I recently did a podcast with Brannon Poe. Have a listen.

Put your “tech hat” on and listen to this podcast to find out the basic concepts behind blockchain technology and get a better understanding of it’s possible uses.”

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Can Blockchain and IOT enable a smarter more efficient and optimized healthcare and hospital industry ?

The healthcare system in the US isn’t known as a streamlined Or well liked machine. In fact, it rates poorly compared to many other modernized countries in numerous aspects. Part of it is cost. Part of it is insurances and premiums. Part of it is health and well being and dieting and exercising. Or a lack of all of that. How can the US and other countries fix some of the inefficiencies in healthcare ? How can hospitals better optimize their costs and procedures ?

The magic pill of big data , AI, IOT, and blockchain is just a big marketing keyword joke now. Speak to most of these companies or individuals and they don’t even know what half those simple words really mean. Much less help some big healthcare organization improve anything. It’s a hype cycle times a billion.

Some aspects blockchain and IOT and big data and AI can help with are some sort of collection of things with a knack for the identity of medical devices. Hospitals have beds and gear and needles and trash and biohazard material and dead bodies and drugs and toilet paper and towels and sheets and a million other things.

Rewards and incentives can help with proper storage and unloading by doctors , nurses, janitors and others. RFID and QR codes with a little bit of good engineering and automation can secure said medical devices. Even some advanced QR RFID Beacon like device can turn a simple bed into a more intelligent bed.

The reason big data and AI might be more off-chain is blockchain doesn’t exactly do big data storage well. Or if it did , it be seriously inefficient. So encryption, software like Spark and sparkling water or even Keras and tensorflow with a little bit of Kafka for streaming messages and notifications can alleviate some of the storage issues with blockchain. And computation.

The list is young , but blockchain for IOT and IDOT can help improve the inefficiencies in healthcare and hospitals by adopting emerging technologies to secure and track medical devices and supply chains ;

to enable doctors and patients to not only control their own medical data in a secure manner ,but offer incentives for them to earn rewards based on doing good deeds or exercising or eating right;

And by implementing a good digital transformation within the organization, which involves blockchain and IOT and automation, it’ll open up new business use cases or create a more efficient streamlined cost effective organization.

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Real or fake or fake a death ?

This was a sad story and confusing to start. Founder and CEO has the cold storage access, passes away and nobody can get the 150+ million in crypto stored. Why only the fonder given sole custody and access in the first place is absurd. But happens as people are naive.

The story started getting more interesting with rumors swirling around reddit and social media about his death , his odd trip and disappearance. And the more people look into this, the more a lot of it sounds like a shady business to start with. Again , why only the CEO and founder if certain standard security policies were followed ?

And to throw another rumor into the pipe mill, what if he was held hostage or murdered ? It wouldn’t be surprising or hard to do. $150 million is a lot of money. And it seems this company and guy really shouldn’t have run an exchange to begin with.

Did he die naturally at such a young age ? And Why did the CEO ,who has sole custody of all these funds , suddenly leave his own company to go on some save his life or charitable philanthropy expedition? And why didn’t he have some legit backup plan for situations like this ? If he was really sick, wouldn’t this be a huge worry in the first place ?

Some shady happenings in the crypto exchange space.

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Fake stake POS issue …

There was a recent study done by a group of student researchers that found a vulnerability in proof of stake (POS) crypto’s. It looks like 26 different crypto coins could be affected.

They called the vulnerability, “fake stake” and it allows malicious actors to crash a network node running PoS, without having a majority stake. Makes sense they called it fake stake.

From the researchers report,

“Essentially, [Fake Stake attacks] work because PoSv3 implementations do not adequately validate network data before committing precious resources (disk and RAM). The consequence is that an attacker without much stake (in some cases none at all) can cause a victim node to crash by filling up its disk or RAM with bogus data. We believe that all currencies based on the UTXO and longest chain Proof-of-Stake model are vulnerable to these Fake Stake attacks.”

It seems Qtum, which tries to combine Bitcoin and its UTXO model and Ethereum and its account model was vulnerable but fixed the issue.

Cardano doesn’t seem to be vulnerable to this issue , probably because it wasn’t built based on UTXO nor just cloned and forked from some other blockchain. Ethereum plans a POS, but who knows when that’ll actually be ready vs tested in a sandbox.

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IOT devices need blockchain

Cryptocurrency and tokenization has little to do with IOT device security, but some form of PKI and Blockchain would be useful in the IOT and smart city space.

The State of IoT Security Report reveals systemic security and privacy problems, which were discovered through testing of consumer smart home devices that are readily available from major retailers like Walmart.

And this from same report ….

If we do not address the problem of insecure consumer IoT devices and the lack of respect for consumer privacy soon, it is going to be too late,” said Vince Crisler, CEO of Dark Cubed, in a statement. “Just because the space is complex and rapidly developing is not an excuse for retailers and regulators to turn a blind eye. In fact, the opposite is true. Retailers must consider security as a part of their buying processes and government must consider regulations that focus on consumer protections.”

Security is always the ignored elephant in the room. It’s never sexy. It creates performance and optimization issues. People complain about policies and procedures that make life and work more difficult . And people always try to find loopholes. That’s normal everyday people, not just hackers and cyber security experts.

And offshore platforms is a huge warning. There are good and bad offshore firms just as there are good and bad consulting companies from the US. But globally, there has been way too many 25 year olds with 20 years experience on two year old technology contractors and consultants on some visa or offshore resources. The trust factor with the TCS and Wipro and cognizant and IBMs and Accenture’s of the world are at an all time low. The resources are based on Hype and keywords over real substance and experience.

Especially when reading things like this …

Many (potentially most) consumer-connected devices available in U.S. retail today are managed by offshore platforms that have no motivation to protect user data or ensure high security standards.

Or this …

Dark Cubed said that there are a large number of IoT companies and startups, but many appear not to care about security, and neither, apparently, do the retailers who sell these devices to consumers. The researchers also said there is cause for concern about China’s role in IoT, and using cloud infrastructure does not mitigate security threats.

Or worse is IOT devices and retail chains disregarding security altogether now.

The companies said that patching will not fix the systemic issues they uncovered. But the reason that these devices are being shoved into the market anyway is because of the explosive growth of the IoT market. Prices for the devices are cratering, and that evidently leads many companies to disregard security

And it’s not just the IOT hardware. IOT is protocols, platforms and communication layers. Open and closed ports. Remote access capabilities. Security is lacking and with something like a shortage of 3 million cybersecurity experts coming , who do you need think will sell more BS? These big multinational firms selling companies on their 20 year old cyber security expert who happens to be 25 years old. Yeah no wonder the tech space is filled with so much vaporware and buggy vulnerable software.

Identity of things and internet of everything will need to include device firmware, data encryption, data privacy, data ownership, blockchain, PKI and private and public keys, decentralization, micropayments, secure messaging and streaming channels, closed ports, as well as a more robust and secure communications infrastructure with authenticated governance and security policies and procedures.

Think about this ..

“Lack of visibility into privacy and security is a clear and present danger: The testing found that there is no easy way for a consumer to know whether his or her device is safe, or if its communications platform is trustworthy. Worse, the companies saw examples of established brands being adopted by companies with strong ties to foreign counties including China.

Pagarba is working with clients to provide an end to end identity of things platform for security on blockchain for IOT.

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Latin America and Blockchain

We hear stories about blockchain organizations and companies trying to get the unbanked in parts of Africa to use crypto. And thus, be their own bank. Cardano and IOHK founder , Charles H, is always speaking to this nature. Stellar and their founder Jed do the same. It’s a great idea and holds massive amount of potential. But we rarely hear anything about other parts of the world with similar circumstances.

Dig deeper and you’ll realize many countries in South and Central America have something like 70%  of their populations unbanked or underbanked. So access to basic financial services like digital payments, affordable fair money transfers , consumer and small business lending , and the ability to invest their money on stocks or even something like a 401k.

A discussion around how Blockchain and crypto based fintech solutions could offer many financial alternatives and advantages to this unbanked segment of the world residing in central and South America. But it needs to be more decentralized and legit versus what happened in Venezuela and the petro crypto situation.

Beyond just some form of banking and fintech for almost half a billion human beings on planet earth , possibilities to improve people’s lives through political transparency, small business peer to peer lending , better real estate authenticity and transparency , as well as ways blockchain and the internet of everything can help improve fraud and rain deforestation and other economic challenges south and Central America face. A few companies like R3, Ministry of Energy and even IBM have started looking into better ways blockchain can help and improve.

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