There has been a tremendous response to the call to join the RAG Wangiri Consortium, a partnership between telcos and vendors that uses a common blockchain ledger to exchange intelligence about the numbers used for wangiri ‘one ring’ fraud. Overseen by the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), the consortium now includes more than 50 telcos across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Multinational groups, wholesale carriers and retail service providers are included in the membership. A further five vendors have been allowed into the consortium; they are integrating their products and services with the blockchain in order to assist their customers. The combined efforts of these businesses means the common ledger now collates data from 94 percent of all the countries in the world.
During the last month there have been new applications from a wide range of telcos both large and small. Telcos who have recently been approved to join the consortium include Ooredoo Group, MegaFon, Algérie Telecom, Mascom, Vivacom and MTN Nigeria. It is evident that many telcos are drawn to participate because of the ease of sharing their data, so that even the smallest telcos can afford to enhance the protection they give to customers. Some other large groups are also evaluating how to participate in a way that benefits all of their multiple operating companies, whether by implementing a hub solution that first aggregates data across their group, or by encouraging each national operation to establish independent connections to the blockchain.
Whilst most telcos rely on the web portal to transfer data, several telcos are now working with their vendors to integrate their fraud management systems using the API of the wangiri blockchain. Other telcos who built their fraud systems in-house are also doing development work to connect via the API.
RAG recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Yates Fraud Consulting, who will provide independent analysis of the quality of the data that is exchanged using the RAG Wangiri Blockchain. Colin Yates is a highly-respected expert in international fraud who has previously led the anti-fraud efforts of Vodafone Group and Telecom New Zealand. He has served as an advisor to the GSM Association and to the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association and he has won several awards in recognition of his contribution to fighting crime. Yates continues to be a key participant in international efforts to combat fraud by assisting Europol and other law enforcement agencies with their investigations.
At the heart of the consortium is a private blockchain that is innovative, robust and secure. The blockchain was developed by Orillion Solutions using the open source Hyperledger Fabric, which is supported by The Linux Foundation. Orillion provides their services to RAG free of charge, with the intention to reduce telecoms fraud whilst illustrating the potential uses of blockchain technology.
Telcos and businesses may request to join the RAG Wangiri Consortium via its dedicated web portal. RAG has an information page about the wangiri blockchain here, and other questions about the consortium can be communicated here.