Venture Leaders Fintech Interview: Meet Dario Duran of SHIFT Cryptosecurityby Venturlab Fintech August 16, 2018
With cryptocurrencies entering the mainstream, storing and spending them require new easy-to-use solutions. ETH spin-off SHIFT Cryptosecurity has developed a sturdy, discreet and of course high-security hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies.
The appeal lies in the device’s specific security features (covering everything from physical strength to two-factor authentication, secondary wallets for plausible deniability and more) and its convenience.
This is the 8th part of the Fintech Startup Interview serial powered by Venturelab.
Venturelab brings this autumn 10 Swiss Fintech Startups to New York.
Founder Dario Duran is on the Venture Leaders Fintech team heading to New York in September, and is ready to introduce his BitBoxto the world’s financial center.
Where do you see the biggest opportunities in Fintech over the next five years? What problems urgently need to be solved?
When asked what makes Bitcoin so special, I answer that it is the world’s first digital bearer asset. You have to let that sink in a bit before the opportunities present themselves. It is quite literally programmable money. The problems we are looking to solve are twofold:(i) securing the digital keys that make digital bearer assets possible and (ii) creating the infrastructure that equips users to secure their financial sovereignty.
What do you see as the greatest obstacle to expansion into the global market?
Hardware is a vital component of what we provide and who we are, but hardware, unlike software, needs supply chains to be established. This is a tremendous challenge for a small company based in the heart of Switzerland. Nonetheless, we feel up to the challenge of bringing our Swiss digital army knife, the BitBox, to the world.
What attracts you to New York as a business development destination?
There are many aspects of New York that appeal to SHIFT, but also to me personally. From a business perspective, New York is a special kind of finance-techMecca. Global fintech strategy for many financial institutions is defined in NYC. On a personal note, I grew up in New Jersey and spent some time at UBS Warburg back in the day. I’m looking forward to a bit of a homecoming.
What do you hope to achieve on the trip? What are you most looking forward to?
Meetings with top-tier investment banks. In particular, we would look forward to seeing the bankers overseeing anything related to Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and crypto-custody. We understand Goldman Sachs is opening a cryptocurrency trading desk, so the timing seems to work very well. We see a strong opportunity to also open doors of leading VCs investing looking to get exposure to crypto-infrastructure.
There are few opportunities to invest into the “picks and shovels” side of cryptocurrencies, and a company like SHIFT offers a unique team and vision. Remember, we believe deeply in the Bitcoin promise of financial sovereignty. As engineers, we have understood that this requires people to hold their own keys and verify their own transactions with their own hardware; hopefully, Swiss-made hardware by Shift Cryptosecurity!
How is the Venture Leaders program beneficial for your startup?
Venture Leaders has established itself as a designation of excellence and it is an honor for our team to be on the Swiss National Startup Team. Secondly, we are in the middle of a friends and family funding round, receiving increased inbound interest from investors. This program helps us focus our energy on professionalising our investor pitch – the opportunities are exciting.