Our ability to vote electronically from our mobile phones is now the focus. Built on a career in payments and digital identity the next chapter seeks to embrace cryptography and platform security to further expand what we can do using the essential tools of a connected world. https://andreae.com/V-2020-YearInReview-1pager.pdf
I am confused. I thought the goal of a democratic society was to ensure each citizen of age had the ability and the right to vote. In 2020 there was and still is a pandemic often in history there have been natural disasters these challenges create issues voters have to consider when attempting to voice their intent on who shall represent them at a city, municipal, county, state, or federal level.
Many legislatures, Secretaries of State, or Lieut. Governors decided to expand the ability for voters to vote by mail. Our previous president argued mail-in voting was subject to fraud and built a case or better-said conspiracy theory that would allow him to contest the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. Now the GOP is busy attempting to rewrite the law that will remove the ability of those unable to attend the voting place to use mail-in ballots. Why one should ask! To restrict the number and class of people who can vote in a democracy is unacceptable. Our political class should wish and work and make sure our democratic process of voting enables each of us the ability and the right to vote. Any attempt to limit someone’s ability to vote should be classed as a criminal act. By making this statement one could easily argue the GOP are criminals.
Often in history, those who seek power seek to suppress those who wish to also participate. We can only hope the good people of this country will decide that we are a free nation built upon laws that engender respect and seek to include everyone.
A long time ago, while installing Voice, Video, and Digital services on Trading Rooms in London and on Wall Street, stories of dis-information and the ability to manipulate the market were often told around the Bar at Harry’s on Hanover Square. Today we see manipulation in the political and economic spheres capable of alternating world order and drives nations into Civil war.
We must find a way of removing the risk of misinformation and restore truth and fair play into everything we hear and do.
When we listen to the news we must think first of the bias of the reporter. This unfortunate truth is troubling in a world where the leader of the United States speaks of fake news and uses Twitter to stir up the masses. This body of citizens struggles with truth and is easily bent to believe what the leader says.
This particular charismatic leader, like many others in the past, is able to cause people to believe anything. The challenge these same people will follow both those with hi morals and those with any.
Jesus Christ, Siddhartha Gautama, Confucius, Laozi and a few others spoke wisely and became spiritual leaders many continue to follow.
Hitler to name one well remembered is like the one now President of this great country spreads lies and ferments hatred.
How can we rise above when so many are unwilling or is it unable to see the truth and rise above the madness these charismatic immoral individuals ferment.
That is the concern I have felt since first I looked upon the control the church exerts upon the mass.
It is 11 AM December 6 and I wonder about the past and future of the United States of America. The news is divided. There are those that focus on the Trump-centric right-wing media. There are then those that focus on the Biden-centric left-wing media. The challenge where is the truth. For those capable and willing to watch both sides of the story we may be able to fathom reality. For those fixated on one side or the other, they are no longer are capable of appreciating where the middle of this country lies.
November 3 we had an election and over the next several weeks it became clear that Joe Biden would be our new president. Unfortunately, the current president Donald Trump could not nor would not accept the fact he lost.
In 2016 the popular vote said he lost. Based on how our Constitution is written, the electoral college decided he won. We had to accept this truth and we had to get on with life.
The challenge, since then we have had to live with the lies, the untruths, and the constant cry “fake news”. We had to deal with the constant barrage of POTUS reminding us he is a narcissist, he is the president of the United States, and recognize he was allowed to lie to the public. Is he sane one might ask. Are we?
Since early February, we here in the United States have had to live with the coronavirus and its economic implications. Over the last two weeks, we have confronted with the reality of our racist tendencies. Over the last 20+ years, this country has fractured into the left the Democrats and the right the Republicans; groups like the tea party have driven these tribal tendencies who wish to engender their thoughts on everyone.
The sense of discomfort that lives within my soul creates tensions and a sense of despair. If only we could see the light. If only we could believe the truth. If only we could come together as one people each of us would be much happier and able to live a more productive and satisfying life
What can I do? What can you do to change the way we think to change the way we act to change the way we embrace each other? Some would remind us of the works of great religious leaders such as Jesus Christ, Lao-Tzu, Confucius Siddhartha Gautama. Men and I am sure women who have spoken of peace and tranquility. They talked about friendship and the bonds of togetherness? It is these bonds of friendship we have to find again. It is the ability to accept and embrace each other we need to remember. We need to stop arguing with each other. We need to start embracing each other. We need to remember that debate is a good thing, while arguments are not.
When I was a young man, I believed it would take three generations for us to address are the racial tensions in this country. I think my problem then was from which age do we begin; it was not the generation that I came from the baby boomers. Maybe not even Gen X. It needs to have a fresh start. It needs to be built on the beliefs of togetherness. Yesterday evening we watched a documentary about Thurgood Marshall. I had no idea how complexed the arguments and the legal battles have been to reach where we are today. The Jim Crow laws so divisive created the division in the South. Separate but equal established a baseline to segregate those of color from those who believed they had the power.
I so much want to walk forward into a world where peace is the norm where cooperation is how we work together. But, the tension, the tribal tendency, seems to be deeply ingrained in our human psyche. It is the human psyche we need to address. We need to transform our thinking from that of fight and right to that of compassion, cooperation, and solidarity.
What more can I say? I can only pray that ‘we the people’ will find the way forward. That ‘we the people,’ will work together to find a more peaceful union. That we, the people, will finally achieve what the founders envisioned. What some would say God offered us in the Garden of Eden before we fit into the fruit of knowledge. We should harness understanding for good.
In March 2020, I moved from the payments industry into the election industry. This movement caused me to wonder about democracy, politics, academia, and the world of technology. What amazed me is how computer science academics could rail at the idea, technology could be used to innovate on the election process. Years ago I imagined participating in a national referendum simply by opening a browser searching for the government website and voting on the measures and contests currently under consideration.
Unfortunately what I’ve learned troubles me. Certain clusters of intelligent individuals believe that they know best. They stigmatize technology and argue that a human being, who writes software, could leave unintended bugs which might lead to unintended consequences. They forget software is an evolutionary science. Through piloting, continuous improvement, testing, and rigorous testing we can eliminate bugs and create stable and secure critically important applications serving our financial, health, national security, and public interests.
Recently in a letter written by verified voting, a nonprofit organization, the word settled science appeared. An intriguing word, an intriguing phrase. I was driven to wonder what did it mean. From my high school years, science was an evolutionary process. A hypothesis was put forward. it was tested. If it was found to be false a new hypothesis was offered, it was tested and on the scientific community went. In one article when googling “Settled Science” I was intrigued to read the word oxymoron followed by an explanation of how if Sir Isaac Newton’s beliefs had been settled science Albert Einstein would never have been able to put forward the concepts of general relativity.
This whole conversation feels very much like a religion, a church, who has a dogmatic belief in the written word of the Bible being the written and only word of God. We forget how man inserts himself into every dialogue. Too often we insert our beliefs on others. Maybe “Settled Science” is the dogmatic belief that we are right and everyone else is wrong.
If this is the case then how do we move forward? If scientists – academics force there will on society than society has lost its objectivity.
The Sunday after Christmas and one wonders if people are here thinking of family, food, fun. Or, if they are reflecting on the wonder of words Jesus spoke, the majesty of his message and the wholeness of the teaching of love, peace, mercy, and friendship.
Instead, one is drawn to reflect on reality. A world divided along religious, racial and cultural lines. Be it right from left, liberal from conservative or male from female.
I was once told to never ask the WHY question. Yet, it is this one question we each must consider when we think of the divisions surrounding us.
A new year is around the corner. The ability to change is inherent in all of us. the challenge is to put friendship and love first. Then we can think of bounty and the goodness of this earth.
First, we must put our mind to preserving the majesty of what the creator enabled.
This morning hash rates, degrees of difficulty and the creating of derivatives to moderate the risk of Bitcoin mining drew me in. Several years ago I was asked to participate in a fireside chat on Crypto-currencies at the Federal Reserve in Atlanta.
One of my concerns then and still today is the exponential growth in the cost of mining. These charts offer a perspective on a concept called the Hash Rate, a measure of the work necessary to create a block. Clearly, as time marches forward, the work to earn the reward gets harder. Thus creating a need to increase the fees charged to add a transaction within a block to the chain.
When people speak to the justification of Bitcoin they would speak to the reduction in cost. Is this statement still valid?
Disruption, lies, and politics
While considering the potential of Bitcoin; the working of our government rambles on, as we consider the fate of the American President. Lies, bribes, abuse, and obstruction seems to be the order of the day.
The division between political parties; drives division within families, cities, and two people sitting together over lunch creates animosity.
We are now a world driven to speculate or better said gamble while not wanting to find a gentle and graceful road to mutual satisfaction.
We need to reflect consider and potential restore faith in what is real, what is just and what is fair for all.
Spending money on machines of war instead of investing in education and our environment makes no sense to this lone individual. We need to once again seek peace and justice.
If we delve back in time we find in Luke 11:17, Matthew 12:25 and Mark 3:25 writings of how Jesus spoke of a simple reality. Every Kingdom or house divided against itself will be laid waste, become a desert, fall upon itself or will not stand.
We could read and listen to the lyrics of Dave Mustaine.
Brother will kill brother Spilling blood across the land Killing for religion Something I don’t understand
Fools like me, who cross the sea And come to foreign lands Ask the sheep, for their beliefs Do you kill on God’s command?
A country that’s divided Surely will not stand My past erased, no more disgrace No foolish naive stand
The end is near, it’s crystal clear Part of the master plan Don’t look now to Israel It might be your homelands
Upon my podium, as the Know it all scholar Down in my seat of judgement Gavel’s bang, uphold the law Up on my soapbox, a leader Out to change the world Down in my pulpit as the holier
Than-thou-could-be-messenger of God
Wage the war on organized crime Sneak attacks, repel down the rocks Behind the lines Some people risk to employ me Some people live to destroy me Either way they die, they die
They killed my wife, and my baby With hopes to enslave me First mistake, last mistake! Paid by the alliance, to slay all the giants Next mistake, no more mistakes
Fill the cracks in, with judicial granite Because I don’t say it, Don’t mean I ain’t thinkin’ it Next thing you know, they’ll take my thoughts away I know what I said, now I must scream of the overdose And the lack of mercy killings Mercy killings Mercy killings Killings, killings, killings, killings Mercy you know, they’ll take my thoughts away
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.
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”
The Type, be it a claim or an object.
The value, be it fixed or variable.
If it is a claim who is liable?
The technology, be it centralized or decentralized
They then speak to the five ‘Means of payment”.
Central Bank Money (cash)
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.
b-money (Bank issued)
e-money (Privately issued)
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
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 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.
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
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.