Where are we

Today.

How many passwords are you trying to manage!  Does your LinkedIn contact list connecting you to more than  4,000 individuals?  Does Facebook, Instagram, and other social media websites inundating you with news and stories about your friends, colleagues and interesting people?

How many cookies have your computers accumulated?  How many databases have more information about you than they need?  If we search the dark web, how valuable is your data?

Cando seeks to help you manage your data, identity, assets, and relationships.

Philip lives on Sea Island with his 93-year-old father, the Doctor.  They pursue travel and Philip keeps his head into what is happening in financial services, blockchain, authentication, digital identity, and, whatever else people seeking to understand the transformation; particularly those in the identity and payments space.

What is happening means we can unlock our hotel rooms, cars, and homes from our phones. Our security system iwill be another app we have to find on our phone.

Instead, we need an intuitive assistant seeking to simplify our lives by taking on repetitive tasks like driving, working inside a data table or simply opening up the house for the season.

Normalizing data and performing the analysis capable of earning value is the name of the game.  Management is about stimulating a team to work in the mutual interest of the organization.  Executives define the strategy and articulate the vision in a manner conducive to success.

Cando seeks to help you manage your assets and relationships.  Assets those places and things you use doing your daily life and those interactions you have with people and entities seeking to serve, sell and partner with you.

Then there are friends who we expect to be part of our lives and therefore have privileges and access capabilities.

All of this with a target of selling integration services to the top million and simply assuring each person has an identity thus serving the bottom billion.  ultimately earning $1 per year per user to simply be there when it all breaks and you wish to restore your digital life.

At the core, your digital security will be based on the use of cryptography and sophisticated matching algorithms designed to assure anyone that you are that one individual in the populatations of the universe.

What You possess, What You Are, What You Claim … Your Certificates

NCCOE NIST Multi-Factor Authentication

What you Possess — The Thing

What you Are — You

Your Relationships

Responsibilities

Authority

Advice

— Secrets

My Certificates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Words

World Wide Web Consortium

FIDO Alliance

Global Platform

The Trusted Computing Group

Future interests

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Nature Language Interface
  • Predictive Analytics

Another short description of Blockchain

WTF is The Blockchain? The ultimate 3500-word guide in plain English to understand Blockchain.

This technology called the Blockchain is built on the desire to create a new model to assure “trust”. 

To establish trust between ourselves, we depend on individual third-parties.

Could there be a system where we can still transfer money without needing the bank?

This statement begs the question, What is a Bank.  Is it simply an institution for recording the value we deposit with them and then allow us to move/transfer some portion of that value to another.  This then means the loans a bank makes, based on the sum of the deposits we trust them with, is not part of what a bank does.

If the only role of the intermediary is to maintain a ledger capable of recording and facilitating the transfer to electronic facsimiles of something, then, yes a distributed ledger removes the need for the middle man the trusted intermediary.  Instead of trusting a third party we agree to a methodology “The Distributed Ledger” to record these intangible assets or rights of ownership of a tangible asset in a manner where each of us has a copy of the ledger.  The beauty of this concept is for someone to attempt to change a record in the ledger, recording the disposition of a tangible or intangible asset; 51% of us would have to agree to that alteration.

In the above-linked article, all of what happens can be summaries with this quote

Earlier the third-party/middleman gave us the trust that whatever they have written in the register will never be altered. In a distributed and decentralized system like ours, this seal will provide the trust instead.

 

Review of the IMF The rise of Digital Money

While reading the recent document produced by the IMF I am compelled to wonder.

What is the difference between what they call Bank Deposits and e-money.  My first question, ignoring the words bank deposit.  Both are electronic accounts of value, recorded in someone’s ledger.  These two diagrams extracted from a BIS paper offer a perspective.  

They then speak to four attributed to the “means of payment”

  1. The Type, be it a claim or an object.
  2. The value, be it fixed or variable.
  3. If it is a claim who is liable?
  4. The technology, be it centralized or decentralized


They then speak to the five ‘Means of payment”.

Object-Based

  1. Central Bank Money (cash)
  2. Crypto-currency (non-Bank Issued)

As we think of the evolution of these object-based means of payment, we need to reflect on a new term “Central Bank Digital Currency” CBDC.

As a historian, I then wonder where things like Digi-cash and Mondex fit into the classification.  The value was originated and then distributed into a personal and secure storage device (Wallet).  Redemption or better said the guarantee, was provided by a party.  Maybe not a bank or the central bank, yet, easily embraced by such an institution.  Somehow history seems to lose sight of the origins of money and assumes the existence of a central bank.  Here in the USA, the formation of a Central bank was one of many areas of political discourse.

Claim-Based

  1. b-money (Bank issued)
  2. e-money (Privately issued)
  3. i-money (Investment funds)

The magic word behind all of these discussions is “Liquidity”.  The bottom line does the receiver of the money appreciate the value of the unit of measure and is the receiver confident they will be able to convert that money into another form, of their preference

 

 

Blockchain made simple

Let’s start at the beginning, the transaction, the distributed ledger entry. Think about the content of the transaction as the payload. Next think of the payload as the land deed, cryptocurrency value, record of ownership, journal entry, smart contract … marriage contract.  Whatever two or more people seek to exchange and record. Another way to think about all of this is as a block of data, code or other digital representation of something duplicated in every participant’s copy of the current ledger.

A governance model is required

What is essential, before anyone can do anything.

The parties seeking to exploit a distributed ledger must define how it will work.

It is what the community or parties seek to represent and manage, using distributed ledger technology, agree.

The whole process of defining the payload begins when the community agrees to and sets off to publish the processes, procedures, rules, functions, and purpose of their application. It is this act of governance we use to define how and what will be conveyed in the payload to be stored and recorded on a blockchain. Which blockchain, protocol, and cryptographic processes; obviously is a decision of the community.

We should be clear before we can do anything with the payload.  Ourselves and ultimately others will have initially and subsequently defined the mechanics and processes designed to assure the integrity of the blockchain, itself.

A Transaction is appended to the chain

There are two parties to each event recorded within these transactions. The agreed events, transactions and smart contracts are ultimately included in a block and properly extended onto the chain for everyone to see and read.  More about Confidentiality in another post.

Once governance is established
People can now interact

Each party has an address and then addresses unique to each asset e.g. coin. The address, in most cases, is simply an asymmetric cryptographic public key.

    • The individual, as is always the case with cryptography, has their own private key(s); they must retain, never lose and keep secret.

When the two parties decide to record an event; the sale or transfer of the title to a car.

    • A formal record of a property, a transaction, ledger entry is created.
    • The basic data.
      • The seller’s public key
      • the buyers public key
      • the payload
      • a hash
      • the signature created by the seller using their private key.

The transactions are broadcast to the network. The nodes or miners continuously work to assemble a defined number of transactions and create the next block.

The chain’s role is to record the providence of an asset and the immutability of all the associated transactions.

These records and blocks of data include content: of, by and following the rules of the consensus process.

    • Each active node or miner is attempting to create the next block.
    • The mathematics involved and the use of hashes to bind this new block to the existing blocks in the chain is beyond the scope of this blog.
    • Let us simply assume the mathematicians and cryptographers define as part of the original design of each chain an infallible solution to the issues of economics, security, integrity, and immutability.
    • These specifications will define the hash game and how one adds the next block to the chain retaining the immutability of the present and the past

By being the first to calculate the cryptographic nonce

The winner receives a reward.

    • Hopefully proportional to the cost of work or other discernable and agreed method of reward.
    • The other active nodes then test to see if they agree the first got it right.
    • If consensus is reached the new block is appended to the chain.
    • This all assumes 51% or more of the miners or nodes reach consensus on the winner’s answer.  And no one can control 51% or anything closer than 33%.

Around and around the game continues, as transactions are added and immutably recorded on the chain.

This whole process fundamentally assures history cannot be altered.

Chains split and fun things happen

If the process is not elegantly managed in full sight of all the participants.

Biometrics – Do we end up in a surveillance state

http://www.planetbiometrics.com/article-details/i/10211/desc/guest-post-experience-a-seamless-lifestyle–idemia/

https://www.aclu.org/other/whats-wrong-public-video-surveillance

https://www.govtech.com/policy-management/Study-Surveillance-Cams-Worth-Money.html

As we think about the world we are living in and the world we want to live in. We must balance friction and convenience against the potential risks which will emerge as technology blossoms and expands to touch ever part of our lives. This morning I got a text informing me of the 200 million cameras the Chinese had watching their citizens. I immediately remember the CATV system in London and

CCTV Camera technology on screen display

what parts of the City it covers. Its goal record everyone’s movements to protect against terrorists. Airlines are talking about ticketless travel and some are speaking of passport-less and ticketless airports. We wonder if Alexa is recording our every word and we know our PC, Tablet, Baby monitor & mobile phone cameras and microphones can be used by: who knows who, to watch who knows what, whenever they so please?

Is this the world we want to live in? Or would we prefer our cities to enact laws like those recently enacted in San Francisco. This law is meant to ban the use of these various cameras and listening devices from being used to identify everyone they see or hear.

This conversation then immediately bleeds into the question of our right to privacy. With all that the internet offers for free and what all these devices are capable of sharing; we’ve given our privacy away.

How often do you wonder why the ads you see seem to attempt to sell you exactly what you recent read about? How often do you wonder why you no longer can easily find the site you are looking for? Instead you have to filter through the search list to get past all the ads. How many of us even understand the information people can glean from what we do and were we are; when we use or carry our devices around?

On one side of the discussion is reality. As has been the case for as long as I can remember.  TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, browser, social media, much web content and mobile app are funded by advertising dollars. Spent by those who want to convince some of us to buy what is on offer. It is these advertising dollars which pays for the content and ultimately decides what will survive the test of time. On the other side are the politicians, regulators, lobbyist and corporations who are focused on one thing. Helping people prosper or worse protecting some so they can continue to prosper.

The acquisition of wealth, the construction of infrastructure, the destruction of our enemies or the support for those without; is all about money.

If we seek to protect our privacy and be assured, we will not live in a surveillance state. We must be willing to read the fine print and be ready to pay for what is now free.  We must be ready and willing to take the extra time to pull out our passport, enter our user name, present our boarding pass. We must insist on the necessary friction to protect our identity and our freedoms.

If convenience is what we insist on.  Be assured, companies will happily build solutions to remove friction. Beware, removing friction, when it comes to  your identity or privacy, means you will allow people and organizations to collect and store everything they can about you/  Their goal to identity you and without friction, with the purpose of serving you or better said profiting from your actions.

All of this is more than the Uber experience.  Uber recognizes your phone and account not you.

This will be a world where the system behind the camera will see you, compare your face to all the faces on file and determines it is you. Therefore, knowing who you are, it can do what it is told to do; because it is you.

Monday Morning May 13th 2019

A day begins.  Life anew.  The tensions of what next are real.

The life of Philip can be seen in four dimensions

  • Spiritual – A space confused by dogma, the needs of the many and the understanding of science.  We seek answers to what we do not understand.  We find salvation in believing life is eternal and our sins and mistakes can be forgiven if not also forgotten.  This spiritual plain also hopes for peace and tranquility.  Yet there is a tribal bias of you am right and I are wrong.  It is this schism; this unbending difference in view, perception and belief drives us to compete, to wage,war and creates the tensions surrounding all of us.
    The great spiritual teachers all spoke of the respect and love we should demonstrate to and for each other.  If only we could come together and not always attempt to find the differences.
  • Worldview – A landscape peppered with the vastness of patriotism, nationalism, globalization and the desire to best the other.  Fraught with the struggles emerging from tribal instincts, built upon greed and the desire to have what others possess.  To often man seeks to demonstrate superiority and the need to lord over others.
    Here in America we have our own issues, The need is to remove the noise from our lives while still feeling part of something.  We need to consider all people as equal and no longer fear some, disrespect others and worship the unworthy.
    Economic forces sit deep within any worldview.  The need to eat, have a place to sleep and most unfortunate the desire to have more and more.
  • Family and Life – That can I say a struggle.
  • Career – Those of us who grew up as baby boomers were expected to work all hours given.  To what end where went the time will family and life.

NYTimes: Reverend, You Say the Virgin Birth Is ‘a Bizarre Claim’?

Reverend, You Say the Virgin Birth Is ‘a Bizarre Claim’? https://nyti.ms/2UOW6iT

This particular interview, at this time in the christian year, is an appropriate discussion as we remember the teaching and value Jesus brought to this world.

I have often wondered about the birth and death of Christ. These are the two parts of the life of Jesus Christ which I continue to struggle with.

It is easy to accept the need to create such a noble beginning and end to his life. Easier still when we think of our society and how people are. We must remember they then and still now struggle to learn and embrace complex thought. The mythology helped so many find their way to the true teaching of Jesus.

Easter thought. John 20:1-18

Surprises. Oh how surprises impact one and each of us. Who is Mary to Jesus? Does this event demonstrate how our bodies can go into a stasis, dead to most – alive in truth.

Gracious in a spacious place -there the truth can be found.

How is it that Mary and Jesus are ever so personally and ever so intimately entangled. Who is this person named Mary?

The Teacher. A teacher who touched billions over thousands of years. One who came, learned and shared. Here to led us into the wilderness. Here to bring us out into the light.

We still have not fully embraced the gift of love he shared with us. We have not recognized the truth is in the love he asked each of us to have for one another.

Jesus, the one among a handful who has finally and ultimately shared the truth these few tried so hard to share with us.

The others who shared with other parts of the ancient world tried to help us understand the mysteries of life, the value of meditation and the glory of God. The one God who created all, sees all, knows all.

Faith, What is Faith

Faith, what is faith? Is faith the belief in the words in a book. Is it the acceptance of cultural norms or is it an understanding of the unimaginable power, majesty, timelessness and infinity reality of that which we call The Almighty, Tian, Shandgi, God, the Tao, Buddha and a hundred other names? Is it one identifiable entity or is it a spirit form. Is it singular or as some believe a collection of forces personalized to make them understandable?

Clearly this God is an unimaginably power, one we cannot even begin to understand!

For me, faith is accepting I can never appreciate that which is so infinity as to be beyond knowledge. It is to accept how each one of us builds our own understand of that which we cannot conceive.

When we human kind claim to know; be it as a tribe, a society, a civilization or a religion. It is at this moment we create division. These human constructs become the imprinted beliefs we give our children. As these tribes grow larger they seek to expand. To expand they come in contact with others different than their own.

In this difference springs animosity. In this animosity emerges fear. From fear comes the temptation to be right. Being right means those who do not believe and think as the tribe does must be wrong. If the tribe is wrong, then, surely they should be vanquished.

War and violence. Man again man is the greatest of sins. We in all faiths are taught to embrace our enemy, to encourage discourse, to share in the joy and happiness of others and most important to love each other as we seek to love ourselves. It is this one requirement, common to so many, we most often ignore.

How can we find the common bond to heal the hurt, fix the wrong, right the balance and discover the peace; we so all desire?

And what of

When we think back to history, we in the western world are brought up on the history of the Bible and the righteous position of the Jewish people. We are taught little of the growth and beliefs of the other regions of the ancient world. Egypt, Greece and Roman are seen as part of this history. The Persian empire is the enemy and that which is to the north and off to the east are known as trading alliances, maybe not people like those of biblical, Greek or Roman times.

One day a son is born into this culture. Pure of spirit and oh so wise capable of understanding much at the tender age of twelve. Already traveled, one can only imagine he continued to travel, to learn to embrace and to bring light to all he met. To imagine he traveled to the far reaches of the spice routes is so imaginable.

John 1

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,* and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.*

In these words we learn of a teacher who will return. John his cousin, who did not travel east, instead shared beliefs and the letters he had receiving from this learned man. John’s childhood friend who traveled through and around all of the civilizations of ancient times.

Finally the thoughts and teaching from these other ancient lands and people would be merged together with the thoughts of Jesus’ original faith. A new loving and more holistic system of belief could rise binding all of human kind into one chosen people. One group of people not distinct from the other. All loved by the creator.

For some the idea all are equal is not easily, especially still, to accept. This is the great message we should have and must learn. This learned man moved around teaching, performing get things and creating a following embracing all.

The First Commandment

28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. After that no one dared to ask him any question.

This is the greatest teaching to love one another, not to create divisions and ferment hate. Embrace each as you wish to be embraced is the true learning we must all learn.

Of Stakeholders or Shareholders

In South Africa’s Fabled Wine Country, White and Black Battle Over

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Breaking Up Tech Giants Like Amazon and Facebook

Two articles this morning remind us of the challenge of our time. The same challenge of past times. The concentration of wealth and power has and remains why class struggle and revolution often time follow the concentration, which to often is the flaw of capitalize.

When one class can separate itself from another. Those who have the ability to achieve this isolation, forget the pain of those on the bottom.

Stakeholders – the people, clients, customers and workers deserve the same respect and chance for a comfortable life as the shareholders

The Pledge Of Allegiance

Recently I was drawn to learn about the American Pledge of Allegiance and found this timeline expressing the changes that occurred to the pledge as this nation evolved.

From Wikipedia

The Pledge of Allegiance, as it exists in its current form, was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist,[12][13] and the cousin of socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).  There did exist a previous version created by Captain George T. Balch, a veteran of the Civil War, who later became auditor of the New York Board of Education. Balch’s pledge, which existed contemporaneously with the Bellamy version until the 1923 National Flag Conference, read:

We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!

1892 (first version)[1]

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1892 to 1923 (early revision by Bellamy)[2]

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1923 to 1924[3]

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1924 to 1954[3]

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

1954 (current version, per 4 U.S.C. §4)[4]

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall

NYTimes: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants https://nyti.ms/2GqnbC9

As I read this article my mind asked the question what drives an organization and its American employees to forget they are American citizen’s with responsibilities to protect this nation from the acts of our enemies.

Excess profits, what other motivation could there be. The one motivation which is and will remain the greatest threat to society, the environment and our grandchildrens’ future.

Be it the concentration of power which drives excess profits or the reduction of quality, weight, volume or size, simply to maintain price and margin the shareholder will be served after senior management take its plenty. Stakeholders – client and employees come second, after the key executive and strategic shareholders are rewarded.

Russian’s and our other enemies will find our weaknesses and take advantage deluding us with propaganda and lies, all to achieve their aims.

Disruption or the Reality of Legacy

Often times people speak of disruption as this traumatic thing being imposed upon them, their industry or society. Yet, if we look under the covers disruption more than likely is all about a competitor, not locked into a legacy approach, approaching the market with different tools.

The world of payments, as so many others, have implemented technology then gone on to enhance or update multiple times. Each time, someone or some group of people, had to adapt therefore invest to keep up. More often than not, a community would decide to hold on to what they built, sometime ago, hoping no one tried to disrupt the status quo.

With payment the need to embrace more effective approaches parallels the robustness and frequency of transactions. It also parallels the desire of sellers to do business with anonymous buyers. A lack of trust and a need to reduce the amount of cash we carry drove, markets to promissory notes. These promissory notes further evolved, as trusted intermediaries entered the market and created more efficient methods of providing that guarantee of payment.

Not wanting to duplicate what is already written about the history of money and payments we can jump forward through the paper phase to where we are in North America: Cash, cards, some checks and electronic debits & credits.

If we look inside the evolution of legacy.  We find what we have, is a stumbling block, holding innovation back.  We need to decide to adapt what exists or remove and replace.