Trust Partners you should not trust !
Welcome PAON, the Proof of Activity Opened Network.
Get Proof of Activity for your Business !
Yesterday, a friend of mine, an insurer agent who was a business partner (I used to do web marketing for him for a 30% commission rate), called me after he changed company because he discovered that his new company has very competitive offers and he thinks I could help them to sell much more with little or my web marketing skills.
But, in the past, he was running is own agency and was the only one I had to trust to receive my partner commission. Now this is not the case anymore, he is just an employee.
Usually, insurance contracts are renewed, so when you get commissioned on the sale, you want to have them renewed too.
Now, my friend is not sure that he will stay in this company for ever, so he can not guarantee as before that I will always be paid. I could sign a contract with the company that force them to pay me but how will I know they are not cheating me about the real sales going on or about the cancellation rate on the renewals ?
I could randomly call some leads to check what the people tell me and if it corresponds to what the company tells me.
But what if it doesn’t ?
How would I prove that they are cheating at me ?
How do you prove that the excel sheet (yes they often use that!) that you claim contains false data has not been modified by you ? Is DKIM signature in email sufficient to prove they sent you this worksheet ? If it’s attached and not downloaded, yes, probably, but DKIM and sending email policies can be quite difficult to set up for a small company without an experienced network admin and what if I succeed to generate so much leads that email & spreadsheets becomes too inconvenient to use at such a scale ? In this case, we want our respective CRMs and databases to communicate directly but how could I then prove anything ?
Use of a network that has built-in proof of communication!
I realized that, starting from the release 1.8.1, the crypto-currency NXT offers me directly what I need.
Each party has its private account, you only have to choose a long pass-phrase, also called private or secret key, and have a first transaction to be able to start with.
Then, each participant can securely communicate though a local NXT client, an online client or their CRM can use the API to talk to a local node or even to an unknown online node! Technicalities are really reduced to the optimal minimum.
These communications are encrypted and stored on the NXT network during only two weeks but their proof of existence is recorded for ever.
NXT is a decentralized P2P cryptographic network so it is extremely resilient, censorship resistant and its history can never be altered.
So if each party keeps a copy of the communications (or if they generously host an archive node to automatically handle this aspect), they gain an immuable record that proves that the communication between the private key owners really occurred.
And thanks to the beauty of AES encryption, any of them can disclose the proof of a specific communication with a third party ! So, even without compromising the secrecy of the participant private key, a judge can convene a cryptographic expert who will assuredly attest that :
You have the physical and mathematical proof that the information was recorded at that time, and to do be recorded, one had to know the secret key of the emitting account.
If, in addition to this, both parties have previously signed a contract (blockchain based or not) that stipulates that each participant is legally responsible of the integrity of the secret key (which is reasonable agreement to obtain if the contract also describes a protocol to change a working account if an honest party believe it’s key is compromised), then, you really have set up, in no time, a proof of communication channel.
Partners that do not trust each others can now do business that requires trust !
New business can emerge. Companies can now look for partners everywhere, whether they are producer, distributor, or just a marketing medium.
So here is what I’m going to tell to my friend :
Yes, I’d like to partner with you. One of my condition is that we use a proof of communication channel for our business communications. Download and install NXT. Tell the big boss to choose a pass-phrase for the company, tell me the account number it produces and I will reply to you/him on this channel. I’m going to send you 1000 Nxt for you to start with (each message cost you 1 Nxt).
Then, I will send you leads via this channel, but I require that you communicate the lead status within at least 60 days in this channel too. If I do not get informed that the sale can not been made and that the lead is idle, it will be considered that you owe me the commission as if the sale was made. And when a contract renewal is canceled, I want you to communicate that to me on this channel, otherwise you owe me the commission of the renewal.
If they accept, I’m quite sure that they will never cheat. Because they would do it at the same time than creating the proof they did, which is super stupid. So they will not cheat, and both party will have a very honest business going on!
What if I want to sell for them instead of sending leads ?
In fact, their product is so good (simple and very competitive price) that it is very inefficient to send them leads while I could ask people to pay up-front as a mechanism to sign the contract. I could then send the client info to the company, and they would send their classical insurance contract confirmation to the client.
But there is a problem for me again: How can I be sure that they indeed insure the client. What if they don’t, forget, or act like information has not been sent/received and what if this client does not complain while not receiving confirmation but then, one day, needs the execution of its insurance ?
Since I will have received the money, I should be pretty much responsible !
So once again, I need to be able to prove that I sent the correct information regarding this client to the company such that they are legally responsible for the contract execution.
With a proof of communication channel, you now understand how this is almost straightforward.
I will tell them on this channel what contract I collected, which will create their obligation for the insurance contract execution. In the meanwhile, it will be my instant declaration that I owe them the corresponding amount I collected.
Hey, wait a second… NXT is a crypto-currency as well. So what if I ask them to pay me, or me to pay them in NXT ? And what if we have also recorded and signed our partnership contracts with this medium ?
Well, then, we have private records, that can be atomically disclosed to a third party if a conflict occurs and can concern every sensitive aspect of our business relationship, be it exchange or pure information or money. NXT acts now not only as a Proof of Communication but as a Proof of Activity system. It will be our mutual guarantee that things will go on as designed by our partnership contract!
At the same price (zero or 1Nxt per transaction), it will work for any other partnership !
So it becomes a Partnership Administration Network.
I think it’s an amazing creation and its scope of use grows day after day you think at it.
I hope you’ll find this useful, I think it can really improve the way things works around you.
Disclaimer: I own a substantial amount of Nxt, but the above is also true and can be set up for any crypto-currency network that offers an equivalent to the NXT Arbitrary Messaging feature with a similar ease of use for users that have moderated technical skills.