded a company that fulfills a huge need, and one that (especially for how much money is at stake) really isn’t being taken seriously – and that’s blockchain security.
https://twitter.com/thehartej
https://twitter.com/jchysk
https://hosho.io/

What’s the point in creating smart contracts if they can be easily compromised? Who cares if blockchains are immutable, trustless, unhackable if the contracts running on top of them can be breached?

And, how is world-wide adoption ever going to happen if news headlines keep scaring people away with stories of another exchange that just got hacked out of millions of dollars?

I talk to Hartej about Hosho and blockchain security and we also get into tokenization and how there are a whole bunch of people who seem to want to tokenize anything and everything, when maybe tokens should really have nothing to do with it.

His advice is to build a real business and there are places where tokens make sense, like in the world of gaming. Or in a place where you can have peer to peer markets, like in underdeveloped markets that would allow an artist to have access to the internet and sell music there.

Hartej goes into what Hosho can do with smart contract auditing and checking security vulnerabilities including with penetration checks for exchanges. Because when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges being secure, it really only takes one toke that isn’t secure for there to be a critical vulnerability. Because if one coin can be hacked, and exchanged for Bitcoin, or fiat currency, then the whole exchange is at risk.

He talks about the history of Paul Graham in Silicon Valley and the key to a Startup being a Startup is growth. Hartej mentions the Y Combinator program and that there are essays there that all entrepreneurs should read.
http://www.ycombinator.com/

When it comes to startups vs big Fortune 500 companies, Hartej talks about the fact that the Fortune 500 companies are in the space but they’re working on research and development. They’re behind where the early investors were years ago but they’re working on it.

And before we get into our Five Fun Questions, I asked him what use case he’s excited about seeing in the blockchain space in the next 5 years. His answer? Healthcare. How much data do we have on our body right now, about what’s going on with our body? And what if we could cater how we live, eat, sleep, exercise according to what our doctor recommends based on our body weight, resting heart rate, average heart rate, blood pressure, activity habits, blood sugar levels and on and on. It is amazing to think about where the technology we have now with our health data in our wearables will be in the next 5 years and what that could mean for our health.

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