Star Tech: How ZorroSign is securing businesses through blockchain technology

The company's near-term roadmap includes opening an investment round to accelerate global growth



by

Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 6:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 12:38 PM

Shamsh Hadi is an entrepreneur, who has helped organisations transform into digital powerhouses.

Hadi has been the managing director of several Dubai-based organisations. In 2015, he built a multi-chain blockchain platform and, four years later, launched ZorroSign — for the uninitiated, it means when the risk is personal and everything is on the line, opt for Z-Sign or don’t sign — uniting the platform and digital signatures with identity-as-a-service (IDaaS), patented fraud prevention, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) technologies to ensure user authentication and document verification for legally enforceable digital transactions.

Hadi, who is the chief executive officer and co-founder of ZorroSign, is working towards making the startup the most advanced digital signature and transaction management solution in the market, which lays emphasis on privacy and security across Web 3.0 and Metaverse ecosystems.

He explained ZorroSign’s unique selling proposition.

“ZorroSign’s technology accommodates complex passwords and multi-factor authentication while also supporting password-less logins. Our blockchain platform can validate multiple dimensions of authentication based on the transaction security needs. We’re using zero-trust distributed ledger technologies — initially built on Hyperledger Fabric and later expanded to include Provenance Blockchain — to provide superior privacy and security. Our technologies decrease operating costs, reduce paperwork errors, and increase productivity,” he said.

Hadi, who holds a graduate degree in economics and business management from the University of Waterloo in Canada and certification courses from Cornell University in the USA across varying fields, including strategic hotel management and blockchain for business, is pursuing the President’s Program at Harvard Business School.

He weighed in on how the blockchain industry is expanding in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in which it is being spearheaded by the UAE.

“The GCC digital transformation aided the expansion of the blockchain industry. The region cleared the way for increased business and technology prospects, which can be attributed to the Middle East's inherent entrepreneurial potential, interest in technological application, and regulatory certainty. Blockchain has a chance to thrive in the region on the back of the UAE, Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's highly proactive regulatory measures to incubate innovative ideas. These are forward-thinking, tech-friendly countries, where Central banks are actively investigating digital currencies, while fintech sandboxes are helping entrepreneurs. The Emirates Blockchain Strategy plays a significant role in state-level blockchain adoption, not just in the Middle East but also globally,” he said.

Hadi cited that the UAE has emerged as the bedrock for new developments and breakthroughs in cryptocurrencies, the Metaverse, and non-fungible tokens (NFT), thanks to the announcement of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, about the “Dubai Metaverse Strategy”.

He said: “This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the world to be undertaken at the government level. It’s aimed at increasing the number of companies and innovations related to blockchain and Metaverse by five times. The government intends to support the creation of over 40,000 virtual jobs, which are expected to contribute Dh4 billion to the national economy over the next five years. The feasibility of these ambitious targets stems from the fact that the UAE already boasts a sizable blockchain-NFT-Metaverse sector, with around 1,000 companies contributing about $500 million to the national economy. Besides, a new high-level committee has been set up in Dubai that will design policies for new technologies like the Metaverse, AI, blockchain, Web 3.0, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), data centres, cloud computing and other modern tech concepts,” he added.

Hadi is keeping a close watch on how blockchain and AI are changing the digital business landscape.

“Individuals, businesses, organisations and governments worldwide are moving to digital operations at an incredible pace. However, transitioning into a digital environment might introduce risks pertinent to data security and privacy. Blockchain architecture, originally built for zero-trust environments, gives information technology (IT) organisations a compelling alternative to centralised databases and strong protection against cyberattacks.

“In phishing attacks that seek to steal data, for example, blockchain presents a data architecture where no single endpoint node controls the data set. Even if an individual endpoint is hacked through phishing or through other means of social engineering, the data set is distributed across many nodes. This decentralisation of data and access means even successful phishing attacks that penetrate a blockchain endpoint only gain a small piece of access to the system,” he said.

ZorroSign is eager to strike a fine balance between sustainability and deep tech, as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has struck a big chord with Hadi.

The visionary leader’s Digital City Vision for Smart Dubai has been a guiding principle for ZorroSign. “I share His Highness’ goal of a paperless life in the UAE by 2030,” he added.

ZorroSign has also thrown its lot behind Dubai’s blockchain initiatives that are a work in progress for a smart digital transformation.

The startup’s customers span across education, financial services, government, information technology, legal services, real estate and several other industries around the globe.

One of ZorroSign’s key deliverables in the second half of this year is the redesigned user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), according to Hadi.

“Our goal is to ensure our mobile application’s look and feel are the most intuitive and user-friendly digital signature experience available. We’re excited to unveil our new screens, features and navigation on August 15. We’re encouraging new users to try our software at no cost with a free 14-day trial,” he said.

“Our near-term roadmap includes opening an investment round to accelerate our global growth. ZorroSign’s roots are deep in the UAE; we’ve had our development centre of excellence in Sri Lanka and we opened an operations hub in the USA in 2020. Finding strategic investors and bringing them onboard is a critical stepping stone in our corporate roadmap for the next year,” he added.

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