Quantstamp, a blockchain security firm, secured investment from Nomura Holdings and Digital Garage and announced its expansion into Japan. Through establishing a limited liability company, Quantstamp Japan GK, the firm plans to help Japanese startups and enterprises to use secure blockchain technology.
Quantstamp provides services to assist in identifying and securing vulnerabilities in smart contracts. It uses an automated process to examine smart contracts for well-known issues, alongside manual auditing to help prevent security breaches in large-scale blockchain initiatives. Its services have been used to protect projects with more than $500 million of transaction value.
There have been some enormous smart contract vulnerabilities. One of the best known is the theDAO or Digital Autonomous Organization. In June 2016 a flaw in its smart contract was exploited resulting in the direct loss of more than $50 million in ether, and a 35% drop in ether’s value. Controversially Ethereum was forked (split) in order roll back and reinstate the money.
More recently a bug in the Parity wallet “froze” ether worth $136M at the time. The only way to recoup the money was to, once again, fork the Ethereum blockchain, but the community decided not to fork the blockchain to resolve this problem.
In the enterprise world, Quantstamp is up against steep competition. For example, yesterday IBM announced a new security testing service for Hyperledger Fabric.
“I’m pleased to announce Quantstamp’s formal expansion to Japan. Japan is an important market in digital payments,” said Richard Ma, co-founder, and CEO of Quantstamp. “We’re expanding our presence as we think that the market for smart contract-driven applications here is strong and will only be growing.”
Chuzaburo Yagi, Senior Managing Director in charge of Innovations at Nomura Holdings, Inc., commented “As blockchain technology is adopted in the financial world, smart contracts will play an increasingly important role. Security assurances through auditing and certification will become increasingly indispensable.”
Established in 2017, Quantstamp is a Y Combinator-backed security company aimed at promoting and securing the mainstream adoption of smart contracts. The goal of the Quantstamp protocol is to develop new analysis techniques, as well as making complex scanning tools more accessible to developers. Instead of using non-trivial tools which are time-consuming and need special configuration and expertise, the Quantstamp protocol provides simple checks for in-development smart contract code.