FINNIES: How a Brisbane-based startup protects global initial coin offerings from hackers

Business Insider is the proud exclusive media partner for the 2018 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. Jobs for NSW is the presenting partner of the Finnies. Read more on the awards. »
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Brisbane-based cyber security company Entersoft has successfully helped launch and protect $US1 billion of initial coin offerings to the world market without a single hack or lost token value.

And the security support service for ICOs, which includes anti-phishing and smart contract security, has been operating for just 10 months.

Entersoft has since mid-2017 helped more than 30 companies launch ICOs, including blockchain startup Havven which in March this year raised $39 million in what is seen as Australia’s largest ICO.

Entersoft helped shut down scams, including 24 phishing sites and 17 Medium pages.

UK-based virtual and augmented reality company ImmVRse in March announced it was using Entersoft to provide cyber security for its upcoming token sale.

Entersoft is one of the entrants for FinTech Australia’s Finnie awards, across the “excellence in cyber security”, “establishing global market presence” and “excellence in fintech support services” categories.

Winners of the 2018 Finnies, the second year of awards, will be announced June 13.

Entersoft employs white hat hackers, some with ex-military intelligence backgrounds, who use their collective 40 years’ of experience to secure ICOs ahead of a launch. It has six staff in its Brisbane office.

Entersoft’s fees are based on a success-based model.

Mohan Gandhi and Paul Kang launched Entersoft in Brisbane in 2014. Indian-born Gandhi previously had a cyber security business in Bangalore in India. Brisbane-born Kang was working on cyber security issues at an Australian construction company.

The two met in India in November 2013 and the next year Gandhi decided to move to Australia to launch Entersoft. The company has since also set up an office in Hong Kong.

Gandhi says there’s extremely strong demand for cyber security services for ICOs

According to some estimates, more than $US400 million has been lost from ICO hacks since 2015.

Mohan Gandhi. Image: supplied.

“The majority of the hacks happen due to phishing scams through fake URLs and social media accounts, a lack of security around token sale websites or through exposing flaws in smart contracts,” Gandhi says.

“We have been able to successfully shut down these scams in all ICOs we have supported.”

Gandhi says the Australian Government should work with the fintech and cyber security industries to encourage people to come to the country to undertake ICO fund-raises.

“With its highly-regarded financial services regulation, and other fintech-friendly policies, Australia should be a natural world destination for ICOs,” says Gandhi.

“Other countries have generally taken a neutral or hostile position to ICOs, while Australia has laid out a roadmap for how they can be undertaken.

“ICO fund-raises can bring significant investment into Australia, as they generally require cyber security and legal support, along with the need to construct a white paper and build technology platforms.

“Despite the recent volatility in digital currencies, there is still huge global interest in ICOs with some many hundreds of these fund-raises expected across the globe over the next six months. This is an industry Australia should be chasing.”

Chinese-based startup InvestDigital in January raised $US23 million in an Australian-based ICO. The legal advisor for this fund raise said: “Australian regulators are particularly well informed in relation to cryptocurrencies and seems to have put more resources into understanding this sector than others.”

Analysis by CoinTelegraph says Australia was one of only four countries, alongside the US, Gibraltar and UAE, that had specifically regulated in favour of ICOs.

In late January, Entersoft beat companies from around the world to be named as the 2017 FinTech Startup of the Year at the Financial Technology Awards in Hong Kong.

* Business Insider is the proud exclusive media partner for the 2018 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. We will be bringing you all the best stories from Finnie entrants and Australia’s fintech industry in the lead-up to the gala awards ceremony on June 13. Jobs for NSW is the presenting partner of the Finnies. Find out more here.

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