As we noted in the Factom story earlier today, Startup Debut is one of the events that we look forward to most at each passing SXSW. There were a bunch of interesting companies and products at this years event. The companies covered a wide range of industries, but for whatever reason there was a heavy emphasis on Bitcoin. Not necessarily the currency itself, but a lot of the auxiliary technology and protocols. One of the companies is Rivetz.
Rivetz is focused on device security. The company does this in a unique way. Rather than building some sort of new hardware, Rivetz has built out a robust software infrastructure that makes use of the crypto chips that are already embedded in the majority of newer mobile devices. The goal is to bring an amount of trust to the digital landscape:
A service provider generally has confidence in its servers. They are under administrative control and usually protected physically. However, nearly all services are delivered to users through devices the service provider knows very little about and over which it rarely exerts any control.
Rivetz changes this. Through the use of Trusted Execution technology we are able to provide a service provider with an oasis of trust in the unknown world of consumer devices. Basic capabilities such as “sign this”, or “decrypt this” are executed outside the murky world of the main OS. Keys can be generated and applied without ever being exposed in memory and can be attested to through a chain of endorsements traced back to the device manufacturer.1
Device encryption falls well outside of my knowledge. That said, we had a chance to speak with Steven Sprague, the CEO of Rivetz, during Startup Debut. Sprague was able to explain Rivetz in a much more clear and concise way than I ever could: