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Infrastructure designed for the protection of digital assets

Utila is dedicated to constructing a secure infrastructure for digital assets for organizations, utilizing key encryption and a permissions layer. The objective is to enable any organization to effectively manage digital assets and develop products based on them

Yoel Tzafrir, in collaboration with ICBW3. 03 September 2023


Shmuel Eiderman and Bentzi Rabbi
From the right: Shmuel Eiderman and Bentzi Rabbi | Photo: Intel Ignite

Founded in 2022 by Benzi Rabi and Shmuel Eiderman, Utila specializes in the security of digital assets for organizations. Operating from Tel Aviv, the company employs about 15 people and has raised over ten million dollars from approximately 15 funds and 25 angel investors. 'We utilize multi-party computation to generate and encrypt private keys for wallets and to generally safeguard the operations of our clients' digital assets,' says Benzi Rabi, CEO of Utila. 'At the heart of our technology is the concept that the private key is divided into several pieces, which are stored in separate, secure environments. There is never a point when the entire key is consolidated in one location, significantly reducing the risk of an attacker accessing the full key.


While this technology is not new to the field of cryptography, it has only recently been adopted in the realm of digital assets and still lacks standardization. Therefore, it is crucial for us to have cryptographers on our team who are well-versed in MPC and capable of implementing various mechanisms.'

 

What is the competitive environment in which you operate, and what are your strengths?


"We operate in a competitive environment that includes local players such as Israeli companies FireBlocks and GK8, as well as international competitors like Copper and Coinbase. From a regulatory standpoint, we face fewer restrictions because we do not control client keys (we are not a custodian). Instead, we provide an infrastructure that enables clients to protect their own keys. Our strengths lie in the ease of implementation and user-friendliness of our system, which stands out compared to other solutions that many organizations find cumbersome and complex."

 

What does the customer profile look like?


"Our customers are financial and technological organizations that hold digital assets either as part of their investment strategy or as a key component of their value proposition."

 

What challenges do you believe are facing your industry?


"Undoubtedly, security and regulation are major challenges. There is significant lack of knowledge and numerous security vulnerabilities that allow malicious actors to relatively easily access large sums of assets. Additionally, the absence of regulation and enforcement increases the risks associated with working with various entities that lack oversight in their operations. The FTX events are a prime example of these issues."

 

What is the company's vision?


"Our goal is to construct a highly secure infrastructure that will enable any organization to effectively manage digital assets and develop products that will make the financial system significantly more convenient and efficient."


In collaboration with ICBW3.


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