By Gregory Bilecki
Adam Lowe is the CIO of CompoSecure L.L.C., the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom and secure identification cards which actively services a wide array of industries varying from governments to casinos and gaming. Recently, he launched Arculus, a cold-storage crypto-currency wallet which features patented three-factor NFC authentication to remove the friction that comes with every day crypto transactions to make digital assets easier to use for everyone.
What’s the overall concept behind Arculus, where did the idea for the company stem from and more specifically – how does the technology you offer push crypto into the mainstream fold?
As a long time crypto enthusiast, I really feel that crypto is going to revolutionize the way we do banking, real estate, and other businesses depending on how it winds up after going through all of the regulatory processes we’re seeing now currently. Bringing it to consumers in a safe, simple, and secure way was the primary goal of Arculus.
What are the current problems you feel that crypto, blockchain technology, and the DeFi sector currently face, and how do you feel that Arculus is addressing those issues?
Overall there’s a lot of complexity and friction that comes with using current hardware and software solutions on the market. Our goal is to remove a lot of the friction that comes with using crypto today. An example of this would be with the FIDO authentication application that lives on our patented smart card technology. Let’s say you’re in a situation where you’d want to move ten-thousand dollars out of your CoinBase account. Usually you’d need to use a form of multi-factor authentication to transact by logging into CoinBase with your password and PIN by using a third-party authenticator app such as Google Authenticator, while making sure you retrieve that PIN before the app times out…not making it the best user experience. With our app and payment card, you would simply tap the back of the phone which securely authenticates the transaction via the FIDO authentication standard and boom, that’s it. That’s what we mean when we say want to reduce the friction that comes with using crypto.
Can you explain in a bit of detail what “air-gapped, cold storage” technology is for those who might not know much about it?
The premise is the idea that the user would want their keys to interact with as little of the outside world as possible – only when you’re executing transactions. With our smart card technology, it’s not hooked to any network, making it not hackable. If your private keys are connected to the internet or the cloud one would assume that there’s always a way. With the Arculus card there’s no screen, no keys, no cable to plug in, no network, no WiFi, nothing. When you tap the back of your phone with the card, it’s similar to paying with a credit card at a gas pump in a similar way using encrypted NFC technology. With one tap, it makes a hash of the keys, and signs the block.
Arculus solutions offer three factor authentication technology – what does three factor authentication provide for users? How does this differ compared to the widely used two-factor in the industry?
Typically speaking with two-factor authentication one of the many things that comes along with it is poor password hygiene. With our solution, three factor protection happens via something you are – biometric security, something you know – a six digit pin, and something you have – the Arculus card itself which contains your private keys. This completes the three points of the security triangle to make transactions work with our technology. The way the Arculus card works is a patented solution, so it’s safe to say no competitors are offering something similar at the moment.
How “future-proof” is the wallet, assuming that it can be upgraded, and how far will those upgrades take the hardware that you currently offer?
To answer the question, yes – it can be upgraded. The nice thing about a lot of chains that get released is that they all use similar hashing algorithms, which makes us already future proof in a lot of ways since it can already support a wide variety of currencies. However we control everything down to the custom operating system and the applications that run on the card, so if there’s something exotic that comes out that we want to support, we’ll either implement a plan to upgrade the firmware or simply provide our users with a new card since we love our customers and they’re the most important part of our ecosystem.
Is Arculus doing anything “behind-the-scenes” for the crypto community if you can mention anything about that at the moment? What is the company doing that’s unrelated to current product offerings at the moment?
We’re working really hard right now in the API space with a few partners to grow the community by ease of access to information and access to crypto. We feel that the bigger the ecosystem grows, the better it is for everybody. Some of the challenges bring access issues that sometimes impede future development, so with our API solutions that we’re working on it’s going to make building into the chain much more possible for people. Downloading an entire chain running on your own server with your own app and having to scale that to millions of calls is somewhat complicated, so with our API’s you’ll be able to get that information from the chain itself directly with just a bit of code instead and without any cloud infrastructure management.
What is Arculus’s plans for the future and how does that tie in with the future of cryptocurrency?
We’re excited about our upcoming B2B partnerships where were going to bring together payments, authentication, and cryptocurrency. On the consumer side, we’re looking to implement staking, DeFi, and savings products. No commitments to any dates are being made at this time, but those are some of the new things that we’re currently working on at the moment.
To learn more about Sarson Funds, visit them online at www.sarsonfunds.com