Issue: The 10 Blockchain Disrupter’s Transforming the Future 2020

The Social and Spiritual Aspect of Blockchain-based Technology

A simple overview of Blockchain

Blockchain is a fairly simple approach that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT), digital access to records, and the need for better security and transportability of data between people and organizations. Unfortunately, the confusion with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have convoluted the simplicity of Blockchain, which is completely independent of bitcoin or cryptocurrency.

In its simplest form, Blockchain is a database designed to allow the Internet to take advantage of better security. It accomplishes this through a digital ledger (distributed-ledger) that acts like a supply-chain which defines who can access the data within the chain. At a higher level, Blockchain can be thought of as the next-generation supply-chain that leverages a secure method of all people within the ‘chain’ to perform secure transactions of data, while tracking the movement of parts, products, and produce between companies. This chaining of data in a secure way can include finance, contracts, talent, orders, quality, health records, education records, or any information across the public and private Internet.

For over three decades, companies have leveraged digital supply-chain systems. In 2016 these same companies started envisioning Blockchain as the next generation of being connected and competitive. In essence, the next advanced ‘chain’ to connect people in a secure fashion is the Blockchain, as it increases reach, security, and trust in digital transactions. For this very reason FedEx, IBM, Walmart, United Health, Coca-Cola, and hundreds of more companies have embraced Blockchain as their next breakthrough to be digitally connected and competitive.

As a simple example, Walmart has opted to encourage all vendors who provide produce to Walmart to send data via Walmart’s Blockchain.

For over three decades, companies have leveraged digital supply-chain systems. In 2016 these same companies started envisioning Blockchain as the next generation of being connected and competitive.

. In essence, the next advanced ‘chain’ to connect people in a secure fashion is the Blockchain, as it increases reach, security, and trust in digital transactions. For this very reason FedEx, IBM, Walmart, United Health, Coca-Cola, and hundreds of more companies have embraced Blockchain as their next breakthrough to be digitally connected and competitive.

The reason is simple, they desire every consumer to eventually scan the barcode on the produce in their kitchen to identify the exact farm the produce came from. This concept of field-to-fork Blockchain allows consumers to be aware if there are any recalls on that piece of produce. In essence, Walmart is personalizing the supply-chain with Blockchain to speed up information to your home. Walmart is ultimately providing a ‘distributed-ledger’ of accountability between farmers and every consumer.

Blockchain, ushers in societal improvements

The basic tenant and greatest value of Blockchain-based technology is to improve trust within a global society that currently operates in a state of distrust. The current distrust around the globe is at its highest level due to unfair trading practices, cybercrime, false reporting mechanisms, ability to falsify documents, and the buzz word of the day …‘fake-news.’ The level of distrust spans across global business, nations, governments, charitable organizations, and even religion. The distrust comes in numerous forms that include money laundering, counterfeit products, human trafficking, sex trafficking, cybercrime, identity theft, stealing classified information, and election manipulation. Along-side most of these acts of distrust — falsified digital information from computer systems and databases accompany the distrustful deeds. The ability to change digital records within computer systems and databases is what gives criminals the belief that they can get away with the crime(s).


Facts that illuminate the global problem

It is much easier to ignore the levels of distrust, despite the facts that have been known for decades. Many of the deceptive practices mentioned below, have each become larger than any Fortune 500 Business. We should really be calling them what they truly are: Unfortunate 500 Businesses that prey on people, while practicing deception.

  1. Human trafficking which affects approximately 30 million people around the world.
  2. Sex trafficking which has grown to a $100 billion annual business. Embarrassingly, this is the same revenue as a Fortune 500 company.
  3. Illegal drug trade, which affects 330 million people, while resulting in 585,000 annual deaths.
  4. African blood diamond trade where roughly 20,000 innocent people have suffered bodily mutilation, and 75,000 people were killed.
  5. Counterfeit products that cause 250,000 job losses every year.
  6. Religious systems who have hidden and moved around child predators.

The tragedy of these heinous activities are accomplished through bad actors who are capable of hiding the truth through the primitive nature of databases within computer systems. Corporations, religious organizations, drug traffickers, diamond traders, money launders, counterfeiters, and election riggers, are capable of manipulating both monetary and human goods.

The ability for almost any tech-savvy individual to replicate, replace, delete or change data within a database without any true form of accountability has become very easy. The amount of data produced every day around the world is estimated at 40 Zettabytes , which is more than all the observable stars in the universe. This is trillions of documents each day that can be replicated, changed, and manipulated for unlawful gain. The diagram below by the World Economic Forum is a great representation of the amount of data used on a daily basis.

Daily Data around the world; Source World Economic Forum

Blockchain-based technology leap-frogs accountability to a whole new level, by ensuring that the data being viewed has a ‘certificate-type’ authentication. This authentication allows all data across all databases to be verified as the ‘original’ copy without the capability to make any changes or modifications. The Blockchain-based technology ensures that there is only one master copy of every document in the world. Blockchain-based technology is very similar to the method that the U.S. Library of Congresses uses to ensure there is only one copy of each original book on any book-self around the world. The U.S. Library of Congress uses a combination of the book’s ISBN numbers and the library coding system known as the MARC code that digitally stores the Bibliographical information of the author, publisher, date of publication, etc. 

A trusted system that liberates data, people, and societies from bad-actors

In a world free of bad-actors, our societies become safer, more civil, and more trusted. Even though the heart of a person may be evil, that personal evil cannot be acted-out with data that is behind a database that leverages Blockchain methodologies.

Since the development of Blockchain-based methodologies, the following examples illustrate how it directly restores trust and reduces the criminal minds from manipulating systems and people.

1. Rice farmers in Cambodia are now being treated fairly by the use of Blockchain-technologies, as rice traders are encouraged to treat everyone equitably and fairly. Article at 

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/can-blockchain-help-rice-farmers-fight-poverty/

2. Human traffic identification methods are being put in place that allow systems across the world to cross-reference the identities of people being transferred across borders. Article at: 

https://www.coindesk.com/un-agencies-turn-to-blockchain-in-fight-against-child-trafficking

3. The blood diamond trade across Africa is being diminished as every diamond that is obtained illegally or through human suffering can be traced. The end consumer who purchases the diamond will know if something corrupt occurred to harvest the diamond. Article at: 

https://cointelegraph.com/news/diamonds-are-blockchains-best-friend-how-dlt-helps-tracking-gems-and-prevents-fraud

4. Sex abusers and predators can be verified in a consistent and trust worthy manner. Organizations can no longer hide the data pertaining to the truth of who the predators are and where they are located. Article at 

https://www.gbaglobal.org/blockchain-uses-law-enforcement/

5. Tainted food supplies can be located and traced within the food supply chain. Blockchain allows all produce to be tracked from food-to-fork. Article at: 

https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-products-services/how-blockchain-technology-could-track-and-trace-food-from-farm-to-fork

6. Viruses such as the Coronavirus can more easily be traced, as well as the location of all the infected can be identified. Food systems, medical systems, pharmaceutical systems that operate in a Blockchain trusted economy can help minimize the impact and fear of virus and bacterial information. Article at: 

https://www.scmp.com/tech/blockchain/article/3052287/how-blockchain-can-protect-consumers-tainted-food-knock-offs-and

The future of ‘trust’ begins to improve when bad-actors are identified and exposed, data becomes trustworthy, and all the moving pieces of data, produce, and products become visible and transparent. This is possible when all records, documents, contracts, and digital identity are verifiable as the one-and-only master copy. Even though bad-actors will attempt to exploit people, the very people being exploited can validate authenticity of the information, product, service, and data within seconds.

I have invested 30-years working in technology related industries that includes supercomputers, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and education records, and I have never experienced such a liberating technology as Blockchain. Liberating from the standpoint of what I see, touch, experience, purchase, and access has verifiable evidence that it is trustworthy as the original. This is true liberation and freedom from the current situation the world finds itself. This is the very technology that can tip the scales on behalf of personal and social justice for the nations deceived by the Unfortunate 500 Businesses who prey on people.

Oral Roberts University has been experimenting with numerous aspects of how Blockchain will liberate the educational space around the world. The front cover of the magazine shows me wearing a pair of $200 BOSE artificial Intelligence enabled glasses that allow an entire curriculum of a college to be packaged in the AWS cloud and listened/watched via this type of glassware and synced smartphone. The new freedom and liberation comes from the fact that digital credentials earned by anyone listening and watching the courses and skills, can be validated and recorded on the Blockchain, anywhere in the world. In essence, we have leveraged Blockchain-based technology with AI-enabled skills to allow every learner in the world to have a personal ledger that validates the skills, badges, competencies, and experiences that they have walked-through. Imagine education being this accessible around the world.

The Glasses combined with the skills also allow every expert to package and share their knowledge in a fresh new way. In our example, world-renown author, playwright, and speaker Jim Stovall has allowed the AWS Cloud to host his life’s work for people to hear and see via the combination of their phone and the glasses. This courses is available thanks to Jim Stovall at http://onecampus.oru.edu

As a dual-career individual who has worked in technology and theology for 30-years, I believe that Blockchain-based technology is perfectly aligned with allowing people to be set-free, liberated, educated, and valued in a fresh new manner. To imagine that a technology can reduce and eventually eliminate human trafficking, sex trade, predators, scam artists, and identity thieves brings me close to the scripture passage found in Luke 4:18-19, whereby God stated that His messenger(s) is sent to help the poor, liberate people who are oppressed, and break the chains that bind people by setting captives free. Once I understood the concept of Blockchain, I immediately preached the first message on Blockchain entitled God is a chain breaker and chain blocker. God’s heartbeat is to bring justice to the nations and wipe out the illegal business that prey on people. The scripture says in Matthew 12:18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” In the year 2020, God’s Spirit is still resting upon certain individuals that have the same burden to liberate the nations, break the chains, and block the chains that have bound up people into a world of deceptive practices. I firmly believe that God is not beyond using people and technology to do just that.

We are all aware of the global crisis the world is facing today, perhaps one of the biggest the generation has seen. While we are certain that the dark clouds will soon pass and everything will return to normal, it is imperative that we take the right decisions for a better tomorrow. Every plan, measure or decision taken in this crucial time will have a long-term effect. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. Technology and innovation must be at its best during this time of nationwide isolation. Today technology is helping us to connect with each other virtually leveraging regular business operations in an orderly manner. Hence, with the prudence and skills God has given us to create new techniques, we need to think, act and operate wisely as we sail through these hard times.

“Blockchain is truly beyond explanation and exclamation to bring justice to the Nations.”

-Mike Mathews

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