Join Rohan Pinto, Robert MacDonald, and Javed Shah for an IBA Friday session! They will be discussing why 1Kosmos chooses to use blockchain.
Video TranscriptRobert MacDonald: That's hilarious.
Rohan Pinto: Not a problem at all. Excellent. So, are we going to do the... Are we live now?
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. We'll just do it once or twice, so I don't get too much trouble.
Javed Shah: He always does this, Robert. He always looks at his Apple watch. He's always live, but he-
Robert MacDonald: I do. But I can say that we're live.
Rohan Pinto: Yeah. He just wants to show off the fact that he has got an Apple watch.
Robert MacDonald: That's true.
Javed Shah: Exactly.
Robert MacDonald: That's true.
Javed Shah: Excellent.
Robert MacDonald: Javed, you can't do this. See, look. I can see.
Javed Shah: Yeah. I can't.
Rohan Pinto: While you guys are live on your social media, I'm live on my social media.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah, exactly.
Javed Shah: Oh.
Rohan Pinto: It's just a little bit of fun. It's just a 10 minute thing anyway.
Robert MacDonald: I think we're live, so we're good.
Rohan Pinto: Excellent.
Robert MacDonald: Although we won't wait for the watch, and I won't make fun that Javed can't do that like we are just doing.
Rohan Pinto: Sounds good.
Robert MacDonald: He's analog. He likes the analog.
Javed Shah: Hello everyone. Can you say hi to the folks who-
Robert MacDonald: Hi everybody. Welcome to-
Rohan Pinto: Hey everybody.
Robert MacDonald: ...Friday. I'm Rob and I've got my buddy Javed along with me again today. Javed, how you doing?
Javed Shah: Hello. Hey, I'm good. How are you guys?
Robert MacDonald: Good, good. We've got a special guest today Javed.
Javed Shah: Say that again.
Robert MacDonald: We've got a special guest today.
Javed Shah: Yes, yes. Very special indeed.
Rohan Pinto: Who is it?
Robert MacDonald: Who is it? Yeah, I don't know. So, Rohan, we have Rohan Pinto with us today. Rohan, it's been a little over a year I think, since we've had you on last. I think the last time we had you, I had just been tested positive for COVID, I think was the last time.
Rohan Pinto: Yeah. It was the same time that I colored my hair red because it was COVID and I was at home.
Robert MacDonald: Exactly.
Rohan Pinto: We go from a COVID life to a non COVID live right now.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. My, how things have changed in a year. Okay. So, we've got you on today for a couple of reasons. Just so everybody knows, Rohan's the evil genius here behind the technology that we have here at 1Kosmos. He was ground level putting all this stuff together, right Rohan?
Rohan Pinto: You had to add evil to it, right?
Robert MacDonald: Evil genius.
Javed Shah: Not an evil genius. Okay. Relax.
Robert MacDonald: Just a genius. Sorry. So, the reason why we got Rohan along for the ride today is that we've been to a number of trade shows over the last couple of... Over the last month, really. May was super, super busy, and we had lots of questions about blockchain and why are we using it, and how does it work, and why would you do that over something else? What we wanted to do today was to bring Rohan along to tell us more about the backend technology that we use here at 1Kosmos. So, Rohan, I'm going to set you up with an easy one and Javed-
Rohan Pinto: Thank you.
Robert MacDonald: ... keep you on time. So, he's going to ding you if you talk too long. Yeah.
Rohan Pinto: Using his analog, using his analog watch.
Robert MacDonald: Using his analog watch. Yeah, absolutely. So, for those that are unsure, give me the short version of what a blockchain is.
Rohan Pinto: Excellent. I don't know if I can keep it short, but I'll give you my version of what a blockchain is.
Robert MacDonald: Awesome.
Rohan Pinto: And instead of giving you the traditional, it blocks, and a block connects to another block, and an audit trail. So, let me try to give you a real life example of what a blockchain is all about. So, let's assume, Robert, you are Canadian, I'm Canadian, and I was driving over to meet you, and I'm supposed to be meeting you, let's say at 4:00 PM today. However, instead of meeting you at 4:00 PM, I end up at your place at 5:00 PM and I blame it on the traffic. There is absolutely no way for you to be able to go back and identify if I was really caught up in traffic and that's why I was late, or whether I'm just lying to you and making you believe that I was late because I just didn't care enough. However, if you had a system where you could not just look at the time I left my place, but the actual route I took, the distance from my place to your place.
If that map that shows my departure to the arrival at your place has been tampered with in some form, if you have the assurance that it was actually a delay in traffic that caused my delay from point A to point B, you have a very high level of assurance or trust that gets built with this person that you're interacting with, which is me. So, the blockchain gives you that ability to trust something inherently without falling into a situation of believing what the person says, or believing that I have not tampered with any data along the way, and having the assurance that no matter what I do, what I say, there is absolutely no possible means by which I can tamper with that data, or modify that data, before I present it to you. So, that's what the blockchain is in a non-technical sense of the word.
Robert MacDonald: That was a very good explanation, Rohan. That's excellent.
Rohan Pinto: So, I am coming to see you at 5:00 PM today.
Robert MacDonald: Okay. Good to know. I'm going to have to go clean up a little bit, but I'll be ready for you. All right. So, we can't talk about blockchain without mentioning crypto obviously, because a lot of people know blockchain from what's going on with the crypto world. There's lots of stories about things going sideways with blockchain in that type of an environment. So, we're obviously going to have to just briefly touch on the difference between what kind of a blockchain they use, the crypto guys, versus the kind of blockchain that we use here at 1Kosmos. There is a difference in blockchains as it were, right?
Rohan Pinto: Yeah.
Robert MacDonald: Okay. Why don't you tell us a little bit about... And remember. I'm a marketing guy, so try to make it easy for me to understand.
Rohan Pinto: I'll try. I'll try. I'm going to try and refrain from using the example of Starbucks versus Tim Hortons versus Second Cup Coffee to tell you the difference between what a blockchain versus crypto is. I'm going to try refrain from doing that. However, crypto is cryptocurrencies, digital currencies, digital dollar or whatever you want to call it, Bitcoin, Ethereum, [inaudible 00:06:40], there are tons of them out there. So, cryptocurrency is one facet of what took over the industry. It is not a get rich quick scheme that a lot of people believe it to be. It's a digital dollar that can be traded and exchanged between two entities that's non-reputable beyond borders. Now, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies is the blockchain. Now, that does not necessarily mean that cryptocurrency is the only use of what the blockchain was designed to be. The blockchain was designed to be a system that can be audited at any given point in time.
Going back to the example of me meeting you at 5:00 PM and saying that I was delayed in traffic, if that cannot be modified, that's irrefutable information or data out there. The second part of it is, apart from it being a system where you cannot tamper with data, you have a very high level of assurance in the ecosystem itself when it comes up to trust. You can trust that the data that resides on the blockchain cannot, cannot, not may not, not would not, cannot be modified by anybody or any individual, including the individual who put the data there. It cannot be modified by any organization or entity that manages the blockchain.
For example, we at 1K, we have our backend data store in the blockchain, you, nor I, nor anybody in this organization has the ability to go and tamper with the data. So, when we use the blockchain in the identity space, primarily for allowing a user to verify who he or she is, proof of identity is what we call it. So, if you have got data elements sitting on the blockchain that prove that I am Rohan Pinto residing in Mississauga, aged 52.1 day old-
Robert MacDonald: Oh, that's right. Tomorrow.
Rohan Pinto: No. It was-
Robert MacDonald: Yesterday. Happy birthday.
Javed Shah: Happy birthday.
Rohan Pinto: Thank you. So, you have the assurance that nothing can be modified or tampered with. You inherently trust the ecosystem. When you trust the ecosystem now the organization or entities or service providers can focus on not the trust layer, but what can be done on top of that. How can this identity be presented from party A to party B? How can party B have the assurance that it is actually Rohan Pinto who's trying to access a system of presenting his identity? That is what blockchain brings to the table. What we use the blockchain for is not for cryptocurrencies, we do not deal with cryptocurrencies, we want nothing... Cryptocurrencies is like my sour ex-wife. I don't want to deal with it anymore. It's done and gone with. What we are really interested in is the technology that powers something like trust, irrefutably, privacy by design, which is what we have designed our ecosystem around.
Robert MacDonald: Fair enough. So, as a marketing guy, I write on our website a lot, private and permissioned blockchain. Tell me what... I shouldn't say, tell me what that means, I know what that means. But tell everybody else that's on the session with us today, what is a private and permissioned blockchain? What does that mean?
Rohan Pinto: Okay. We all are familiar with databases. We have been used to putting data in databases for the last 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. I don't know, maybe Javed can look up the numbers of when database came into being. But regardless, when you put data into a database, it can be modified by the administrator of the system, it can be modified by the organization that owns that database. So, even if you have an encrypted database of sorts, where you are storing the data in an encrypted format at rest, it still can be modified by the administrator or by the user himself. I can go and change my last name from Pinto to Shah, and there's absolutely no way for anybody to know that I changed my last name yesterday and then changed it back to Pinto the day after.
Whereas with a blockchain, since it is irrefutable, you cannot modify that data. So, that's what the blockchain is fundamentally. Now, when a blockchain, when a data source of sorts, which we call the blockchain, is available to the public, where anybody anywhere in the world can go and look at it and access that data, that becomes a public blockchain. When you have a blockchain that is permissioned or private to an organization or entity, the public does not have direct access to the blockchain, except via APIs that are exposed that allow a user to introspect the data, or inspect the data if they want, but they're not allowed to go and query it, read from it, write from it on their own, based on their own desires or whenever they want to do it.
So, just like how nobody would take a database and put it on the public internet, nobody should put identity data on a chain that's available to the public. So, if I have my data in a database, and that database is on the public internet that anybody and everybody can access, that's the equivalent of a public blockchain. When I have the database within an enterprise or within a consortium, which is a combination of a bunch of enterprises collaboratively coming together and building something, that becomes a private or a permissioned blockchain.
Robert MacDonald: Got it. Got it. That makes sense. Now, I have one more question for you because I know that we're about 10, 15 minutes in.
Rohan Pinto: Okay.
Robert MacDonald: You already touched on it in the last explanation. I had a couple of customers, I've even had a couple of competitors come by the booth and say-
Rohan Pinto: The competition always do.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. Blockchain, they're laughing at the fact that we're using it. They're like, "Listen. Why would somebody want to do that? They could just buy our encrypted database because that should be good enough." So, tell me, you kind of touched on it, just talk a little bit about why that probably isn't the case.
Rohan Pinto: Yeah. The problem lies in the statement, that is good enough. If you look at the amount of fraud that goes on today, if you look at the number of hacks that happened, the number of data breaches, the number of identities stolen, good enough is not good enough. It could be a secure database that's sitting in a vault, but if somebody has the ability to unlock that vault, get to the database and change my last name, that is not good enough. But when you use something like the blockchain, there's no possible way for anybody to tamper with that data, which makes it very different from a traditional database or an encrypted database. So, when you trust the ecosystem, when you trust the chain, when you trust the data that comes from the chain, when you trust the signatures that come from it, and you have the assurance that nobody has tampered with it or has the ability to tamper with it, that makes a hell of a lot of difference.
So, a short answer is, good enough is not good enough. Good enough could be good enough if it had nothing to do with identity data. If I was storing my movie tickets in a database and it didn't bother me if somebody else stole that movie ticket and go watched the movie instead of me, good enough. But if it is something of value to me, it's not good enough. The reason I put my money in a bank account that only I can access and not in a little plastic bin outside my front door, hoping that nobody would steal from it, is not good enough.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. I think from a security perspective, we've gone for years with, it's good enough.
Rohan Pinto: Yeah. That's right. In fact, I remember my... Well, I don't remember. I've been told that my great-grandparents actually had money under their bed, and that was their savings. So, this is way back in the forties or way back in the fifties. It probably was good enough then because the banks didn't exist, especially in the part of India where I came from.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. Yes.
Rohan Pinto: But it definitely is not good enough now.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. No, for sure.
Rohan Pinto: So, the same folks who tell you that a database is good enough, I would like to have a coffee with them 10 years from now.
Robert MacDonald: That's a good closing statement. I like that.
Rohan Pinto: I'll bring jar of loonies and toonies to pay for it.
Robert MacDonald: And for those of you who-
Rohan Pinto: And I hope that in 10 years time, nobody has stolen those loonies and toonies-
Robert MacDonald: Loonies and toonies.
Rohan Pinto: ... in my little piggy bank.
Robert MacDonald: For those of you that are not familiar with the Canadian jargon that just happened there, a loonie is a dollar and it's a coin, and a toonie is a $2 coin. So, that's what we call them here. Anyway, all good. Javed?
Javed Shah: Hey. Yeah. I'm here still.
Robert MacDonald: I know, right? That was a lot to absorb.
Javed Shah: That was good. That was good.
Robert MacDonald: It was very good.
Javed Shah: Yeah. I like the fact that it was grounded in security, right? That definition. So, we interpret blockchain in our way. We are a privacy enabling secure passwordless architecture. We don't take that lightly. We just don't throw out that combination of words for the sake of it.
Rohan Pinto: Yeah, absolutely.
Javed Shah: There's a reason why we do so. We have invested tons and tons of effort, dollars, into hardening the architecture.
Robert MacDonald: Yeah. It's all because it's built on that backend, right? We can do those things.
Rohan Pinto: Absolutely. Yes.
Robert MacDonald: Yep. All right. Rohan, I super-duper... We, sorry, Javed, I don't want to speak on your behalf.
Javed Shah: Do it. [inaudible 00:16:57] Who am I? I'm like, this is American kid, whatever.
Rohan Pinto: Yeah. It's two Canadians against one Javed.
Robert MacDonald: That's right. We're taking over the world.
Javed Shah: Too hard. Tough IBA.
Robert MacDonald: All right, everybody. Thanks again for joining us for another adventure. We will see you again in a couple of weeks. Thanks everybody.
Javed Shah: Thanks, Rob.
Rohan Pinto: Next Friday. Thank you guys. Take care. Bye now.