Katherine Noall: Recapturing Identity using Blockchain

Talking about Blockchain with Katherine NoallKatherine Noall, the CEO of Sphere Identity, discusses personal privacy in the age of the internet and social media.





On Controlling One’s Own Identity: With identity, we really want to know that, you know, a person, or an attribute of that person, is really, well, either verified or occurred at a certain point in time. And databases…other than adding a date field, which can be changed, can’t do that. The other characteristic that blockchain brings to identity is a whole lot of new security, and the fact that the networks are distributed means that data is copied, or replicated, so if anything happens in the network, then that’s saved. So you can’t have cases anymore where a database goes down and all is lost. And that distribution is really going to mean that individuals can use that, and really control things themselves. They don’t necessarily need somebody else, an intermediary, to do that on their behalf.

Advice for Business Owners: We’ve got an increasing number of blockchains. There are probably about five serious distributed storage projects at the moment. Businesses need to be watching those, because they do different things. As is the case with traditional technology, you really need to choose what’s best for your purpose, and nobody is going to be able to do that. And the unfortunate thing in the blockchain space is that, although there are some great sources of information on things like currency, there isn’t one source to go to for, you know, what’s the best blockchain for me, or which distributed storage should I use? These are things that businesses are going to need to find out for themselves, and be really aware that any advisors they’re using are probably trying to sell them one solution, and, you know, business needs are wider than that. So businesses are going to need to really get very literate around these technologies.

I encourage businesses to start with something that’s a real problem, so not just as something that’s nice to have, and build something. See if it works, and don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. I know this is new, scary technology, but we won’t know how things work until we’ve actually built them.

This episode of The Inc. Tank would not be possible without:

Christina Elson, Host and Executive Producer
Stevi Calandra, Executive Producer
Jeff Stroud, Editing and Sound Design
Corinne Baker, Production Assistant
Jake Fechter, Production Assistant
Andrew Platt, Blockchain Consultant

The Inc. Tank Theme Song “Key to the Foot” provided by Clean Cuts Music Library
The Inc. Tank logo was designed by Kasia Burns

This podcast is brought to you by The Ed Snider Center for Enterprise & Markets and the Kauffman Foundation.