As attractive as cryptocurrencies can be, they are still subjected to theft as much as actual cash—something has unfortunately happened a lot in the past. Since blockchain is also used for cybersecurity reasons and not just cryptocurrency, it’s a bit of an irony that the technology has proven to be so vulnerable in the past. To counter that, Singapore-based Sentinel Protocol aims to make you feel safer about your cryptocurrency savings.
Created by the Uppsala Foundation, a cybersecurity firm also based in the country, the idea of the company was born when Uppsala founder Patrick Kim found himself the victim of such a theft. According to TNW, the executive lost 7,218 Ether in 2016 during a breach on the wallet service he was using. Since then, he set out to make sure others had the chance to avoid that same fate.
Indeed, cryptocurrency theft is a big issue. According to Reuters, about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen since the beginning 2017. “One problem that we’re seeing in addition to the criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering using cryptocurrencies is the theft of these tokens by bad guys,” Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace, told Reuters in an interview.
Of the 1.2 billion, the executive believes that only about 20% or even less has been recovered. He also told the news agency that GDPR would hinder investigations against these criminals, since the new regulations restricted “critical information” for authorities.
Blockchain to protect blockchain
The principal muscle behind Sentinel Protocol is crowdsourcing. That’s right: it’s users that will strengthen the platform by collaborating with it. In essence, what the company builds is a threat reputation database (TRDB) that contains blockchain addresses that have been linked to thefts, frauds or any other kind of illegal activity. The community is made by experts who are aptly called “Sentinels” and provide the relevant information.
So how are professionals motivated to help? Sentinels receive Sentinel Points (SP), which are essentially reputation points that they can then exchange for tokens provided by Sentinel Protocol as a currency.
So how does it work? A company that provides services in the cryptocurrency sector can integrate their platform with Sentinel Protocol. That way, they can easily detect and subsequently block any suspicious activity by contrasting all of the information that the service has made available for them, and which was initially provided by the Sentinels.
The company has already partnered with one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange firms, Bibox. Other firms are also involved with the company, and the general goal is to fight back against criminal effectively. Thanks to Sentinel Protocol’s decentralized approach, they might just have a chance. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are a decentralized concept, after all.
Currently, Sentinel Protocol’s TRDB API can be freely integrated by companies looking to improve their security. More advanced features like machine learning-based s-wallet will also be available, opening the door to a new tier of paid services.
The company is sure that “with the proper incentives in place, Sentinels will propel the TRDB into becoming a truly global threat reputation database.”