Intro to Peertech

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PeerTech is an evolution of the Internet from an “Internet of Information” to an “Internet of Peers”. As such, it is decentralized in nature providing direct connections in both “people-to-people” and/or “people-to-machine” interaction scenarios. These interactions occur at the edge devices/people, without passing through any centralized intermediaries….

Coupled with BlockChain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT), PeerTech innovations and solutions enable the “sharing economy” platforms (also referred to as collaborative consumption) with of all sorts of services at the edges. These “User- to-user services” offer a viable alternative to the issues inherent in cloud-computing based platforms controlled by single owners.”

These viable, digital solutions are evolving in an industry-by-industry basis. For example, the banking and financial verticals are working in these directions by calling all such activities “FinTech”. Insurance organizations similarly have an “InsurTech” verticle and the list is growing. The resulting “stovepipe organisation” yields multiple, different, messy user experiences (or applications) at best. Peertech takes a horizontal perspective by focusing on the user-experience first over the industries operational constraints.

The Peertech Perspective

FINtech, INSURtech, REGtech, MEDtech, PEERtech and even DRINKtec, there is no shortage of collaboration in the emergent Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technologies(DLT), Iot, 5G and Cloud worlds. They are all building solutions to accommodate their particular processes in their particular industry/vertical/company.

If we look at just a single vertical: the corporate world; Companies around the world are struggling with data protection models that limit their own employees work options. Robin Wirz sums it up well in his Computerworld article.

by Robin Wirz (Guest Author), Computerworld, Feb 26 2016, (original article in German)

Mobile access to email and documents is just the tip of the iceberg in modern enterprise mobility. It requires entirely new IT concepts that fully focus on the perspectives and the needs of app user. This demands a suitable strategy, with the right attitude and infrastructure.

Robin goes on to say that most employees are lucky if they are able to access their business emails and are allowed to use specific third-party apps. Remember, this is only enterprise mobility yet it requires “the right attitude and infrastructure” just for the corporate world.

Now take a large step back to see the larger picture.  Imagine this same conundrum in (and across) the banking world, the insurance world, the regulation world as well as all the other verticals we had mentioned above.

This is why is the Peertech perspective is horizontal in nature. If you are focusing solely on the vertical exploitations of these Horizontal_Verticaltechnologies, you will only yield Industry specific solutions (ie: 2 bank software clients, 2 insurance software clients, email, social, etc. none of which communicate together) on your phone. This actually impedes commerce when you use or cross multiple silos. The following examples require actions in multiple silos:

  • buying, paying , renewing, settling insurance claims require banking activities
  • managing any medical issues require healthcare, insurance and banking activities
  • simple online shopping means access to the shopping sites and then banking activities to pay.
  • Those without any of the above have virtually no recourse to these “normally universal” needs.

The Peertech perspective is to accept the emergent Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technologies(DLT), Iot, 5G, Cloud worlds, and other technologies and to to cross-pollinate their possibilities from a Human usage perspective.

Digitize me, Peertech!

For almost everything we do today we need to “Log in” to make use of certain services. Any one person will have a large number of such “Login IDs”

  • for their devices Devices… Laptop and phone
  • Office… Badges and VPN
  • Work/career…
    • LinkedIn, Xing, Angellist, etc.
  • Personal communications…
    • Gmail, hotmail, yahoo, Skype, Applestore, android appstore
  • Bank1… Salary
  • Bank2… Investments (house, retirement)
  • Insurance 1… Home owners
  • Insurance 2… Cars
  • Credit Cards…
  • Stores/ shopping… Amazon, eBay, etc.
  • Health and social security
  • Government… Taxes and voting

Listed above are 20 typical, login examples for any one person. Each of these logins have incredibly complicated, unique password requirements like F41rYdu5T etc. Individuals maintain notepads, post- its or excel spreadsheets just to store and recall them all. Then there is the dreaded “3rd attempt lock-out” phenomena and “reset password” that exacerbates the already frustrating process.

Add to this complexity, the uncertainty of whether you are on the veritable bank site or a phishing scam designed to collect/steal your Identification.

Digitize me, Fred!

A great line from the Film Galaxy Quest (1999) as Peertech seeks to digitally recreate the ensemble of the real world solutions today so that they work together.

Who doesn’t have (just inside the front door of their home) a small cabinet or drawer into which we throw all of our keys. House keys, garage keys, Office keys, Car keys, etc. Keys can be perceived as solutions that allow us access to the various different areas or services. All of the different keys are typically kept on a keychain that one takes when “venturing outside”. This scenario can be replicated in the digital world with the physical keys simply being replaced by a digital key chain containing public/private keys, Certificates, PKI infrastructures, Etc. to the various services that we wish to access.

By the same token (no pun intended), Identification, Credit cards, Cash, drivers licenses, Etc. are contained in a wallet (often ending up on the same small cabinet or drawer). All of these other objects could be contained within a digital wallet. Digital wallet solutions such as Digi.me and Apple Pay (albeit more of a money clip, than a wallet) spring to mind. As a matter of fact, with the new, digital form-factor for the keychain, this could also be maintained within the digital wallet.

In the physical World, if you leave your House without your keychain and/or your wallet you won’t be able to gain access to any of those particular correlated services. The digital key chain solutions are excellent for maintaining keys and the digital wallet solutions excellent for containing elements of value that can be transacted.

What is actually missing in these different solutions is the action/process of manipulating keys, cards, identities etc. in transactions. By this we mean the process of taking out a key and plugging it into the car ignition, or the process of taking out the credit card from the wallet and handing it to the transacting party. This is one of the gaps that Peertech is looking to provide by combining Messengers with a collage of technologies that form a “transactional dashboard”; to be able to pull a key off the keychain and inserted into lock or to be able to extract the credit card Wallet and execute a transaction.

Internet’s Evolution towards Peertech

 

7782866_orig.jpgTo date, the Internet has been an “Internet of Information” with search and indexing allowing access to almost any information on or off of the Planet. This “information-centric” focus has been on a continually accelerated path towards more of a “services-centric” model thanks to Institutions (or intermediaries) such as Amazon, Shopping, Banks, etc. each orchestrating their own distributed services solution. While we would like to call this the “Internet of Transacting” our chances of query hits are minimal with IoT today. Perhaps Don Tapscott’s  “the Internet of Value” reference is more appropriate, in his CIO article: From the internet of information to the internet of value when he says:

“With today’s internet of information you can’t store, move, transact value without a powerful intermediary. And that’s what blockchains solve.”

For those who don’t know him, Mr. Tapscott (& his son) are the Global, Subject Matter Experts and Authors book Blockchain Revolution. This same CIO article goes on to say:

“What if,” Tapscott postulates, “there was a global distributed internet of value that enabled us to establish trust and to store assets, to communicate them and to do transactions with them on a global basis without a powerful intermediary? This would be a revolutionary force. And that’s what blockchain is,” says Tapscott.

Peertech adhere’s closely to this “World Wide Ledger” conceptualization which is sometimes labeled as a “distributed database” as in Wikipedia.  A pleuralized, “World Wide Ledger(s)” is more apropos as a single instance is a universal misconception.

The catalysts for this evolution include (and will be subjects for separate blogs):

  • Regulatory authorities: such as the EU Parliament’s GDPR and PSD2 regulations soon coming into effect.
  • banking worlds overburdened clearing infrastructures: for example, the bank Santander estimates that they could eliminate $20 billion of cost per year with the efficiencies that blockchain would engender. Imagine the repercussions on their P&L as well as the reduction of service-charges to their clientele…
  • Big-Data, Advertising and SPAM: Advertising and spam have risen to the level of annoyance rather than a sense of wonderment
    • yet there is a misconception by the market that this will impact the measuring of anonymised, statistical, big-data Analytics for their grandiose business modelling
  • Commerce for the unbanked: Noble efforts such as O3bNetworks are rapidly deploying the “Internet of Information” to the unbanked regions of the world but Googling information is no solution… mobile banking and transacting value are.

As big as this Blockchain movement seems, it is only the tip of the commerce and transactional iceberg. It is an “enabling infrastructure template” that requires a plethora of Applications, Processes, Solutions and layered-services to drive those templates. This is where Peertech comes into play; collaboratively harmonizing the various technology layers. Each of these “enabling technologies”will be the subject of individual Peertech blogs in time and include (but not limited to):

  • Messaging (that facilitates private, secure communications and transactions)
    • including instant messaging and chat
    • including IO and Chatbots referred to as “automated programs to help communicate with businesses, and also make purchases online”[7]
    • Including transactions with the “Internet of Things” (IoT) through open and generic API’s
  • Identification
    • Keychain Management (and the usage of Digital keys to access services rather than username/password combinations)
  • Personal Reputation (and the ability to form your own reputation based upon the local, personal data protected by the GDPR)
    • Wallet Management
  • Decentralization and peer-2-peer paradigms
    • to include distributed ledgers, cryptocurrencies, P2P messaging, and cyber-security
    • identification management on the edge
    • artificial intelligence (AI)
    • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • and distributed computing and data.
  • Security