We have often heard about the blockchain and its usefulness for the new cybercrime space. The issue of cybercrime and how blockchain is a plausible solution for many of these types of crime is now being examined in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS Branch of the Science and Technology (S & T) Branch announced last month that it is looking for innovative solutions that enable startups to strengthen their counterfeit and counterfeit protection capabilities for digital through a new invitation to tender entitled "Preventing falsification and counterfeiting of certificates and licenses". Silicon Valley S & T Innovation Program (SVIP).
S & T is seeking solutions that use blockchain and distributed accounting (DLT) technology to publish digital documents to prevent fraud, counterfeiting and forgery. DHS says it's open to start-ups and small businesses that have not signed a government contract of at least $ 1 million in the last 12 months and that have less than 200 employees at the time of application.
"SVIP is a bridge between the start-up startup community and Homeland Security Enterprise," S & T SVIP CEO Melissa Oh said in a statement. "DHS needs the innovations of this community to be at least at the forefront of national security threats, and by issuing this solicitation, we are asking the innovation community to contribute to this work. applying business solutions to homeland security use cases. "
All this raises a question that we have been asking ourselves for some time: what is happening with the blockchain? The media attention has been bearish on the blockchain for much of the second half of 2018. In particular, we wondered how the blockchain would reach an imminent size and how it would avoid the huge energy expenditures that miners have currently need. find bitcoins. In any case, will it ever succeed in obtaining business applications or will it still be associated with bitcoin and crypto-currencies?
Arielle Telesmatic is director of emerging technologies at Scroll Network, a company that develops blockchain networks. In fact, Scroll's Aster blockchain may be what DHS might find appealing.
"Many companies need to reduce barriers to adoption by clearly understanding how technology has progressed significantly since the creation of the crowded, power-saturated bitcoin ecosystem," she writes. "I have some thoughts on this topic from the start: consensus models are essential. If you look at the proof of work as opposed to the proof of participation (POS), you will get a lot of information that can be summarized as follows: The use of implicit tokens during a blocking period to protect and encourage digital trust is more profitable than traditional mining dependencies. "
Telesmanic continued, "Since many companies need to prove their ability to migrate to existing systems and optimize their systems to test simulated real-world production environments, they may not be able to do so until they are able to reach a large realistic test group nodes to connect to a decentralized application-based test network (DApp) If this is not feasible, it is recommended to use a small pilot project and develop with a good solution. "
"A test network project must be based on carefully defined requirements such as data storage, confidentiality, and expected velocity requirements, which are as critical a factor as the time required to synchronize the nodes." (share the same network state of block strings), if the nodes must retain all the data in the blockchain to confirm a transaction and stabilize the bandwidth resources provided by a group of nodes necessary for the success of the transaction the core development team proactively. "
Telesmanic also pointed out that Bitcoin Lightning Network had made possible the need to conduct transactions with different cryptocurrencies on the same network, which is promising and responds directly to the fear of massive adoptions, so that's not the case. there are more opportunities for cross-compatibility with different blockchain solutions.
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She also noted from a technical point of view that heavy computing is extracted from stacks of traditional technologies and will not be executed through blockchain operations that must evolve. The work will be done "out of line".
"The problem is that people just do not understand the kind of technology that bitcoin works on." Blockchain is not bitcoin, says economist and bestselling author Jason Schenker. "Blockchain is a combustion engine.If you are not a fan of tanks or kamikaze engines, agree but do not blame the combustion engine.The reason we are bears at the present time is because of the way it is used, there are bad applications. "
For example, Schenker notes that blockchains are used for money laundering and that they are used de facto as digital bearer bonds.
In the end, the blockchain can work right now "to reduce transactional friction in the supply chain," Schenker said.
With a limited blockchain, in addition to knowing your customers and trusted partners, it can be implemented right now. "The technology that allows anonymity is also the same engine that can be used to help the global economy.This is a kind of accounting software that can be customized," said Schenker. "If you have a closed network, it's really great for keeping records."
He added, "If you have people who can write and access it, you need excellent cybersecurity, which does not necessarily prevent people from behaving badly. because you have a recording that will stop however, you may have a better chance of finding it. "
Plus, we simply do not need blockchain in every aspect of our lives. You need the blockchain to handle a high volume of relatively low value transactions, which lends itself to cybersecurity applications.
As for the enormous problem of the power grid, it really depends on the complexity of encryption, according to Schenker – what Telesmanic really means when it talks about the heavy computing burden that implies. "There is big bloating on the Bitcoin blockchain," he says. "It takes about 50 to 75 gigs a year, and Bitcoin can only handle seven transactions per second."
In addition, a blockchain "should not last forever," said Schenker. If the scope is limited, as well as the parties involved, and that a trusted group connects to a network, it may be that every business needs. "It may not be a complete blockchain, but it's essentially the same thing, and the restrictions alone can solve the energy problem." You have not need as much encryption on the back end.You are moving your cybersecurity stack towards access rather than writing.Maybe these are more traditional ways rather than hash challenges. "
To a large extent, this looks exactly like what DHS is looking for. It looks for candidates who are considering use cases related to travel identity documents, to the identity of organizations and representatives of organizations, to documents of interest. Tribal identities to travel, citizenship, immigration and work permits, cross-border oil import tracking and the origin of raw material imports.
"The broad mission of Homeland Security includes the need to issue rights, licenses and certifications for a variety of purposes, including travel, citizenship, employment eligibility, status of employment, and employment status. immigrant and supply chain security, "said Anil John, technical director of S & T SVIP. "Understanding the feasibility and usefulness of using Blockchain technology and distributed registries for the digital issuance of current paper-based identification credentials is essential to prevent their loss, destruction, destruction, and loss. forgery and counterfeiting. "
This sounds like a smart bidding call that should be easily achievable by a company applying reasonable blockchain approaches. In the end, cybersecurity problems mean making things more transparent and documentable. At the moment, there are still obstacles to the clarity needed, but all of this is resolved and achievable at the moment.
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