Decentralized Trust is the Killer App for Blockchains!

Satoshi Nakamoto (probable pseudonym) used cryptographic techniques to create a secure, decentralized ledger that you can trust (called Bitcoin).  You can trust the ledger because once written the entries cannot be modified and all nodes have the same ledger (via consensus voting) so there is no single point of attack to create a false ledger.  Thus, Satoshi developed this "decentralized trust" for the purpose of recording transactions of the ownership of digital money.  While digital money is the first use case, it is not the best use case of this disruptive technology.

Enter the sad, strange saga of the United State's sound and fury over voting, identity, and (a lack of) trust!

Let's first examine the example of voting.  There have been numerous reports of potential voting irregularities including double-scanning of ballots, ballots without serial numbers, and even votes from dead people. Are these reports true or just fake news?  Frankly, I don't know but what I do know is that many, many countries have accused the "powers that be" of stuffing the ballot box.  Wow!  In this day and age, you would think we could develop a secure, trusted voting mechanism - WAIT, we have a secure ledger that can record both identity and votes!  WOW!  We do have the technology!  

Secondly, let's examine our flawed system of identity.  Currently, in the United States, we have two widely used forms of identification both with significant flaws.  State-issued driver licenses and a federally issued social security number.  Both of these types of identification can easily be duplicated and stolen which is why we suffer from the epidemic of identity theft. It is time that proof of identity was brought into this century! Identification must use standards, strong cryptography, and biometrics.

So, how can the blockchain solve these problems? Charles Hoskinson and Cardano are working with multiple nations in Africa to solve this problem using provable blockchain technology.  Digital Ethiopia 2025 and other initiatives in developing countries are bold steps towards using these disruptive technologies to transform their culture, economy, and Governments.  It is these small, upstart nations that will show the "old guard" how to evolve by leveraging 21st-century technology to solve these systemic problems!


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Michael Daconta is a well-known technology author of 13 technical books, 1 non-fiction book, and thousands of articles and blog posts. He has authored and co-authored books on Java, XML, C, C++, info management, and cloud computing.

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