Movers & Shakers Interview with Adam Lowe, Chief innovation Officer - CompoSecurePublished Date: 2/4/2021
Adam Lowe is the Chief Innovation Officer at CompoSecure. Adam leads a team of engineers and technicians responsible for new product innovation and development, process innovation, and prototype design. Adam also serves as the technical lead, curating and expanding CompoSecures’s extensive patent portfolio. Adam joined CompoSecure in 2014 as a Principal Research Engineer and has held several positions of progressive responsibility.
Prior to CompoSecure, Adam held an innovation development role at SRC Inc., a not-for-profit R&D company supporting the US defense and intelligence communities. At SRC, Adam led the company’s Biotechnology Advanced Technology Initiative, guiding a team developing classified technology.
Adam holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where he researched bio-nanotechology and a BS in Microbiology from Salisbury University. Adam has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, authored technical book chapters, and is listed as an inventor on over a dozen patents and patents pending.
Vishal Sapru (VS), Co-Founder, Cognitio Research Inc. had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Adam Lowe (AL), Chief Innovation Officer, CompoSecure
VS: Can you provide our readers a brief overview of Arculus and the vision behind its formation?
AL: Arculus is a technology platform designed to protect your digital currency. It uses a mobile app to allow you to store, swap, and send cryptocurrency while keeping your private keys secure in an encrypted, air-gapped cold storage card. This is unlike hot wallets, which are vulnerable to hacking since their private keys always maintain a connection to the internet. Arculus uses PIN, mobile device biometric, and the Arculus card as three factors of authentication to secure transactions. Once you enter a PIN, and verify your biometric, you simply tap the Arculus card to the back of the phone to complete the transaction.
We created Arculus to empower individuals and give them full control over their digital assets. With Arculus, users can secure and utilize their digital wealth in a safe and easy form factor.
VS: Please, elaborate on the features of your Arculus cold storage device for cryptocurrency and its likely impact on the market? How different is it from the products that are already available in the market?
AL: The Arculus cold storage wallet app holds most major cryptocurrencies, including ETH, BTC, BCH, Dai, and many others. From the Arculus app, users can easily send or receive crypto by scanning or entering addresses, or repeat from previous transactions with a single tap. Additionally, users can swap one cryptocurrency for another or purchase crypto with fiat currency, such as USD or Euros. The intuitive user interface enables even new consumers to enter the world of cryptocurrency.
Arculus differentiates itself by being the easiest cold storage platform on the market, which we believe positions us ahead of competitors such as Ledger or Trezor. With Arculus, managing all your currencies and inputs is accomplished through our feature-rich phone app, while your private keys are protected on the secure element in your Arculus card. Other products require inputs on small hardware devices, which can be very challenging to use and have a long series of steps to complete any operation.
VS: Introduction of new solutions always comes with challenges either from the market, existing products, customer and the settling period of the product/technology itself. What are some of the likely challenges you are expecting to face in the market and what strategy do you have in place to overcome it?
AL: Education is the biggest challenge for Arculus, so we want to get the message out to consumers. There is a lot of noise in the crypto market, with many voices vying for attention. Once customers hear the value proposition, there is always overwhelming interest in the product. We plan on overcoming this challenge with a vigorous marketing campaign to educate the broader consumer market, and partnering with cryptocurrency providers to bring Arculus to as many people as possible.
VS: How would you describe the unique value proposition of Arculus cold storage device for cryptocurrency? Are there any key competitive differentiators that you can highlight? Are there any unique features of your product that address unmet customer needs and gives Arculus edge over its competitors?
AL: We believe Arculus is a massive step forward in user experience for cold storage wallets. While other solutions have chosen to integrate their complicated user interface on a tiny electronic device, we have purposely built our feature-rich GUI into the mobile app, creating an easy and streamlined user experience. We leverage a behavior that is familiar to any consumer, using a card for authorization and a mobile app for transactions. We believe this will significantly broaden the interest to novice consumers in cold storage wallets as it lowers the barrier to entry, and the overall interest continues to skyrocket.
VS: There are vendors in the market with complementing or similar products. How do you compare yourself with such competitors in regards to offering Best-in-Class solution?
AL: We believe Arculus is positioned to be a market leader by surpassing the competition in both ease-of-use and security. Our three-factor authentication is secure, but simple; something you know – your PIN, something you are – your biometric verification, and something you have – your Arculus card. Arculus is much simpler, utilizing a mobile device for all transactional inputs and simply tapping the card when you need to “sign” a transaction. Arculus also is more secure, having a completely passive, air-gapped card where private keys are stored that doesn’t need batteries. Other hardware devices must be charged, potentially exposing them to malware.
VS: Security is a key to customer acquisition. Can you elaborate on security features of cold storage device for cryptocurrency that will make it more viable for consumer retention and acquisition?
AL: Security is one of the core design pillars of the Arculus platform. Arculus uses the latest generation CC EAL 6+ secure element to generate and secure users’ private keys. The Arculus card communicates with the Arculus app during transactions via SCP03 encryption, preventing any outside attempts at gaining access. Requiring no battery or charging provides additional security for Arculus. It is not exposed to any outside system or possible malware they contain. Security and user trust is the foundation of the Arculus product.
VS: How does one get the product and are there any charges associated with applying for product? What strategy do you have in place to offer best value to customers for the price, compared to similar offerings from competitors?
AL: Once fully launched later this year, the Arculus card will be available on Arculus.co as well as other major e-commerce retailers. The Arculus app will be available for free on Google Play and the iTunes store. We will be offering a very competitive price for the product, which will be at or lower than comparable cold storage solutions. There are no fees paid to Arculus associated with sending, receiving, or storing crypto. If customers choose to purchase or swap crypto via our in-app partners, the exchange fee is displayed during the transaction.
VS: How do you plan to gather customer feedback so as to ensure that the product meets the customer expectation and needs? Also, do you foresee your product to have influence (trend setter) on the overall direction of the market?
AL: We hope to gather customer feedback through our website, Twitter, and Instagram channels. Arculus is a dynamic project, and we look forward to implementing customer suggestions bringing the latest features to the market. We certainly expect to disrupt the cold storage and cryptocurrency security device market and become the ‘go-to’ standard in the future.
VS: The key to success of your solution will depend on the businesses and retails acceptance to use cryptocurrency as a form of transaction. Do you plan or have formed any strategic alliances and/or partnerships that will be an enabler for your solution? How do you plan to build and strengthen the brand equity of your offering?
AL: Arculus is a subsidiary of CompoSecure L.L.C., a global leader in payment card technology and manufacturing. CompoSecure’s success comes from the foundation of providing the highest quality service and maintains relationships with some of the largest traditional financial institutions and fintechs. The company continues to foster those relationships for the long term, driving more value to them and build on the broader crypto ecosystem as a whole. We believe this is vital to growing our brand. We hope to create a number of products for these partners “powered by Arculus,” where we can help keep their crypto assets safe.
VS: Do you foresee the future of payment/transaction will be in cryptocurrency? Will it be a viable solution? Does it have a future?
AL: Cryptocurrency will someday be a part of the payment ecosystem as the market matures. We believe the currencies will continue to specialize in different sectors of the market. Some will act as reserve currencies, while others may be used in payment or remittance. Tokenization of currencies, digital objects, and other stores of value will continue to rise. Arculus is well-positioned to protect and store it all. Continued progress in bringing down the per-transaction cost and speed of transaction postings are vital to progressing the cryptocurrency payment space.
VS: To conclude - what do you think the future holds for your company and the product? Any other information you may want to share with our readers that may be important and we missed asking?
AL: We are incredibly excited about the future of Arculus. We believe we can provide immense value to retail customers and B2B customers by allowing them to safely transact and store cryptocurrency. We are already working on future products, further enhancing the capabilities of the Arculus cryptocurrency platform to bring our customers even more value.