Although there is increased use of instant messaging, chat, social networking, and other forms of electronic communications, email continues to show steady growth, as nearly all forms of online communication still require users to have an email address to access their services, and all e-Commerce transactions require a valid email address.
For the foreseeable future, it is safe to say, for better and for worse, e-mail, using core technology that is relatively unchanged for the past three decades, is here to stay.
But thanks to blockchain technology it can, and soon will, look very different.
The evolution (or revolution) of email communications could not come at a more important time. Between 2015 and 2017, there were 6,789 data breaches globally that amounted to 886.5 million compromised records. The first significant email data breach was reported by AOL in 2004, where 92 million records were compromised. The largest email data breach was reported by Yahoo in 2016, when it revealed that over one billion email accounts were compromised. A sign of “progress” I guess, but also a sign of increased vulnerability. Email is an inherently insecure communications platform, using core technology that is relatively unchanged for the past three decades.
According to the Radicati Group, more than 269 billion emails are sent every single day with over 3.7 billion email accounts created – so it is the most widely used, yet probably the most risky, form of electronic communications available. And the consequences of a fail are colossal. The 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study from the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IBM, puts the global average cost at $3.6 million, or $141 per data record.
“For thousands of years, if it was private it went in an envelope,” says Mark Allardyce, Founder and Group Chairman of Envilope, a Gibraltar-based blockchain company, “then came fax, email, text, and social media. When we need privacy the most, where did the envelope go? We want to bring back a novel idea, the return of privacy and control.”
Envilope, billing itself as the world’s first blockchain postal service, provides users with that sought-after level of privacy and control and is about to enter a fragmented market where it can simultaneously disrupt secure messaging, secure email, digital signature, and data room applications with a single, cloud-based solution.
Using blockchain technology, Envilope has introduced an innovative way for electronic communications to be made using military-grade encryption in which users can lock an email, digital media, secure message, or any other form of content that can be sent electronically, providing a secure, fully-auditable record of interactions.
Envilope allows users to track and control their content, including who views it, when, and where, and only pursuant to preset terms and conditions. If there is ever suspicion of a breach, the sender can entirely vaporize the present content at will, regardless of how many times it has been shared or forwarded.
Utilizing blockchain technology, it is now possible to create a permanent and unalterable record of a sender’s content and give sender’s end-to-end oversight and control over that content.
Upon delivery, receipt, opening, viewing, and control of the content within a Virtual Envelope, an immutable evidence trail is recorded onto the Ethereum blockchain. Using a process Envilope calls BlockStamping, this recordkeeping trail creates Blockchain Recorded Deliveries.
The innovative BlockStamp records that a sending occurred, who the participants were in the communication, as well as verifying the Envilope’s content.
As for security, Envilope is miles ahead of any competition. Envilope’s system offers HIPAA-compliant forced TLS email delivery, object level 2 Factor Authentication (2FA), sharded and encrypted GDPR-compliant storage, decentralized peer-to-peer communications, a file distribution mechanism that encrypts files offline with asymmetric encryption, IP address lockdown, unusual activity monitoring, hardware authentication, and more.
Although primed for expansion into new government and commercial sectors, such as telecommunications, healthcare and finance, Envilope will be available as a public, cloud-based service. This enables users the optionality to upload their content to Envilope where it can be processed, shipped, tracked, and controlled by the sender. The service delivers via email, text, and/or social media. Envilope users can also use the Envilope app and website to send and receive content securely.
Envilope is a G-Cloud accredited Crown Commercial Service Supplier. The G-Cloud framework is an agreement between the UK government and suppliers who provide cloud-based services. This makes it simple for public sector organizations to purchase the service, as it is fully EU-compliant, saving customers the time and money associated with conducting their own procurement exercise.
“Legal, financial, insurance, telecom, healthcare, government agencies and others are already interested in Envilope,” says Allardyce. “We estimate a 100+ million potential audience among consumers for Envilope, and a large, growing market in the B2B sector as well.”
Legal, financial, and insurance companies rely on internal privacy control features to maintain corporate/client confidentiality (regulatory compliance, GDPR, MiFID II); health care companies must ensure HIPAA compliance with a full audit trail; government agencies require military-grade encryption and a secure, permission-based architecture. To each market, there is a specific need for improved electronic communications security and Envilope is uniquely positioned to capitalize on each of these markets.