Can Blockchain Put an End to Identity Theft? Paul Mampilly Thinks So.
In a recent Banyan Hill article, Paul Mampilly wrote about why he would drop identity theft protection for blockchain security. He started the article with a story about waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Paul was renewing his driver’s license, and he spent most of his day waiting in an uncomfortable plastic chair at a field office.
He pointed out how people often have to wait a long time just like he did even if they show up when a DMV office opens:
“The experience itself was brutal, but not unique. Birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports — these personal identification records are a pain for everyone to get replaced or renewed. And the cost is our precious time. But what if there was a better, faster way to prove that you are who you say you are? One that could remove the old, time-consuming method of paper identification?”
So how could this process be improved? How could proving your identity and completing tasks like renewing a driver’s license be sped up? Much of the issue comes down to how information is presented and accessed. Paul was required to present proof of identification, proof of address, and other information that had to be gathered an analyzed. But what if this information was readily available in a digital format? What if none of us ever had to worry about carrying identity documentation with us ever again? That’s not a sci-fi vision of the future, it’s a reality that’s within reach right now. And it’s all made possible by the creation of a concept known as blockchain.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain was originally invented for a very specific purpose, but sense then its applications and uses have evolved and expanded to a wide range of uses. The original inventor, who is unknown but goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, created the concept of blockchain in service of a digital currency he was developing that he hoped would revolutionize online payments. That digital currency eventually became known as bitcoin. But blockchain, the technology that powers bitcoin, may just become more of a lasting legacy than the digital currency itself.
Blockchain is a brilliant method of allowing for the spread of information while keeping that information secure in a way that no one has ever conceived. Essentially, it works like this:
Imagine that your computer is protected by a code, and that code is stored somewhere deep in your computer. It might be well hidden, but if a hacker is able to break in and access it, they’ll then have access to all of your data in an instant. But what if that code wasn’t stored in a single place on your computer, but was spread throughout hundreds or even thousands of computers? And imagine that the code was endlessly complex and constantly updating? This is the concept behind blockchain — it’s a shared, constantly checked and adjusted database that’s accessible by anyone and yet nearly impossible to hack.
Another benefit of blockchain is that it allows for simultaneous collaboration on databases, similar to how two people might work together on a cloud-based document, seeing each other’s updates in real-time. That is what blockchain can do for databases. It also carries the benefit of not being controlled by a single location or organization/person, and thus cannot fail from one single point even when under attack from hackers.
TedX Speaker and Futurist, Ian Khan, had this to say about Blockchain:
“As revolutionary as it sounds, Blockchain truly is a mechanism to bring everyone to the highest degree of accountability. No more missed transactions, human or machine errors, or even an exchange that was not done with the consent of the parties involved. Above anything else, the most critical area where Blockchain helps is to guarantee the validity of a transaction by recording it not only on a main register but a connected distributed system of registers, all of which are connected through a secure validation mechanism.”
The Time Dilemma
To support his point of why blockchain security is so valuable, Paul Mampilly wrote about the required documents at the DMV. People must show a Social Security card, a passport, a birth certificate or another form of identification. Today, people must show a total of three approved forms of identification in addition to proof of a mailing address. For some people who have lost important identification documents, it is hard and time-consuming to get replacements. Also, it can be expensive since there are usually fees. Paul proposed the possibility of saving time by proving individual identity another way. His solution involves blockchain security.
Blockchain security leverages the power and capabilities of blockchain to provide secure data that’s nonetheless accessible upon command. Technology like this could instantly eliminate the need to carry around multiple identity documents and other important information with you at all times. Imagine the freedom that would come from being freed from driver’s licenses, ID, social security, passports, wallets, and even eventually credit and debit cards. Everything would be automated in a secure process that’s connected to you directly.
This could involve a miniscule chip implanted somewhere on the body, a concept that’s not completely foreign now that wearable technology is all the rage. It’s only a matter of time before we move from comfort with wearable technology to a willingness to implant chips into our bodies. We already do it with our prized pets to make sure that they can always be identified as our own should they get lost. Why not do the same to ourselves?
By using blockchain security, identity information could be secured in a 100% safe and protected format and made available anywhere it was digitally required. From the DMV, a user could access a database directly and request the information required. No ID documents necessary, no proof of address required. All of the data they need could be called up instantly. This would also help in proving your identity and other personal information in a wide range of other applications, from hospitals to being pulled over for speeding. The possibilities are endless, and this idea isn’t nearly as futuristic as it seems. The technology necessary to accomplish it is already within reach.
What will be required is a sea change in how people around the world perceive their privacy and security. Privacy has long been a major concern, as news of major identity hacks and information leaks keep customers antsy about sharing their private information. But blockchain security would eliminate these risks, making sharing information securely a near guarantee. That’s the power of blockchain.
Blockchain Identity Security Could Be A Future Trend
About a year ago, Paul said that he would be happy to get a microchip if it made his life easier. He also said that he would gladly ditch his wallet, passport and sensitive documents if he could. As Paul pointed out, blockchain could eliminate the need for these documents entirely. He briefly explained how blockchain technology works. Most people automatically think about cryptocurrencies and assume that blockchain technology only relates to them. However, blockchain is a type of secure digital ledger that backs cryptocurrencies. Today, it is also used to secure other bits of sensitive online information.
Everyone from major tech corporations around the world to average individuals have begun using blockchain to secure their information and data online. While the technology that underlies its use is somewhat complex, its usage has become fairly straightforward — and is likely to become more so as the interfaces for leveraging its power become increasingly user-friendly. But the important thing to remember is that blockchain is completely secure and designed to share and protect information with an equal level of security. If your data is important to you, and you want to put yourself on the cutting edge of data technology, getting involved with blockchain is the path for you.
Blockchain is an unalterable electronic record of data. Each important collection of data is included in a block, and multiple blocks make up a chain. For information to be added to a chain, it must be correct. One of the reasons why blockchain is so secure is because the information is copied to other locations. If someone were to attempt to add erroneous information or to alter a block, it would be easy to detect. This makes it unattractive to hackers. Paul hypothesized that microchips could be connected to a blockchain. If that happened, there would be less bureaucracy connected to personal information access. An article from Fortune shared the concept of sovereign identity, which is personal information that is stored in one central place and protected by blockchain security. The information could not be altered and would be easy to access instantly by scanning a microchip.
Blockchain development is just starting to advance today. Paul Mampilly made a video about investing in the upcoming blockchain revolution, which he said will be inevitable. In the video, he talked about how many hours he spent on applying for passports. After that, he talked about investing in companies that manufacture microchips and manage a large amount of data. He said that if companies work with microchips and have the ability to sort data or have plans to implement blockchain technologies, they may be good investment options.
Blockchain’s Potential for the Energy Market
Mampilly stresses that Blockchain’s potential goes beyond security applications, as well. In fact, one industry in which blockchain is expected to make a huge splash in the coming months and years is in the energy industry.
Because blockchain offers a secure way to ensure the accuracy and un-changeability of digital transactions, it could serve as a powerful way of handling transactions between energy companies and their clients with transparency and confidence in their truthfulness.
There’s currently a project underway in Australia that’s putting this capability into practice. Known as Power Ledger, this project is a peer-to-peer creation that’s similar to bitcoin in the sense that it allows for trading of a certain resource. But the resource being traded is energy production, and it’s shared between energy producers from around the world. In fact, consumers can sell extra power stored by their solar panels back to energy or electric companies in a much more secure and profitable transaction.
Paul Mampilly’s Recommendation For Investors
Although he did not cover the entire contents of the article in the video, Paul also provided a specific recommendation for investors. His suggestion was the semiconductor industry. One of the most important components of a microchip is a semiconductor. The need for improved chips increases constantly since there is always more information being generated. As blockchain technology continues its upward trend, the demand for semiconductors will increase. Blockchain development shows no signs of slowing down within the next several years. Recently, the demand for web developers who specialize in blockchain technology increased by more than 6,000 percent on a popular freelance gig site. As more companies realize the security benefits of blockchain technology, they are likely to utilize it. This is especially true with the “internet of things,” which Paul also talks about frequently. Data is continually being transmitted through smart devices, and companies that transmit or store massive amounts of data must protect it.
One of the companies that Paul Mampilly recommended was the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF, which is classified as SMH on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SMH). He recommended this ETF several months ago because it is connected to some of the globe’s biggest makers of microchips. Since that time, the ETF went up by 90 percent. Paul said that it could soar even higher in the coming months. When Paul recommends a stock pick, most of his followers take his advice. Even those who are new to investing know that he is one of the few people who invested in Amazon in its early days. At that time, Paul saw its potential because of how innovative the company was despite its poor profitability.
Now, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful and ubiquitous companies. But it’s easy to forget, due to their obvious success, that Amazon’s future was once far from obvious. They began as an online retailer of books with extremely poor profitability figures, and many imagined that they wouldn’t last or would continue to plod forward while just barely breaking even. Now they’re one of the most profitable companies on earth, and Mampilly was one of the few who anticipated their success.
Also, Paul won the Templeton Foundation’s annual award in 2009. The John Templeton Foundation is a charitable organization that rewards forward thinking in science, investing, religion, and other areas. At the height of the recession in 2008, he invested $50 million. It turned into $88 million a year later and made him a prime candidate for the award.
Paul Mampilly attended SUNY in Albany and worked in the cafeteria to earn money. After he finished college, he worked on Wall Street and became a successful hedge fund manager. At the age of 42, Paul decided to retire and spend more time with his family. Also, he wanted to share his skills and knowledge with average people. To do this, he started a paid newsletter and research service called Profits Unlimited. It has nearly 100,000 subscribers now. He also runs two other services called Extreme Fortunes and True Momentum. He has been on Banyan Hill Publishing’s editorial staff for several years and often shares limited tips and advice for free through that site. Paul has also been featured on Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, Fox Business News and in several notable printed publications.
Mampilly was recently in the news for making ten bold predictions about the investing opportunities of 2019. These included the increased accessibility of big data for more corporations and home appreciation rates losing momentum. He also predicted that businesses will be forced to adapt to modern consumers, voice search will continue to rise into a billion-dollar industry, new sources of consumer data will rock the marketing world, and political conditions will continue to provide more opportunities for businesses.
Additional predictions that Mampilly has successfully made include the rise of edge computing in the Internet of Things, the increase in long-term thinking in the investment world, the boom of VR companies, and the vital role that user reviews have come to play in the success of all kinds of businesses.
When it comes to blockchain and its role in personal security, Mampilly has once again made a bold prediction that’s already beginning to come to fruition. As more and more individuals and companies are looking for safer, more secure, and more convenient ways to protect themselves and their identities, blockchain is looking like an increasingly viable option. Mampilly recently received some surprised responses when he said that he’d happily install a small microchip in his body that carried all of his personal data with him wherever he went. But now that blockchain makes that data more secure than ever, not to mention that microchips are smaller and lighter than ever before, Mampilly’s statement is beginning to look less wild and ever more plausible in our modern, data-driven world.
For more information on Paul Mampilly, follow him at https://medium.com/@paulmampillyguru.