George Waller, CEO of Edison-based BlockSafe Technologies, claims that he lives, breathes and eats cybersecurity, blockchain and crypto.
“Cybersecurity,” he stated flat out when asked what his firm does best. And he was serious.
“Here’s the thing. I dedicated the last 18 years of my life in this company to making the world a safer place.” This included a stint as CEO of StrikeForce Technologies (Edison), which Waller cofounded and remains an executive vice president. BlockSafe is a subsidiary of StrikeForce.
“When we started analyzing crypto and blockchain,” he continued, “there was no one out there dedicated to solving problems for the entire ecosystem. You had a security company here and there, but no one was looking at the ecosystem as a whole.”
The conversation then turned ultra-critical, numbers-wise. “As new as crypto is, there is over $9 million a day stolen out of peoples’ wallets. That’s crazy!”
But the real problem, Waller noted, is that “when your tokens are stolen, there’s nothing you can do. You don’t call the FBI or the CIA or the NSA or the local police. When your tokens are stolen, they’re stolen. It’s not like you can call your bank; there’s no bank backing that wallet. It’s a big problem. Exchanges and blockchains, especially exchanges, are really under attack.”
StrikeForce Technologies will soon will be in its 18th year. BlockSafe Technologies was born in 2018.
“We realized that we needed to create a company with folks dedicated to protecting that blockchain ecosystem.”
“When I started studying the blockchain a year and a half ago to two years ago, I started analyzing, watching the data breaches starting to hit wallets, starting to hit exchanges, starting to hit permission-based blockchains,” he explained. “I started going out to talk to potential customers, potential vendors that could potentially sell our software, about our technology. We knew that we needed to modify our technologies specifically , so while we started working to modify the products to work with them, we started to meet with all these people. And everyone looked at us and said, ‘Well, you guys, you’re a cybersecurity firm, but we only want to work with a blockchain firm.’ When we spoke to somebody in crypto, they’d say, ‘Oh, you’re a cybersecurity firm; we want to talk to someone in the crypto space.’
“So, we realized that we needed to create a company with folks dedicated to protecting that blockchain ecosystem.” Waller listened to his potential customers in the blockchain world. As a result, “We opened up BlockSafe, which is 100% dedicated to protecting that ecosystem.”
BlockSafe Technologies offers three cybersecurity solutions, each for a specific component of the ecosystem. One of them is CryptoDefender, which is designed to protect the crypto wallets (on desktop computers or mobile devices). Another is ExchangeDefender, which is a combination of two products that secure exchanges, protecting employees from getting breached, hacked and phished. The third is BlockchainDefender, a security solution for permission-based blockchains.
Blockchain has grown substantially during the past two years. Every two weeks, Waller hosts an event or joins in others, and he finds it startling how many industries are now discussing the subject. Blockchain isn’t new; it surfaced along with bitcoin around 2008. But Waller noted that for years the world has heard more about the crypto side; and this, he feels, has caused a lot of confusion.
“Blockchain is a technology, a ledger [database], an app, that sits on a network. Or it’s available to the public as a public blockchain,” he said. “With bitcoin, management of it is through the blockchain. So, until 2011, the public heard mostly about bitcoin. Then they realized that blockchain recorded those transactions. And they later realized it had many capabilities. Also, processes can be automated, which makes it more profitable and easier for companies to do business.”
According to Waller, this new information about blockchain raised eyebrows in many companies. “On the permissions side, the CEO says, ‘Wow, you know what? I can become very efficient and profitable.’ You don’t need all the antiquated ways of things done by multiple people, and the paperwork and everything else that’s involved. When you put something in the blockchain, it’s there, it’s secure and it stays there for good.” And on the public side? “If you are employing a public blockchain, it enables you to transact with people all over the world in a collaborative way. It’s really all about transactions.”
“We filed our BSAFE token on the 25th of September with the SEC as a security.”
In September 2018, BlockSafe announced its securitized token offering (STO) presale. “The SEC said, if you’re going to create a token and sell it and get money from it, we view that as
“What we did was embrace that. Our parent company, StrikeForce, is a public company and has been for 14 years. We embrace the fact that we have financials every quarter, every year, so we’re not afraid of regulations at all. So, we filed our BSAFE token on the 25th of September with the SEC as a security. When people invest into our current Pre-STO (506c) round, they can buy tokens at $0.25 each.” That round will close January 24, 2019.
The token also serves another purpose: revenue participation. BlockSafe automatically gives back 10 percent of its gross revenues to all its token holders, thus providing them with a passive income. When the Pre-STO round closes, the STO round will commence, and the token price will double to $0.50. All participants must be accredited investors.
“What drives me and us in here is that bad actors are flocking to crypto and blockchain,” said Waller. “Our history in cybersecurity, and the tools we’ve built over the years, was the perfect springboard for us to take our knowledge, take our ability and the products that we’ve built, and modify those products so that we can address these very specific concerns.”
BlockSafe and StrikeForce are in the Garden State for the long haul. “We are very dedicated to New Jersey. We’re centrally located, and it’s an easy place to get to. We are definitely looking to employ people here. If you’re local, all the better, come and join our mission to make the world a safer place for people to compute.”