Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

share save 171 16 - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

RightMesh | John Lyotier | May 27, 2019

technology and fear - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the UnknownImagine this scene from many millennia ago: a lone hunter walks through the savannah just after the sun has gone down. His spear is at the ready. His hair stands on end, his pupils dilate, and his nostrils flare open. All his senses are heightened, ready to trigger a fight or flight response if threatened. Each step is taken with care. He proceeds carefully, one step at a time, back to his shelter, and to the security and recent invention of fire.  This was the every day reality of our prehistoric selves.

Skipping forward to more recent history, several years ago, in the aftermath of 9/11, I was working in a startup that had developed cutting-edge facial recognition technology. One of our partners discovered that when a sub-audible sound mimicking the noise of a breaking branch was played from a speaker hooked up to a surveillance camera, our still-trapped-on-the-savannah-selves could not help but look in the direction of the sound and the camera. Unsuspecting subjects would hear the sound, automatically turn to look for the source, then go back to their activities, intuitively re-assured of their safety. The initial fear response is so deeply ingrained in our subconscious that when subjects were asked, after the experiment, they would argue vehemently that they had NOT looked in the direction of the camera. But they had, and this reaction boosted our ability to detect and identify faces.

See:  Technology, Legitimacy & Social Justice: Fighting “the propaganda of inevitability”

Given our collective prehistoric upbringing, which was rooted in life-or-death fear, it is no wonder that we, as a species, struggle at embracing things that are new, challenging the status quo, or welcoming change into our everyday lives. Fear of the unknown is programmed into our DNA.

I have been thinking about ‘Fear’ and being ‘Fearless’ a lot since speaking at FFCON2019 last month and being a part of the official Toronto screening of the blockchain-inspired documentary, ‘Trust Machine’. Of course, ‘Fearless’ was the theme of this event, but I have nary had a conversation since that did not involve the concept of fear. From every day people I meet on the street, to Uber drivers, politicians, executives, regulators – it seems that, today, everyone is afraid.

Why?  What is threatening us today? As in eras past, I believe the root is fear of the unknown.

It is unknown what happens to banks and financial institutions when they are no longer the arbiters of trust, and people can conduct transactions directly with each other.  And what happens to politicians when, rather than elected officials, we have autonomous AI bots that communicate and represent our needs on all issues? What happens to our legal systems, insurance industries, news sources, and so much more, once governance and trust are automated through blockchain? What happens when millions upon millions of truck drivers are displaced by self-driving, autonomous vehicles? What happens to society when we trust and identify more with RadGamer72 and other online avatars more so than our IRL [in real life] neighbours down the street?

See:  Finally. Canadian Securities Administrators Announce Intent to Harmonize & Improve Crowdfunding Exemption

Every demographic, it seems, regardless of its specific insecurity, is facing a heightened generalized fear of the unknown.

Fear of the unknown is not new, of course. In fact, many modern and historical religions have their genesis in this fear, giving hope to those who seek clarity to that which is unknown. However, it does seem this specific fear is magnified in our current age due to technology. Technology is advancing at an exponential rate. In fact, in 2017 there was more data [more knowledge] created in a single year than in 5,000 years of humanity. As mere mortals, we can’t keep up. Where knowledge is exponential, people are linear. With every passing second, we fall further behind, creating more unknown, and, by extension, more fear of the unknown.

Much of this fear is based on trust.  In the past, we needed to trust that the sound of the breaking branch was merely the wind in the trees and not an animal crouching in preparation to attack us. In modern times, our trust is in institutions and people. Consumers need to trust business owners; regulators need to trust consumers; business owners need to trust regulators; and so on. Which brings us to the topic of blockchain technologies and the concept of decentralized trust.

It seems somewhat poetic to me that the very problem we are facing today (exponential growth of technology creating more unknowns and thus more fear of the unknown) can be solved with technology itself.  Details of the technology aside, what blockchain has done, and is doing, is enabling a system that allows people and machines to trust each other implicitly.

See:  To Support Disruptive Technologies, Take Bigness Seriously

Let’s look at the examples I mentioned before: business owners, regulators, and consumers. As a business owner, blockchain means you do not have to trust regulators or government authorities, but you can trust the blockchain that enforces the rules of the game. As a regulator, you do not have to trust a consumer to know that the rule of law is being followed, but you can trust that the encoded legislation ensures fair dealings from all those involved. And as a consumer, you do not have to trust the business owner to look after your data, to give you ethically-sourced products, or to give you the answers to the questions you seek. You can be in control while simultaneously relinquishing control. What blockchain provides is the layer of trust that removes uncertainty and fear.

At RightMesh, we have incorporated this trust layer of blockchain in our mobile mesh network which enables smartphones to connect directly, peer-to-peer. We use the Ethereum blockchain as a unique identity layer for the ‘nodes’, or smartphones, in the network, and we use our own token, RMESH, to incentivize sharing and the ‘right behaviour’ in the network. In our solution, blockchain was brought in not because it was trendy or the newest tech craze, but because we needed a way for two parties to trust each other without necessarily relying on centralized trust systems. Without trust, the whole system would fall over because of fear.

Think back to the beginning of this article and your pre-historic self surviving on the savannah. Your new ‘fire’ invention helped you let your guard down (just a little) as you began to trust in its ability to keep predators at bay. Of course, it took time for your fear to subside, but in time, after each passing night, you started to trust in the fire’s protective powers, and with that trust, all the unknown noises became a little less scary.

See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

John Lyotier RightMesh - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

Photography by Alan Bailward Photography - http://bailwardphotography.com

This, in my opinion, parallels where blockchain is today. As a community, we have created something new. It is a bit scary at first as it has the power to transform all aspects of society, but we are learning to trust, and in doing so, we all get to be a little more fearless.

John Lyotier is the CEO of RightMesh AG, a global mesh networking company with operations in Canada, Bangladesh, Switzerland, and Singapore. John believes if we can improve connectivity, we can improve healthcare, education, transportation, tolerance, economic output, and lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. Under his leadership, RightMesh has been named as one of Canada's Top 100 Workplaces (tied for 7th), and has been named to Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 and 500.  An accomplished speaker, John has presented at global events including SXSW, Namescon, Global Inclusion Blockchain Conference, and the Founder's Network Global Conference.

 

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the UnknownFF Logo 400 v3 - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknowncommunity social impact - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 FINTECH DRAFT PITCHING AND DEMO COMPANY WINNERS!



FFCON20 Pitching and Demo Winners - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown



NCFA COVID 19 letter to government to support Fintechs and SMEs - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

Bloomberg | Lulu Yilun Chen | Sep 23, 2020 Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. is seeking to raise $17.5 billion in its Hong Kong share sale and won’t seek to lock in cornerstone investors, confident there will be plenty of demand for one of the largest equity deals in the financial hub, according to people familiar with the matter. The fintech giant has assessed investor interest, betting it can pull off the Hong Kong portion of the initial public offering without cornerstone investors that are often needed for large deals, according to the people. Ant is leaning toward inviting these big investors for the Shanghai sale to mitigate price fluctuations, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The Hangzhou-based firm is planning to issue new stock equal to about 11% to 15% of the shares outstanding and split the float evenly between Hong Kong and Shanghai, the people added. Ant is mulling what could be the world’s largest IPO, seeking to raise about $35 billion in the dual listing at a valuation of about $250 billion, people familiar have said. See:  Exclusive: Ant Financial shifts focus from finance to tech services: sources Plans are ...
Read More
Ant IPO review - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
OSFI | Release | Sep 15, 2020 OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 15, 2020 /CNW/ - Today the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) launched a three-month consultation with the publication of a discussion paper, Developing financial sector resilience in a digital world.  The paper focuses on risks arising from rapid technological advancement and digitalization, as these trends impact the stability of the Canadian financial sector. This consultation supports OSFI's strategic objective to ensure that federally-regulated financial institutions and pension plans are better prepared to identify and develop resilience to non-financial risks before they negatively affect their financial condition. While technology is a key enabler for financial institutions and financial consumers, its widespread use and rapid adoption can pose risks in many different areas of the business if not properly understood and managed. See:  Fintech & Cybersecurity: Key Risks and Solutions Cyberattacks now cost small companies $200,000 on average, putting many out of business Cybersecurity Body of Knowledge Understanding the financial sector's use of technology and how technology risks are managed is central to this consultation. OSFI's discussion paper focuses on the risk areas of cyber security, advanced analytics (artificial intelligence and machine learning), and the use of third party services ...
Read More
Technology risks in the Financial Sector - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
Wealth Professional | James Burton |Sep 23, 2020 Robo-advisor trumpets easy-to-use, transparent and safe product, which is now open to investors Weathsimple Crypto went live yesterday, with more than 130,000 Canadians having signed on to the waitlist since the product was announced last month. The digital platform is offering commission-free trading of the two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, through a mobile trading app. The robo-advisor believes it will make a largely complex and inaccessible asset class more inclusive and easy to use. There is no minimum account size, no charges for deposits or withdrawals, and no extra hidden costs. Wealthsimple CEO Mike Katchen told WP that its primary arim is to be simple and accessible. He said: “You don’t need to be an expert in cryptocurrency or blockchain to use this platform. It’s geared toward people who are interested in learning more or dipping their toes into crypto trading. The other big one is that the pricing is transparent. The price you see when you tap buy is what you pay — no extra hidden costs. There’s no minimum account size, and we don’t charge for deposits or withdrawals. Watch FFCON20 Video:  Wealthsimple's Road to Regulatory Crypto Approval and What it Means ...
Read More
crypto - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
Global Risk Institute | Markos Zachariadis, University of Manchester | Sep 24, 2020 Executive Summary:  Data-sharing frameworks in financial services:  Discussing open banking regulation for Canada  Data-sharing frameworks in financial services are becoming increasingly prevalent with the potential to shape drastically the future of banking and finance. As data assets are of strategic importance to financial institutions and central to their ‘datafication’ and digital transformation processes, sharing and accessing new data can alter the dynamics of competition and lead to the emergence of new players as well as nascent markets. Innovative technologies such as application programming interfaces (APIs) can help simplify data communication between systems and thus standardize the exchange of information between organizations allowing them to experiment with new, more open, business models. APIs also give the ability to effectively control openness and orchestrate ecosystems of third-parties that can add value to organizations’ supply chain and end users. Having said that, the deployment of open APIs in financial services raises numerous questions regarding the appropriate regulatory (or not) framework and infrastructure for opening up data in the banking sector. See:  Open Banking – North American Style Explore Fintechs in Canada Sign-up for NCFA's Weekly & Insights Newsletter The current ...
Read More
Data sharing frameworks and APIs - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
Betakit | Meagan Simpson | Sep 23, 2020 Neo Financial, the new Canadian FinTech startup focused on challenging the status quo in banking, has begun rolling out its services in Western Canada. Neo Financial is a Prairies-based startup created by SkipTheDishes founders Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson, alongside Kris Read. It is the newest challenger bank entrant into the Canadian financial market and is on a mission to re-imagine everyday banking. After spending the first year and a half of its existence building out its tech and banking infrastructure, Neo has officially brought its financial services offering to market. Over the last couple of weeks, Neo began offering its savings account, Mastercard, and merchant rewards program to a select number of individuals on its 30,000-plus waitlist. With a current focus on Western Canada, Neo hopes to have its products available across Canada later this year. See:  Open banking would help the recovery Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve C.D. Howe Institute Report: Open Banking Holds Promise, Risks for Consumers Rebank Podcast: How to Build a Profitable Digital Bank with Tinkoff Chau, Neo’s CEO, recently spoke to BetaKit about the startup’s go-to-market strategy and its goal ...
Read More
NEO - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
MarketWatch | Jonathan Burton | Sep 18, 2020 Veteran hedge-fund manager says capitalists don’t divide the economic pie well, so the system isn’t working effectively for all Ray Dalio certainly is no radical idealist, but in his frequent writings and media appearances the veteran investor consistently calls for Americans to rewrite their longstanding contract with capitalism so that it is fairer and more generous to more people. Otherwise, he predicts, life in the U.S. could become more difficult: mountainous debt that stunts economic growth; fewer opportunities for ordinary citizens to get ahead financially; and a worldwide lack of trust in the U.S. dollar that diminishes Americans’ purchasing power and could lower their standard of living. Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge-fund firm, which has made him a billionaire. So it’s not surprising that he champions capitalism as a proven way to expand economic growth and living standards. “Capitalism and capitalists are good at increasing and producing productivity to increase the size of the economic pie,” he says. Then Dalio stands this tenet on its head. Capitalists don’t divide the economic pie very well, he says, and so today the capitalist system, the foundation of the ...
Read More
Ray Dalio at world economic forum - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
Investment Executive | James Langton | Sep 21, 2020 Sweeping recommendations to reform Ontario’s securities laws are facing a barrage of criticism from certain corners of Bay Street. The Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce, which began its review of the province’s securities laws in February, published its draft recommendations in July. The task force aims to deliver its final recommendations to the government by the end of the year, despite conducting most of its consultations amid a global pandemic. The task force’s work has been remarkable for both its speed and its ambition, but critics say the group’s recommendations are ill-conceived, threaten investor protection and could undermine the province’s efforts for more vibrant capital markets. The task force’s July report proposes a series of reforms largely designed to stoke growth in the capital markets. In addition to the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) traditional priorities of investor protection and ensuring fair and efficient markets, the task force proposes expanding the regulator’s mandate to include an obligation to foster capital formation and competition. The task force also recommends overhauling Ontario’s existing regulatory structure, easing a variety of constraints on raising capital, remodelling proxy voting and corporate governance, and revisiting enforcement and investor ...
Read More
Ontario government building 1 - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Press Release |  Sep 21, 2020 WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published a letter clarifying national banks' and federal savings associations' authority to hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue certain stablecoins. Stablecoins refer to cryptocurrency backed by an asset such as a fiat currency, including U.S. dollars or other foreign currency. "National banks and federal savings associations currently engage in stablecoin-related activities involving billions of dollars each day," Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks said. "This opinion provides greater regulatory certainty for banks within the federal banking system to provide those client services in a safe and sound manner." See:  Stablecoins: Experience the Stability Visa’s digital dollar concept opens a door to central bank currencies FFCON20 Video: Future of CBDCs, Digital Assets and Trading Virtual Panel via Toronto Centre (Apr 17): Using Stable Coins to Facilitate Financial Stability and Inclusion Under Unprecedented Times The letter responds to questions regarding the application of stablecoin-related bank activities. It concludes national banks and federal savings associations may hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue stablecoins, in situations where the coins are held in hosted wallets. The ...
Read More
Stablecoins   - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
SBE Council | Sep 16, 2020 New Report Highlights Investment Crowdfunding’s Success, and COVID-19 Policy Opportunities for Recovery Today, Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released a new report detailing the growing power and prevalence of investment crowdfunding and the need for a “Main Street Recovery Co-Investment Fund.” “We need to act quickly to stop the bleeding on Main Street,” says Sherwood Neiss, Principal at Crowdfund Capital Advisors. “Short term band aids might slow the trauma, but we need a program that can quickly get capital to local businesses in a way that is supported by local investors. This will create a long-term win that will rebuild and sustain local economies, provide dividends to investors and achieve what Congress is trying to accomplish at the local level,” adds Neiss. In the report, Regulation Crowdfunding by Congressional District: A Report Card, CCA and SBE Council review the progress of investment crowdfunding since 2016.  The Jumpstart Our Businesses Startup Act (JOBS Act) of 2012 enacted changes that ushered in investment crowdfunding, which officially launched following the finalization of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules in 2016. Currently, the SEC is in the process of advancing ...
Read More
Fund small business recovery - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown
McKinsey Global Institute | Sep 21, 2020 In 2015, the 193 member countries of the United Nations came together to commit to 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 5 focused on gender equality and set the ambitious target of achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls everywhere by 2030. Five years later, large gender gaps remain across the world, and the early evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a regressive effect on gender equality. Learn More: Banking Must Take A Stand On Tough Social Issues Women In Fintech Will Play A Crucial Part In The Covid-19 Recovery Plan Black tech founders say venture capital needs to move past ‘diversity theater’ Three Big Things: The Most Important Forces Shaping the World Why venture capital firms need more women partners and entrepreneurs Why Older Entrepreneurs Have the Edge Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This. Six steps to achieve financial gender parity this #IWD How can we ensure that the role of women in the workplace and in society is central to efforts to rebuild economies in the COVID-19 era, and that women do not fall further behind? As ...
Read More
Gender eqality - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

 

share save 171 16 - Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown