PolySwarm is a more effective way to detect, analyze and respond to the latest threats, the ones more likely to go undetected by existing solutions.[1]

We are a launchpad for new technologies and innovative threat detection methods, where commercial solutions and specialized engines compete to detect threats, and get compensated based on performance.[2]

The PolySwarm team

Steve Bassi - CEO, Developer, Founder Ben Schmidt - CSO, Developer, Co-Founder Nick Davis - COO, Developer, Co-Founder
The PolySwarm Team is composed of InfoSec veterans with decades of experience in government and industry. We’re driven to improve the threat intelligence landscape for ourselves, our clients and the industry at large. By providing robust incentives that align participants’ interest with continued innovation, PolySwarm will break the mold of today’s iterative threat intelligence offerings.[3]

All PolySwarm Founders and Co-Founders are also members of Narf Industries, LLC, a boutique information security firm specializing in tailored solutions for government and large enterprises. Narf operates on the cutting-edge of InfoSec, blockchain and cryptographic research, having recently completed a blockchain-based identity management project for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as several cutting-edge partial homomorphic encryption projects on behalf of DARPA.

The advisory board includes former Intel Security. CIO Mark Tonnesen and Dinesh Dhamija, deputy treasurer of the United Kingdom’s Liberal Democratic Party and founder, alongside renowned information security experts Dan Guido, Chris Eagle, Dr. Sergey Bratus, and Carl Hoffman.[2]

Adrian Escude - CMO

Steve Laskowski - Chief Revenue Officer

Bill Fehr - VP of Growth & Partnership

Robert Lathrop - Senior Software Engineer

Samuel Neto - Senior Software Engineer

Alan Justino - Senior Software Engineer

Javier Botella - Senior Security Engineer

Zephyr Pellerin - Blockchain Security Engineer

Meet Steve Bassi

“As malware attacks continue to grow and evolve, we need a new way to protect enterprises from threats. The existing antivirus (AV) model of single vendor threat detection is inefficient, there are too many false detection's and it’s designed to focus on known, widespread threats."

An interview with PolySwarm CEO on the PolySwarm marketplace

"Ultimately this slower model of malware discovery puts users at risk. Added to this, the industry’s also struggling with a shortage of skilled security talent which is why we believe it’s time for a re-think on the economics of this industry.”

Specialized Engines

PolySwarm is powered by a network of threat detection engines. It combines wide coverage from commercial engines, with the ability to detect threats earlier from specialized solutions.[1]

Specialized engines are niche and research-driven, often authored by independent, well known researchers and security teams, developing cutting-edge threat detection methods.[2]

PolySwarm brings them together to cover the existing protection gaps and better protect enterprises against new threats.

These engines are then economically rewarded based on accuracy, with PolySwarm’s token, Nectar (NCT), facilitated on the Ethereum blockchain.[3]


The company launched with 1.85 billion NCT tokens, of which 1.3 billion are currently circulating.


PolySwarm illustrates a real-time threat detection ecosystem that involves enterprises, consumers, vendors, and security experts. It functions as a prediction market with multiple micro-engines investigating the latest malware developments. They assign arbitrage to existing threat intelligence vendors that are willing to maintain engagement with the PolySwarm team, help identify and address platform bugs, and help build interest in the ecosystem.[1]

They market incentivizes actions that subject to minimal Ethereum gas costs, as well as bring activity on the market with PolySwarm tokens.[2]

How it Works

An enterprise or institute pays an AV (antivirus) company a subscription fee to scan their files for threats

“They are trying to cover the general, most common threats, but don’t really specialise in doing one particular thing very, very well.”

said PolySwarm co-founder and CSO Ben Schmidt. Instead, the antivirus software provider will take those files into the PolySwarm marketplace and receive a reward attached to it.

Security experts on the PolySwarm network analyze the file for malware. When an expert in the marketplace believe they have discovered a threat, they can bet Nectar tokens on their assertion.  The more confidence there is in their analysis, the more tokens they bet, while those in the marketplace who think the analysis is incorrect, bet against them.[3]

Developers can also create "micro-engines" which are small, malware detectors that can operate in a swarm. They may work independently of each other allowing various developers and contributors to help many end users. This many-to-many marketplace allows diversity and embraces input from all corners of the security development community.[1]

Some micro-engines can be funded by bounties or even by seed grants which are designed to prime the marketspace. In a long run, the micro-engines will run autonomously and generate tokens (nectar) for their creator. People may have hundreds or even thousands of the micro malware detectors running on their machine.

The nectar token value all depends on Polyswarm’s success and economy, it act as a credit that customers can buy and analysts can trade in for cash, that's why an independent blockchain currency is needed rather than simply serving as a middleman for a credit-based system.[2]


Inca Internet

PolySwarm announced its partnership with Inca Internet on January 3, 2019, in order to further advance its ecosystem of quality malware detection. INCA Internet integrated TACHYON, its new malware detection engine into PolySwarm’s network.[3]

“Threats are increasing every year with new methods to expose vulnerability. PolySwarm brings together intelligence from individual researchers and AV vendors to provide their specialized threat detection expertise through their micro-engines. The increased volume of malware samples and faster feedback on detection will allow us to improve our TACHYON product and prepare for new emerging threats much faster.”

said Young-Suk Jung, CTO of INCA Internet.

Jiangmin Technology

PolySwarm also partnered with Jiangmin Technology on January 24, 2019. Jiangmin integrated its malware detection engine into the PolySwarm’s network.[1]

Jiangmin Antivirus, developed by Jiangmin Security Lab, specializes in the scanning of malicious files and documents, it is compatible with most hardware gateway devices, including NGFW (next-generation firewall), UTM (Unified threat management), and routers to detect malware and spyware on Windows/ Linux platforms.[2]

NANO Antivirus

PolySwarm partnered with NANO antivirus, they integrated their malware detection engine into the PolySwarm’s network. NANO’s antivirus provides protection from all types of malware and includes real-time file and network protection and remediation.[3]

“The whole idea of a prediction market for malware detection is crazy interesting. This project will bring a current of fresh air into the antimalware industry, we are excited to be a part of PolySwarm ecosystem”

said Irina Pamfilova, Chief Business Officer at NANO Security.

Antiy Labs

PolySwarm partnered with Antiy Labs, AVL SDK for Network is Antiy’s commercial product used for document and file scanning of malware which was added to the PolySwarm marketplace to rapidly expand the decentralized network.[1]

AVL SDK is an antivirus engine used on network devices, including NGFW, UTM, router, and others, to detect malware and spyware on the Windows platform.[2]

Zillya Antivirus

PolySwarm partnered with Zillya antivirus and its antivirus product has over 15 million malware signatures and an advanced module of proactive protection. Its signature database gets updated daily.

“Zillya! Antivirus is thrilled to partake in a new project that applies the prediction principle in the cybersecurity market, as this is one of the most interesting ideas in this market. We expect that Polyswarm, Zillya!, and other partners will be able to change the world of cybersecurity together.”

said Vlad Andrianov, Head of business development department Zillya Laboratory.


Lionic also partnered with PolySwarm and integrated their malware detection engine into the PolySwarm’s network.[3]

“Combining Lionic’s malware detection and PolySwarm’s blockchain technology is a brand-new, interesting idea.”

“Deep Packet Inspection is our strength and we are more than happy to see our DPI based malware detection technology expanding beyond network appliances.”

said Eric Lu, CEO of Lionic corporation

K7 Security

K7 Security integrated its malware detection engine into PolySwarm’s network and also participated as an Arbiter.[1]

The K7 Security’s cyber threat detection expertise is contained in K7’s micro-engines which is instrumental in helping to establish ground truth, as one of the first Arbiters, when verifying the claims of experts in the larger cyber community.[2]

“The PolySwarm network is a highly innovative concept that decentralizes the evaluation of myriad cybersecurity threats,”

said Kesavardhanan Jayaraman, K7 Security CEO.

“This ecosystem actively engages and rewards talented cyber experts with disparate specialized skill sets from around the world who would otherwise not have had opportunities to contribute to global cyber safety.”[1]

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