Leading Swiss private banks pursue digital trust as key competitive opportunity

One month after our 6th Free and Safe in Cyberspace conference in Geneva, the annual Private Banking Day 2019 was held last week in Lucerne - organized by the Association of Swiss Asset and Wealth Management Banks and the Association of Swiss Private Banks - to reach the same conclusion: IT security and privacy constitute the key opportunity for Swiss private banks to build competitive and locational advantage.

The Private Banking Day 2019 clearly highlighted such conclusions in their official press release, "Efficiently combating cyber threats a key locational factor", and the closing remarks of the President, "How can we protect confidentiality in the digital world?".

The 6th Free and Safe in Cyberspace - held in Geneva, after Brussels, New York, Iguazu and Berlin - was organized by our Geneva-based Trustless Computing Association and its spin-off startup TRUSTLESS.AI, and participated by top IT security experts, public institutions and leading family offices and private banks and family offices, such as SYZ Group, PeakView and Point5 which in the evening of day 1 discussed concrete ways to take advantage of such great opportunity.

This new awareness by the main Swiss private banking associations confirms the timeliness and vision of our initiative to gather a few leading Swiss private banks to become their top clients' digital trust providers through the creation of new ultra-secure human computing devices, Seevik Pod , and a new related Trustless Computing Certification Body, to independently certify radically unprecedented levels of confidentiality of communications and integrity of transactions, while at once preventing criminal abuse.

Pitching at Fusion Demo Day in Nyon

On May 9th 2019, we pitched at Fusion Demo Day in Nyon, as a main milestone of our year-long acceleration program at Fusion in Geneva. We pitched with 8 other fintech startups, selected among 400 for the Fintech Fusion acceleration program. Over 100 attendees.

Since being accepted last September, we quickly found in Fusion and Geneva our new home, and decided to move here a few weeks later. We found great interest from local private banks, and fantastic support from the Fusion team. Some pitctures and a (draft) low-volume video of our pitch.

Hosting our 6th Free and Safe in Cyberspace next April 9-10th in Geneva

Geneva, March 28th 2019. 

After editions in Brussels, Iguazu, New York and Berlin, leading European and Swiss IT security and banking experts will convene this time in Geneva for the 6th Edition of the Free and Safe in Cyberspace on April 9th-10th 2019: www.free-and-safe.org

Panelists and keynoters include leading experts, academics and private banks – including from EPFL, ETH ZurichOxford University FHI,United Nations ITUThales Group SICPASymphonySYZ Group,PeakviewWAAM Wealth ManagementPolytech Ventures, and more. Organized by the Trustless Computing Association and its spinoff TRUSTLESS.AI-Sarl. Hosted at their new home at the Fintech Fusion accelerator in Geneva.

As in previous edition, we’ll discuss what new IT security paradigms, technologies and international non-governmental certifications can be expected to enable human communications and financial transactions that are radically more secure than state-of-the-art. We’ll tackle 4 key challenges and how their solution by pioneering public and private organizations could create huge public good and economic opportunities.

After the repeal of bank secrecy laws and huge fines levied on Swiss banks from US and EU authorities, can an offering of unique digital security and confidentiality from hackers, competitors and adversary become the new dominant competitive advantage of Swiss private banks?

Cybercrime cost will reach $6 trillion by 2021. Most of it unnoticed or unreported. Wealthy persons and banks are the primary victims, simply because that’s where the money is. In fact, extortion schemes, financial frauds, and trade secret theftamount to a much higher cost than consumer data breaches that make headlines every other day, and are mostly forgotten by users and markets the next one.

No matter how much they’re willing to pay, even the richest and most powerful persons like Trump and Bezos, still cannot expect their communications with close associates to stay private from even mid-level attackers. The phone “call back”, the mainstay and last line ofdefense of banks against financial transaction fraud, is greatly threatened by fast-emerging voice cloning technologies.

Sure, IT devices and supply-chains are ever more complex, to deliver rich experiences, and more obscure, to protect intellectual property. Meanwhile hackers are getting ever more resourceful. But is it really a technological issue?

Are we really not good enough? The latent demand after all is enormous. Or is instead that all is broken, by design at birth, ultimately to satisfy legitimate needs of law enforcement? If so, do we have to choose? Can we even choose? Is personal freedom and public safety really an “either or” choice, or is it instead a solvable “both or neither” challenge? Can both possibly be solved largely through the same uncompromising zero-trust time-proven technologies and international certification governance models?

Can such ultra-secure IT – and related certification governance models – contribute to radically increase the security, privacy or safety of complex and critical IT systems, such as 5G Networksself-driving carsrobo-advisorssocial media platforms and future all powerful AIs?

For Logistics:

For media, speakers and spoorships:
Rufo Guerreschi, Exec. Dir. Trustless Computing Associationrufo@trustlesscomputing.org — mobile +41799137280

Lies, Damn Lies and “Secure” Messaging Apps

Last March 6th, Zuckerberg described in a long blog post a new fresh course for our troubled “social digital master” Facebook, to provide its 2 billion users with unprecedented privacy of personal communications.

A “digital equivalent of the living room”, in his own words, to be delivered by merging its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging apps and strenghtening their more secure. His promise echos similar unfulfilled promises by Steve Jobs in 1984, to save us from an Orwellian future, and Richard Stallman in 1983, when he launch GNU/Linux and the Free and Open Source Movement.

But can even a perfectly secure app deliver a private sphere of communication that enables a meaningful and responsible exercise in cyberspace of our constitutional rights right to privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly?

His promise is completely impossible because an app can never be more secure than the device it runs on and, as we learn repeatedly on a monthly basis even the most secure phone, such as an iPhone, is regularly hacked and hackable even by researchers or teenage hackers -it may

Nearly all commentators, except for rare comments by digital rights organizations, have fail to recognise Zuckerberg plan is impossible. The New York Times for example thinks his business model is missing, while the EFF, the World leading digital rights organization, thinks it could all work with a third party audit entity.

Though impossible, Zuckerberg promise may well be able to sell this plan to a majority of people becuase of the astounding amount of deceptions and misconceptions surrounding the issue, lead by security agencies consistently misrepresentation about the security offered by apps to induce mid-level criminals to abuse them to be able to interecept them as required by investigations.

But truth is that even if their apps were perfectly secure - which is likely impossible - they would be extremely far from delivering on their promise. In fact, the security an app can not be is limited to the security of the device it runs on. And that security is “utterly weak” as Snowden noted. Even the most secure portable device out there, the iPhone, is regularly hacked by even mid-level hackers. (And also compromisable at scale at low marginal cost via public and private programs AI-powered descendants of NSA FoxAcid, NSA Turbine and Hacking Team RCS)

By why is there such amount of misconceptions?

At root there is a wide natural uncoordinated alignment of interests of several actors that produces a wild overstatement of the privacy provided by secure apps and secure devices, even on the face of a continuous barrage of revelations of government programs and systems vulnerabilities. These actors includes security agencies, happy to induce less expert criminals to use broken techs, secure messaging IT providers, happy to overstate the security of their wares, and cybersecurity journalists, often parroting the above, and looking for news even where there is none.

So is the creation of a digital private sphere impossible?

At first, Facebook replaced public streets, squares and shopping malls, and the smaller fragmented online spaces of the first year of the Internet, with a single de-facto digital public sphere, a gigantic digital shopping mall with 24hrs surveillance cameras at every corner. More recently, it bought its way into domination of personal and social messaging by buying off Whatsapp and Instagram, and implementing strong encryption technologies.

Facebook now claims to be setting out to create the “digital equivalent of the living room”, a digital transposition of what was the constitutionally guaranteed private sphere. They claim it will not only be secure, but secure even against hackers and governments, while also mitigating criminal abuse, and simply by integrating, enriching and further securing its Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger messaging apps.

But that is impossible, as we discussed about. If after we learned that even Bezos and Trump can’t access a way to privately communicate with their personal associates, Facebook can still credibly claim to become the new privacy champion just by making their messaging apps more secure, it means that the level of deception on digital privacy is way beyond guard-level.

At TRUSTLESS.AI and our Trustless Computing Association, we are building nothing less than that very “digital equivalent of the living room” or a “digital private sphere” that Zuckerberg promised but will never be able deliver, even if he wanted to.

In order to build the “digital equivalent of the living room” you need a new device that will seamlessly integrate with the “digital public sphere”, but is nevertheless separated by a physical wall, just like in the physical World we expect our living room to be separated by a wall from public urban spaces.

It will come in the form of a Seevik Pod a standalone 2mm-thin touch-screen device, that will become the default backscreen of tens of millions of Android phones, complementing our digital public sphere with a vibrant and secure private sphere.


Peakview, WAAM and Point5 join AS financial sector Proof-of-concept partners

Geneva - February 18th 2019. As wealthy individuals seek to transfer to the digital realm the trust relationships that they have traditionally maintained with the wealth managers - a few leading wealth management firms have joined TRUSTLESS.AI in building ways for their clients to engage in remote advisory and transactions with peace of mind. These enable them to deepen and widen such trust relationship, becoming de-facto their clients’ digital confidant and digital trust provider.

As we engage target clients in the next weeks to complete the functional prototype of our Seevik Pod, we started selecting a limited number of wealth management firms, enterprises and NGOs to become our proof-of-concept or go-to-market partners.

We are happy to welcome Point5 Family Office, PeakView Private Investment Office and Wealth and Asset Management (WAAM) Solutions, as our first proof-of-concept partners bringing unique and varied market knowledge invaluable to refine our value proposition.

The Pod will enable them to far surpass their competitors in confidentiality, trust and cyber resilience, both in actuality and in perception, given our thought leadership being established via the Free and Safe in Cyberspace event series, next in Geneva on April 9-10th 2019.

They join us to co-develop a custom proof-of-concept to help us ensure our SeeVik Pod will abide to their needs, preferences and compliance requirements. They will receive a number of free device units when commercially ready.

Go-to-market partners, additionally, will be entitled to a time-limited go-to-market exclusivity - together with a few other firms with a similar amount of Assets-under-Management - in small, medium and large categories.

A Geneva-based startup, at Fusion accelerator, building a 2mm-thin Wifi handheld device that enables wealth management firms to seamlessly deliver radically-unprecedented cybersecurity for the most sensitive computing, communications and negotiations of their client (U)HWNIs, relationship managers and executives; while solidly enabling legitimate lawful access.

About PeakView Private Investment Office
Geneva-based investment boutique, focused on managing the assets of a select number of private individuals and family offices. It acts as a strategic investment partner to clients and provides a uniquely modern, independent, and sophisticated asset management service, devoid of the conflict of interests that often characterize the offerings of larger companies. Its management has led some of the largest investment teams at leading international private banks within Europe.

About Point5 Family Office
A Geneva-based financial Institution focused in managing assets of wealthy families and individuals in the emerging markets community. They devised unique Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) metrics to ensure better assessment of the risk, while contributing to the public good, and fighting corruption.

About Wealth and Asset Management (WAAM) Solutions SA
A Swiss-based private and institutional financial advisor boutique-company built on a commitment to challenge the private banking and fund management industry by bringing Clients innovative and tailored solutions in managing and protecting their wealth and assets.

PR Contacts:
Rufo Guerreschi, CEO of TRUSTLESS.AI
rufo@trustless.ai — +41799137280

Gerhard Knecht joins as advisor

We are honored and excited to welcome Gerhard Knecht as an advisor of TRUSTLESS.AI. Gerhard is an IT security expert and executive, who recently retired after over 30 years of experience in globally leading IT firms.

For 12 years he was the Chief Information Officer and Global Head of Information Security Services for UNYSIS Services, an household name among IT consultancy and service providers, with 20.000 staff globally and $3bn yearly revenue. Gerhard also has an illustrious career in Internal Audit and Corporate Governance, as Global Head of IT Audit at UNISYS.

Gerhard was the driver of UNISYS positioning as a provider of IT security solutions and services around novel risk management and centered on their "Zero Trust" approach. Unisys promotes the use of identity-driven micro-segmentation to isolate critical data; to enable CIOs to identify, validate and secure trusted users, devices and data flows - following the approach “never trust, always verify”.

Such concept is very similar in approach to our Trustless Computing Paradigms of the Trustless Computing Association, our non-profit arm.

We look forward to work with Gerhard to bring security-by-design principles to their ultimate realization by removing the need of assumption of unverified trust, all the way down to CPU design, fabrication oversight and even standard setting governance.

If even Trump and Bezos can't buy a shred of digital privacy

As we were reminded in recent weeks - even the richest and the most powerful individuals in the World - can't buy a device to communicate with their closest associates which is not hackable even by mid-level hackers accessing state-grade tools on the Dark Web.

How is it possible? Is it really such technological challenge? Anything we can do about it?

Apps can't cut it. Even the most secure messaging apps are wildly insufficient, since an app is only as secure as the device it runs on.

While most experts agree agree with the Israeli company that hacked the "San Bernardino iPhone" it is "hands down" the best device for privacy, it is regularly hacked even by teenage hackers or by researchers.

Ok, then why don't Trump and Bezos the World's 200,000 ultra-high net-worth individuals, with $27 trillions in combined assets, buy "military-grade" secure phones and devices which have been sold for decades by the likes of GSMK Cryptophone, Kudelski Security, Crypto AG, ectetera?

Very few do. The market for such devices is a relatively miniscule $4 billions. Few find reasons to trust such devices and, therefore, not worthed the inconvenience to carry a second device. Few trust them to do a better job than Apple that - although it has to manage huge system complexity - has greater budget, control of the supply chain, and reputation capital at stake. Plus, lack of transparency and adequate certification bodies do not even allow a comparisons among them.

But ultimately these technical problems could be solved, if they were not "by design". In fact, few trust those devices not to share regularly hidden vulnerabilities with certain nations, to enable them to fulfill their crucial mission to prevent terrorist attacks and other grave crimes.

So, therefore, every human computing device is hackable even by mid-level hackers - not because we are not technically capable enough - but because we have yet not found ways to transparently reconcile the need individual privacy and the need for legitimate cyber-investigations.

The problem is even bigger because it is becoming ever more clear that we cannot really choose between freedom and safety.

Recent US presidential elections and Facebook manipulations show how both are needed to safeguard civil freedoms, democracy and peace; and to avoid snooping nations to break their own most critical ITs.

In there anything we can do about it?

Led by the Trustless Computing Association, a few leading nations, enterprises, financial institutions and NGOs have been leading consortium initiatives and a global event series, to build new IT security paradigms, ecosystem and certification body that aim to reliably certify that a given IT system provides radically unprecedented, ultra-high and constitutionally-meaningful levels of trustworthiness while, concurrently, ensuring legitimate offline lawful access.

After 5 editions - twice in Brussels, once in New York, in Iguaçu and in Berlin, the 6th edition of such event series - Free and Safe in Cyberspace - will be held next April 9-10th in Geneva, Switzerland, in partnership with the UN World Summit on the Information Society and Fusionstartup accelerator - new home to the association and its spin-off startup TRUSTLESS.AI since October 2018.

What if digital freedom and public safety were not a choice of “either or” choice, a zero-sum game, but instead a solvable “both or neither” challenge? A challenge that is solvable primarily through time-proven trustless technologies and oversight mechanisms, and ultra-resilient and citizen-accountable standard setting and certification governance models?

Trustless Computing takes on Geneva!

After editions twice in Brussels - and once in New YorkIguazu and Berlin - we will hold the 6th Edition of the Free and Safe in Cyberspace event series in Geneva, next April 9-10th 2019. 

As for previous editions, prestigious speakers and partners will discuss how a few leading financial institutions, enterprises and NGOs can turn cybersecurity from a huge threat into a competitive advantage for them - and then digital freedom for all citizens - by spearheading a new-generation of "zero trust" IT security paradigms, certification body and IT services, that can radically exceed state-of-the-art.

We'll host day workshops at the 2019 UN World Summit on the Information Society and evening receptions at the Fintech Fusion startup accelerator in Geneva, new home since October to our startup and our non-profit arm Trustless Computing Association, building the new certifications body for which we are building a first compliant open computing base and IT device.

Join us in Geneva or Join our Movement!

We are always on the look out for value-added partners for the association; sponsor or keynote sponsors or guest for the event series. We are also open to more banks and enterprises as go-to-market partners, great talents and value-added investors for our startup spin-off TRUSTLESS.AI, as we finalize our prototype in the next weeks and expand our traction in Geneva, and beyond.

Jean-Pierre Pennacino joins as advisor

Following our selection to the 2018-2019 Fintech fusion program in Geneva, Switzerland, Jean-Pierre Pennacino has joined us as special advisor for the Swiss market.

Jean-Pierre is a Geneva-based senior IT and hardware cybersecurity executive with over 25 years of senior and executive positions in financial, operation and growth in leading IT companies, including PwC, Motorola, Gemalto and STMicroelectronics.

Moving to Geneva

Four weeks after getting accepted in the prestigious Fintech Fusion acceleration in Geneva, we decided to move our main operations office in this beautiful Swiss city and private banking capital of the World.

Geneva will be our main operational and sales office indefinitely. We’ll retain our incorporation in Luxembourg, while we’ll likely move our development office to Berlin after closing of our 2nd fundraising event in Q2-Q3 2018.

In fact, in addition to providing experienced mentoring, highly-fitting industry networking opportunities, Fintech Fusion provides a unique opportunity to engage its funding partners from the banking sector, which include some of World largest banks, private banks and banking technology providers, including some of the partners include BNP Paribas, SwissRe (Credit Suisse, AMEX), Temenos, Saxo Bank, Notz Stucki, and more.

Such partners, and Switzerland role as “banking capital of the World”, perfectly align with the recent refocusing of our B2B2B and B2B2C business model that moves away from generalistic banks to private banks as our main customers; while our end-users remain ultra-high net-worth individuals and large global corporates.

Furthermore, pitch events towards local angels and VCs will take place late next month, November 2018, and then in late Q1 2019.

Selected for Fintech Fusion acceleration in Geneva

Following pitch finals last Monday Sept 17th - with 17 shortlisted startups from 10 countries - TRUSTLESS.AI was selected as 1 of only 9 out of 400 applicant startups a to join the 2018-2019 program of the prestigious Fintech Fusion acceleration in Geneva.

In addition to providing amazing and experienced mentoring, and great office space in Geneva, it provides for a unique opportunity to engage funding partners from the banking sector, which include some of World largest banks, private banks and banking technology providers, including some of the partners include BNP Paribas, SwissRe (Credit Suisse, AMEX), Temenos, Saxo Bank, Notz Stucki, and more.

Such partners, and Switzerland role as “banking capital of the World”, perfectly align with the recent refocusing of our B2B2B and B2B2C business model that moves away from generalistic banks to private banks as our main customers; while our end-users remain ultra-high net-worth individuals and large global corporates.

Furthermore, pitch events towards local angels and VCs will take place late next month, November 2018, and then in late Q1 2019.

Joonyoung Park joins as cofounder Executive VP of Engineering

Last June 6th, Joonyoung Park, an advisor since Oct 2016, has also joined as Cofounder and Executive VP of Engineering. He brings an incredible CV and very fitting expertises. He worked with the CEO Rufo in Seattle in 2001, and has been active advisor since 2016.

A Joonyoung led 30-staff team in Palo Alto at Kudelski, a global leader in IPTV and cybersecurity, for the design of new devices concept-to-manufacturing.

He co-managed and exited in 2018 JRC, a family-owned 200M$/yr 7-sigma electronics manufacturing plant (EMS) in South Korea. Was Chief of Engineering Staff for B2B Solution Development at LG Solutions. Was Principal Staff System Engineer at Motorola.

Last June 1st, we were selected to pitch at Tech Invest Milan, where our CEO Rufo Guerreschi gave an 8-minute pitch presentation: