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Study: Blockchain Investment Leads in Performance Among Cybersecurity Startups

A new study put together by Swiss researchers has declared blockchain the best performer in cybersecurity startups, beating out heavyweight fields like Artificial Intelligence and cloud services for the top spot.

The study, titled “Measuring the performance of investments in information security startups: An empirical analysis by cybersecurity sectors using Crunchbase data,” was funded by the state-backed Cyber-Defence Campus, an organization that links government, academia and industry to help strengthen cyber defence.

The main metric the study looked at was returns, an area in which blockchain companies far exceeded rival sectors, largely thanks to the price performance of their underlying tokens.

It reads: “we find the blockchain sector to have the highest expected annual arithmetic (AAR) and log returns at 177.27% and 105.42%, respectively, consistent with the performance of cryptocurrencies over the sample period.”

Comparing the sector to its nearest rivals, the researchers found “well-known sectors such as artificial intelligence or machine learning is dominant in terms of funding, whereas the private cloud dominates in terms of overall valuation,” but in terms of average returns, blockchain pipped all three sectors.

The study also concluded that blockchain companies are the quickest to reach IPO.

By comparison, E-signature took the longes, almost 10 years, followed by fraud detection and cloud cybersecurity, which took around 7 years each. Blockchain, on the other hand, needed only three and a half years to reach IPO from the first fundraise.

Blockchain’s Own Cybersecurity? Could Be Better


One of crypto’s frequent sticking points among authorities and actors from the traditional finance space is its perceived lack of security. Organized cybercriminals frequently target organizations building on the tech for large multi-million dollar hacks .

One of the largest in history was the Ronin Bridge hack in 2022. Hackers looted over $600 million in crypto from a vulnerability in Axis Infinity’s Ethereum sidechain.

Just last year, there were notable hacks targeting Euler Finance ($200 million), BonqDAO ($120 million), Multichain ($126 million), Poloniex ($114 million), and Atomic Wallet ($100 million), among many others.

A report last October put the amount lost in Q3 2023 as $685 million. By the end of last year, hackers looted $2 billion in value, according to estimates.

A worrying number of attacks can be linked to North Korea’s state-backed hacking group Lazarus.

An unpublished UN report recently said the organization’s jury of sanctions monitors is investigating North Korea’s involvement in $3 billion worth of crypto attacks.

These attacks are reportedly funding North Korea’s nuclear weapons development program.

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