Updated: Jun 28
This article was originally published in Blockchain Industry Review - a Crypto Curry Club Magazine published monthly and available in soft copy and the printed version.
An Interview with Featured Contributor, Philip Abraham,
Board Member and Partner of hybrid blockchain platform, Dragonchain
Phil’s life is a series of apparent contradictions. As a young lad and following his parent’s divorce he moved out into a friend’s garage where he lived for the next two years. He was only 12. When I asked if Phil would do similar with his children the answer is a resounding no. He is an introvert yet has travelled the world speaking at conferences and meeting people. Phil is very much a solo thinker and inventor in the basement, but he also understands working with teams. He is the last man to keep a secret and yet much of his early career was covert and moreover he still works for the most secretive of organisations including the CIA, the NSA and Homeland Security.
In fact, one time he was locked in a room in Washington for two days by representatives of one of those three-letter acronym named organisations where he was instructed in no uncertain terms not to release sensitive information. His reply? Well, stop telling me secretive stuff then.
“I was told by my advisor in grad school that I was a modern-day Ender*, but if I wanted to save the world then I needed to fit in. It was a choice I had to make, and it went against my DNA, but I did it.”
So perhaps it is no surprise that his most successful business to date has been to uncover financial abuses in the US healthcare system and then to take that rigor and use it to secure data on the blockchain.
First to the financial abuses in Healthcare; in the US the healthcare sector accounts for 35% of the economy so it’s a huge animal. Back in the 90s, Global Purchasing Organisations or GPOs were set up to streamline purchasing and reduce costs. What began as a good idea soon took on a life of its own and the GPOs now have their hands on the throats of healthcare. Of the $3 trillion that is spent on Healthcare purchasing, one third of that goes to the GPOs.
“It’s a monopoly and because of lack of transparency, near impossible to unravel”
The near impossible line guaranteed Phil’s interest and determination to investigate. He went in deep and documented the healthcare software systems across the US.
“There are hundreds of thousands of systems and I managed to thread them together.”
Phil put his theories into practice for the Lorna Linda University Medical Centre in California
where he averaged previously unheard-of savings of 79%. The really key point to these savings is that these did not impact doctor/nurse/patient outcomes, just the technology.
Phil is basically a man with a target on his back as a result, but he’s going to fix it. And the things he has learnt in tackling the behemoth that is the US healthcare will provide the same focus he is bringing to protect his country, hence his association with those three letter-acronym named organisations.
And that is where his allegiance to Dragonchain emerges.
“Dragonchain has some magic of its own.”
Phil’s skill lies in tying together disparate systems and predicting events in advance. He did it when he interrogated the Kmart supply chains, then the biggest retailer in the States, as part of one of his first engagements. He did not just look backward; he used the data to predict future sales. He knew that the customers were going to buy even before they knew themselves.
He formed his company Cloudface on the basis of this research. Today Cloudface and Dragonchain are interchangeable and even the terminology is shared. Digital Fortress can be equally applied to both organisations.
Most blockchains can’t handle complexity, it’s a hot mess. Try taking a large organisation and running it on blockchain and it doesn’t work. But when I saw Dragonchain and Joe (Roetts) showed me some of his patents, I went aha this works.
“Interoperability is key for complex organisations and that’s where Dragonchain works; it’s easy to use and scalable.”
That impressed him, that and the seven layers of quantum security. The quantum layer was brought in by Phil and uses a quantum proof cyber solution. It’s so complex it includes unhackable algorithms to produce numeric chains so long they circle the earth a billion times. The seventh layer refers to the cost of unpicking a blockchain which currently resides in the $4 billion a year making it utterly uneconomic to steal or change historic data.
“Basically Dragonchain is unstoppable which is why healthcare and government agencies are looking at it.”
Phil has spent his life explaining that all software is bad and all technology platforms fail. He is the Ender guy after all, but to him Dragonchain is perfect.
“Even if hackers try and change your date, you can recreate it again on Dragonchain.”
His thesis was on why technology is not working and how to run companies without complex software. He argued the more complex the software, the more reliant the company and the easier it is to hack.
“However, all software comes back to Excel files, even complex ERP software. You want to know where a customer lives and you follow a search route back to an Excel spreadsheet and locate it.”
As far as Phil is concerned Dragonchain has the whole enchilada wrapped up.