Using Blockchains to Prevent Fraud

There is a good chance you still have not grasped what blockchains are. There is no need to panic, nor to be dismissive; it also took a while for people to grasp what the internet is. Technology does not need to be understood in order to be used. For example, politicians remain stubbornly clueless about the internet, but most of us rely upon it every day, and even politicians know how to use the internet to broadcast their opinions. All you really need to know about blockchains is that they are secure distributed databases made possible by clever maths and the internet. Whilst most databases can obviously fall victim to corruption or dishonesty, the distribution of blockchains means you cannot usefully manipulate one unless you can exert control over all of them. That means the information in a blockchain can be trusted, which is a very useful property in a world where trust is at a premium.

And now, because you are smart, you have started to think of ways blockchains can be used to help telcos run their business. Dan Cummings of ETHNews.com wrote a recent article on the subject, identifying the following uses for blockchains.

  • Eliminating fraud that depends on latency between the home and visited networks
  • User identity authentication
  • Real-time monitoring of the internet of things
  • Smart contracts for 5G

Compared to other technologies being pushed at telcos, the proposed uses of blockchains described are unusually useful. If I were you, I would read the telecoms blockchain article on ETHNews.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns

Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.

Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar’s National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum’s Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.

Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric’s history as editor.