“I expect you to use AI (ChatGPT and image generation tools, at a minimum) in this class. In fact, some assignments will require it. Learning to use AI is to skill, and I provide think tutorials in Canvas about how to use them. I am happy to meet and help with these tools during office hours or after class.
Be aware of the limits of ChatGPT:
If you provide minimum effort prompts, you will get low-quality results. You will need to refine your prompts in order to get good outcomes. This needs work.
Don’t trust anything it says. If it gives a number or fact, assume it is wrong unless you either know the answer or can check in with another source. You will be responsible for any errors or omissions provided by the tool. It works best for topics you understand.
AI is a tool, but one that you need to acknowledge using. Please include a paragraph at the end of any assignment that uses AI explaining what you used the AI for and what prompts you used to get the results. Failure is a violation of academic honesty policies.
Be thoughtful about when this tool is useful. Don’t use it if it isn’t appropriate for the case or circumstance.
If there is one thing which should not happen to a password manager is that it has a breach, and this is what happened at LastPass on November 30, 2022. One thing making the mess even messier is the attackers, step by step, gained even more control, e.g. by stealing the customer back-ups and then getting the encryption keys.
There is a notable difference between physical and biological systems; different rules and effects drive them. In the physical domain, the control over outcomes is high. You can make the production of even very complex products perfect over time.
In the biological domain, you have less control – one effect or input in the system can have none or multiple products. Populations, ecological systems, and human communication have structure but can only partially be controlled.
To demonstrate the difference, look no further than Elon Musk. His actions on Twitter are affecting his reputation. According to Bloomberg, the negative perception of Musk has adverse effects on Tesla, the buyers and the stock.
Finding from an investigation by a German newspaper and a nonprofit:
“The research into Verra, the world’s leading carbon standard for the rapidly growing $2bn (£1.6bn) voluntary offsets market, has found that, based on analysis of a significant percentage of the projects, more than 90% of their rainforest offset credits – among the most commonly used by companies – are likely to be “phantom credits” and do not represent genuine carbon reductions.”
Europe has established far-reaching privacy laws. But enforcing them is a laborious process, and it might take years until a violation is fined.
“…many of the rights have been nearly impossible to exercise because legal challenges based on the law have often languished at the Irish Data Protection Commission, which handles most GDPR complaints against Big Tech.
According to the agency’s own statistics, the Irish Data Protection Commission had a backlog of more than 300 outstanding GDPR complaints as of the end of 2021, many dating back to 2018.”
China is the Worlds biggest face-recognition dealer
A study by the Brookings Institute says China is now the world’s biggest exporter of face recognition.
“The report finds that Chinese companies lead the world in exporting face recognition, accounting for 201 export deals involving the technology, followed by US firms with 128 deals. China also has a lead in AI generally, with 250 out of a total of 1,636 export deals involving some form of AI to 136 importing countries. The second biggest exporter was the US, with 215 AI deals.”
While the technology has many practical use cases, it can and is used for surveillance. With powerful AI image processing, the technology can be used by repressive, authoritarian states. The study warns that some countries starting to use such technology could shift away from democracy and freedom because the technology allows them to enforce repressive policies.
OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour to Make ChatGPT Less Toxic (Time Magazine)
If you can’t beat them, join them.
Stock photo and visuals platform Shutterstock signed a deal with Open AI.
“Customers of Shutterstock’s Creative Flow online design platform will now be able to create images based on text prompts, powered by OpenAI and Dall-E 2. Key to the feature — which does not appear to have a brand name as such — is that Shutterstock says the images are “ready for licensing” right after they’re made.”
Competitor Getty images are currently in a lawsuit against Open AI competitor Stability AI.
Slay is a new social media app created by a team in Germany. The goal is to be a “positive social media network for teenagers”. Essentially the platform allows making compliments to others. It seems to be a hit. In just four days, it became No. 1 on the iOS App Store in Germany and is now gaining traction in the UK.
Google is in serious legal trouble. In the US, the company is facing an antitrust investigation. The basis is that Google is considered a monopolist in the digital ad business. Platformer has an in-depth look at the case and why it is a treat to Google.
Bank of America has published a report claiming that digital currencies (Central Bank Digital Currencies) are “inevitable” because they could simplify regional or global money flows.
“We view distributed ledgers and digital currencies, such as CBDCs and stablecoins, as a natural evolution of today’s monetary and payment systems.”
In addition, a research report by Blockdata (available for free) lists 15 enterprise use cases for blockchain technology. Expected areas of blockchain use are simplifications for capital markets and digital identity management.
“We know from years of research that people will always use technologies in ways that their creators did not intend. In other sectors and industries, governments and governance bodies create rules, laws, and regulations to constrain and limit malicious or dangerous uses of potentially harmful products. But advances in artificial intelligence and algorithmic, data-centric technologies have slipped the leash and operate largely outside of those kinds of assessments and controls.”
– Janet Haven, Predictions for Journalism 2023 (Nieman Lab)
Predictions for Journalism
The above quote is from a series of articles published by Nieman Lab. Each year Nieman asks journalists about their predictions for the year. Below are links to some additional quotes and predictions relevant to the cross-section of trust/content/blockchain.
“The activist, scholar, and poet Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Interview: Open AI founder Sam Altman talks about future products, risks for society, possible video platform
Sam Altman, the founder and CEO of Open AI, said that the current license with Microsoft is not exclusive. Last week Microsoft announced the intention to use ChatGPT, a text-generating platform released by Open AI, to create better answers on Bing in the future. Microsoft is a significant shareholder after $1 billion in the AI company last year.
The interview included questions about safety and whether new AI tools will disrupt societies – such as in education or office work. Altman said: “There are societal changes that ChatGPT is going to cause or is causing. A big one going on now is about its impact on education and academic integrity, all of that.”
In addition, Altman said that reactions are negative and positive, sometimes from the same group of people: “We hear from teachers who are understandably very nervous about the impact of this on homework. We also hear a lot from teachers like, ‘Wow, this is an unbelievable personal tutor for each kid'”.
Getty Images announces lawsuit against Stability AI over copyright infringement
Getty Images, a global provider of licensed photos, announced a lawsuit against the company behind the popular generative AI tool Stable Diffusion. The stock image company argues that the AI company processed millions of images without training the AI software without a license. The suit has been filed in London, meaning that the verdict will be made outside of the US, potentially influencing future regulation of visual and text AI tools.
The myriad of published texts, photos and videos available online opens the door for a new form of intelligence: OSINT stands for “Open Source Intelligence”.
It is an umbrella term for various techniques to find evidence on digital platforms. The methods are used by intelligence units as well as investigative journalists.
A typical application is to geo-locate a picture or a video. Or use small segments of such material to collect evidence of what happened in the Ukraine war in a specific town. One well-known group using OSINT is “Bellingcat“, located in the UK. The techniques can be learned. The link below leads to a four-hour, free training for the basics of OSINT.
UNHCR uses a blockchain payment platform to help Ukraine war refugees
What would be a modern way to efficiently and with accountability distribute financial aid to people displaced through war? The UNHCR uses a blockchain payment platform for this. Launched in December 2022, the solution is currently used in Ukraine.
From an article published by UNHCR: “The pilot phase of the project is designed specifically for Ukraine but can be adapted worldwide.”
The current solution uses the Stellar blockchain and distributes funds as a stablecoin equal to one US Dollar. Recipients can receive funds after installing an app on their smartphone. Cash conversion is possible in 4,500 MoneyGram locations in Ukraine or elsewhere in Europe. The statement did not say what commissions would be charged for such transactions.
Non-Crypto Applications of Blockchain discussed in Davos
Experts, politicians and top managers are talking about blockchain as a technology at this year’s gathering at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Despite the crypto crash, there are some positive views where blockchain technology is performing well.
Quote: “Despite the crypto crash, “the underlying tech has performed perfectly,” Schulman said. “The promise of a distributed ledger is that it can be faster and cheaper to settle transactions simultaneously with no middlemen. That’s an important thing.”
Others are far more critical and do not believe in any value from the blockchain for crypto or other use cases. One example is economist Nouriel Roubini, who has voiced his concerns over a blockchain. In Davos 2023, he said blockchain is a “fad” and “no more than a glorified database”. Roubini does not believe that blockchain entries can create trust without an institution verifying that the information is correct – for example, in food logistics.
“Online publishing platform Medium, originally created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, announcedtoday that it’s embracing the open source Mastodon platform by creating its own instance to support its authors and their publications. The company said it’s launching me.dm, a Mastodon community that will offer reliable infrastructure, moderation and a short domain name to make it easier for authors to share their usernames, among other things.”
Microsoft recently announced a new AI service called VALL-E, which is focused on creating synthetic voices. Using the system, even a short recording of an original voice is sufficient to create an artificial voice which sounds almost like the original.
“… it maintains tone, timbre, a semblance of accent and even the ‘acoustic environment’, (for instance, a voice compressed into a cell phone call).”
The human ear is not easy to deceive. But with the newest services, we might see a surge in deceiving phone calls or audio recordings, opening a new field of work for dis- and misinformation investigations.
Chat GPT poses a problem for schools: What if pupils write a prompt, get a decent answer and hand in the result as their work? Would it be cheating? Kevin Roose (@kevinroose), writing for the New York Times, suggest this:
“Instead, I believe schools should thoughtfully embrace ChatGPT as a teaching aid — one that could unlock student creativity, offer personalized tutoring, and better prepare students to work alongside A.I. systems as adults. Here’s why: The first reason not to ban ChatGPT in schools is that to be blunt, it’s not going to work. Sure, a school can block the ChatGPT website on school networks and school-owned devices. But students have phones, laptops and any number of other ways of accessing it outside of class. (Just for kicks, I asked ChatGPT how a student who was intent on using the app might evade a schoolwide ban. It came up with five answers, all totally plausible, including using a VPN to disguise the student’s web traffic.)”
The use cases are almost without limits. This one does not create videos directly but uses ChatGPT to write scripts for videos very quickly, including a demonstration of extending initial answers through additions towards facts, etc. There is some product placement here (for a video maker), but the case is interesting.
One legal fight between crypto companies draws a lot of attention right now, specifically as it became more complicated today.
It is the one between Gemini and Genesis.
Summary: The two companies started a project called “Gemini Earn”. Users of Gemini could hold their crypto assets on Genesis and receive interest. Such lending projects worked as long as crypto was on the way up. But since last year, they have come under pressure when the value of crypto holdings fell. In the case of Genesis, the company started blocking any funds withdrawals in November last year. This resulted in angry demands from Gemini to give back the assets.
This week the case became much more complicated: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged both companies with offering an unregistered financial service. As Genesis is now busing sued along with Gemini, this will block any payback of the crypto assets to the original owners for a long time.
The world is facing an unprecedented rise in food waste over the past years. While yields from farming have increased the competition in the food market is one reason for high amounts of food which is never consumed.
The UN Environment Programme Food Waste Index revealed that 17% of the food available to consumers is never eaten but thrown away. In total, 900 million tonnes of food are thrown away, according to a 2021 global report. This includes supermarkets, households and restaurants. 60% of the food waste occurs in households. Numbers for the EU estimate on a per capita base Europeans waste up to 127 KG of food every year.
To combat this pervasive problem, an early-stage project called TRUFLE has emerged. TRUFLE leverages blockchain and deep learning technologies to provide a revolutionary solution for food waste reduction. The early-stage project was started by an innovative European SME called INLECOM. The company has offices in Brussels, London, Athens and Dublin.
Introduction to TRUFLE and its revolutionary food waste reduction solution
TRUFLE aims to provide full auditability, trust and transparency of information reported by retailers, food service providers and consumers about their discarded food and is linked to existing solutions, reliably classifying and quantifying the quantity of food waste with the scope of incentivized food-waste reporting. The solution is expected to pave the way for incentivised food reporting mechanisms to trust information from users and link trusted data to food waste reporting incentives.
The predictive capability enables TRUFLE to provide real-time insights and data to food suppliers and distributors about their products. By leveraging the power of blockchain and deep learning, TRUFLE can reduce food waste and increase the trust and exchange of information among its partners.
The TRUFLE platform is designed to be a fully-integrated supply chain solution. It comprises two main components: a blockchain-based ledger and a deep learning algorithm. The blockchain-based ledger securely stores and manages data about product supply and demand, allowing for accurate and secure data sharing between partners.
The project recently published a short descriptive video on how the solution works.
Benefits of TRUFLE’s blockchain and deep learning technologies
TRUFLE’s blockchain and deep learning technologies provide a range of benefits to food suppliers and distributors. By leveraging the power of blockchain, TRUFLE can ensure that all data is securely stored and protected. This makes it easier for food suppliers and distributors to share information and data, reducing the risk of data loss or theft.
The deep learning algorithm also enables TRUFLE to forecast demand for certain food items accurately. This predictive capability can help food suppliers and distributors avoid overproduction and reduce food waste. By leveraging the power of deep learning, TRUFLE can also identify patterns and trends in food demand, enabling food suppliers and distributors to optimize their production processes.
How TRUFLE’s technology works
TRUFLE’s technology is based on a combination of blockchain and deep learning algorithms. The blockchain-based ledger securely stores data about cases of food waste, allowing for accurate and secure data sharing between partners. This data is then used by the deep learning algorithm to accurately forecast demand for certain food items.
The deep learning algorithm is powered by a neural network that uses a range of data points, such as past sales and weather patterns, to create accurate predictions. This predictive capability enables TRUFLE to identify and reduce food waste in real time. The platform also includes various features, such as automated order processing and tracking, that make it easier for food suppliers and distributors to manage their supply chains.
TRUFLE’s impact on food waste reduction
TRUFLE’s technology has the potential to revolutionize the way food suppliers and distributors manage their supply chains. By leveraging the power of blockchain and deep learning, TRUFLE can enable food suppliers and distributors to accurately predict demand for certain food items and reduce food waste. This predictive capability can also help food suppliers and distributors optimize production processes and reduce operational costs.
The use of blockchain and deep learning technologies also has the potential to increase trust and exchange of information among food suppliers and distributors. By securely storing and managing data about product supply and demand, TRUFLE can help food suppliers and distributors share information and data securely and efficiently. This can help increase transparency in the food supply chain and reduce the risk of data loss or theft.
How TRUFLE’s technology can increase trust and exchange of information
TRUFLE’s technology can increase trust and exchange of information among food suppliers and distributors. By leveraging the power of blockchain, TRUFLE can ensure that all data is securely stored and protected. This makes it easier for food suppliers and distributors to share information and data, reducing the risk of data loss or theft.
Deep learning algorithms also enable TRUFLE to accurately forecast demand for certain food items. This predictive capability can help food suppliers, and distributors better plan their production processes and reduce the risk of overproduction. By providing real-time insights and data about product supply and demand, TRUFLE can help increase trust and exchange of information among its partners.
Examples of TRUFLE’s implementation in food waste reduction
A key goal of the project is to provide a simple and reliable way to report on food waste, where the people involved are motivated to provide data for better food management.
Food manufacturers, supermarkets and other members of the food chain will be able to uwe TRUFLE to optimize their production processes and reduce operational costs. By leveraging the power of deep learning, TRUFLE can accurately forecast demand for certain food items and help food manufacturers avoid overproduction and reduce their costs.
Challenges faced by TRUFLE
Despite its many benefits, TRUFLE’s technology is not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is data accuracy and consistency. A key challenge is to motivate people who are part of the food process chain to report food waste when it happens.
This might sound counterintuitive. But a future goal here could be to reduce the amount of food waste from around 17% too much less – which would help everyone involved to save costs and avoid losses from food which has never been consumed.
Another challenge is scalability. As the number of users increases, TRUFLE’s technology must be able to scale up to meet demand. This requires the platform to process large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
Solutions for overcoming the challenges
To overcome the challenges faced by TRUFLE, the platform must prioritize data security, data trustability and scalability. To ensure data privacy, TRUFLE must use cutting-edge encryption technology to ensure that all data is securely stored and protected. To address scalability, the platform must process large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
TRUFLE must also ensure that its deep learning algorithms are accurate and current. By leveraging the latest deep learning algorithms, TRUFLE can ensure that its predictive capabilities are accurate and reliable. This will help the platform accurately forecast demand for certain items and reduce food waste.
TRUFLE is a revolutionary technology transforming how food suppliers and distributors manage their supply chains. By leveraging the power of blockchain and deep learning, the platform can accurately predict demand for certain nutritional items and reduce food waste. TRUFLE’s technology can also increase trust and exchange of information among food suppliers and distributors, enabling them to share data securely and efficiently.
Welcome to a new edition of the TruBlo newsletter. We aim to collect and link to the most relevant content in the field of blockchain, trust and content from the past week, with optimism for blockchain technology, but not as cheerleaders. We are an EU-funded research project supporting 45 early-stage teams working on “trusted content for future blockchains”. Please forward this newsletter to colleagues and friends if you think they would be interested in this.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes 54 seconds (apologies, we are a bit longer this week).
Updates this week
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I can’t think of a field in tech that has had as much polarisation and as much useless noise as crypto. Behind all the noise, a lot of very clever people are quietly building highly complex and technical infrastructure, scaffolding and plumbing that might mean you could build billion-scale consumer services on this stuff in, say, five years.”
Source: Benedict Evans, Newsletter Nr. 457 (20.09.2022)
Projekt of the week: Enarxis – better management of EV loading stations
Enarxis project will use blockchain technology for reputation management for users of Electric vehicle (EV) loading stations, specifically in the hospitality sector.
Why in the hotel sector? Because EV loading stations have become as essential for hotel guests as WiFi was a few years ago. There are two problems: What if people reserve a station but then do not show up – but because of the reservation, the station is still blocked for use by others? Similarly, what if people load their batteries but then do not leave? Both issues will be managed with an app developed by the team behind Enarxis. The team was recently selected for an accelerator program by Visa and had earlier been funded by TruBlo.
A report on how state-sponsored trolls from Russia targeted a movement (the Women’s March of 2017) and its leaders in the US. The goal was to weaken the movement by attacking the leaders and sowing doubt:
“They posted as Black women critical of white feminism, conservative women who felt excluded, and men who mocked participants as hairy-legged whiners. But one message performed better with audiences than any other. It singled out an element of the Women’s March that might, at first, have seemed like a detail: Among its four co-chairs was Ms. Sarsour, a Palestinian American activist whose hijab marked her as an observant Muslim.”
A second quote helps to understand how the tactics work:
“Ladislav Bittman, who worked for the secret police in Czechoslovakia before defecting to the United States, compared Soviet disinformation programs to an evil doctor who expertly diagnoses the patient’s vulnerabilities and exploits them, “prolongs his illness and speeds him to an early grave instead of curing him.”
Passwords: Why four random words are better than a complex phrase
Julia Angwin from The Markup shares a reminder on how to construct hard-to-crack passwords. The critical knowledge is that four random words (for example” “Sunshine Expected Today Brooklyn”) are hard to crack (because of the number of possible combinations) and easy to remember. There is no need for a complex, hard-to-remember phrase. For illustration, here is a link to an XKCD strip about this particular topic.
In her newsletter, she goes a step further and talks to Jeremi Gosny, an expert in the space of password security. They discuss how the need for safe passwords has changed. The critical advice: Make sure that you have a different password for all accounts, not the same across all your logins. The interview is interesting, and there are several relevant and recent observations in the space of individual password security.
Quote from the interview with Jeremi Gosny: “Where we find the most success as password crackers is targeting passwords that are generated by humans, because humans across the globe still tend to think alike. Despite our language and cultural differences, our brains are only capable of coming up with a finite space of patterns.”
The New York Times reports strong subscriber growth for 2. Quarter 2022
The New York Times is one of a few newspaper/news organisations that are successfully moving from the old print/advertising world to digital subscriptions. Developments are tracked worldwide in the hope of learning about potential patterns that could be applied to ailing news organisations elsewhere. The most recent update from the company is the second-quarter results for 2022. In total, 230.000 new subscriptions in one quarter mean that the goal of 10 million total subscribers could be achieved much earlier than planned.
In Germany, posting hate content in Germany can have direct consequences as a result of new laws.
“German authorities have brought charges for insults, threats and harassment. The police have raided homes, confiscated electronics and brought people in for questioning. Judges have enforced fines worth thousands of dollars each and, in some cases, sent offenders to jail. The threat of prosecution, they believe, will not eradicate hate online, but push some of the worst behavior back into the shadows.In doing so, they have flipped inside out what, to American ears, it means to protect free speech. The authorities in Germany argue that they are encouraging and defending free speech by providing a space where people can share opinions without fear of being attacked or abused. ‘There has to be a line you cannot cross,” said Svenja Meininghaus, a state prosecutor who attended the raid of the father’s house. “There has to be consequences.'”
Five AR/VR trends: Free analysis of current market development
“Immersive workouts. Workplace training simulations. MeditaThere’sps in virtual reality” – these are just three scenarios which could soon define a growing market for AR (Augmented Reality) or VR (Virtual Reality). Market research CB Insights has a free 26-page study about recent trends for AR/VR, and the study is available after free registration. Salvador’sactive company so far in this field has been Meta, but now Apple seems to get ready to enter this particular market with new hardware offerings.
Instagram will allow longer stories. Stories shorter than 60 seconds will no longer be broken into small segments.
“Now, when you post a Story that’s under 60 seconds in length, it won’t be broken up into segments. The company began testing the change with select users late last year and has now rolled it out to all users worldwide…The new change is a welcome addition to the app, likely for both users and viewers. Users will now be able to post uninterrupted Stories that won’t be broken up, and on the other hand, viewers will no longer have to continually tap to get through a long video that they may not actually want to see. But, the change could also be a turnoff for people who liked the simplicity of short, bite-sized Stories.”
Based on an analysis of 2,5 million podcasts episodes with at least 10.000 listeners, Rephonic found that:
“Over the past nine years, podcast episodes that are at least 60 minutes long have slowly but surely become less common. They made up over 20% of all podcast content in 2013, decreasing to under 17% in 2021. Why? It could be the rise of short and frequent daily news podcasts. Or perhaps as podcasting becomes increasingly accessible, it attracts more indie podcasters with less budget to spend on producing long episodes.”
The average top-performing podcast releases a 37-minute episode every 5 days
The top History podcasts have the longest delay between new episodes
Fiction podcasts should record longer episodes to attract a large audience
“At a conference hosted today by the Banque de France, EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said that the Commission plans to propose legislation for a ‘possible’ digital euro in 2023 to enable parliament and the European Council to debate it. The digital euro work is currently in the prototyping phase, and Banque de France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau confirmed that a decision on whether to proceed would be made at the end of 2023, with a potential launch in 2026 or 2027.”
Ethereum Merge reduced global energy consumption by 0,2%
“The Ethereum merge this week slashed global energy consumption by 0.2%, Vitalik Buterin wrote in a tweet Thursday, citing a crypto researcher. The long-awaited event successfully transformed the blockchain from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake. Proponents have touted the transition for making Ethereum an almost-net-zero technology. The switch also makes gas fees, or transaction costs, lower and means the network will be able to process transactions faster.”
Argentine airline to adopt NFT technology for tickets
Airbondi, a low-fare airline from Argentina, plans to issue flight tickets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This means that passengers can do more with them. For example, they can sell or transfer the tickets to other persons three days before departure. The underlying technology was developed by Travel X, and the company’s website is worth a visit. The company aims to reimagine travel using blockchain tech.
Nomura and 17here’s banks have invested in FNALTY, which uses blockchain for central bank settlements
“Fnality, formerly known as the Utility Settlement Coin, tokenizes money deposited at a central bank to enable the settlement of DLT-based transactions with on-chain digital currency. It is expected to launch its first currency, the British Pound, next month as it has been formally recognized as a payments system by HM Treasury. Other planned currencies are euros, U.S. dollars, Japanese Yen and Canadian dollars.”
Estonia approves first crypto bank after new legislation
“Striga, a bitcoin and cryptocurrency bank, became the first virtual asset service provider (VASP) to gain regulatory approval in Estonia following the country’s revamping of its digital asset legal framework, per an announcement from the Financial Intelligence Unit.”
Striga is the new name used by Lastbit, a US start-up team. The project had already introduced Mastercards in connection with crypto accounts. The team has been part of YCombinator, a start-up accelerator.
The Washington Post has a special about the story of crypto so far, chapter by chapter.
“Crypto is among the most urgent of current tech topics, driven by billions of cryptocurrency trades weekly — bitcoin and so many others — and a cultural stigma perhaps unseen in finance since the days of the Wall Street wolves of the 1980s. Almost since its creation, crypto has been characterized by sudden wealth creation, surprise hacks, big scams, bold promises and shattered dreams.”
Since the beginning of the SportChain project, when it all started as an idea, huge progress has been made. This progress consists of several individual milestones that have been achieved and are further explained below. SportChain is a two-phase project and is currently approaching the end of phase one.
At the beginning of the project, we started with market research to determine the issues and needs of the sports and related industries to figure out where to place SportChain within this landscape. In this market research, the sports and associated industries, such as the betting and insurance companies, were involved.
Identified Business Opportunities
Through our market research and its results, we identified business opportunities. These opportunities supported us when designing the architecture and where the focus of SportChain should be directed.
Designed an Architecture
We have designed a SportChain architecture that drastically enhances the state-of-the-art digital processes within the sports industry. Also, we added features to increase data security, privacy, and trust in the sports data. The figure below shows the high-level architecture.
Figure 1: SportChain high-level architectural view including actors, components and main interaction flows
Implemented a Proof-of-Concept
Part of phase one was also the implementation of a proof-of-concept of the SportChain design. The most relevant parts are the SportChain portal, the integration with VIDwallet, and the integration with VIDcredentials studio.
The SportChain portal is the heart of SportChain. It offers the user interface between the users and the SportChain services. For instance, this portal will use team managers, league officials, notaries, and data reputation and analytics consumers. SportChain portal allows team managers to manage the team credentials, such as creating, issuing, or revoking player credentials. League officials use the SportChain portal to manage the league by issuing credentials for team managers and notaries and are also able to create matches and enter sports data that are being notarized by a dedicated notary afterwards. Last but not least, the portal offers a data catalogue that data consumers can use to search for data sets and statistical operations that will be performed on notarized data.
Figure 2: SportChain portal’s landing page with the different login options
VIDwallet is an SSI identity wallet developed by Validated ID. This identity wallet has been integrated into SportChain so that the actors can identify and authenticate themselves towards SportChain and also store and manage their digital identity data within their domain to ensure data security and privacy.
VIDcredentials Studio integration
VIDcredentials studio is a tool for credential issuers that provides a rich user interface with an advanced user experience. This tool is developed by Validated ID and has been adopted and integrated into SportChain, adding additional functionality to SpotChain. For instance, player credentials, special achievement credentials, or role credentials such as notaries or team managers can be issued and managed through this integrated tool.
So far, exciting results have been achieved, but the journey for SportChain does not end here. Instead, the SportChain team is planning further to develop the platform, not only the basic functionality but also by implementing new exciting features. These planned features are detailed below in a short outlook.
Notarization Data Anchored on Blockchain
As data notarization is the process defined where a trustworthy party with special permissions, a so-called notary, verifies data and notarizes that these data are correct. This process can be performed in analogue and also in a digital way.
SportChain enables the data notarization of sports data, which have been entered by a league official. The notary verifies these data and confirms their correctness. In SportChain, the notarization process is based on hashing the data set that is being notarized, followed by timestamping and electronically signing these notarization data. This way, a verifier can verify if a specific data set has been notarized and also when this notarization was performed. As a new feature, SportChain plans to anchor these notarization data on a blockchain, in particular, on the Alastria blockchain. The benefit of having these data on the blockchain follows the general benefits of blockchains, such as transparency, immutability, decentralized and improved security. This new and exciting feature is planned to be implemented in phase two of SportChain.
Data Analytics Based on Notarized Data
Data analytics, reputation systems and forecasting systems (also known as Artificial Intelligence) have been hyped in recent years. This is because these methods offer enormous potential when applied correctly.
SportChain offers a data catalogue consisting of available data sets and data processing methods such as data analytics, data reputations and forecasting. All of these data processing methods use as input data only the notarized sports data. This way, the authenticity and integrity of these data are ensured, which elevates the trust in the calculated results. SportChain plans to implement data analytics such as various statistics and a basic reputation system that utilizes notarized input data stored on the Alastria blockchain. The reputation data could be used by a recruiting team to support their decision-making process. The benefit is the increased trust based on the ensured
properties data authenticity and integrity. This feature is planned to be released in phase two.
Contact SportChain: Please click on this link to the project page, including an overview of the team members.