Quantstamp Set to Assist Japanese Firms With Creating Secure Smart Contracts

Siamak Masnavi

Smart contract security firm Quantstamp has announced that, following "significant investment" from Japan's Nomura Holdings and Digital Garage, it is establishing a Japanese subsidiary (Quantstamp Japan GK) that will "assist Japanese startups and enterprises in using secure blockchain technology."

Although Quantstamp provides consulting services for companies that need help with evaluation and system integration of their blockchain strategy, its main area of expertise is auditing of smart contracts. So far, its smart contract auditing services "have been used to secure more than $500 million of transaction value."

Quantstamp, which is backed by Y Combinator, is "developing a protocol that audits smart contracts using formal verification in order to find bugs before contracts are published to the blockchain." Its developers aim to "secure and verify audits using a distributed network of nodes, similar to how an Ethereum node secures and validates a transaction. The Quantstamp protocol aims to be a scalable and cost-effective solution to the smart contract crisis." The "crisis" that Quantstamp is talking about here is the fact that "over $250 million dollars worth of Ether" have been "either locked or stolen from the Ethereum network due to bugs in smart contracts." In fact, its CEO, Richard Ma, "experienced the problem firsthand after his funds were stolen during the DAO hack." 

Quantstamp is different from most other smart contract auditing firms in that it does not only provide manual auditing, and that it is also developing the Quantstamp Protocol, which consists of two parts:

  • "An automated and upgradeable software verification system that checks smart contract code such as Solidity programs."
  • "An automated payout system that rewards human participants in QSP tokens for finding errors in smart contracts. The purpose of this system is to bridge the gap while moving towards the goal of full automation."

The great thing about the Quantstamp Protocol is that it is "automated, scalable and without the need of a trusted 3rd party." Via this automation, the protocol "will be able to handle audits much faster than a centralized manual auditing company."

According to Quantstamp's press release, Richard Ma, Co-Founder and CEO Quantstamp Inc., had this to say about the expansion of Quanstamp's presence to Japan:

“I’m pleased to announce Quantstamp’s formal expansion to Japan, Japan is an important market in digital payments. 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., stated:

“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. I believe Quantstamp is well positioned to support this role as they work to secure smart contract technology.”

And finally, Yasuhiro Mimura, Managing Director of DG Incubation Co., Ltd., commented:

“I think that Quantstamp offers the best service on the market. It’s the best solution for identifying and mitigating smart contract vulnerabilities. With their knowledge and experience on smart contract security, we are hoping for further breakthroughs in the future.“


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Thailand’s Largest Bank Explains Benefits of Being Part of RippleNet

Siamak Masnavi

In a recent interview, Arthit Sriumporn, the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Commercial Banking at Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), which is Thailand's largest bank by total assets, talked about the benefits SCB has enjoyed by being part of RippleNet, Ripple's global payments network.

On Thursday (March 26), a post on Ripple's "Insights" blog featured an interview with Sriumporn, during which the SCB SVP talked about his firm and how it has benefited by being a member of RippleNet.

“Siam Commercial Bank is more than 100 years old and is Thailand’s largest bank with more than 1,000 branches across the nation.

"We support a wide range of customers from retail to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations.

"Our focus is always on enriching the customer experience and RippleNet has helped us to do this with remittances."

Despite being Thailand's oldest bank, Thailand's incredibly high adoption of mobile phone technology appears to have helped Thailand become a world leader in mobile banking.

An article published on 19 February 2019 in Bangkok Post said that the Global Digital Report 2019 "put Thailand top in the global rankings of internet banking service access, at 74% of the population, followed by Sweden (71%) and Turkey (68%)." As for crypto ownership, this report said that "Thailand ranked second with 9.9% of internet users owning cryptocurrency, behind only South Africa at 10.7%, while Indonesia was third at 9.5%."

Sriumporn also talked about SCB customers' experience with the bank's new mobile app:

“We first enticed our customers to use our new mobile app by making it completely fee free,.

"When people became so used to the convenience of doing banking from their phones, we raised customer expectations around all of our services.

"Customers who send money to family and friends outside of Thailand didn’t like that it still involved visiting a branch, filling out lots of forms and then waiting up to five days for the money to get there.”

Ripple says that it is estimated that Thailand is "home to 4.9 million migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia," and that the region's $68 nillion remittances market motivated SCB to join RippleNet "in order to enhance its existing expensive and time-consuming cross-border payments process."

Here is Sriumporn talking about "SCB Easy", the bank's latest innovation, which is powered by Ripple's technology:

“We created SCB Easy, an app that runs on Ripple and allows our customers to send money to family and friends abroad from their phones.

"Transfers happen in real-time but are still cheaper than the five-day process.

"We’ve used RippleNet to connect to banking partners around the world, which helped us open up more corridors and serve more customers quickly and easily.”

But the benefits of being part of RippleNet do not stop there:

“We’re working on a QR code-based app that enables tourists to use their home country mobile app for Thailand’s QR code payment.

"Tourists simply scan the QR code to pay for something instantly without dealing with exchange rates or having to carry around large amounts of local currency.

"It’s something new in the market that will change the tourism landscape and make lives better.”

Sriumporn goes on to say:

“The instant remittances experience creates peace of mind for our customers.

"We want to expand that experience to more markets, as well as to our small business and enterprise customers.

"Being part of RippleNet has helped us to completely enhance our customer experience, expand our business and keep SCB moving into the future.”

Earlier this month, Ripple announced via a blog post that Thai global remittance firm DeeMoney had become the first non-bank financial institution in Thailand to join RippleNet.

Bangkok-headquartered DeeMoney joined RippleNet in order to offer cheaper and faster money transfers to its customers.

Marcus Treacher, SVP of Customer Success at Ripple, stated at the time:

“The digital banking revolution is taking Thailand by storm, and DeeMoney is a key player in this.

"By being the first non-bank institution in Thailand to use RippleNet, it redraws the boundaries and rules of engagement by providing efficient international transfers at low fees and competitive rates.

"Thailand has stated its intention to be a Smart Nation and we are proud to be an enabler of the process by partnering with DeeMoney."

Featured Image by "sasint" via Pixabay.com