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Interview with Laurent Henocque, Keeex’s Founder and President.

Laurent Henocque is the CEO and Founder of Keeex. The company provides solutions for documents and data securing but as well eIDAS compliant electronic signatures, GDPR proof of consent, Blockchain traceability and smart contracts.

The company addresses the current challenge of corporate and financial communication, use of documents for transport in global supply chain management and data protection among others

Could you tell us about your background and how you came up with the idea of

My name is, Laurent Henocque, I’m 58 years old and I’m the founder and CEO of KeeeX. I am an engineer by training. I studied at l’École Polytechnique in Paris, then I got my Ph.D at Aix-Marseille University, in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

After an experience in a start-up in Marseille, I came back to the academic world, where I pursued a career as a researcher in AI. In 2005, I participated in a workgroup at the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) about the semantic web. Overall, the panel was looking for the optimal AI language that could be implemented in the semantic web. And it was after this forum that I came up with the idea of KeeeX.

The underlying intuition was to solve the data security problem from an engineering perspective. Thus in 2011, I presented the project to my university. The latter belived that this very simple idea had the potential to be patented and to generate economic value. In 2014, I officially funded KeeeX. In a nutshell, it is an innovative way to protect, add value and better exploit your digital assets.

In practice, we transform your files and turn them into augmented data, that is to say, self-protective data. Hence, these augmented files cannot be corrupted: they will be indefinitely equipped with proof of integrity (which encompasses a proof of origin, time and existence on the blockchain). Today, our start-up has 8 to 10 employees.

We develop our technology for prestigious clients, and major companies like EDF, SNCF, and Orange. We also collaborate with smaller but more specific actors on the blockchain market. Some of our projects also meet logistics and governmental challenges. For example, at the request of the Prime Minister, we helped the MRS (Méditerranée-Rhône-Saune) to dematerialize the modal traffic between Marseille and Lyon.

This project perfectly embodies our current development goal: allowing actors from logistics system to exchange in secure ways.

Do you consider that the blockchain technology has revolutionized your core

We have been using blockchain since 2014, before the technology started trending in France. It is complex to say whether or not blockchain has revolutionized our business. However, it is certain that the recent rise of the blockchain ecosystem has generated huge attention for digitalization in the general public.

This trend has created a space for us to step up and presented itself as a necessary tool in a new digitalized world. In other words, blockchain technology has been a tremendous trigger to create a new mindset, sending the signal that another (and more secure!) digitalization was possible.

What is your vision and what are the next steps for KeeeX?

KeeeX’s main ambition is very simple, to become a renowned name. We want a expand the size of our market. To achieve this growth, we are particularly using a horizontal approach. As other tech companies, like ZIP or PDF, we generally don’t deliver customized solutions to the client.

We are computer scientists, cryptograms, not tradespeople. Therefore, our strategy is to rather look for existing partners in relevant markets. This allows us to reach new markets, the likes of the press relation field with the EPRESSPACK project. EPRESSPACK is a-world leader in digital newsrooms, they develop content management software platforms. Their multi-channel, press-specific content distribution tools are tailormade.

They effortlessly integrate content and Press Release in the heart of the companies’ digital strategies. With KeeeX technological solution, Press Releases of “powered by Epresspack”platforms can now be protected and dated on a blockchain. It does not hinder creation, process but rather helps to fight against deep fakes and fake news.

In the long run, do you think that could become a new norm in the general public?

I believe that data security constitutes one of the main challenges of our future. In parallel, the need for transparency is also becoming increasingly important in our society, be it for the governments or the private actors. Therefore, data needs to be protected and verified. Right now, most data can be protected by independent security servers. These servers are like vaults.

However, these vaults are often extremely costly and cumbersome. Both responding to the needs and the failures of the market, we propose a safer and more affordable solution. In brief, instead of paper sheets locked into private vaults, we want to create titanium data that will be safe enough to be stocked anywhere.

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