Hosho Co-Founder Hartej Sawhney: Dust Has Not Settled In Blockchain World Yet
Hartej Sawhney is a crypto guru and blockchain philosopher, an influential expert in the crypto and blockchain industry, the co-founder of the leading security company Hosho that provides smart contract audits all over the globe. Hartej is also a clothing designer, Indian classical musician, and art curator.
Nice to meet you, Hartej. Please tell us what useful services does your company offer to the crypto community?
The word “hosho” means “security” in Japanese. Hosho is a cyber security company focused on the blockchain space. We are increasingly leveraging automated tools to conduct the highest quality technical audits of smart contracts. In addition, we offer penetration testing as white hat hackers on websites, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and so on. Now we are developing the support for host bug bounties, and we are also building an institutional grade multi signature wallet for Ethereum.
How many people are in your team and where are you all based?
We have 55 people on the roster, most of them are HQ’d in Las Vegas. Also, we have an office in NYC. Las Vegas is a good place for business because of nice taxes and the general atmosphere. We are rapidly expanding our presence in Asia. Our company aims to work with China, Japan, Singapore, Korea. We are rapidly growing. There are 40 people now, and we expect to see the rise of this amount to 50 in June. We already have a strong presence in Europe. Especially in Kiev and St. Petersburg, Moscow, London and Berlin. But returning to Asia, there is a really different ecosystem and their own exchanges are not like here. Now we provide a penetration test for exchanges. We also provide smart-contract services for the biggest ICOs in the world. Asia does not have much this trend of smart contract audits, while in other parts of the world they are always in demand. So it is very important to go to Asia in order to educate the mass-market.
Did you run your own ICO?
No, we didn’t. Our company has been profitable from the very beginning.
Why did you decide to work with blockchain technologies?
This is the first time when humanity has a technology which allows to conduct a business on a trustless base. Previously, we forced to trust people. But now we are heading to the absolutely decentralized future.
What type of blockchain technology is the most efficient for business now?
We are blockchain agnostics. We think that the Bitcoin blockchain is a mother chain. And everything created after is a speculation. Though, Ethereum is good enough. It has the best blockchain for raising funds by using ERC-20 tokens. The fact that this blockchain is the most used does not mean that it is the most developed. There are about 20 new blockchain systems which are now in development, and in the future they can become competitors with Ethereum. In Sophia, we have seen developers who came through the academia and had written blockchain using the Java language.
What makes you better than other companies in the sphere of cybersecurity?
It is very simple. Right now, we are the best in the sphere because of smart-contract audits. Honestly, not a lot of companies in the world offer services in a quality way. And among them, we are the one who is fully concentrated on the cyber security. When ICO is hacked, the money are stolen. We are avoiding that.
What kind of audience are you working with?
Our clients are people who are in the sphere of law and who try to protect their clients. Also, we work with companies from the token market, major hedge funds. Investors have to be sure in the object of their investments. So we provide a necessary level of security. We want everyone in the industry to be more confident and tranquil because they can be sure that they are secured. We have a pretty long list of our partners on the website, so I’d rather not list them right now because I do not want to miss someone important.
You mentioned you are based in Las Vegas and have the office in NYC. But in the US, there are tough regulation rules for crypto and blockchain businesses. How can you describe your experience in the USA?
We have no problems with regulation. Instead of this, we work directly with regulators and central governments to help them develop legislation rules for this industry. For example, in Gibraltar and Malta, there are very good discussions that all exchanges have to come through the penetration test and they can list tokens and coins which came through at least one professional analysis.
The processes like KYC and AML are very important today because there are too many scams. How can we avoid fraudulent activities?
I think in the future many scam coins will not exist anymore. But everyday we can see how a great amount of descent projects appear. And there is a huge uptrend in the sophisticated investors from all types of the industry. And I believe blockchain have been around long enough so that they started to feel more confident to use it and to build something really big on its basis.
Why are some countries so negative about blockchain and crypto, while others do everything possible to get into this sphere?
There is a big difference between countries, which are in favor of crypto, and countries, which look for advantages of blockchain. China, for example, is in favor of blockchain and not much of cryptocurrencies. Governments always look for innovations that can help to develop the economy. Now we can see the new mainstream in which small island countries like Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Singapore are very crypto friendly. But also, it is clear that big countries like the USA, Australia or the UK are very careful when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency.
More and more people know that blockchain is great, but we do not see its expansion. Why cannot the world adopt new technologies so easily?
The dust has not settled yet. We have a long way to go to fix scalability and reliability of blockchain before it is expanded in the way it has to. The biggest problem of the blockchain industry today is the lack of quality and engineering talents. And there is not enough academies to train new talents. The people who write the code for solidity of blockchain used to be web developers before. There are no fullstack specialists.