At the end of an online shopping trip, the retailer may send to your phone a text message describing your purchases and listing other particulars of the transaction.
But what if it wasn’t you who went shopping and instead it was an identity thief pretending to be you?
There’ve been plenty of ideas floated over the years about how to stop this type of crime. The one that resonates with us at SendMyCall and EZphone.systems involves the new technology known as blockchain.
Blockchain experts say this technology could be used to make a real dent in online fraud by offering incredibly strong protection of everyone’s digital identity. How? By making your telephone number your use-anywhere digital ID and having that number safeguarded by blockchain technology.
In our opinion, such an advance can’t come soon enough.
Your Number is Unique
Here’s what one proponent recently wrote about using blockchain to secure your phone number:
Our phone number is our most valuable digital identity, and will remain the only unique international method of identification well into the future.
As more of our personal lives, transactions and interactions move online, having a single, unique identifier will become increasingly important.
WhatsApp was among the first apps to equate accounts with personal phone numbers, and Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger have also elected to use this method of identification.
In addition, far-reaching global initiatives such as the GSMA’s Mobile Connect solution employs the user’s unique mobile number as a universal digital identity, allowing participants to access multiple online services via a single sign-on.
But do we really have full control over our digital identity? What are the chances of us losing this most valuable digital asset…?
Blockchain is the ideal technology to ensure full transparency, speed, safety, security and peace of mind….Imagine a world where we can never lose access to our phone numbers, where we allow one or more operators of our choice to provide us with connectivity services for our numbers anywhere in the world, and where no fraud, spoofing or identity theft is technically possible.
An Interesting Technology
So what is blockchain?
According to Forbes, blockchain is a technology that creates an append-only transaction ledger.
An append-only transaction ledger is one that lets you add new dates, figures, and details, but that prevents you from thereafter changing or erasing those entries.
The ledger entries are stored in individual blocks that are chained together by cryptography. That’s why they call it “blockchain.”
Owing to the cryptographic chaining, if someone tries to alter data in any single block, all the data in the blocks added after that one are automatically rendered invalid and become totally unusable. This basically stops data theft and fraud dead in their tracks.
Now, the thing is, it takes a lot of computers owned by a lot of different people or companies to create a blockchain. The result is the data that apply to any given transaction are spread out all over the place. Since no single computer or server contains the entire data trove—just tiny bits and pieces—this all but guarantees no access by hackers and other no-goodniks.
It’s also notoriously difficult to add new blocks to the chain. The only way to do that is if all the computers involved in the process agree on the answer to an incredibly tough mathematical challenge question.
Further, the contents of newly added block are completely transparent. Anyone who wants to verify a blockchain transaction, for instance, can easily do so. That’s another way blockchain fights fraud.
Importantly, blockchain lets you transfer ownership of property (like virtual phone numbers) in a trustless manner. Trustless means automatic assurance that others who are party to your transaction are operating in good faith and that the system isn’t rigged against you.
See where all this is going? Data contained in a blockchain is super secure and trustworthy.
And that’s why we at SendMyCall and EZphone.systems think it would be a great solution to the tough-to-root-out problem of online identify theft.
We think it would be nice to live in a world where we can arise every morning without worrying whether my digital identity is still mine and not in the possession of bad guys.