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Founded in 2015 to find ways of securely storing Bitcoin and Ethereum online, Cryptyk began experimenting with decentralized storage solutions, eventually devising a decentralized cloud solution. Since then, the company has spent two years building and testing its prototype platform and adding blockchain auditing. In a recent interview with Adam Weigold Ph.D., CEO, and Founder of Cryptyk, we discuss how Cryptyk has built a very secure decentralized storage format that has low-access latency.
What are the trends you have observed in the blockchain technology space?
The blockchain is not ideal for every application, and I see most current applications being very much consumer focused. This year, I believe, the latest crop of ICOs (including Cryptyk) and blockchain technology will be very much enterprise-focused. From a customer and utility point of view, enterprises seem to be the real big adopters. I am yet to see any blockchain technology that has a high level of utility—I think Bitcoin failed in its utility because it never solved the merchant adoption problem. Being a consumer-facing product, the whole point was to have fast, cheap banking transactions. However, there was no real incentive for merchants to offer Bitcoin payments. Another problem with that was that most banks outside of America and Africa were already fast and cheap. So, while speculation has driven crypto-currency prices up, there are very few of these currencies where utility is in step with price. Ethereum has got more utility and more long-term upside than Bitcoin; however, market speculation is still the main driver of price.
How have you addressed these challenges with Cryptyk?
Every customer we get pays for file storage and cyber-security services in our tokens. Even if they pay in USD, it gets converted into our tokens via a market exchange and funds for our services. We have structured it this way so that every time we get a customer, it increases the market demand for our tokens thereby increasing their value. Hence customer participation and use will drive our token value rather than market sentiment. Furthermore, our tokens serve a functional purpose by powering numerous encryption and authorization processes that are permanently recorded on the blockchain. We have also built an enterprise-class security and storage solution that can also be used affordably by individuals.
Cryptyk is the only single vendor security and storage solution that protects against external, internal, viral and operational threats
Every time a file is shared with a new individual, they receive a free cloud storage account. Consequently, customer adoption can further benefit from the network effect of file sharing between enterprises and their customers. Ultimately the long-term value of our token will be a direct reflection of the success of our product.
Tell us more about your platform and how it addresses security issues?
Our encrypted, decentralized multi-cloud storage platform is called Vault. When uploading, we take a file, encrypt it and then divide it into five different pieces. Each of these pieces is encoded a second time and stored with a different cloud storage provider such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Box, and DropBox. Every file has six encryption keys which are only stored on the user’s device and not on the cloud. If a hacker manages to steal our users' data from any of these five platforms, they have to break two levels of encryption and even if they do that, they only get a useless one-fifth of any file.This platform is also immune to viruses and ransomware because, if uploaded to our cloud storage account, the virus is divided into five different pieces that don't know where each other piece is, so they can never execute. We also have a level of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) architecture built in; so even if one of the five cloud providers goes down, we can still retrieve a file from the remaining four. Hence Vault is passively immune to external, viral and operational threats. We integrate the Vault platform with another decentralized platform called Sentry which is used to manage internal security threats for enterprise. Sentry leverages the immutable nature of the blockchain to act as a permanent, immutable record of all user access and file sharing activities. The advantage of not storing files on the blockchain, as several companies such as Filecoin are trying to do, is that the access latency is less than 200 milliseconds. This is fast enough for real-time collaborative applications, whereas blockchain file storage platforms have an access latency greater than 30 seconds so can only be used for backup applications.
To help our readers gain a better insight into your solution, could you share a case study?
Our final product will not be ready until Q1 next year; however, several partner customers participated in the Beta phase trial of our prototype and gave valuable feedback. For example, a credit union with a thousand employees, of which, a hundred are IT staff want to share account statements and PIN numbers via their own file sharing system online, rather than sending them out via snail mail. With Vault, all our clients’ employees get a terabyte of storage, and in turn, their customers get a free two-gigabyte account that is very secure and can be used to share account statements and PIN numbers. At the moment, they are spending $50 per employee on cloud storage and cyber-security products that can’t be used with their 250,000 customers. Vault comes as a significant benefit as we charge them $30 per employee and they get to offer their customers a vastly improved service. They can also achieve significant savings in IT staff by using a storage platform that is passively immune to viruses.
What does the future look like for Cryptyk?
First, we want to complete our ICO; we are almost halfway through it. Then we will ramp up product development and start delivering our SaaS product to customers in Q1 2019. We also want to partner with enterprise software companies to develop plugins into our platform. We want to be the industry standard for secure storage; when enterprises save data, we want them to save it on Cryptyk.