Most corporate introductory stories are rather formulaic: demonstrate a product gap and show why your product is 10x better than your competitors. And most importantly: tell everyone how you will change the world.
Our formation story is different, as it begins well before any intended world-changing. SoHo Token Labs really began a few years ago, with each founder on different coasts and working on vastly differing projects. Jonathan was working on static analysis tools for airplanes. Elissa had built a user-friendly, privacy-centric photo sharing application, tackling many of the challenges Jonathan would encounter years later during his tenure at Snapchat.
We didn't know it at the time, but our independent forays into developing secure applications for everybody (not just the technically inclined) would lead us to form this new company together – one theorized over mediocre Pad Thai in the SoHo neighborhood of lower Manhattan and ultimately incorporated over one fundamental thought: bringing security and simplicity to smart contract development.
Smart contract development is an incredibly confusing space, even for seasoned engineers. With complex organizational structures, peculiar language elements, and lacking clear documentation -- developing secure, clean code on top of blockchain technologies is challenging and risky. Unfortunately, this has made blockchain development and smart contract security a predatory space, one where many actors focus on bolstering fears rather than providing solutions.
With hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies lost annually to vulnerable smart contracts, the necessity for security is readily apparent. Many have found a way to capitalize upon this, offering to swoop in after contract creation and charging a premium to assuage fears that any rogue hacker with an internet connection could steal all their funds. Rather than these last minute quick fixes, what the industry needs are proactive measures to enable better smart contract creation and more engaged participation by security engineers in the development process itself.
Smart contracts open up tremendous possibilities for improving many of the transactions in our lives, from healthcare and banking to buying a painting or proving ownership of a car. Without adequate security protections in this space, it will not fulfill its potential.
The value of smart contracts can only be actualized if these contracts can be relied on for security and transparency. By developing tools and bringing in application security experts, we aim to build simplistic products: what you see is exactly what you get — without hand-waving or needless technical jargon. It’s our belief that this space cannot truly evolve without being inclusive to everyone.
We may not be able to change the world ourselves, but we can endeavor to make it possible for others to do so. We hope to radically change the face of smart contract security. Whether the next great ICO, or the first smart contract of a young developer, we aim to provide the tools that everyone needs to develop smart contracts securely and most importantly, simply.
— Jonathan and Elissa, CEO and COO of SoHo Token Labs, Inc.