In Search of the True Disrupter

Raj Hegde
Raj Hegde
Aug 20, 2018 · 10 min read
Image Credit: Tina Woods

A lack of trust and restricted access to consumers became the raison d’être of historically emerged trust entities such as banks. However, these third-parties and intermediaries are often creating monopolistic processes, imposing transaction costs and skimming profits. Inefficiencies in the value creation process have even tolerated, if not fostered corruption and inequities in traditional economic systems.

Through the use of a transparent and distributed database, decentralized-distributed computers on these platforms eliminated the need for intermediaries to verify transactions, and introduced new consensus methods that do not require central authorities for security purposes. One of those novel solutions is coming from Helix, a technological innovation at the intersection between “Cognitive Computing, Platform Economy, and the Internet of Everything (IoE).”

The core product offering of Helix is called the HelixTangle, an infinitely scalable network that can execute billions of transactions and requires no helpers (i.e. miners) to operate the network, thereby enabling virtually zero-cost transactions for network participants. Adopting the HelixTangle can turn organizations into transparent, democratic, decentralized, efficient and secure entities.

Helix aims to solve most of today’s cryptocurrency shortcomings by providing peer-to-peer exchange through a value token represented by the acronym HLX. This universal, versatile cryptocurrency is used as the denomination for all value-transfer functions across the HelixEcosystem such as use cases.

Organizations across the world are finding it difficult to adapt to the digital era, having struggled to develop business operations effectively. By invigorating workflows and redefining the way business processes are executed, Helix could potentially be the platform to disrupt a wide range of industries. Below, we discuss eight examples and elaborate on the associated use cases of the HelixTangle:

Our Bodies, Our Data

Tech-savvy individuals and personalized medicine will upend the Life Sciences industry

Big data is transforming businesses in multiple industries, and the healthcare industry is no exception. In the past few decades, data-intensive biology has been on the rise and is growing exponentially. Advances in genomics, wearable devices, and biosensors have made it possible for individuals to access their entire genomic data, use sensors to continuously monitor their physiological parameters and activity, and measure different biomolecules in their bodies.

Genomic and human-generated data extracted from wearables, medical devices and smartphone sensors would be instantly available for processing. Big data analytics supports the integration and interpretation of different types of health-related data and can revolutionize healthcare delivery by transforming the way we identify and treat illnesses, prevent disease, and improve quality of life.

A critical challenge facing the Life Sciences industry today is the absence of a platform that can store and share sensitive data securely. Research, from both IBM and Accenture Security Services, suggests that part of the data stored on centralized servers could potentially be compromised by hackers, making the information vulnerable. Damage costs associated with medical data theft in the United States have reached a whopping $6.2 billion per year.

By enabling the secure storage and transmission of sensitive biological data, the HelixTangle can set a milestone in personalized healthcare. In particular, storing and managing data on the HelixTangle will provide users with privacy, security, and confidentiality while ensuring data integrity.

Furthermore, with Helix, it would be possible to access or subscribe to a stream of biologically valuable data. Users now have full control of their data and can decide to share/sell/donate their data to institutions of their choice without privacy concerns. Hospitals too could adopt the HelixTangle to safely store electronic medical records and share them with authorized doctors or patients. This will increase the accuracy and speed of diagnosis while eliminating human error.

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

The invention of Decentralized, Distributed Data Storage in the IT industry

Information stored on centralized servers is vulnerable to hacking, data-loss, and human error — with one example out of many being the Equifax data breach that compromised the privacy of more than 146 million consumers. Cloud companies have to re-invent themselves by eliminating the centralized aspect of storing data.

“If we do not re-invent ourselves, someone else will do it!”

“Decentralized Cloud Computing as a Service” is an exciting use case offered by the HelixTangle, where it represents a combination of compute nodes that perform resource-intensive computing tasks against compensation. This feature of the HelixTangle eliminates “meaningless” computation time and energy (proof-of-work), and creates an attractive reward system among its network participants.

Data storage is then immutable and less prone to unauthorized changes, made more secure and robust against cyber-attacks, with Helix’ Decentralized Computing in combination with Storage and Databases as a Service forming a “Decentralized [Helix] Cloud”.

Ambrosia for Telcos, a Myth?

Telcos are the new banks! One innovation disrupts two industries

For years, communications service providers have facilitated voice and data connectivity for consumers and businesses through ownership of the end-to-end telecoms value chain. The telecom industry, with worldwide revenues expected to reach $1.46 Trillion by 2020, is in dire need of a renaissance, and the HelixTangle could be the Ambrosia that it craves.

In an increasingly constrained and price-sensitive market, adopting price tactics as a means of competitive advantage can no longer help Telcos stave off headwinds from digital competitors. Harnessing the speed, immutability, and trust of the HelixTangle makes it possible for Telcos to achieve high-volume, secure and transparent value transfer between users across the system. This represents an exciting revenue growth opportunity for the entire ecosystem, and could potentially bridge the digital and financial divide by acting as global facilitators of value exchange.

However, this is just a necessary improvement. Now, the innovation in service offering: With close to 2 Billion people worldwide having no access to a bank account, a Telco can ‘bank the unbanked’ by carrying out quick, secure and transparent value transactions between users possessing just a simple cell-phone. In addition to accessing untapped markets, the HelixTangle can enable Telcos to securely collect and store user biometric data without the risk of fraud. In short, distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) offer Telcos an exciting means to disrupt the industry and generate new growth opportunities that create value for the end user.

Tokenizing Energy Consumption!

An opportunity to refresh the Utilities industry

The electricity grid, for over a century, has been a centralized, top-down business, with customers receiving electricity from utilities and big power generators. With ‘small’ getting more profitable by the day, more devices are participating in the electricity sector. Increased decentralization within the industry has seen companies relying on conventional systems struggle as the price goes up, while distributed energy systems are lowering costs since technology is getting cheaper. Digitalization makes decentralization possible by putting in place a system architecture where billions of devices are interacting with each other.

HelixTangle scales accordingly and can play an integral role in digitalizing the utilities industry, in addition to enabling disruptive business models. For example, in a network of interacting microgrids, Helix allows users to sell their data to whomever they want, for the best price and without intermediaries while protecting their privacy. Detailed data about one’s consumption can help regulators determine the cost of sourcing electricity to that particular person, and the best tariff can be provided. Furthermore, regulators can monitor customer metrics and suggest ways in which one could further reduce costs.

A fair and transparent system such as the HelixTangle could potentially be the platform for all market mechanisms within the electricity sector, such as energy price signals, market-based, and secure grid balancing systems. LO3 Energy recently initiated a project called TransActive Grid, where 200 smart meters were installed in five neighborhoods across the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. The project makes use of Blockchain, facilitating customers to buy and sell energy from each other in a decentralized, peer-to-peer manner.

The rise of the prosumer coupled with the tokenization of energy consumption can potentially create entirely new markets, thereby representing an exciting opportunity for early adopters to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Ending the Game of Hide-and-Seek!

Disrupting the Supply Chain industry by making every object transparent and traceable

Monitoring a particular product’s journey brings with it a sizeable inaccuracy of data, owed to the sheer volume of transport information processed on a daily basis. Business leaders depending on physical supply chains have long advocated for increased transparency, data insight, and price efficiency across the product chain.

The decentralized architecture of the HelixTangle offers organizations enhanced transparency, in addition to reduced risk and cost across the supply chain. By digitizing physical assets and creating an immutable, decentralized record of all transactions, the HelixTangle makes it possible to trace the asset from production all the way to delivery. Transparent and accurate end-to-end tracking offered by the HelixTangle enables businesses to enhance their supply chain management.

Furthermore, the HelixTangle provides access to the same information for all parties within a respective supply chain, thereby providing greater insight into the manufacturing process while avoiding delays, pinpointing human errors and reducing cost. With compliance procedures usually taking weeks, administrative processes can be streamlined and accelerated through a distributed ledger containing all relevant information.

Fortifying the Future of Aviation

An efficient Airline industry that puts passengers at the forefront

Market demand for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul is projected to reach $91.9 billion by 2023. The HelixTangle can play a significant role in pushing aviation security to an entirely different level. For instance, aircraft components can be registered on the HelixTangle upon manufacturing, making it virtually impossible to manipulate or corrupt information associated with a particular part. By helping secure and manage maintenance logs of every aircraft part, individual parties in the chain can access all the data related to a component since its date of manufacture i.e., where it was sourced from, who handled the part and the age of the component.

The airline industry is built upon mutual trust and in a sense, perfectly aligns with the fundamental trait of distributed ledger technology. The cryptography aspect of the HelixTangle provides an immutable means of verifying airline ticketing transactions in the system. By storing passenger data on the HelixTangle, airlines can directly keep track of customers without relying on intermediaries or third-parties. The smart contracts running on HelixTangle can prioritize passengers based on their loyalty, and define how a ticket is sold.

Airlines, such as Singapore Airlines have started to tokenize loyalty points/frequent flyer miles for better perks. They recently launched KrisPay, a digital wallet that instantly converts Flyer Miles into Pay Miles via a mobile app, for purchases at partner outlets across the country.

Citizens Governed…

…by citizens’ new trust models, the emerging Government industry

Governments across the world would like to lower bureaucracy, cut red tape, and hasten the delivery of services. Unfortunately, these aspirations are curtailed by heaps of paperwork and the snail-like pace of government bodies. With corruption plaguing federal agencies worldwide, the immutable nature of the HelixTangle can rejuvenate the public sector by protecting records from fraudsters and making information transparent.

In India, mutual trust takes precedence over formal contracts, with almost 83% of the Indian workforce engaged in the unorganized sector. This culture puts parties at risk of fraud and corruption. Andhra Pradesh, India’s seventh largest state, has recognized this problem and is currently building public sector Blockchain-based applications centered around the citizen.

For instance, the government is currently implementing a land registry pilot to radically reduce administrative processes associated with land registration and title transfer. Also, the housing allocation process can be eased through smart contracts running on the HelixTangle, resulting in a transparent means to allocate houses for citizens based on their identity (age, user group, etc.). In the UAE, intentions to register all governmental transactions on decentralized, distributed ledgers by 2020 is expected to save the country 25.1 million hours of productivity every year.

Trust by Consensus is the new Compliance: HelixTangle can enhance citizen participation by acting as a decentralized voting platform that carries out free and fair elections which cannot be rigged while eliminating inefficiencies associated with traditional voting processes. Equipping governments worldwide with the HelixTangle can help them effectively tackle one of society’s pressing challenges, by entirely redefining the framework under which public sector practices are carried out. Furthermore, securing educational credentials on the HelixTangle will ensure that the records can be validated and shared with relevant stakeholders, significantly minimizing fraud risk, increasing fairness, and strengthening educational systems.

“None of Us Are More Intelligent than All of Us!”

Adopting Cognitive Security to anticipate Cyber Attacks

By profiling nature’s swarm intelligence, HelixTangle network nodes are doing some collective work: They offer “Cognitive Security Operations” as a Service. The HelixTangle’s so-called “Smartnodes” belong to a group of “Lightnodes” in the network and have the ability, when operating together, to diagnose the vulnerability of neighborhoods within the network — by using novel approaches from cognitive sciences.

Helix’ Cognitive Security diagnostic program consists of several analysis layers and a “Differentiable Neural Computer” (DNC) operates on one of the layers. Unlike its predecessors, the Helix DNC can use knowledge from previous tasks by storing relevant information in an additional storage matrix. In classical neural networks, the edge weights become overwritten during the training of the system by “back propagation” so that intermediate results that may have been extracted from previous, non-contextual data sets are lost despite their value. This phenomenon is also known as catastrophic interference.

The advantage of DNCs is that they can write to and read from the memory matrix without affecting the edge weights themselves. Thus, a DNC has the capacity to generalize over multiple tasks and purposefully adapt itself to the specific task at hand. The DNC layer should provide real-time inferences about the topological structures of the HelixTangle, which in combination with specific parameters — such as absolute, maximum difference in transaction rate or average delay in message transmission between nodes — can contain valuable information about possible attacks.

A Wake-Up Call from a “Sleeping Beauty” …

It’s time to awaken the beast

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. As we all know, today’s most popular products, established business processes, and conventional services often times become the future’s waste. Our aim with this article is to encourage CEOs (and perhaps even CTOs) to step outside their “comfort zone” and challenge status-quo thinking by exploiting the potential of decentralized, distributed technologies.

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Helix Foundation

A world based on Consensus