Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm, Blockaid, has successfully raised $33 million in a recent Series A funding round, led by Ribbit Capital and Variant. The investment signals a growing emphasis on security within the crypto industry, notorious for scams and hacks that result in substantial financial losses and tarnish its reputation.
Blockaid’s innovative security solution involves scanning blockchains for wallets associated with malicious actors. Upon identification, users are promptly alerted, preventing transactions with these flagged wallets. The startup’s proactive approach aims to shield ordinary users from the multitude of smaller hacking incidents that occur regularly.
Founders Ido Ben-Natan and Raz Niv, both veterans of the Israeli military’s elite Unit 8200 focusing on cyber intelligence, provided an example of Blockaid’s effectiveness. The platform detected a wallet involved in a recent Twitter account hack of Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin before news of the hack became public.
While high-profile hacks dominate headlines, Blockaid’s focus is on safeguarding ordinary users. The platform’s clients include popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask and leading NFT platform OpenSea, offering a vital security layer for blockchain applications.
In a statement, Blockaid described its service as “an essential layer of security for any blockchain application” by scanning every transaction originating from a wallet, interacting with a decentralized application (dApp), or reaching a smart contract. The platform is compatible with various blockchains.
The funding round is a significant achievement for the founders, but it is tempered by the challenging context of their country preparing for potential conflict. The two founders, along with many employees, have been called up as reservists. However, they emphasize the resilience of their team, highlighting the collective effort to maintain operations and support customers during this challenging time.
The funding announcement aligns with media reports drawing attention to the use of crypto to fund the operations of organizations such as Hamas. Blockaid acknowledges this issue but notes that it is not unique to crypto and underscores the importance of open tools with the potential to enhance security in the evolving landscape of Web3.
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