Cognida ICO review

Blockchain data management solution for enterprises

Abstract

Cognida is a blockchain agnostic data integrity and management platform created by Windmill enterprise. Cognida is an open-sourced project, the platform allows distributed data to interact with different blockchains in a highly secured way whilst maintaining data intergrity. Data and messages can also be translated into a common shareable format, enable all devices and services to communicate with one another using a common protocol.

Who are they?

Cognida is created by Windmill enterprise who are a Delaware ‘C’ corporation co-founded by Michael Hathaway and Bing Byington. Windmill enterprise will be an ongoing contributor and member of the Cognida foundation, A US non-profit foundation created to overseer the ongoing development of the Cognida platform, such as membership voting to issue proposals for new projects and selection of developers. The Cognida foundation will also administer the Cognida service network in charge of recruiting service vendors and are responsible for the enforcement of the service network policies.

Problem

Research into blockchain technology is one of the hottest topics within the conglomerates, Top enterprise tech companies, Banks, Government, Healthcare providers et el (Gartner 2018). Me and my readers can all agree that blockchain technology can disrupt todays existing infrastructure and offer significant improvements.
 Enterprises are adopting more distributed technologies, sensitive data are being held on more cloud services and sent across more messaging platforms. Control and manage of data in time consuming and difficult for enterprises across this new distributed landscape. Blockchain technology can help them regain control and improve security and management.

Blockchain technology currently presents barriers to adoption within enterprises due to

  1. Lack of experience and skillset required for education and development of blockchain based solutions.
  2. The difference in core values between existing enterprise infrastructure security and blockchain inherent ethos.
Disconnect between current enterprise solutions and blockchain

• Blockchains are inherently anonymous and their transactions are
performed in a trustless manner which is incongruent with enterprise
security policies which require known and trusted services and
transactions on their network.
• Services and ledger data are decentralized and distributed across
anonymous locations. Enterprise security traditionally uses centralized
security with equipment located in known locations.
• Enterprise security administration is done in a hierarchical fashion.
Administrators and Managers have varying levels of access and control
within the enterprise. Blockchain security is not natively hierarchical.
• Volatile cryptocurrencies present challenges to enterprises with fixed budgets.

Technology & Solution

Cognida is an open-sourced platform/interface that allows distributed data to interact with different blockchains. Cognida also provides the high level security mechanisms needed to access this data, whilst maintaining the integrity of the data. Cognida also offers a flexible programming environment that is script-based and template driven. Templates are used to format and translate native data and messages into a common shareable format, enabling devices and services to communicate using a common protocol. The core features which allow all the above to happen are :

  1. Cognida is blockchain agnostic : Cognida provides standardised APIs that can interact with multiple blockchains, Enterprise that use the Cognida platform will have a very portable solution that allows easy migration between blockchains or the ability to use multiple blockchains. It has built in optimised interoperability that allows best possibile utilisations of different blockchains.
  2. Blockchain distributed premissions : Authentication, authorisations, encryption/decryption are handled on the blockchain providing an immutable record.
  3. Blockchain security : Data on the ledger is unreadable to outside trusted stakeholders. Data integrity is verified whenever a query is produced to make sure its untampered.
  4. Has a familiar administration functionality : Supports administration hierachies common in enterprise. Enterprise administrators can centrally administer and enforce security policies on diverse and distributed digital assets both within their enterprise network and on the public Internet.

Good, are you still with me? Lets further anaylsis the key technologies in Cognida (Warning this part goes in-depth and references alot of their whitepaper/technical paper)

  1. Cognida Agent core : flexible compute engine architecture that ‘translates’ native data and messages into a common shaerable format enabling it to travel through the Cognida service interface. It’s a flexible programming environment that is script-based and template driven. Scripts executed on an agent can perform native protocol transactions on local devices, databases, and services. Templates are used to format and translate the data.
Cognida agent core

2. Cognida service interface: The Cognida Service Interface incorporates a choice of blockchain technologies to provide decentralized and immutable data stores for access authorization and data integrity services. The four primary function of the service interface are: 
a. Security Offload : Optional encryption/decryption can be performed on non-secure network connections. Security offload minimally provides digital signature authentication and blockchain authorization functionality. In addition, it provides JSON template customizable scripts that perform encryption/decryption of data on non-secure network connections, as well as blockchain hashing and hash verification of service data.
b. Legacy Authentication Services : Using blockchain permission data stores, legacy authorization services that are traditionally centralized can be distributed and remotely administered where digital assets reside
c. Remote Administration : Providing both in band and out of band administration
d. Digital Asset API : Protocol translation from service API to digital asset protocol, Template driven data filtering and data conversion

Cognida service interface, Service API requires all API calls to be digitally signed leaving an immutable track record, Admin API enables remote administration of service nodes that are behind a firewall and inaccessible from the public Internet.

3. Subscription services : A core service offered within the Cognida Platform is a blockchain secured shared data and messaging subscription service. These services can be deployed as distributed data services in the enterprise and the cloud. Subscribers require digital signature authorization, and access is authorized using blockchain authorization. Subscription data can be unique at each instance, or replicated across multiple subscription service nodes. Services can be deployed on third party networks, cloud hosting sites, or within the enterprise, with enterprise admins having full control over access rights.

4. Open source library : Cognida’s open source library offers tools for enterprises to administer public/private keys within their organization to secure devices and user accounts on devices. The Cognida Service Interface can be deployed on existing applications and services that utilize distributed Blockchain ledgers to offload key based authentication and authorization functions, as well as performing any encryption/decryption and blockchain based data integrity operations.
 These tools enable enterprises to integrate the Cognida Platform into their existing enterprise services with minimal disruption. Enterprises can choose to incorporate Cognida in an incremental fashion rather than an entire migration. The incorporation of Cognida subscription services offers flexible data sharing services across diverse systems within the enterprise and in the cloud, providing enterprise admins the ability to manage what is shared and with whom, both within and outside their organization.

5. Cognita service network : The 3rd layer of the platform that offers the enterprise connections to trusted services, secured by blockchain, with administrative control over what information is shared with whom. Service providers on the Cognida network are vetted to ensure adherence to enterprise security and privacy policies.
 This reverses the conventional “terms of services” contracts that vendors require customers to sign. Thisapproach enables enterprise administrators to enforce their service policieswith Cognida Service Network Vendors, including managing access tosubscription data and enterprise assets and enforcing data persistence/deletion policies. This allows the Cognida Platform to provide solutions that are complies with various regulatory policies such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in the EU on the 25th May 2018 and also the HIPAA Act used in todays’ US healthcare system.

6. Flexible device authentication : While the Cognida Agent provides public/private key generation for the device, there is not a singular solution that fits all needs, so it is adaptive to the environment’s requirements. A great platform is not a rigid system and the Cognida team’s extensive experience has observed that creating an adaptive system is a competitive advantage. In some cases, an IT administrator wants to assign identity by having physical access, two-factor authentication, biometric security, or another solution. The Cognida platform provides a flexible integration solution for authentication, as methodology varies widely across enterprise organizations.
 The Cognida Agent Core checks in with the Enterprise Administration Service on a regular basis to relay online status, fault conditions, and security risks. These communications are also used to update the device, including sending remote messages to reset, re-initialize, or disable a device. If a device is not responsive or considered a risk by policy, its permissions can be disabled on the network. Security Policies can be highly configured, and while basic configurations are available, many administrators will use the provided tools and scripting capabilities to adapt to their needs. Some of the most common functionalities that may be used include:
a. Combining user and device authentication to gain access to enterprise networks based on their imposed password policies, and allowing secondary authentication like biometric data.
b. The ability to detect tampering on a device with scripts, and issuing notifications. Some examples are multiple failed password attempts, GPS location reporting, and lapse of responsiveness.
c. Any breach set by the Administrative level configurations can trigger events. Events include the revoking of a device’s permissions on the platform or temporarily locking specific classes of devices in the case of a broad breach.

7. COG token : The COG token is the native currency for Cognida platform, it is a utility token used to pay for services on the platform such as the fee for enabling enterprises to establish trusted service relationships with DAPP, SAAS, Cloud and cryptocurrency services. Aswell as compensation for ongoing development of the platform to developers/3rd parties.

Example use case

A Enterprise company uses Google cloud, Dropbox, AWS, Asana etc. Currently the IT administrator needs to log into each platform and change the privileges for each user. With Cognida now the IT administrator can change/monitor/verify usages of all the above platforms within a single interface whilst employing multiple security functions saving time and ensuring security.

Development

Currently they have a private MVP for demo purposes, the Beta network launch is scheduled for 20th July, the ICO is scheduled to take place end of July to coincide with the launch of their platform.

Roadmap

Team

Michael Hathaway : Co-founder of Cognida — Michael has been working within multiple technology revolutions since 1986. Graduated from Harvard university with Special student Mathematics. His previous work experience started with digital audio products at Lexicon before moving onto the networking field. He worked for BBN and help developed the first gigabit-capable internet packet forwarding engine. CTO of Agere, and venture capital investor. This guy has done it all since the beginning. I think he brings vast experience to the table and would really know how to 1) develop and grow one a technology infrastructure and 2) a profitable business +1

Bing Byington : Co-founder of Cognida — Bing is everyone’s favourite dad (Dustin byington, Wanchain). He has a strong business entrepeneur background having exit his mobile phone business to Verizon and AT&T, and his digital camera business to Kodak, He has a proven track record on how to build a successful business. His current postition is the CEO of CareConnex, a health service data management provider. +1

Wayner Lawler : Co-founder of Cognida — Ex Senior Manager at IBM, Ex director at Dell, Ex-Director at HP. Stellar working experience +1

Jon Sapiera : Enterprise architect — Past work experience includes Harvard university, HP, Ambient university . Has has 10 recommendation from top companies on his linkedin such as bank of America, Adobe and Vidsys. I fully trust him to build anything! +1

Michael Anderson : Software Architect —His career includes roles as Senior Software Engineer, Technology Consultant, and Business Analyst for Commercial and Industrial Customers, System integrators, OEMs and Software Application Developers. CTO at EnergyIX +0

Nick Etson : Software Architect — Unix system adminstrator, worked with intergrating API to multiple blockchain, Past work experience includes software developer for Swales Aerospace 6 years. +0

Jp maxwell : Software developer — Owns and runs a software development company for the last 16 years serving clients in New york and Texas. +0

Advisors

Dustin Byington : Ex-President Wanchain +1

Oliver Birch : Vice president Wanchain +1

Steve Sprague : CEO Rivetz

Sam Onat Yilmaz : CFO — runs a cryptocurrency investment fund since 2013. Has been around the crypto space for a long time

Wanchain advisors, pretty much wanchain partnership confirmed

Partnerships

Bing Byington : ‘Regarding enterprise applications in the pipeline. We will have enterprise applications on the Cognida at Launch that are currently utilizing solution without block chain. We have an international drug trial application that will be piloted this summer that is expected to go online as a paying customer this fall. We have a very high level of interest from additional name brand top tier Pharma’s and CRO’s for multiple trials operating simultaneously once launched. We have a fortune 100 company that we will begin on boarding in June that we are not allowed to disclose as they want market leader advantage. We have several other discussions in the works and will be expanding our customer engagement efforts end of this month. Of equal if not greater importance from an investors perspective is that the Cognida open source is being licensed to a Foundation similar in structure to the Linux Foundation where multiple system integrators and enterprise app developers can provide their customer base utilization of the Cognida Network and integrators, app developers, cloud storage providers I.e. azure… Can become service providers and onboard there Customers and automatically receive compensation for their services through the Cognida Services Network that is part and parcel to the Cognida Network. We project huge third party adoption through its mechanism that allows legacy and new enterprises applications to quickly, inexpensively utilize Blockhain solutions ascertaining it’s benefits without long term lock down.’

Token metrics

20 mil usd hardcap
57% sold to investors
550 million Total supply
0.067 cent per token
Lock up for advisors/team unknown atm

Competition/Risk

The current competitors are the traditional services that enterprises use, that are non-blockchain. It’s very difficult to get companies to budge or change, Michael Hathaway is a founder of such company and is looking to transition those he works with. It’s a very difficult space to penetrate.

Conclusion

Cognida is an exciting project, that offers real world use case and advantages over legacy system. They are spearheaded by an all-star team and advisory board. They have favourable token metrics aswell, If they can penetrate and gain traction through adoptions of their platform, we could well be looking at the next big thing in the IT enterprise solutions world… Alas I plan to invest and HODL.

Grade A-

None of this can be considered as financial advice