U.S. Blockchain Startup Chain Teams with Thales to Increase Security

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read

The blockchain company has developed a new solution in partnership with Thales to enable secure application of the distributed ledger technology.

Chain has announced that it teamed up with the France-based cybersecurity company Thales to increase security of the blockchain system.

The startup is going to integrate Thales’s hardware security modules (HSM) to enable large companies using its blockchain infrastructure to safely store their security credentials like digital keys and passwords. The solution will make it more attractive for organizations to develop financial products using the blockchain technology.

“As Chain takes blockchain networks to production, we’ve invested heavily in the secure generation and storage of private key material,” said Ryan Smith, Chief Technology Officer at Chain. “The Thales nShield HSM offers a fast and efficient way to derive new keys. In particular, we were very impressed with the HSM’s CodeSafe feature, which allows us to run security-critical code protected within the HSM boundary. It’s a natural fit.”

Jon Geater, Chief Technology Officer at Thales e-Security, said: “Blockchain is a game-changer in the financial services industry, with the potential to enhance security, speed and operational efficiency. Our integration with Chain provides a strong root of trust and ensures the integrity of the underlying blockchain operations, allowing organizations to build, deploy and operate blockchain-based transaction networks with confidence.”

The safety of the distributed ledger depends on the security of its cryptographic keys. Each transaction realized via blockchain requires a new set of one-time cryptographic keys. With Thales nShield HSM, Chain will generate these keys, providing an increased level of protection. The company used Thales CodeSafe technology to create Chain Key Derivation algorithm, which offers the unique capability to move sensitive applications within the protected perimeter of the FIPS 140-2 level 3 nShield HSM.

In February, Accenture developed a similar service that makes the use of blockchain more secure. The company built a system that lets financial organizations store digital keys for their blockchain apps in HSMs.

Thales is the world’s leader in cybersecurity solutions for transport, aerospace, security and defence industries. The company’s staff of more than 64,000 employees in 56 countries allows it to work closely with its clients all over the world. Last year, Thales’s generated sales of over €14.9 billion. The company offers a broad range of services, from data protection, security consulting, digital trust management to intrusion detection, cyberthreat management, and security supervision.

Chain, which is headquartered in San Francisco, is one of the major providers of blockchain solutions for banks and other financial institutions. In 2015, the startup secured a $30 million investment from such payments industry leaders as Visa, Nasdaq, Citigroup, Capital One, Fiserv and Orange.

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