Consumers’ Research: Blockchain will protect consumers

With growing interest in the blockchain and distributed account system of Bitcoin, the industry is now focusing more on the application of technology far away from the financial world.

This has now included more time and money for identity and security applications, if not exclusively financial in nature. As further proof of the growing interest in the technology, a presentation of Keynote 2015 will be given on a less addressed area of technology – consumer protection.

Joe Colangelo, Managing Director of Consumers’ Research, was there to talk about this topic. The US non-profit organization was among the first to publish monthly magazines designed to help consumers make purchasing decisions.

In an interview, Colangelo opened the growing work of the over 80-year-old organization in the Bitcoin and Blockchain industry and stated that the technology will bring a fundamental change to consumer protection.

Colangelo told CoinDesk about Bitcoin formula:

“Consumers have always had to trust third parties about how to use their Bitcoin formula, even when it comes to cash. The whole model of Bitcoin formula protection is based on the assumption that consumers cannot easily find out which sources are reliable.

Colangelo relies more on consumer research than on the way his organization worked in the 1920s. These third parties are replaced by the ability of the blockchain to perform secure peer-to-peer transactions.

As The Wall Street Journal has shown, he recently organized a retreat at New Hampshire’s famous Bretton Woods, which brought together Michael J Casey (MIT Media Lab) and ChangeTips Community Manager Victoria van Eyk as well as other industrial celebrities.

The goal, Colangelo said, was to produce a document that would inform regulators and legislators of the potential benefits and opportunities of this technology.

“I have attended perhaps half of all major Bitcoin conferences in the last two years,” Colangelo said. “We always get a big bunch of genius people together, then they talk about what they do and then they leave.

New third-party Bitcoin trader

Although Bitcoin and blockchain technology give users direct control over their assets, many digital currency users interact with third parties like these: This includes hosted web wallets, Bitcoin exchange exchanges and private key custodians that protect Bitcoin trader digital money.

Of all these developments, Colangelo is most interested in multi-signature wallets that allow users to retain control over their assets while sharing access with other institutions, thus protecting their assets.

Colangelo believes that the application of this technology will be of growing benefit to the consumer, especially when it becomes possible to similarly manage personal information.

“Social engineering is one of the main methods used to commit [information] theft. This becomes increasingly difficult when dealing with multiple parties,” he said. “If I have a third party that manages my Bitcoins and I have a key with a partner like Third Key Solutions, then I don’t think it’ll be twice as hard, even four times as hard.”

Colangelo believes that it is a capability of Bitcoin to give users programmatically access to their money and data, which is ultimately the most attractive to them.

“You can start by making rules. For example, you could program a wallet so that it is not allowed to transmit more than 1 BTC per day. You can even reduce the risk to zero if you can program the money in such a way that it can only be transferred in a certain way.”

Colangelo sees Blockchain as an opportunity to give users back their possessions of their personal data. In the future, he claims, it may be possible to allow companies only temporary access to sensitive data, for example:

“We won’t have to share our information, we can temporarily share it with FitBit or Facebook or American Airlines and then take it back. We give them 24-hour access and keep the information,” he explained.