We Need Blockchain: Equifax Breach Reminds Us Why
Equifax Breach Reminds Us Why We Need Blockchain originally posted on Huffpost:
A massive security breach at credit reporting company Equifax has exposed sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers and addresses, of up to 143 million Americans.
Equifax is considered one of the three largest American credit agencies along with Experian and TransUnion. The company is responsible for tracking and rating their customers’ financial history. This information is compiled from a variety of sources including banks, lenders, retailers and credit card companies.
Among the information collected were Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and some drivers license numbers. This has undoubtedly exposed over 143 million Americans to the threat of identity theft. Consumer information will be sold online where criminals will attempt to access accounts or open credit cards.
Equifax said the breach happened between mid-May and July. They discovered the hack on July 29 and informed the public on Thursday, September 7. The breach occurred by an attack exploiting security flaws in the company’s website.
This is a stark reminder of the dangers of storing large amounts of sensitive information in a centralized location.
Unfortunately, this is not the first large scale data breach affecting U.S. consumers. In fact, over the last few years there have been several high-profile breaches including, Target, Yahoo, Sony and even some offices of the U.S. government.
Even more frightening than the breach itself, is the abhorrent mishandling of the situation. In a move that is sure to infuriate Equifax consumers and investors, three executives reportedly sold company stock after the data breach and before informing the public.
To make matters worse, the website set-up by Equifax for consumers to check to see if their data is compromised, has buried in the terms of service, language that could prevent customers from joining a class action lawsuit.
The endless cycle of lost or stolen personal information stored carelessly in a central location and the negligence and abuse of power by executives must end. We now have technology that could aid in developing new systems that are decentralized, trustless and secure. In short, we need a new way of doing business.
Technology To Aid In Developing New Security Systems
The technology that I am talking about is the same technology that makes cryptocurrency like Bitcoin possible, it is called the blockchain. Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Blockchain has the potential to solve the three main problems of centralization security and abuse of power, in fact one platform has already begun to create a new ecosystem for business.
BitShares is an up and coming cryptocurrency and blockchain with the power to drastically change companies. The platform is built using Graphene technology capable of 100,000 transactions per second! BitShares solves the problem of centralized storage by using the blockchain to decentralize information and funds. They have even provided an example of how the decentralization of financial information could protect consumers.
Decentralized Exchange and Security Hacks
The world of cryptocurrency has also been plagued by negligent and corrupt exchanges where customers lost all of their money. This prompted BitShares to create their own decentralized exchange or DEX. By decentralizing the exchange and removing a third party from the control of your assets, users can mitigate the risk associated with traditional cryptocurrency exchanges which are vulnerable to hacking and loss of funds.
When a centralized exchange is compromised, millions of dollars and thousands of users are impacted all at once. In a decentralized system, any attack or failure impacts only a single user and their funds.
The creation of decentralized cryptographic systems that can contain “hacks” provides a dramatically higher level of security.
BitShares also has the ability to drastically reduce the chance for abuse of power or negligence. The BitShares platform allows for the creation of Distributed Autonomous Companies (DAC). Distributed Autonomous Companies run using an incorruptible set of business rules, eliminating the need for human involvement. This streamlines the business model making operations fast, efficient and much more profitable. This method also removes governance from a central corruptible authority to all stakeholders through something called consensus.
“Consensus technology has the power to do for economics what the internet did for information.”
Consensus technology is the method by which people decide to implement action. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin take advantage of “consensus” and the blockchain technology upon which it is built to carry out financial transactions without the need for a middleman. BitShares seeks to build on this technological advancement in currency and apply it to every aspect of business that can be done online.
Removing the need for executives and democratizing governance provides a much safer path for business in the future. The BitShares platform and blockchain technology are still growing and developing and while the solutions they currently provide are impressive, there are a virtually endless number of uses and applications. The future of blockchain is bright and I believe that future will provide a safer way for all consumers to do business.
If you want to learn more about the BitShares platform and the powerful services it offers, visit billionherocampaign.com.
Orignial Huffpost post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59b39f05e4b0c50640cd6775