Iceland’s unique insight into identity verification.

“Then there are trolls. This is a race of giants who with their giant animals lumber over the rocky and snowy face of Iceland. But trolls, mighty as they are, are night beings, highly susceptible to the Sun. In dark winter they must revel without fear, for at the dawning of the day a troll creature will turn to stone if caught by a ray of Sun.”

This delightful passage reminded us that the rich traditions of Icelandic folklore – replete with elves and trolls – are deeply embedded into the island nation’s psyche. And maybe it speaks to a future where Icelandic tech companies will be on the forefront of trying to stamp out another kind of troll: internet trolls that have deeply damaged many of the world's most popular web sites.

A case in point is Authenteq, a Reykjavik-based identity management start-up that is using blockchain to try to keep trolls from causing trouble on online marketplaces, betting platforms and financial services sites. This week, the company announced that it closed the first tranche of a Series A that was led by Draper Associates and Capital300. With this capital, we hope that the company will be able to scale those rays of sun in a hurry.

This article was published as part of Weekly Briefing No. 157