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Reflecting On Decentralization



Reflecting On Decentralization

In the book club I help run at LinkedIn, we recently read the second edition of Token Economy by Shermin Voshmgir, and it was quite an interesting discussion that followed.

The heart of which goes back to the core ideas behind cryptocurrencies, a topic I’ve been writing about for a while now. Pretty fun to look back at my first article and see how much has changed since then, but also what hasn’t. 

Where Cryptocurrencies Began

Bitcoin is generally thought of as one of the first cryptocurrencies, with its whitepaper released in late October 2008. At the time, the US was going through some of its most significant financial market turmoils in history, and the timing of this whitepaper’s release was no accident. The core idea was to enable peer-to-peer payments, such that centralized financial institutions that were in that day and age failing left and right could be avoided when necessary. The whitepaper’s conclusion is about the peer-to-peer payment network’s secure trust mechanisms, the core of Bitcoin’s innovation. 

What this whitepaper did NOT say, however, is that the entire digital world needs to be decentralized and that all central ownership is evil. Somehow, though, this has seemingly become one of the underlying drivers behind the massive cryptocurrency explosion we have seen in the past several years. New tokens sprout daily to help decentralize some new piece of our digital world. 

When Decentralization Is Necessary

It’s with good reason that decentralization has become so hot. Especially in a political mindset, the idea of a system without centralized control by authority figures we don’t like has become very appealing. These days, one can turn on the news to see examples of authoritarians abusing their centralized power.

A decentralized system is more inclusive and resistant to manipulation, but such systems are rare. The United States started as such a system, or at least there was a very deliberate effort towards creating a political government where no single entity had absolute power, that there would be “checks and balances.” Over time, that separation has eroded through various laws, global events, and evil leaders, making decentralization sound even more intriguing, even in the US.

While the government is perhaps the best example of where decentralization is effective, the idea that decentralized alternatives should replace all current financial companies seems silly. Yes, centralization in the banking industry likely caused the 2008 crisis, and having checks and balances to counterweight that behavior is essential. But that doesn’t mean that we need to replace these institutions outright!

By combining centralized and decentralized systems, we will find the right balance that helps serve everyone best. It’s going to be about striking a balance, but in our times’ social media extremism, that position gets lost in the noise of either extreme. 

Token Economy

This leads us back to Token Economy, which discusses a LOT of various areas of the cryptocurrency space in textbook-level detail. It helps to explain all of the underlying security mechanisms while also describing how decentralized organizations are created and function and much more. Through this, while not stating it explicitly, there is a clear perspective that decentralization is good everywhere, which is something I’m not sure I agree with. While I’m happy to have alternatives to the centralized banking system for when things are in crisis and banks aren’t behaving (or have shut down), in my everyday life, I don’t want to have to think about all those details. Handing over that complexity to a centralized authority that I trust (at that moment, perhaps not always) is more scalable for me to live my life the way I want to. 

There’s also an incongruity in the push for decentralization. Most of the solutions thus far in Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) governance involve elections for representatives to join board-style discussions and vote since it is otherwise unfeasible to have all individuals participate at scale. The similarities with existing governmental structures are no mistake: our governments work, so we borrow from that success. While our governments don’t necessarily work the way we want them to, they do function, and it is only logical for that system design to make its way into the token economy.

So What?

Reading Token Economy might not be worth it for everyone; it’s more of a reference textbook than a nonfiction book anyways. But my crucial conclusion after having read it is that cryptocurrencies and the ideas behind them are not going anywhere because they are so intertwined with the general political zeitgeist of our time. There will continue to be innovation in the cryptocurrency space for years to come; just like innovation in most technology-related fields, we are in a continuing acceleration of technological development in which cryptocurrencies are just a tiny sliver. This general acceleration will likely continue to make the entire cryptocurrency market grow, making it an exciting space for speculation and investment. Still, will everything be decentralized and on a blockchain in the coming years? I don’t think so, primarily because we don’t need it to be. However, that doesn’t take away from the value that cryptocurrencies will provide the world. It doesn’t always have to be a winner take all game; we can and will find a middle ground.

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Daasity builds ELT+ for Commerce on the Snowflake Data Cloud



Cloud Computing News

Modular data platform Daasity has launched ELT+ for Commerce, Powered by Snowflake.

It is thought ELT+ for Commerce will benefit customers by enabling consumer brands selling via eCommerce, Amazon, retail, and/or wholesale to implement a full or partial data and analytics stack. 

Dan LeBlanc, Daasity co-founder and CEO, said: “Brands using Daasity and Snowflake can rapidly implement a customisable data stack that benefits from Snowflake’s dynamic workload scaling and Secure Data Sharing features.

“Additionally, customers can leverage Daasity features such as the Test Warehouse, which enables merchants to create a duplicate warehouse in one click and test code in a non-production environment. Our goal is to make brands, particularly those at the enterprise level, truly data-driven organisations.”

Building its solution on Snowflake has allowed Daasity to leverage Snowflake’s single, integrated platform to help joint customers extract, load, transform, analyse, and operationalise their data. With Daasity, brands only need one platform that includes Snowflake to manage their entire data environment.

Scott Schilling, senior director of global partner development at Snowflake, said: “Daasity’s ELT+ for Commerce, Powered by Snowflake, will offer our joint customers a way to build a single source of truth around their data, which is transformative for businesses pursuing innovation.

“As Snowflake continues to make strides in mobilising the world’s data, partners like Daasity give our customers flexibility around how they build data solutions and leverage data across the organisation.” 

Daasity enables omnichannel consumer brands to be data-driven. Built by analysts and engineers, the Daasity platform supports the varied data architecture, analytics, and reporting needs of consumer brands selling via eCommerce, Amazon, retail, and wholesale. Using Daasity, teams across the organisation get a centralised and normalised view of all their data, regardless of the tools in their tech stack and how their future data needs may change. 

ELT stands for Extract, Load, Transform, meaning customers can extract data from various sources, load the data into Snowflake, and transform the data into actions that marketers can pursue. For more information about Daasity, our 60+ integrations, and how the platform drives more profitable growth for 1600+ brands, visit us at

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4 Activities that Automakers Can Digitize Now



4 Activities that Automakers Can Digitize Now

Digital automaking is supported by technology-driven trends, consumer needs and new developments in artificial intelligence.

Manufacturing, procurement of raw materials, marketing and sales are factors involved in this change.

Digital automaking is a process that combines simulation, three-dimensional visualizations, analytics and several tool partnerships to make automotive manufacturing easier. Since the automotive industry has been undergoing a digital transformation primarily driven by intelligent mobility, it has encouraged the market to adopt new technology and software for modern vehicles. There has also been a growing need to increase industrial processes’ sustainability, environmental friendliness and adaptability. All of this has made automotive digitalization extremely important.

Automotive digitization helps to keep precise control over business operations, which is made possible using modern technologies like ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) to improve short- and long-term performance. 

Automotive digitization has also increased the capacity to monitor each component of the supply chain while lowering costs and risks. Digital automaking can offer automotive solutions in terms of better design, time efficiency, and many other industry solutions.

4 Activities that Can Be Digitized by Automakers Now


1. Manufacturing

Customers desire tailored goods, but they don’t want to pay more than they would for items that are mass-produced. As a result, manufacturing must be more adaptable than ever, leading to mass customization. Thus, the design, fabrication, use and maintenance of products are changing as a result of the digitalization of manufacturing. It is also changing the operations, procedures and energy footprint of supply chains and more. Digital manufacturing enables firms to provide additional options that are tailored to individual customers. Businesses can better understand supply-chain challenges, including inventory levels, delivery status and demand cycles, thanks to digital manufacturing. 

The factories of the future will move from automation to autonomy, strengthening real-time communication between equipment, physical systems, and people. These factories are referred to as smart factories. The most notable advantages of a smart factory are its shop floor connectivity, advanced robotics, flexible automation, augmented and virtual reality systems, and efficient energy management. The general manufacturing sector’s global standards are established by the automotive industry.

Over the past two decades, the automotive sector has expanded tremendously. However, the main elements that will affect whether digitalization is successfully implemented are the significance of realizing a return on investment (RoI) and the willingness of employees at both the top-most and lowest levels of an organization.

2. Supply Chain

By removing the functional barriers that divide different areas, the digitization of the supply chain is a cross-functional process that spans the entire lifecycle of a vehicle or product and involves all company divisions. It allows for an ecosystem that connects all stakeholders, from raw material and component suppliers to logistics companies, dealers and customers.

Utilizing digital technology throughout the entire supply chain allows for real-time monitoring of all supply-chain stages, be it either procurement of raw materials or finished products ready to be delivered or purchased. The evaluation and management of each event’s impacts on the supply chain can help the automation of procedures and the avoidance of potential interruption.

3. Design

Design plays a significant role in the automotive industry. By digitizing design activity, design professionals can test multiple hypotheses before proceeding with the design phase. Digitalization in the designing of products has been enabled by a digital model known as Digital Twins, which represents tangible assets in 3D. Digital twins mirror the complete car or one of its components’ appearance and behavior. With great assistance from sophisticated software, businesses can collect information about configuration, sensors, inspection data, and other details to improve the product’s design.

Automobile manufacturers are among the many industrial firms that recognize digital twins’ possibilities and the potential it has to bring in the best in the business of automobiles. The design and production processes are simplified by 3D representations, improving vehicle performance and cutting costs for the manufacturers. The twin technology is quickly rising to the top of the list of software solutions used in contemporary auto manufacturing, with applications ranging from car design to predictive maintenance to boosting sales using digitally generated models.

4. Marketing

Any marketing strategy aims to tailor the right message to the right set of audiences at the right time. A marketing campaign that appeals to a 45-year-old countryside man might not affect a 23-year-old lady residing in an urban area. Therefore, the impact of marketing combined with the effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be the biggest boon to any business. The automotive industry can enormously benefit in how they market their brand/product by adding the power of artificial intelligence to their current data. It can lead to a strong possibility of purchasing your products early in the sales process, possibly before customers even begin looking for their new car, which is indicated by specific online activities. 

As a result of recent advancements in third-party cookies and mobile advertising identifiers, AI can now assist brands in finding new prospects much more quickly by utilizing data to identify customers with similar characteristics and behaviors. This strategy can potentially increase your prospective customer base and give you an advantage over your competitors. You can identify high-priority targets by identifying the demographic categories that overlap. These solutions don’t require cookies and are more likely to comply with escalating privacy requirements because they rely on behaviors rather than personal data.

The automotive sector has modified its strategy and is now embracing digitization. Digital transformation in the automotive industry still has a lot of gaps to be addressed, but the trend toward digitization is a sign that the stakeholders in the automotive sector will be properly supplied with digital solutions in the coming days. With intelligent technology, and operations across the entire company and all departments, including manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, and sales, digital automaking will help the automotive industry to flourish in this digital era. An increasingly digital supply chain will also dismantle established barriers and greatly enhance communication. Undoubtedly, businesses must adopt a more significant digital transformation to be ready in this competitive automotive industry.

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The 10 Worst Cybersecurity Strategies You Need To Know



The 10 Worst Cybersecurity Strategies You Need To Know

Employees should be trained on basic cybersecurity practices and the dangers of phishing scams.

Granting too many privileges to user accounts can lead to security breaches. Failing to update software on time can leave vulnerabilities open to attacks. 

Organizations should have a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure quick recovery in the event of a cyberattack.

Counting down to the absolutely worst cybersecurity strategies. 

Sadly, these are all prevalent in the industry. Many organizations have failed spectacularly simply because they chose to follow a long-term path that leads to disaster. You know who you are…

Let’s count them down.  

10. Cyber-Insurance

No need for security, just get insurance. Transferring risk is better than mitigating it!

Famous Last Words: Sure, it should be covered

9. Audit Confidence

Conducting a comprehensive security audit. …and ignoring the results

Famous Last Words: We will close those gaps later…

8. Best Tools, Left Unmanaged

Deploying several good tools, set to autopilot. No need to manage or maintain anything 

Famous Last Words: Security is not that difficult…

7. Regulatory Compliance

Meeting the minimum requirements (defined 2 years ago)

Famous Last Words: Relax, we are compliant!

6. One Good Tool

We just need one good tool (ex. AV) and we are set. 

Famous Last Words: That should do it.

5. IT Dependence  

Cybersecurity is a tech problem, it’s IT’s responsibility. 

Famous Last Words: The IT dept has it covered.

4. Security by Marketing  

Believing the snake-oil (deceptive marketing) salesperson that will ‘solve‘ your security problems

Famous Last Words: We are totally protected now! (or similar derivative from the sales brochure)

3. Default Security Settings  

Products and services come with security built in! 

Famous Last Words: It’s new, shiny, and looks secure. Don’t worry, we should be fine!

2. Security by Obscurity

Nobody knows or cares about us. We are too small to be targeted.

Famous Last Words: We haven’t been attacked yet…

1. Hope, as a Strategy

I hope we don’t get attacked. Let’s move on with more important things.

Famous Last Words: <meek inner voice>> Just don’t think about security because it is too scary, expensive, and complex!


This is the menu that evokes anger, frustration, and pity among cybersecurity professionals around the globe. Eventually it always ends in despair, blame, and a side of tears.

A solid long-term strategic plan is a necessity for an efficient and capable cybersecurity capability. Cybersecurity fails without a proper strategy. 

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