WISeKey Partners with China SINCODE to Secure Chinese Connected Cars

WISeKey International Holding Ltd (“WISeKey”, SIX: WIHN) (OTCQX: WIKYY), a leading cybersecurity and IoT company, today announced its partnership with SINCODE, a leading Chinese automobile ECU supplier, to develop the WISekey ISTANA connected cars solution in China. The growing demand of Chinese customers for greater connectivity has driven automakers to carry out upgrades on their Chinese models ahead of the rest of the world’s major car manufactures. Chinese customers have placed stronger emphasis on in-car connectivity and internet access than customers in many other markets, with more than 41 million people in China expected to  make use of in-car connectivity by 2021, while  the value of the overall car market is expected to grow to 401 billion yuan ($62.95 billion) by 2021, according to the professional services consultancy firm, Accenture China.  Currently, 11.6 million cars on Chinese roads feature online connectivity, accounting for 10.6 percent of the market, according to a survey carried out by Accenture China. The WISeKey connected cars ISTANA I platform allows smart car manufactures to validate the authenticity of different vehicle components.  Certificate-based security also protects onboard communication between vehicle components and enables secure over-the-air software updates.  Additionally, authentication certificates can be used by employees, dealers and suppliers to access car components to diagnose mechanical/technical issues and update software from any location.  Finally, the ISTANA PKI platform allows users to securely interact with a car’s smart features using smartphones and other devices.

Currently, WISeKey is working with several smart car manufacturers and its ISTANA PKI platform is already active in several large-scale projects. A recent example is a strategic contract signed with a leading European automobile manufacturer, cementing its role in the connected cars sector.   The agreement includes the integration of WISeKey IoT and PKI with the manufacturer’s connected car solutions allowing them to authenticate legitimate car components and enable owners to securely interact with the car’s smart features.

Connected cars are distinct from basic models primarily due to their ability to access to the Internet via their communication system.  It allows the driver to connect their smartphone to the car, but also the car itself to connect to surrounding cars and infrastructures. Passengers can, therefore, benefit from extended services, particularly through apps. Those connected cars consist of 6 essential points:

  • Mobility management (travel assistance, traffic information)
  • Vehicle management (real-time vehicle status information)
  • Safety (prediction of dangerous situation)
  • Driver assistance (cruise control on the highway, assistance to park)
  • Entertainment (games, music, social networks, internet)
  • Well-being (detection of fatigue, medical assistance)

The connected car market is expected to increase by 50.9% per year in China.
WISeKey’s total identifiable 5-year ISTANA revenues from the car manufacturing industry are expected to be in excess of CHF 30 Million, of which approximately CHF 2.5 Million and CHF 7.0 Million were realized in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Virtually all new cars on the market today include electronic technologies that could be vulnerable to hacking or privacy intrusions if data security is not addressed.   Embedded WISeKey hardware security in the car protects the “identity” of each device, prevents unauthorized tampering, and protects the privacy and security of the vast amount of data these devices generate. BI Intelligence expects 94 million connected cars to be sold in 2021 (with 82% to be connected cars), representing a compound annual growth rate of 35% from 21 million connected cars sold in 2016.

A fundamental principle behind the security of WISeKey Semiconductors is that its chips not only control how devices perform under normal conditions, but also control how these devices react when attacked or tampered with in any way, including self-destruction. WISeKey Semiconductor chips are designed to authenticate individual car components within the vehicle itself, ensure that only legitimate software is installed in the car, authenticate users, make certain that only legitimate users have access to the connected car functions, and encrypt data to make it tamperproof and private.

“We are delighted to enter into a partnership with WISeKey,” said Bai Yunfei, President of SINCODE.  “Chinese consumers are very fond of new technologies, as compared to European customers, are more open to novelty and innovation.  We believe that in the global market for connected cars, the Chinese market should gain a significant market share.   Our target customers are mainly modern and connected urban youth.”

“As cars in China continue to evolve, essentially becoming motorized computers, they are vulnerable to the very same threats and attacks as home computers, laptops and smartphones.  Unless appropriate cybersecurity measures are implemented, hackers can remotely access the vehicle’s computer system, manipulate the brakes, engine, and transmission. This cooperation with SINCODE will allow us in China to help verify legitimate car systems, protect the data they create and avoid malicious hacking,” said Carlos Moreira, CEO of WISeKey.

Added IoT Security from WISeKey Semiconductors 
In the network world, valuable encryption keys are protected in special cryptographic hardware called Secure Elements that prevent the unauthorized use or export of keys, ensure consistent handling of encryption, and even allow critical pieces of software to run in a protected environment.  Examples include the secure chip on smartcards, the SIM in cell phones and encryption chips in major telecommunications devices such as Internet routers and switches.

WISeKey Semiconductor brings a 25-year heritage delivering certified Secure Elements in the most risk-sensitive applications including government ID cards and passports, credit cards and Pay TV access cards, and specialty crypto tokens.  WISeKey Semiconductor’s VaultIC chips are specifically tailored to the needs of IoT devices which often have low power capabilities and the need to be securely updateable in the field.

Beijing SINCODE Science & Technology Co.,Ltd. (SINCODE), a a hi-tech company, was founded in 2003, as an automotive ECU supplier in Beijing with a floor manufacturing area more than 15,600 m(2).  With more than 190 employees, over 50% have bachelor degrees or above. Our main product lines include: Auto Dimming Inner Rearview Mirrors, Radars, Bluetooths, Microphones, and Tire Pressure Monitor Systems – which have been nominated by China Ministry of Science and Technology as key and new products.  Currently we own over 426 Patents including Utility models appearance trademarks and software copyrights. From 2007 to 2012 SINCODE obtained ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18000 Certificates, which are integrated into its R&D and production process guaranteeing the high quality of its products. Sincode has already delivered products to FAW-VW, SVW, FAW-Car, BA/C, Cherry, ChangAn, GWW and Mazda. Additionally, SINCODE is cooperating with commercial chambers in several countries in Europe, South America and India.  In addition of being a Grade A supplier for FAW-VW, SVW, and FAW-Car, SINCODE offers excellent customer service and   focuses on innovation. SINCODE has established an efficient manufacturing system integrating R&D, production, sales, logistics and service.

About WISeKey:
WISeKey (SIX Swiss Exchange: WIHN) (OTCQX: WIKYY) is a leading global cybersecurity company currently deploying via Virtual Platform large scale digital identity ecosystems. WISeKey’s Swiss based cryptographic RoT (“RoT”) and IoT Microchips provides secure authentication and identification, in both physical and virtual environments, for the Internet of Things, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. The WISeKey RoT serves as a common trust anchor to ensure the integrity of online transactions among objects and between objects and people.

For more information, visit www.wisekey.com.


Polymath Forms Partnership With LeadBest to Create Token Ecosystem

LeadBest, a Taiwan-based company that is focused on the primary token issuance market to solve pre-and-post investment needs, announced on Tuesday it has formed a partnership with securities token platform Polymath to create a new token ecosystem.

While sharing more details about the partnership, Heslin Kim, VP of Business Development of Polymath, stated:

“Polymath is committed to building a universal STO platform that is accessible to everyone, and, as a result, we are the first to have successfully become a provider of complete technical services. This is a new market for us, so the collaboration with LeadBest can not only help us clarify market trends and policy direction, but also reduce the obstacles to market development.”

Neil Lee, LeadBest Co-Founder and CEO, also commented:

“At present, STO has a huge share of the global market, requiring industry players to jointly formulate industry rules and give play to their advantages in accelerating market development. As a market leader, LeadBest hopes to develop a deeper level of cooperation with offering platforms, accounting and law firms, government authorities, exchanges and underwriters to jointly build a sound ecosystem.”

LeadBest then revealed that this year it plans to provide offering technologies and asset management platforms to assist Asian real estate private equity fund PSIM in offering its first asset token. PSIM managing director Joanna Tien, went on to add:

 “As blockchain technology keeps complete transaction records, we expect that the collaboration with LeadBest can help reduce the cost of investor management and enable investors to engage in more systematic and efficient investing, while connecting global capital and growing the number of financing channels.”


Crypto Banking Startup Hush Goes Silent After Failed ICO

Crypto Banking Startup Hush Goes Silent After Failed ICO

Founded in Toulouse, France, crypto startup Hush’s services were described as similar to those offered by a “neo-bank” – which aimed to revolutionize the traditional banking industry by creating a participative community of digital currency users.

Hush’s founders had planned to use a decentralized governance model, much in the same way other blockchain-based consensus algorithms before it had done. Leading the company’s development efforts was Éric Charpentier, the former founder of fintech firm, Morning. Those familiar with Morning’s operations would know that the company’s business activities were suspended by regulatory authorities.

Morning’s management team had been accused by French regulators of misappropriating company funds. After a troubling period, Morning was acquired by Edel, a France-based banking institution and subsidiary of E, Leclerc Group, a large cooperative society and hypermarket chain.

Failed ICO Despite Good Ratings

Soon after leaving Morning, Charpentier began working on his new startup idea, Hush, which began to get a lot of attention on social media, especially when plans regarding the firm’s initial coin offering (ICO) became public. Hush’s founders wanted to raise approximately $17 million to $23 million from the ICO.

Supporting the launch of Hush’s ICO were a group of well-known advisors and the crypto startup also managed to receive fairly good ratings for its ICO prospects. However, Hush’s fundraising effort was not successful as the ICO only sold 245 USH tokens and raised around $618,000.

In addition to not being able to raise the target amount to help launch the company, Hush’s founders gradually went silent. Charpentier also reportedly deleted many tweets related to the Hush project and deactivated his LinkedIn account. Moreover, Hush’s Telegram and Medium accounts were deleted. French news outlet Mind Fintech published a report on the matter in which it noted that consultants and various other service providers had “not been paid” by Hush’s managers and that “there was no news” from the company’s founder.

“We Leave The Fantasies For Others”, Only Work With “Real Investors”

Meanwhile, France 3 television station contacted one of Hush’s community managers, Max Massat, who told the media outlet that the reports regarding the startup were “exaggerated.” Massat also told France 3 (in September 2018):

Eric [Charpentier] is now taking the time to manage his projects far from the pressure of his networks. We have decided not to justify ourselves. We work in silence. The real investors in the project know. We leave the fantasies for others.

Notably, Massat has not issued any further comments since September and Charpentier has not issued any statements either regarding Hush. There’s also no recent activity on Hush’s Telegram channel.

A reporter from Venture Beat managed to get a statement from Sébastien Bourguignon, a blockchain consultant and one of Hush’s project advisors. Bourguignon said:

I didn’t have any news from Eric Charpentier since [the middle] of June, he didn’t pay me for the advisory [work]. I am in litigation with him.