Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz.
1. What’s the history of Rivetz? How and where did you begin?
SP: The company was formed in 2013, built around leveraging software and services to make access to the Trusted Execution Environment in mobile devices easier to program and develop to. The company has built a set of tools and capabilities that simplify the developers’ access to the TEE.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
CEO & Co-founder, Steven Sprague
Steven is one of the principal industry evangelists for the application of trusted computing technology. Steven served as President and CEO of Wave Systems Corp. for 14 years before transitioning to the board of directors. A popular speaker on cybersecurity and trusted computing, Steven has a strong technical foundation in the principles, capabilities, and business models of incorporating trusted hardware into everyday computing – and is skilled at translating these concepts into layman’s terms.
CTO & co-founder, Michael Sprague
Michael is an original web veteran. He developed and directed products spanning digital micro-transactions and trusted execution networks in the nineties, interactive TV and network video distribution in the aughts, and device identity and social media privacy more recently. Michael’s career began as a developer and architect for a small but prestigious consulting firm that was contracted to redefine the global banking system for such clients as JP Morgan, Citibank, and Fidelity.
VP, Engineering, Sean Gilligan
Sean is a seasoned software developer and team lead with 30 years of industry experience. As an independent consultant and principal at Open Systems Development, Sean built networking and systems software products for companies such as Apple, 3Com, Novell, Silicon Graphics, and SUN Microsystems. He is recognized as a blockchain pioneer.
Vice Chairman, Bradley Rotter
Bradley is a visionary investor who has pioneered investment in many new alternative investments classes beginning with hedge funds in 1982 while speculating on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He traded government bonds for EF Hutton on Wall Street before returning to Chicago to the Board of Trade.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
SP: Rivetz is creating the tools for every Android app developer to have access to the Trusted Execution Environment and provide not only simple APIs but also the infrastructure to manage a network of devices and their controls. We’re supporting tools that work with – and without – blockchain technology and building a whole new economic model for how cybersecurity controls can be distributed on mobile devices.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
SP: Our solution to this problem is a developer toolkit. We’ve built our own trusted app that runs in the Trusted Execution Environment. We have tools that expose it and then a set of infrastructure components and blockchain components that help us operate those tools. So, it’s both a set of tools that can be used and operational components that provides the infrastructure to make it simple to use.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
SP: The industry’s ripe for disruption because we’ve shipped one and a half billion PCs with Trusted Computing and over a billion devices with Trusted Execution Environment and everyone’s wondering where we’re going to secure our secret keys. No one’s using the TEE. Users are frustrated with the number of passwords they have to keep track of and the complexity of two-factor authentication. We’re trying to provide a simpler and safer solution for embedded security – security that’s designed in from the beginning.
6. What’s the future of your mobile device security?
Prediction #1: My primary prediction is that we’ll see the end of the local area network. We will move to a network of devices based on the identity of the device and away from wires and ports and passwords being how you access services.
Prediction #2: The second prediction is that we’ll see internet money continue to grow. Cryptocurrency will rise as the mechanism for a new software model for how people pay and are compensated for the services they consume and provide – and that their devices automatically consume.
Prediction #3: The third prediction is that the artificial intelligence of devices will play a more central role how we consume goods and services. The device will know if it’s allowed to perform certain services if it’s in the right circumstance. It will be able to assure that it’s a known device in a known condition with a known set of controls before it tries to access to sensitive networks or data.