November on FINthinkers

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November 2017 was the first month for the FINthinkers blog. Below is a short summary of what covered so far
Change
Our blog started with Change is inevitable looking at diverse types of change ranging from evolution to revolution. We also touched on Conway’s Law which states that organizations designing systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations. Following Conway’s law companies need to change the organization to create the systems required to stay relevant in the new normal. In Next stop – FinTechGiants ? we look at the available dimensions to outperform others and at the relevant structures which each company has. Many companies seem to apply a Tur Tur strategy to change looking giant from far away but very small if one gets closely.
Client Experience and Brand
Noisy Channel(s) to Channel-less highlights the need to think from the client’s perspective. No client talks about channels but we all like to have seamless and ubiquitous experience to reach the desired outcomes. So brand’s digital behaviour becomes vital when services are transparent in a digitally augmented world.
Security
Homomorphic Encryption started a series of posts on security and related topics.
We hope that the posts inspired you to think about the topics. The nest posts will follow soon … thanks for reading.

 

Homomorphic Encryption

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Background

What is Homomorphic encryption? The ability to perform data exchange and transformations exclusively with encrypted data, only decrypting it when an authorised person needs to see a result. It is a method of performing calculations on encrypted data without decrypting them first. It converts data into encrypted text that can be analysed and worked with as if it were still in its original form. It enables complex operations/processing to be performed on encrypted data without compromising the encryption.

Storing datasets in fully homomorphic repositories removes all chances for unplanned disclosures. Only those entities with a private key can query the database, run analytics on the data and see results. This offers a secure leeway to make use of the distributed ledger technology in an as-is basis. With homomorphic encryption techniques used to store data such as smart contracts, positions, transactions over the blockchain, there won’t be any significant changes in the public distributed ledger (eg blockchain) properties and taking care of privacy concerns associated.

Usage

The use of homomorphic encryption technique will not only offer privacy protection, but readily access to encrypted data over public blockchain for auditing and other purposes (eg add-on services). Use cases can be via C2C, B2B, B2C, C2B from 3rd party services such as ride-sharing, digital marketplace, search services, or medical services.

Using the example of electronic payment protocol* for customer merchant (or a non established trusted entity). Current situation requires a trusted (signed) payment description that be sent from the merchant to the customer. Using homomorphic encryption, this is no longer required and the destination “account” number for the payment is solely created on the customer side. It eliminates the need for any encrypted or authenticated communication in the protocol and is secure even if the merchant’s digital infrastructure is compromised. Payment transaction in itself serves as a time stamped receipt for the customer.

Real life applications are not limited to providers, but as well consumers (eg financial institutions, research organisations, education, dat miners) anyone/entity who wants to be able to share data without compromising data security regardless of the environmental or other differences in context.

The impact of homomorphic encryption in the digital ecosystem will increasingly enable co-operation/collaboration between multiple parties possible especially when there is limited to no trust established as it protects and renders it not vulnerable to unauthorised access and full privacy.

Related material:
* Homomorphic payment addresses and the pay-to-contract protocol
* A Survey on Homomorphic Encryption Schemes: Theory and Implementation
* How to make Fully Homomorphic Encryption “practical and usable”