Converge TrustBuilder: Why Trust Ecosystems Matter

Bruce Levis
June 25, 2020
Blogs | Cybersecurity | Digital Infrastructure

During our recent Converge TrustBuilder launch, we were frequently asked why trust ecosystems (groups of people and/or organizations that transact digitally in a trustworthy, privacy-preserving context) matter. Trust ecosystems will become a key economic enabler because they address a critical problem that economic participants face. Knowing with certainty whether the person or organization they are digitally transacting with is whom they purport to be and whether the information they are sharing about themselves is true and has not been tampered with is necessary for businesses to thrive in the world we live in. We need not look too far for examples of why that matters.

Trust Matters

Consider the recent college admissions scandal that saw high-profile celebrities such as Lori Laughlin, Mossimo Giannulli, Felicity Huffman, and investor Douglas Hodge convicted of or pleading guilty to charges related to the falsification of student athletic records. They created false credentials claiming their children were varsity athletes and false evidence of their participation in related activities to successfully usurp admission to respected secondary education institutions from others who had legitimately earned that right. This scheme had been active for years and was only discovered because someone offered the information in exchange for leniency in an unrelated case.

Now, consider the same scenario within a trust ecosystem. First, the identity of the people making these claims of athletic achievement would be cryptographically verified to ensure they were whom they purported to be. That was not at issue in the cases above, but it is often a vector for fraud. In addition, the proof of their athletic history and accomplishment would be created and cryptographically signed by the institutions with the authority to present those facts (e.g., their high school, the club they claimed to compete for, a verified athletic association, etc.), whose identity would also be verified. In addition, the proof of their achievements would be tamper-evident. The colleges they applied to could be confident of both the source of the proof and its contents. Furthermore, if they so desired, the student’s identity could have remained anonymous in order to ensure selection was based solely upon the merit of their achievements and other relevant qualifications.

Similarly, a homeowner, builder, or contractor could use a trust ecosystem to ensure that those working on a home had the requisite qualifications to deliver a sound structure. As a farmer, I might use a trust ecosystem to ensure those working on my farm had the appropriate equipment and training when working with pesticides to avoid potentially deadly outcomes. There are countless circumstances where this framework could be implemented to improve security and prove authenticity.

We can help

Building a trust ecosystem is costly, time-consuming, and requires skilled technologists who specialize in areas such as Blockchain, PKI, and cryptography. The Converge TrustBuilder program utilizes our expertise in those areas and provides a toolkit to enable the rapid creation and deployment of trust ecosystems based upon best practices and industry standards such as W3C.

Whether you are a government agency looking to eliminate fraudulent claims; reduce processing and validation times; reduce or eliminate manual validation steps; and/or decrease processing costs or a large manufacturer looking to manage networks of third-party implementation, support, and maintenance organizations, Converge TrustBuilder can help.

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