Ep. #1009 - The New Paradigm of Zero Trust
In today’s episode of the Startup Hustle, we’re getting to know the new paradigm of zero trust. Matt Watson talks to Andrew Brick, chief product officer at Notoros, to indulge in the knowledge of having a system with zero trust.
Covered In This Episode
Have you heard about the new paradigm of zero trust? Discover more about it from the insights shared by Matt and Andrew.
Hear about high-level blockchain topics and how it works. The duo also reveals how Notoros’ technology can help your business. Along with a tidbit of wisdom you can use when investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
What are you waiting for? Listen to this Startup Hustle episode today.
- Andrew Brick’s professional journey (01:51)
- What is blockchain? (04:30)
- Different use cases for fintech (05:51)
- The problem that Notoros is trying to solve (08:02)
- The core issue of people not understanding the purpose of a technology (10:28)
- Tracking where and when data was modified (11:48)
- The target customer for Notoros (13:54)
- Use cases for Notoros (15:27)
- Get to know Andrew’s co-founder (17:32)
- Compatible systems with Notoros (22:12)
- Notoros’ value proposition (24:05)
- Current targets for using Notoros’ tech (27:11)
- Using blockchain even when it’s not necessary (28:45)
- Addressing the problem in security (31:05)
- Using event-based systems (33:28)
- Uses cases where blockchain makes sense (35:39)
- Underlying assumptions for blockchain (40:04)
- Tips on investing in crypto and Bitcoin (40:52)
- Top tips for entrepreneurs (44:02)
We really want to create a product that solves a lot of problems for developers. So that they don’t feel that they have to go and learn a whole bunch of skills that they don’t want to spend time investing in. Instead, they can just use the software that they’ve built or use the skills that they’ve already learned.– Andrew Brick
For a reason, I’m thinking of the box of paperwork in Donald Trump’s office. Like when did those boxes get there? And when did they leave? Having the certainty that might be useful for him right now as a use case here.– Matt Watson
Technology that’s designed to empower my users. I’m sure I can figure out a way to centralize that power back to myself.– Andrew Brick
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Moreover, find additional business solutions offered by our Startup Hustle partners.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt Watson 00:01
And we’re back for another episode of the Startup Hustle. This is Matt Watson, your host today, and I’m excited to be joined by Andrew Brick. We’re going to be talking about cybersecurity, crypto blockchain security, and all sorts of fun stuff today. His company is called Notoros. It’s an early-stage crypto company doing some exciting stuff. So excited to talk all about it. Before we get started, I do want to tell you that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And it has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Andrew, welcome to the show, man.
Andrew Brick 00:42
Hey, thanks so much for having me.
Matt Watson 00:44
So your company, you’re one of the founders, right? And you’re officially the chief product officer. Is that right?
Andrew Brick 00:52
Yeah. So I actually come from an engineering background. But at this company, I do a lot of the product. A lot of the human-facing stuff.
Matt Watson 01:00
Okay, so, I guess, tell us a little bit about your background. And what got you guys started with this company and the problem you’re trying to solve here?
Andrew Brick 01:11
Yeah, sure. So a little about me. My name is Andrew Brick. I originally went to school for energy technologies. I was a very early adopter of Bitcoin mining back in 2012. And I didn’t really think too much of it until I started working at a cybersecurity firm for a little while. There I got introduced to steam, which is sort of like a crypto read. And I thought it was so cool. And I, you know, really wanted to leverage this idea of building other things other than a currency on top of a blockchain. And then I went back to school, I got my master’s, and I really pivoted hard into the cybersecurity world. And I really have been working in blockchain ever since for companies of all sizes, small and large, at all levels of the stack. My co-founder actually got started even a year earlier than me. So he originally went to school for aerospace technologies and aerospace engineering. And he got hired by one of the largest Bitcoin mining firms at the time to use his aerospace skills to optimize the airflow of their miners and help cool the miners off. So while he was working there, he got to know some very early Aetherium devs and even mined some very early Aetherium blocks. So he and I met at the consulting firm we worked at and we left that company to launch this one. And yeah, so at Notoros, we are building a zero trust platform that makes it easy to deploy all kinds of applications with the power of decentralization and zero trust. So that we can build, you know, fully automated systems with high confidence in their data.
Matt Watson 02:49
Well, crypto is always a hot space. There’s always a lot of news about it. And, you know, the last year has been tough for a lot of markets, right? The normal stock market’s way down bitcoins down like 75% in value, and FTX blew up this week, and all this crazy stuff is going on. But, you know, I think this is a good time to be building, it’s a good time for somebody like you to be building for, you know, the future Bull Run or, you know, maybe your guys’ product doesn’t really matter. It’s like, Hey, we’re building a utility, we don’t really care if it’s a bull market, a bear market like we don’t care about any of that, because we’re building something that people can actually use. We’re not writing the hype cycles, right? And that seems like the biggest problem with most crypto stuff is it rides these hype cycles up and down like NF T’s were sort of a stupid idea. But you know, somebody bought a picture of an ape for a million dollars. Now, it’s not worth anything. And they wrote the hype cycle of that. Right. And that seems to be the market. But I hope you guys are building something that has more utility to it.
Andrew Brick 03:51
Yeah, I’d like to think so. What we really see is this technology, as I think a lot of people get confused, and they think that blockchain is a financial technology. When reality, blockchain is a technology that enables financial technologies, right. And that’s where a lot of people get confused. And really, we see ourselves as a technology designed to help you bring greater confidence in your data. But, like, what does that really mean? Well, right now, we have a whole bunch of reasons to doubt our data, you know, whether it’s, you know, hardware errors, or hackers, or, you know, maybe it’s built-in tolerances into how we constructed a system in the first place. But we have all these different reasons to be unsure about the certainty of our data. And that’s why we introduce things like the manual review. That’s why we have, you know, a human checkoff on the legitimacy of something or make sure that it’s correct. But the more confidence we have in our data, the less manual review we need, and thus we can automate systems that previously were hard to automate. And I think that that’s sort of the Grand Future that so many people know blockchain is destined to do, but they have a hard time figuring out where exactly the blockchain belongs, versus you know what, you know where cryptocurrency belongs, or some other financial assets?
Matt Watson 05:15
Well, and I feel like, with a lot of these technologies, you build it, you build the blockchain, you build Aetherium. And you’re like, we don’t really know all the use cases of how people will use this technology, right. And so I mentioned NF T’s earlier, like NF T’s came later. It’s like somebody decided to figure out how to build NFTs on top of the blockchain. And we did a whole series about NF T’s by the way, like 10 different episodes, you could go find Startup Hustle, and I still, I still think they’re largely bullshit. But somebody will also eventually figure out good use cases for NF T’s. And there are some good use cases for NF T’s but monkey pictures are not one of them. But defy was actually a really good use case of the blockchain. People have figured out how to use, defy, and do lending and staking and all these things. And you guys are trying to help develop other real-world useful solutions on top of the blockchain, right?
Andrew Brick 06:09
Yeah, so we mostly work with companies that handle what we consider to be critical infrastructure. So this means companies that handle energy data, maybe medical data, and supply chain tracking data. We built a cool application for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency during their accelerator this past summer. And these are really critical forms of data that, you know, they need a high level of trust, they need a high level of confidence. Without, you know, without actually being financial assets, you know, it makes a lot of sense that defies came out first because it’s one area where we need a lot of confidence in our data. And we need to be sure that, you know, the money’s coming through the door, etc. But there are really a ton more areas where we have reason to doubt our data. And we need to close that gap to make systems more automated and more effective.
Matt Watson 07:04
So let’s drill into that project you did before you said during your accelerator, which is, I’m gonna guess, one of the first projects you guys did, right? So can you tell us more about exactly the problem they were trying to solve? And specifically, how you guys and your technology were able to solve that problem?
Andrew Brick 07:22
Yeah, so we, we, this past summer, graduated from an accelerator with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. So this is the agency that manages the maps for the federal government. And they, as you can imagine, have tons of data. And that data is located in servers all over the earth. And it’s really hard to search through that data efficiently. Because you have to go to one server and you have to search that server, and you go to the next server and search that server. So the analysts end up spending a lot of their time, sort of sifting through servers. And sometimes even when they find their data, you know, there’s some chance that that data is not the most up-to-date. And that’s right, no more up-to-date data is up on some other server somewhere. So we built for them an application that makes it easy to search all of this, all of the servers across a distributed network as if they’re a single computer, and to know that that data has not been tampered with, and to know that the data you’re working with is the most up to date. So this is really great. You know, imagine you’re a policymaker, you’re about to go into a decision with other policymakers. And suddenly your intel changes, you could, you know, immediately see that that change has happened. And regardless of, you know, where in the vast data set the changes to happen, you’d see it. And so you always know you’re working with the latest data. And I think that there’s a ton of applications for this in government, I think there’s a ton of applications for this in the commercial world as well. You know, there are tons of people who spend their time making sure that their colleagues are looking at the most up-to-date file. And that’s really not a great problem to have. It should be a solved problem in this modern era. But we’re still working on those kinds of problems. And I think, you know, if you spend as much time in the industry as my co-founder and I have, you see a lot of problems as blockchain problems.
Matt Watson 09:13
So was the solution there to take that data and actually move all of that data onto a blockchain, or was it more about, like, you just wrote on the blockchain, like the, you know, like hash values of the file to know that it’s been modified since then, or like, like, how do you actually solve that problem? I guess?
Andrew Brick 09:35
Yeah. So you definitely use a lot of hashing. One of the things that I think is a big problem in the industry, is the desire to put things on the blockchain that don’t really belong there. In fact, I would argue that that’s sort of the most pervasive issue in the industry is everyone, and this is sort of the core issue of people not fully understanding the purpose of this technology because if you didn’t fully understand the purpose, you’d realize that This technology is really just there to prove things. It’s not an adequate, you know, a wholesale replacement for your database. It should sync with databases, and it should work with databases. But the blockchain, you know, compared to a traditional database, is rarely going to be better because it has so much redundancy. And so much of this extra stuff going on that, you know, compared to a normal centralized database, the normal centralized database does that stuff really, really well. Right now, the real times when you need a blockchain is when you have multiple parties, when you have two parties who are interacting, and then they want to prove something to a third party. That’s when blockchain really becomes really useful. And that’s one of the reasons why finance has taken off so quickly.
Matt Watson 10:45
So when you were working with this, this project you’re talking about, those files are still spread out all over the place, but you’re writing on the blockchain, basically an index of those files saying like, Okay, this data is in this location. And this is the last time it was modified, and the file size and the hash or whatever. And so then, you know, like, where all the data is, and when it was modified, and all that kind of stuff. That’s kind of what you’re tracking?
Andrew Brick 11:10
Yeah, absolutely. And one of the really cool things about notarize technology, in particular, is unlike a lot of the blockchain technologies out there, which have various indexing services and indexing components to them. All of the data on notice is natively indexed. So we don’t even need to do that as a separate service, we don’t need to do it as a post, you know, sort of a post processing operation. It’s all done automatically. It’s sort of baked in from the get go. And, and that’s one of the reasons why our blockchain can behave a little bit more like a traditional database that developers are used to working with rather than narrowing the number of developers who can use it down to the, you know, the 20,000 developers who actually know about blockchain.
Matt Watson 11:52
Okay, so now that they were able to index all that data, what were they able to? So do you have so that people can log in to your software? And they can see all those files and all that data? Or do you guys build, like API’s, and other people have to, like, build on top of what you do?
Andrew Brick 12:09
It can be either, or, it really just kind of depends on what your goals are, you know, so in a government context, they might have different different rules around what needs to be encrypted and what doesn’t. But in a business context, you know, you may want it to sync with, you know, maybe your CRM or other elements of how you interact with customers, it really just kind of depends on what you’re looking to accomplish. But what’s really great is that all of these systems, regardless of how they’re designed, can work against the same common ledger. And this is something we haven’t really seen much of in the blockchain space. Usually blockchain says, Hey, you’re gonna program in our programming language, or, you know, you’re gonna operate on this side chain. But our system doesn’t constrain you to that environment, you can really build on it in any way you see fit. Very similar to how, you know, people don’t really program for HTTP, HTTP just kind of works with everything. And we’re aiming to achieve very much that same goal.
Matt Watson 13:14
So your target customers, software developers, or is it just, you know, somebody in a in a, in a business that has a problem, and they can just sign up for your, your product? And they don’t need to be a software engineer or kind of who is your target customer?
Andrew Brick 13:29
Yeah, I would say that software developers are the people who use the product. And, you know, sort of the head of emerging technology, or the Innovation Officer is oftentimes the sort of the direct customer, the one who signs the checks. But you know, we really want to create a product that solves a lot of problems for developers so that they don’t feel that they have to go and learn a whole bunch of skills that they don’t want to spend time investing in. And instead, they can just use the software that they’ve built or use, you know, the skills that they’ve already learned. And, you know, it’s our thesis that those software developers will tell their, you know, tell their companies, hey, we really need to use this. It’s made my life so much easier. I really enjoyed building on and we can really incorporate all the software that we already have into it.
Matt Watson 14:22
So in this case, is it primarily a solution where people have a lot of files and they’re trying to control knowing if the files have been modified and stuff like that? And that’s what the ledger is helping track or what is kind of the specific use case there. If I’m a developer, like what is the problem? I’m trying to solve that. I find you guys like, okay, yeah, this is a better solution than anything else.
Andrew Brick 14:48
I think that the file sharing is really an application of our ledger, but is distinct from why you would want to use the ledger itself, the LuLaRoe slide. Dirt is unique for a variety of reasons, one of which is that you can, it can evolve, the application can evolve with the regulatory system without ever compromising the integrity of the ledger underneath. So, so far in the history of blockchain, it’s sort of been one or the other. Right? If your system broke the law, then either you know you evade the law as a blockchain, or you break the ledger. And one of the things that’s really cool about Notoros is you can actually have a consistent ledger. But the application continues to change and adjust with the needs of the customers because humans are not machines, and to live under the strictest rule of a very rigid blockchain, which just simply doesn’t mesh with how humanity works, or how we live our lives. So our system allows you to maintain that integrity, maintain that immutability and that zero trust element that makes blockchain so great, but without having to, you know, completely rewrite human nature, and how business is done around it.
Matt Watson 16:13
Well, I do want to take a second to remind everybody that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io, where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and see what developers are available to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. So as we are talking about different use cases for your guys’ product and kind of how it works. I’m curious about how you guys built this? I mean, talking about hiring software developers Full Scale, I’m curious, like, is your co founder, the main developer? Like how do you build how you build this stuff? I’m curious.
Andrew Brick 16:52
My co-founder is a brilliant guy. He’s definitely the core developer behind this project. And I would say that this project is really a result of two factors. I for a long time was trying to find when I was working for other companies, prior to meeting my co-founder, I was trying to find the best blockchain to build their system on because they all had these problems. It wasn’t one problem, it was another. And I was like, hard on the search for finding the best product that could do it. And my co-founder, on the other hand, is just very, very, very deep in the Etherium ecosystem from day one. And like many old school developers, and whatever their domain of choice, you know, if you live through all of the challenges, you have a very deep understanding of why every single code change was made and exactly why the system is shaped the way it was. So what ended up happening is, as I would, as I would introduce him to other Ledger’s and other technologies that he wasn’t necessarily aware of, he could synthesize those ideas. And this is, you know, we still do this today where we look around the space. And we’re like, Well, you know, that’s cool. That’s cool. This, you know, these are important features to have, these are not important features to have, and, and he really is able to make actionable ideas from a very raw outset. And I’m a guy who’s really good at collecting ideas and identifying which ones are maybe useful, and maybe a part of the future technology that we see ourselves evolving into. So it’s a really good synergy there. I think.
Matt Watson 18:36
So I think I saw my notes here, you guys are actually using a blockchain. What is it called? radix?
Andrew Brick 18:43
Yeah, so we originally used a consensus out of radix. These days, we are evolving away from that and we’re not really using that consensus anymore. And what’s really cool about our technology is it’s actually consensus agnostic. So in a lot of ways, you can think about our technology as sort of a middle layer between how applications are run and how consensus is achieved, such that those two things can operate in a generalized fashion to each other. I think a really good way of understanding this is that my co-founder told me not too long ago, that when Pong came out in the 70s, like the punk video game, it actually had no software in it whatsoever. It was an entirely hardware implementation of the game. So as you can imagine, building a different video game at the time was really challenging. And you had to build an entirely new you know, device. And this is a lot like how in the 80s if you wanted to develop a piece of software, you didn’t hire a software developer, you hired a computer engineer, and this guy was responsible for your hardware and your software. Were in your firmware, and he had to do all that stuff. And eventually that, you know, that challenge became too much for any one man, or any one person I should say. And we started separating those roles until we had computer engineers and software engineers, you know, we had hardware people and software people. And this is also how we freed ourselves from the Pong model. So in the very same way that the systems were super rigid. That’s very much where we are in blockchain today where your application is directly dependent on sort of the distributed, quote unquote, hardware that it runs on. And this is why developers don’t have a ton of freedom in the blockchain space. And the way we broke out of this very goofy pattern is by the introduction of operating systems, which really made it so that you could run any kind of software on any hardware, more or less, that’s still becoming true. But notice is very much the same thing. So Notoros, is our sort of made up Latin word for Noda Hora OS, or recording time operating system. Because that’s really what notice does is it helps you keep track of the order and origin of events such that you can prove them. And it allows your application, whatever it may be, to run against a decentralized system, whatever it may be. And this is part of the way that we are going to open up new software and bring them into the zero trust world.
Matt Watson 21:34
So it doesn’t matter what blockchain somebody is using, or is it like somebody has to be like some app they’ve already built on Aetherium, or Avalanche or polygon or whatever blockchain it is. And then they then pick your guyses software to kind of work alongside that, or do they just come to you first. And they don’t have to deal with any of the blockchain parts of it? Like how, like, where does that decision making come from? I guess that makes sense.
Andrew Brick 22:00
So if someone has an application that currently runs on Aetherium, we can run it on our system already. And this is because we have a, a, what we consider to be sort of an application, I notice, the Etherion virtual machine is just sort of an application in the Notoros universe. So you can run your application inside of the Notoros version of the EVM. But if you had a different application that ran on, you know, a salon or whatever, you know, we can make a Solana VM that runs inside of Notoros. So in this way we can really inherit any
Matt Watson 22:41
kind of your own blockchain. Yeah, it’s kind of your own blockchain.
Andrew Brick 22:46
We’re our own blockchain that can run software from anywhere else, whether it be designed for web three or not.
Matt Watson 22:54
Okay, got it. Okay. So you guys have your own copy. So you take somebody else’s blockchain, and then kind of clone it and then add, like, all the features and stuff that you built on top of it, is that kind of what you guys, you guys did that, or?
Andrew Brick 23:09
No, this isn’t a, this isn’t a fork of another chain, you know, our EVM is a fork of the EVM. But the rest of the chain is new software that runs on its own data format. And its own styling. In fact, you know, if you read our literature, we don’t cite a whole bunch of the blockchains of modern day, a lot more of the research and the academia that we look to our the papers from the 1980s, when distributed computing originally came out, that’s really where we see sort of the trunk of the branch that that we’re that we’re building off of, rather than, you know, sort of the post Bitcoin reality. That being said, we do inherit some stuff from Bitcoin and other places, but it’s largely based on that distributed computing model of the 80s.
Matt Watson 24:01
So you see, the key value here is having a sort of a blockchain based event stream that cannot be tampered with. That is zero trust, as you would say, write of like, we know that these events have happened and they were recorded. And that’s a key to the value prop here, right? Instead of saying, Oh, you took these events and you put them in a database somewhere, but somebody could change them. Like, there’s no way to know those. Those events happen the way that you said they were, by using the blockchain. It’s like, No, we know that these events happen at this time. And you know, you can’t tamper with it.
Andrew Brick 24:38
Yes, that’s an absolutely excellent description of what we’re doing.
Matt Watson 24:42
All right. So you saw the 20 years of software development, I learned something.
Andrew Brick 24:47
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s perfect. It’s really an event driven model. And something I like to point out to people is, you know, we’ve had these trust issues in our society for a really long time. I know in the olden days, if you wanted to prove that a piece of you knew a letter had been tampered with, you put it in a sealed envelope, right. And that’s a lot like a cryptographic hash. And then, if you want to know, you know, where this untampered envelope came from, well, you would have, you know, the king seal with it with the wax in the ring. And that’s a lot like public key cryptography. And where we, you know, we can identify the origin and the lack of tampering. So it seems like the problem of trust had been solved until it became clear to people that there was still this timing element that was missing, right? That’s why we rely on new stock exchanges, and all these other people who keep track of time for us as an authoritative third party. But now, sort of the way that you would solve that problem is, you would make sure that you sent out many envelopes to many different parties, and all those parties would be, you know, corroborating what they got in their envelopes together. And that’s really what a blockchain does. And now we’ve solved the third and final piece of how do we know that this information is legitimate? And this allows kind of really to to finish the internet, and what it was always intended to be.
Matt Watson 26:18
So what other, do you have any other current case studies? Or do you think, you know, kind of good use cases that you guys are targeting for this type of technology?
Andrew Brick 26:31
Sure, we’re, we are interested in all sorts of technologies, especially the companies that we see the earliest traction in our companies in that create some kind of hardware, where they’re keeping track of, like real world data. So you know, we worked with a company that creates IoT hardware for tracking the supply chain of the US Air Force. And like, knowing that, you know, the data that they’re pulling in from, from the trucks or whatever other shipping device that they’re using, hasn’t been tampered with by a third party. And I think there’s, I come from an energy background. So I think there’s tons of cool applications in energy trading, where we can do peer to peer energy trading, and we no longer need to rely on these centralized and relatively inefficient grids. And instead can make it so that you know, people with solar panels on the roofs can trade with their direct neighbors. This will allow our energy grid to you know, heal faster in the event of an outage, and to be less susceptible to like terrorist attacks or things like that. So there’s a ton of applications, especially in hardware, that really have very little to do with digital assets or decentralized finance, not to say that those aren’t very important use cases as well. I think blockchain becomes most useful when it can start to transcend the boundaries of a given vertical or a given industry and really cross over those thresholds, and D silo our data rather than siloing our data, which is how I feel most of the blockchain industry works right now.
Matt Watson 28:05
Yeah, I think I mean, I think you’ve got kind of two two groups on this. It seems like you’ve got people that are just trying to rebuild every product there is on the blockchain because that sounds like a cool thing to do. Like we’re gonna make Twitter but run it on the blockchain. And then you’ve got people that are like trying to leverage blockchain for like, what is actually good for which it sounds more like what you guys are trying to do. Like we’re trying to actually use the blockchain for use cases that it’s good for, not like, oh, we made a video game, but there’s like a blockchain part of it. But like, you can make a video game without a blockchain. You don’t need a blockchain. Obviously, there are millions of video games without a blockchain. But then you have all these people that say that, like I’m gonna make X but just make the blockchain version of it like, but it didn’t. You didn’t need to do that. Like, there wasn’t a great use case for it. You know, there seems to be a lot of that. Am I wrong?
Andrew Brick 28:59
Oh, no, absolutely. I had a colleague of mine tell me that one of his friends had suggested, hey, what if we made a hedge fund on a blockchain, but it’s doubtful. And he says, that’s just a hedge fund, dude.
Matt Watson 29:14
It’s still just a hedge fund. Yeah.
Andrew Brick 29:16
And I think that there’s yeah, there’s that’s a lot of why our industry rightly gets criticized as a solution looking for a problem. Right? And blockchain is really about proving things and about closing the trust gap. It’s about making it so that we no longer know, being trustworthy is great. It’s a great thing to strive for relying on trust, not so great. Because that’s when we introduce tons of risk into our society and risks into the operations of our business because we’re, we’re banking on something that we don’t have certainty around and it becomes harder to plan things when we have a lack of certainty.
Matt Watson 30:00
Yeah, you know, having a ledger that you can record events on, and you know that the events have happened and all and all those things are true. You know, I can see having a lot of use cases in, as you mentioned earlier, like shipping supply chain security, stuff like that. And for whatever reason, I’m thinking of like, the box of paperwork and Donald Trump’s Mar Lago office of like, when did those boxes get there? And when did they leave, like having certainty of that might be useful for him right now.
Andrew Brick 30:35
Like as a use case, here, there’s that now that you mentioned that there’s, there’s really two big areas that you’re addressing there. One is about, you know, the authority to access certain pieces of information. When was that authority granted? When it was revoked, obviously, like an event right system was sufficient cryptography would be a really good way to address that problem. And then on the other hand, you have like, your physical documents, where it’s like, well, these documents, they have a specific chain of custody, someone they had to, like, move from one location to the next. Also a great area to keep track of events and ideas, right, you would synchronize these two systems together, such that it’s clear not only when someone had access to something, but when they had physical access as well.
Matt Watson 31:24
You can’t Forge and change it later. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a good example of a good example of like a giant hitch. He said, she said, you know, argument, right? Where it’s like, am I supposed to have this not have this, I have it, I don’t have it, like having a ledger, the point is, like, if you have a ledger of like, it’s written in stone, that’s exactly what happened, you can modify it. And we have the proof, don’t you can’t modify it. You can’t lie about it.
Andrew Brick 31:52
The old adage was Trust, but verify. Yeah, and the new adage is never trust, always verify. All right, go cuz, because when, when the internet came out, you know, cybersecurity wasn’t an issue, because people didn’t have any reason to believe that systems would be insecure, you know, who is allowed into ARPANET? Or who was allowed into, you know, the Stanford internet network? Well, professors who worked at Stanford gave the answer, so they assumed that those people were all good actors, and were acting on their own best interests. And what’s happened is, it became clear that like, every single opportunity to exploit something has been exploited. That’s what the last 30 years of the Internet have shown us is that any gap in the system is one that will, that someone can take advantage of. So now we need defensive systems that recognize this fact, from the get go.
Matt Watson 32:50
Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, there’s, you know, as a software developer, I’ve used a lot of event based event streaming kind of systems actually kind of built one versus no, a software developer related. But, you know, from what we were doing, there was not really a concern of like, trust or tampering of the data, you know, it wasn’t the kind of data that you would worry about somebody tampering with, and we’re, you know, for certain use cases for, like what you guys are trying to solve, you know, you want to make sure nobody can tamper with that. And, you know, there’s, you know, some kind of legal liability, like the reason for the reason you’re doing it that way, right? Like, somebody is signing off that these things were done at a certain time, and nobody can go, you know, modify it. And the security of that is important. That’s the key to the use case for me.
Andrew Brick 33:40
I would definitely agree, and I think that there’s even, even when data isn’t tampered with, there’s always a question of, well, how much can I trust that this data is legitimate, even if the data is exactly what they claim? How much can I trust the legitimacy of that, and that’s where we get into the idea of, you know, reputation. And, you know, when, when you’re on Twitter, you’re on Reddit, and you’re seeing all these posts. You know, there’s this big discussion right now about how many of those posts are bots? How many of those posts are generated in mass and how much of what they’re posting are deep fakes, and, and falsified information? So what we need is a system that can hold people, hold users, hold bots, hold everyone accountable for what they post, but you can do that without necessarily like completely, you know, undermining freedom. I know it sounds hard to believe.
Matt Watson 34:38
Well, Elon figured it out. Elon figured out you just charge $8 and solve the whole problem.
Andrew Brick 34:43
Yeah, I mean, that’s a pretty high threshold. Pretty big barrier to entry, right? No, that’s all no one malicious has ever had a dollar.
Matt Watson 34:55
Yeah, he realized that didn’t work.
Andrew Brick 34:58
Yeah, I think you know, I think he has a I think he has a very goofy notion of blockchain. And I think a lot of sort of more to your point about people trying to migrate over there, their normal web to stuff to web three, which I don’t think is necessarily an effort in futility. You know, a lot of web three will look like web two. But I think a lot, a lot of the time the people who were the biggest benefactors of the internet, as it is today, are the ones who sort of missed the point of blockchain as it is now. And they missed the point of decentralization. And they’re sure like, I’m sure I can make like, you know, this technology that’s designed to empower my users, I’m sure I can figure out a way to centralize that power back to myself, it’s a very confused sort of approach as to why this technology and why this technology hasn’t been wholesale adopted, because its messaging has been very conflated with that sort of old school. You know, cloud, cloud company, world.
Matt Watson 36:01
Well, and for 99% of consumers that are living their day to day life, they don’t care how anything works, they don’t care what database it uses, what cloud technology it uses, what computer programming language is written, and they don’t give a shit about any of it. They just don’t care how the sausage is made, or how the watch works. They just want to live their life, right? And so all of these things are used by businesses to solve specific problems, unique problems like this. The reason you use one database over another, their specific use cases and the same thing with Blockchain. There’s there’s use cases where blockchain makes sense. And there are use cases where a regular database would make sense. So it’s all about having those use cases and you guys solving that problem? Better than anybody else for that use case.
Andrew Brick 36:46
Yeah, I think that blockchain, people get really sort of out of their element when they suggest that blockchain serves as a better database than most databases like the vast majority of the time. It just, it just doesn’t. And you’ll find few people as critical of the crypto and blockchain industry as me and my co founder who feel that you know, that whole notion that that blockchain, as an industry is full of like Grifters and you know, snake oil salesmen. It rings true, it’s full of merit. And part of the reason why this is the case, is because a lot of people in our industry hide behind the smoke and mirrors of things like cryptography and math and you know, all this stuff that’s, like complicated, and people just sort of aren’t willing to dig through that complicated material. And they just throw their money at people who seem smarter, who seem like they know what they’re talking about. And what’s what’s, you know, one of my biggest gripes especially is when we have an army of software developers who suddenly think that there are economists and army of economists who suddenly think that they’re software developers, and both of them could not be more wrong.
Matt Watson 38:03
And now, now, they’re both on Twitter debating each other, which is fun to watch.
Andrew Brick 38:07
Matt Watson 38:10
Well, well, if your company uses databases and needs software developers to help write software on top of those databases, Full Scale can help. We have the people on the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let the platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers at Full Scale. They specialize in building long term teams that work only for you to learn more when you visit FullScale.io. And, you know, you’re absolutely right about blockchains not being a database. I mean, it’s not any more clear than when you look at something like Aetherium. And it can only process like seven transactions a second or something like that. Which is nothing. I mean, my little startup I had last was processing millions of transactions an hour. And we’re like one little bitty tiny company. I mean, for something like a theory, I’m to say, Oh, we’re going to be the internet of all computing and everything should be on the blockchain like it couldn’t handle one tiny little company using it for real world use cases. So that’s why you’ve got to have a lot of different blockchains doing a lot of different things that are more special, special use cases. And like you said, like, they don’t replace a database database is like a different use case.
Andrew Brick 39:25
Yeah, for sure. I think this is sort of the one of the goofiest underlying assumptions of blockchain right now. Is that oh, yeah, we’re totally gonna, like rewrite everything and like, put it on this chain, when, at the exact same time in history, you know, we have all the biggest banks in the world who run their software on like, COBOL, or whatever, like 1980, which there’s still run on it. Do we really think that they’re gonna migrate over to a programming language that’s been around for like less than five years, like, it’s just not going to happen? So we need to create systems that work with the legal system and with the software systems that exist today. That’s the only way we can really take advantage of the entire last 50 years of computing that came prior. Because like, we can’t just start everything from scratch, we really need to leverage all the intellectual investment and everything that came before it.
Matt Watson 40:18
Well, as you mentioned earlier, you have been investing in crypto and Bitcoin and all this stuff for for a number of years, you’re gonna have to give me some tips, because so far, I’ve only figured out every way to lose money by investing in crypto, I haven’t figured out a way to actually make money. I’ve just figured out all the ways to lose money.
Andrew Brick 40:36
Yeah, you know, I, I can’t say that I’m a great crypto investor. And part of that is that, you know, the crypto booms and busts aren’t necessarily a product of the quality of the technology more. And that’s maybe the thing I could help vet, more often than not, they’re a product of, you know, public perception of a given platform. And that’s like a wildly different metric. Yeah, so I haven’t I haven’t done exceptionally well in my crypto investing, but I can say that my original, you know, I bought my first ether at like, $6 and still have it so never sold it back. I got that going for me.
Matt Watson 41:21
Good for you. Yeah, I originally bought some bitcoin a long time ago, and kind of forgot about it. And then, you know, of course, sold it when it was that $13,000 or something, and then bought it back at 20,000 and then sold it again, when it was, you know, 5000 or so on the typical Bitcoin investor, that should have just left it alone. So that’s, but that’s what most people say to me about the stock market, right? We buy FOMO when it’s at $69,000. And then we sell when it’s 13. And then repeat.
Andrew Brick 41:55
Yeah, all right. I’m not like, I think that there’s like a, there’s a ton of, like, money to be made and stuff like that. But like, Man, I just, I don’t know, I don’t know, a great like process that people could even go through to like, fully vet something because like, you know, I, I’ve been in this space a really long time I consider myself like very capable of understanding what a project is what its use cases. But that’s not a totally different thing than how valuable its token is.
Matt Watson 42:30
Yeah. Well, it’s been great having you on the show today. And I have a feeling that people would probably make a lot more money if they invested in real real-world utility blockchain apps, like what you guys are doing investing in companies like you guys. So instead of just buying this crazy crypto stuff, you guys are trying to solve real-world problems and create real value, right? It’s not just speculation like most of this crypto stuff is crazy. Ponzi genomics, tokenomics junk. So I wish the best of luck to you guys trying to solve real-world problems and do real stuff. So using the blockchain and using it for what it’s meant to be for, not just like, I’m gonna take Twitter and write it on the blockchain, like that’s really going to solve some problem. So I love that you guys are trying to use real-world use cases. So, any final thoughts, suggestions, or tips for other entrepreneurs listening to the show today?
Andrew Brick 43:22
Yeah, for other entrepreneurs. You know, building, building technology is really important. But if you don’t really understand your customers and what they’re looking to solve, then all the technology in the world will never help you. It’s really about helping people solve problems that need to get solved. And I think it’s as simple as that. Thanks so much for having me on. Matt. It’s absolutely been a pleasure.
Matt Watson 43:50
Yeah, apps. Absolutely. And again, this is Notoros is the name of his company and Andrew Brick, so you guys can look them up at Notoros.io. So that’s n o t o r o s.io. And thank you, thank you so much for being on the show today, man.
Andrew Brick 44:09
It’s been great.
Matt Watson 44:10
All right. Take care.