By Helmuth Fuchs
Moneycab: Mr. Moreira, WISekey acquired QuoVadis in April 2017. How far are you with the integration, what are the benefits for WISekey and for QuoVadis in the new constellation?
Carlos Creus Moreira: WISeKey is on schedule with the integration of QuoVadis and the Semiconductor Division of INSIDE Secure (acquired in late 2016) which brought proven skills as well as significant global clientele in the managed PKI and cryptographic hardware which are important building blocks for secure online transactions of any kind.
«With the drive towards online efficiency, the wide-scale adoption of electronic signatures is certain, both globally and in Switzerland.» Carlos Creus Moreira, CEO & Chairman WISeKey
Our focus has been on building a new WISeKey culture across the combined operations, which span close to a dozen countries. The integration is focussing on three areas: realizing the synergies in the technical and organizational areas of the combined company, building a cross-functional sales team to pursue opportunities that span the managed services and chip operations, and lastly to leverage our combined skills to evolve new product and offerings for WISeKey.
A digital identity and a legally accepted digital signature are key in the new era of digital services. Both are not yet widely used nor accepted in Switzerland. What is needed to achieve a real breakthrough and which role do you see for WISekey and QuoVadis in the development of these two core components?
With the drive towards online efficiency, the wide-scale adoption of electronic signatures is certain, both globally and in Switzerland. The economic incentives and regulatory obligations are too important to ignore in the long term. We already see large projects within the corporate sector in Switzerland, and these inevitably will spread to the public and consumer sectors over time, particularly as the EU standards allowing flexibility for cloud computing and mobile devices advance the sector across the continent.
WISeKey QuoVadis has been a leader in the area in Switzerland, playing a pioneering role in the launch of qualified electronic signatures with the launch of SuisseID in 2010 and providing a range of services to facilitate companies integrating digital signatures in their existing technology investments and their widespread user groups. WISeKey QuoVadis’ latest offering – PrimoSign – continues this innovation by allowing signatures to be seamlessly integrated into existing workflows and systems, leaving the user in his or her familiar environment.
We welcome the new eID law, which is to be debated in Parliament this summer, because legally valid electronic signatures require a clear identification of the persons involved and must be streamlined to support broad-scale adoption.
Some northern countries seem to be further in their process of digitization, including e-Government services, and the EU is pushing on the digital identity. Where does Switzerland stand in the international context and how competitive could it be with its heritage as a secure and stable haven with a tradition of high-end security solutions?
The speed and nature of digitization depend on how individual countries manage collaboration between the public sector and business, and the speed, which this is converted into law and regulations. We believe that government can lead by facilitating use cases that demonstrate the increased efficiency and security, while clear regulations and compliance regimes (particularly surrounding e-government interactions) will drive adoption forward.
«We believe that Switzerland has a tremendous opportunity to become the world’s secure data hub providing a stable jurisdiction with neutral Trust Services and digital identities.»
In Europe, the eIDAS framework has clarified many of these adoption issues across the EU and facilitated cross-border e-transactions and eID. The Swiss federal system means that unified implementation of e-government services may occur at a slower pace, but we believe must follow the lead of the EU and eIDAs standards. We believe that Switzerland has a tremendous opportunity to become the world’s secure data hub providing a stable jurisdiction with neutral Trust Services and digital identities, protected by our Roots of Trust (ROT) at the highest security standards protected from third parties desire to inappropriately obtain information hosted in Switzerland.
The rapidly growing market for the internet of things (IoT) will bring billions of new participants on an already very busy infrastructure. How will that change the communication and usage of the internet, which up to now was primarily a human realm?
The networked world is happening, where even previously inert objects will be able to communicate or be controlled online, allowing new capabilities and services to flourish. The opportunity is vast – but clearly, security is a paramount concern as these massive flows of data can reveal much about their objects and ultimate human users.
PKI (public key infrastructure) technologies are an important tool in providing the security to identify devices and users, to make their data tamperproof, and to provide privacy where needed. WISeKey is very involved in the efforts to adapt PKI to the new world of IoT, whose scale and demands are evolving quickly. Can the PKI handle issuance peaks in the hundreds of thousands? Can you accommodate short lifecycles and the many different manufacturing scenarios for IoT devices? How do you accommodate security updates to devices that may be offline for long periods (even years)? How can you support crypto-agility to keep pace with constantly changing encryption methods? We are very proud that we don’t just talk in theory but work on concrete projects with our customers.
Adding self-driving cars, heart monitors or oil platforms to a globally accessible network is not without risks. It potentially opens all these objects to misuse. How can your company help to prevent criminal forces taking advantage of these new opportunities?
Security is a significant IoT concern, as an attack that might have required physical access to an object in the past can now be carried out at a great distance, speed and scale. WISeKey has a unique position in providing both the crypto chips that can protect the IoT objects’ ability to authenticate and encrypt securely as well as the provisioning and PKI services sit on top of them. We are already working on large-scale projects in this area, from connected cars to smart city, so are at the heart of this new IoT world.
One of the big drivers for the digitization in many industries might be the blockchain. Intermediaries without any real added value will become obsolete and potential corruption in processes like ownership certifications could be dramatically reduced. Where do you see the biggest first wins with blockchain and how will it influence your own business?
Our main use for blockchain so far is on the digital identity space, to record digital identity on decentralized ledgers and to protect products authentication. The WISeAuthentic IoT Blockchain platform integrates WISeKey Semiconductors tags based on the company’s VaultIC154 NFC secure element. These tags, when placed on a gun and tapped by an NFC phone or NFC terminal, securely authenticate and track the gun much like an embedded ePassport, confirm the identity of the product on the blockchain ledger, track the manufacturer, history of purchases and transfers of and guns within its ecosystem.
«Our main use for blockchain so far is on the digital identity space, to record digital identity on decentralized ledgers and to protect products authentication.»
The blockchain ledger, which is secured by WISeKey’s authentication technology, is a creative solution that is trusted, non-reputable, inviolable and resistant to hacking. Due to its decentralized architecture, this technology is accessible to vendors, purchasers, and regulators, so creating a trusted ecosystem for the industry. WISeKey has been a pioneer in digital product authentication and traceability since 2007 and has been recognized as a leader in authentication digital technologies used to digitally tag and protect products against counterfeiting and unauthorized use.
Blockchain could also play into the processes of acquiring, validating and distributing digital identities and digital signatures. Do you already have some ideas or plans how to actually integrate blockchain in one of your solutions?
The WISeKey BlockChain is constantly growing as new blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. Each WISeID node gets a copy of the WISeID BlockChain and gets downloaded automatically upon joining the WISeID network. Through the WISeID BlockChain app the users are always in control of their digital identity stored on their mobile, IoT sensor and or computer and is only the user who determines which identification attributes are shared with social media, credit cards, merchant sites etc. never disclosing the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) if not required or necessary. WISeID uses BlockChain as a public, immutable ledger that allows third parties to validate that the original Identity or Attribute certifications provided by a Third Trusted Party has not been changed or misrepresented. Keeping control of Digital Identity is key to protecting user’s personal data.
WISeID is also provided as a software development kit (SDK) to third parties wanting to use this method of identification for their identities requirements.
At the heart of this platform is the OISTE-WISeKey Cryptographic Root of Trust which has been actively used since 1999 by over 2.6 billion desktop, browsers, mobile devices, SSL certificates and Internet of Things’ devices. The OISTE WISeKey Cryptographic Root of Trust is ubiquitous and universal, and a pioneer in the creation of Digital Identities.
The WISeID BlockChain operates with the WISeID Personal Cloud that uses the digital identification to lock personal data such as account usernames and passwords, credit card numbers and access PINs into a secure personal data organizer, creating accountable identities for online activity while the data itself remains protected in a secure cloud vault.
«When fully developed in Q3 2018 the WISeCoin Platform is poised to disrupt legacy systems for transacting value and revamping some of the participant countries economic infrastructures.»
Blockchain technology has triggered innovations and introduced a new era in finance. Today, cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon, so much so that even central banks are trying to create their own cryptocurrency systems. To this end, WISeKey is helping cities and nations around the world create their own cryptocurrency with WISeCoin, its cutting-edge Blockchain identification platform with its revolutionary design and state-of-the-art cryptographic security system. When fully developed in Q3 2018 the WISeCoin Platform is poised to disrupt legacy systems for transacting value and revamping some of the participant countries economic infrastructures.
WISeCoin uses the latest blockchain technology and is part of a transactional system that uses WISeKey Blockchain-as-a-Service (“BaaS”) technology offerings. To empower a seamless cryptocurrency enabled economy, WISeCoin is supplemented with highly secured solutions such as biometrics-driven hardware wallets, integrated exchange platforms, MicroChips Blockchain enabled semiconductors, and NFC-based contactless payment solutions. WISeKey’s objective with WISeCoin is to become an emerging powerhouse in the global cryptocurrency market by supporting the development of economies built on Blockchain technology.
The WISeCoin offering will be tested over the next 6 months in selected countries that are currently using the WISeKey Blockchain technology and will be gradually offered to the market. Providers of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) will be rewarded with WISeCoins for concluded transactions. The WISeCoin cryptocurrency would be very different from Bitcoin, as it would be centralized, trusted with NFC identification, safe and in accordance with countries’ regulatory frameworks.
You originated “The Transhuman Code Initiative” for which you also hosted a panel at the WEF in Davos. What is the purpose of this initiative which measurable results do you expect?
The TransHuman Code is the first interactive «knowledge platform» for managing the convergence of humanity and technology, its impact on our daily lives, and the long-term implications. This dynamic initiative was introduced at Davos, Switzerland during the world’s foremost assembly of international leaders. In an innovative multi-media program, informing and engaging all citizens of the world about the dynamic influences of technology in our personal, communal and professional lives.
«The TransHuman Code was formed to redefine the hierarchy of our needs and how we will meet them in the future.»
Beyond the launch, The TransHuman Code initiative will facilitate interactive conversations, provide access to the latest scientific knowledge and discoveries, and offer rare access to key people and places at the forefront of our TransHuman future. Subject matter experts will engage and inform the global citizenry in thoughtful dialogue regarding the dynamic interplay between humanity and ever-evolving technology. The initiative will help us to better understand the merger of man and machine in our personal, communal, and professional existence, and challenge us to confront the application of technology to the infrastructure of our lives. This is The TransHuman Code at work.
The TransHuman Code was formed to redefine the hierarchy of our needs and how we will meet them in the future. We are producing a book that will be available end of the year which will be the first ever book connected to an AI Platform.
With artificial intelligence, more capable robots, self-learning, self-driving and self-programming evolving rapidly, which roles will humans have in all of these developments, how can we deal with the social consequences when the theoretical cornerstone of our society (wealth through work) is being scrutinized?
I am very positive about the consequences of this fourth industrial revolution or the Transhuman Code, which is the platform for this revolution. The benefits of the technology have not yet converted into benefits for the working people, but they have only yet being distributed to the shareholders. I think the next distribution of wealth will be for the working people. One of the things we are analyzing in the Transhuman Code is the effect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the distribution of wealth. Artificial Intelligence is so powerful, it will be creating new ways for people making money and not necessarily by having people to go to work for eight hours on a job. Countries start using technology as a way to unleash the potential of the individuals.
But it requires organization, somebody has to think about it. You can not do that by simply looking at the problems, you have to think about alternative ways.
Which are the most important projects on your agenda for 2018?
We just announced that we will launch WISeCoin in Q4 2018. WISeCoin will be funded by an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) with forthcoming private pre-sales starting in Q3 2018. Demand for WISeCoin is expected to be high as WISeKey is a well-established cybersecurity IoT platform with over 4,000 large enterprises already using its technology and the OISTE Cryptographic RoT which has been actively used since 1999 by over 2.6 billion desktops, browsers, mobile devices, SSL certificates and IoT devices. To date, WISeKey has raised $4 million in convertible debt for the pre-ICO of WISeCoin and is considering a potential total WISeCoin utility token in the range of between $50 million to $100 million, subject to demand and market conditions.
The WISeCoin development team inherits WISeKey Semiconductors R&D and expertise with more than 25 years’ experience delivering secure hardware modules, semiconductors, RoT, Crypto keys, crypto wallets and digital identities that protect sensitive data for governments and private corporations in 75 countries. Among other applications, WISeKey’s chips are widely used by global telecommunication, manufacturing and healthcare organizations as well as by bank cards. The same certified technology is now available in WISeCoin embedded VaultIC lightweight hardware security modules. WISeCoin VaultIC chips’ cryptographic security is a powerful anti-counterfeiting tool used to identify and authenticate any item online using a contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) technology through an Android or Apple iOS based smartphone.
At the end of the interview, you are granted two wished. What are they?
- To create a WISer World
- To protect Humans against Technology abuses
Carlos Creus Moreira
Carlos Creus Moreira is the Founder Chairman CEO of WISeKey. Carlos served before founding WISeKey as United Nations Expert on CyberSecurity and Trust Models. He served during 17 years as UN Expert for many leading organizations of the United Nations System including ILO, UN, UNCTAD, ITC/WTO, World Bank, UNDP, ESCAP (83-99). He is recognized worldwide as an Internet Pioneer.
Carlos left the United Nations in 1998 to found and devote his energies to WISeKey, a company he had begun in 1999. Guided by a belief that the Internet needs to be safe and universal and a tool for prosperity, he began developing technologies to protect the Internet. Carlos’ foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of WISeKey.
Carlos is still involved in many non for profit and philanthropic activities. He has received many international awards for his commitment to secure the Internet such as the selection as one of the World Economic Forum, Trailblazers, Shapers and Innovators, Member of Blockchain Advisory Board of the Government of Mexico.
He was Adjunct Professor of the Graduate School of Engineering RMIT Australia (95/99) and Head of the Trade Efficiency Lab at the Graduate School of Engineering at RMIT.
He is also very focused and active in disruptive DeepTech crypto technologies, AI, Blockchain/ Crypto Currencies, IoT and Cybersecurity. He is also very much involved in financial actives related to M&A , Fundraising, IPOs , Listed companies and was awarded the M&A Award 2017 Best EU acquisition for his acquisition of VaultIC semiconductors company in 2016. He listed WISeKey on the Swiss Stock Exchange in 2016.
WISeKey is a leading global cybersecurity company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland currently deploying large scale digital identity ecosystems with a patented process. WISeKey’s Swiss-based cryptographic Root of Trust (“RoT”) provides secure authentication and identification in both physical and virtual environments for the Internet of Things, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. The WISeKey RoT serves as a common trust anchor to ensure the integrity of online transactions among objects and between objects and people.
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