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Verus and Arkeytyp: Adding Valu® and Privacy to the Information Economy

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The utility of the Verus Valu product goes well beyond tracking viruses, it empowers users with a self-sovereign ID in preparation for what Lyons terms the “Post Trust” economy.


“We always want to share information on what we are doing but often there are numerous stakeholders that require us to keep discussions confidential. This is sometimes counter intuitive for many crypto projects that thrive on speculation, we prefer to under promise and over deliver.” 

Nicholas Lyons, May 2020

Introduction

The open- source Verus project is a member of a task force providing a privacy-protecting solution to tracking covid19.

The Asian Pacific American Task Force is spearheaded by New York Assemblyman Ron Kim. In this article we dig deeper, and meet Nicholas Lyons who plays a key role advising the Gold Standard and Verus.


Convenience versus Privacy

Apple and Google recently launched the Covid19 Exposure Notification System for iOS and Android. An API is now available to select “entitled” developers to build tools for the tracking service. The solution is sensitive to privacy and uses temporary tokens without personally identifying information (PII) to monitor and alert those who may have come into contact with the virus. Yet French officials have raised concerns with a service always running in the background, and prefer the idea of an application.

The Exposure Notification System balances the classic trade-off between convenience and security. The idea of running an app rather than a background service might be better for privacy, but is inconvenient to the operation of the service.

The efficacy of the system is also at odds with privacy concerns. For example, Apple and Google’s joint solution does not incorporate location data and is opt-in, qualities that would surely make the system more effective. In this paradigm:

“The more the system respects your privacy, the less effective it is.” 

J. Siracusa, ATP

By contrast Australia has recently adopted a tracking technology without privacy features. Opposition to the technology was expressed in an article that proposed privacy-protecting alternatives, one of which describes the task force’s solution perfectly.

Zero-knowledge proof is another option. In this computation technique, one party (the prover) proves to another party (the verifier) they know the value of a specific piece of information, without conveying any other information. Thus, it would “prove” necessary information such as who a user has been in proximity with, without revealing details such as their name, phone number, postcode, age, or other apps running on their phone.


Paradigm Shift, New Archetype

Using Zero Knowledge proofs Verus ushers in a new paradigm.

It has created a solution that involves storing attestations on the Verus blockchain in such a way that a user can determine when, to whom, and how much of their private data they share, and how it is monetized.

For perhaps the first time in information security, the efficacy and convenience of an online tracking system is not inversely correlated to its privacy.

From a technical standpoint Verus ID is revolutionary, and implements Recovery and Revocation features essential to real-world usage (“Forgot your password?”) and never before seen in crypto. A new kind of ID address, an i address, complements the existing transparent address (t), and private zero knowledge (z) address, that anyone already familiar with Zcash will recognize.

“Our collective immediate goal is to help get New Yorkers back to work safely, while preserving privacy and civil liberties”. 

Nicholas Lyons

The “Internet of Valu”

The “Gold Standard” solution was proposed on Earth Day 2020 by Assemblyman Ron Kim and the Asian Pacific American Task Force and is outlined in more detail on the Valu.Earth website. At its core the aim is to build People Powered Protocols. What does that mean? “It means that We the People are now at the center of Value”

Valu is a partnership which combines the Community Owned, Fair Launched, unique Open Source software and tools of the Verus Protocol & VerusID with Valu and the Globally Patented Arkeytyp Hardware “Keycosystem”.

The combined aim of the “Gold Standard” participants is to enable every citizen to own their own Self Sovereign Digital Identity, empower the Data Commons and replace the current paradigm of Surveillance Capitalism.

The Verus Valu solution uniquely enables a cost effective, fool proof on ramp to the blockchain for mass adoption.

The Arkeytyp device enables distribution of Digital Wallets via the USPS, in Packaging or Experientially in the “Doctors office”.

Each Arkeytyp key enables users to access the new Internet of Valu, a Zero Knowledge Architecture empowering Self Sovereign Verus Identity unlocking Attestations, Tracing, Tracking and Incentives for Covid19 and beyond.

The Verus & Valu partnership empowers Federal, State and Municipals to issue Zero Knowledge Digital Dollars (stable tokens) in order to distribute Public Benefits or “Self Sovereign Social Credit” (SNAP EBT and Covid19 Relief) Additionally Valu will be empowering Corporate Benefits or “Self Sovereign Social Equity” (Smart Incentives, Coupons, Discounts, Loyalty Rewards). All of this is enabled by and built using the tools available on the Open Source Public Verus protocol.

They also understand that time and complexity are the enemy of adoption, Consumers require simple, secure, ubiquitous, multi channel solutions that are inclusive. Not everyone has a device, the sophistication or motivation to use the applications that Governments would like to see adopted.

A “Gold Standard” solution must be ubiquitous simple while respecting the Rule of Law, Privacy and Civil Liberties.

Mike, Nicholas and the wider Team are conscious that any scalable solution will have to navigate entrenched views and systems commercially and politically.

We truly believe the the Gold Standards of the future have to be People Powered Protocols. Covid19 has made one thing clear “a solution, of, by, and for the People is the most likely to succeed”.

Mike Toutonghi is the Verus lead dev and founder. Even before his time at Redmond putting multi-threading in the Win95 kernel, architecting .Net, and serving as eHome VP, he’d made a name for himself as a gifted engineer and programmer.

It was while working in the advertising division analyzing big data that Mike became keenly aware of the need for better privacy.

During the recent “Gold Standard” Town hall Mike explained that the traditional technology solutions for tracking and tracing the spread of Covid19 could just as easily be tracking people for marketing purposes, as we know, this is the dirty secret of the successful surveillance capitalists like Google and Facebook.

These centralized solutions however are in no way suitable from a privacy and civil liberties perspective. There is no such thing as privacy if the Data is correlatable centrally, we have lost the archetypal “group data” which is much more valuable from a societal perspective.

The simple argument that the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data is privacy protected is true, but if they know the group behavioral data, what we are likely to do, before we do, how can we be Free?

The utility of the Verus Valu product goes well beyond tracking viruses, it empowers users with a self-sovereign ID in preparation for what Lyons terms the “Post Trust” economy, more of that in a future note.

The combined aim of the “Gold Standard” participants is to enable every citizen to own their own Self Sovereign Digital Identity, empower the Data Commons and replace the current paradigm of Surveillance Capitalism.


Last Mover Advantage

The hardware for the “Gold Standard” solution will be provided by a company called Arkeytyp. It’s founder Nicholas Lyons, has a Finance and Technology background; Merchant Banking, Systematic Trading, Bayesian Machine Learning, Advertising & Media, Intellectual Property, and more.

In the 1990’s Nicholas worked in Investment Banking and while at Robert Fleming ran the Capital Markets IPO Syndication business raising over US$92 Bn for 493 Global Issuers. After Flemings acquisition in 2000 by JPMorgan Chase, Nicholas became VP at JP Morgan responsible for advising Pension Funds and Endowments on Private Equity, Hedge Fund and Real Estate Portfolios. In 2003 he started one of the first Bayesian Machine Learning Hedge Fund Technologies which he sold to Aspect Capital in 2007.

In 2007 Nicholas made an angel investment in the technology that would become Arkeytyp. From 2007 more than 25 Million USB devices using Arkeytyp’s IP were distributed Worldwide by more than 136 Global Brands such as Mercedes, P&G, the French Postal Service, Verizon and American Express.

Nicholas Lyons, Director Equity Capital Markets, Robert Fleming Syndication Desk, 1995

Nicholas believes the US Postal Service is one of the most undervalued assets in the USA today. The USPS has Fraud Protection, Logistics, Postal Banking and is the most trusted Federal agency with 80% approval ratings, a respected service and workforce amongst all parts of society. The Mail Men and Women of the United States Postal Service are an undervalued National Asset.

He came to this realization in 2015 when analyzing the US Postal Service. The USPS is a decentralized, distributed, network of “Doors” that covers 100% of the United States. Inside each of the 125million Households is unlimited power, wifi and most likely a computer, or mobile device. In the new world of the Internet of Things each Household is projected to connect c.27 devices, Lyons continued “The Household is also the Unit of Value in the economy”.

Consumer Consumption accounts for 14 Trillion or 70% of US GDP. They all have a mailbox that they Own and Control.

“The USPS is the Last Mile, the Mailbox the Last Yard and the Key, the Last Inch. The consumer on ramp to the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Nicholas Lyons

Most of the 100 plus Brands that proved the efficacy of the 20 million basic model”webkey” technology were in Direct Mail, Packaging or handed out at the “Doctors Office”.

The results were surprisingly good compared to the normal 1% response rates. The keys received over 10% response in the mail, 25% in the packaging box and 50% or more plugged in when received the key from their Doctor.

“We just needed to reinvigorate the Service with a powerful new technology Of, For and By the People”.

EVERY HUMAN ENGAGED IN THE WORLD REPRESENTS A “WELL OF VALUE” & IS A REFLECTION OF “TIME SPENT”

Lyons was introduced to the US Crypto community in 2014 by Dr Steven Waterhouse (CEO of Orchid Protocol) who was at the time working with Dan Morehead at Pantera, raising a Bitcoin Fund. Morehead sent the Nathaniel Popper Book “Digital Gold” and Lyons immediately understood the opportunity. He also knew he did not have the Protocol Software and Architecture he needed to build out the Keycosystem solution.

Lyons wrote his “Zero to ONE” vision paper in 2015, and set off on the “Crypto Convention Carousel” during which time in 2016–17 He wrote The Arkeytyp Tokenomics Vision Paper.

 He met with Brock Pierce and the EOS team in LA & Puerto Rico, Roger Ver of Bitcoin Cash in the Bahamas, Ethereum & Consensys in NYC, Chris Larsen of Ripple in San Francisco and many others.

However his search was to no avail, By Jan 14th 2019 Lyons was still looking for a protocol he thought capable of fulfilling his vision in a legally compliant, privacy enhanced, decentralized distributed basis. On the verge of abandoning his mission, he was introduced to Mike Toutonghi (by a former Microsoft mentee of Mike’s).

“We read each others vision papers that night, talked for hours over two days and both recognized that if we could unify our aims, our energies and focus we could be perfectly aligned.

“Mike was unique in that his depth and breadth of technical and practical knowledge enabled him to immediately understand and appreciate the benefits of the Hardware (as former Head of Microsoft eHome) combined with his vision of the software and protocol”.


 Almost from their initial meeting in Seattle, Lyons had become an informal advisor and collaborator. Nicholas is now officially an advisor to Verus.


Concluding Remarks

The “Gold Standard” which is led by Assemblyman Ron Kim and the Asian American Task Force and includes academics from Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Infectious Disease experts from Johns Hopkins and many more. It also includes an initiative called Inclusive Money.

The Inclusive Valu Ledger (IVL) is an initiative of Ron Kim and Prof. Robert Hockett of Cornell. The IVL partnership seeks to utilize the Verus Valu technology and improve the lives of the least fortunate in our societies, improve the economic efficiency of Public Benefits by adopting Digital Wallets with the latest advances in cryptography and blockchain. It is the aim of Inclusive to bring People Powered protocols, open source financial technology to the masses while enhancing Civil Liberties.

Before the outbreak of covid19, Valu was due to Launch in April with an International Labour Organization. This organization continues to support the project and is now a Partner and advocate of the “Gold Standard” solution in order to get their Union back to work.


Post Script: Diligence & NDA

After recovering my senses the day after my marathon diligence call with Nicholas, I set about checking the information he had provided.

On my request he provided documents proving the portfolio of patents held by Arkeytyp, together with an NDA which I signed.

Lyons says he is serious about mutalizing the Portfolio of IP, via the Verus Blockchain.

This would be the first time a valuable Portfolio of Apparatus,Utility and Design Patents (with rumored enforcement value in excess of US$180m) would be monetized in this way.

He also understands that he needs to be able to protect his Technology partners, both the General Public and Private Enterprise.

“We will be able to share much more, as we unveil solutions over the coming weeks and months” 

Nicholas Lyons, May 2020

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