Castro Valley Rotarian Linton Johnson is the founder of Ovis and serves as its Chief Visionary Officer. Prior to Ovis, Linton spent 17 years working for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) - the largest transit system west of the Mississippi.  In 2011, BART's General Manager appointed Linton as the Strategic Programs Manager in the Office of External Affairs - Executive Office. His primary responsibilities include developing and implementing large scale communications strategies for major district programs. His topic today was Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.
Linton sought to bring some clarity to the topics of blockchain and cryptocurrency, which are often in the news. The topics sound intimidating and some of the terms are counterintuitive.  In defining the terms, Linton provided simple demonstrations of the terms.
  • Blockchain is a system for recording information in a way that defeats hackers since information must be true and reliable. Blockchain accomplishes this by using a very long series of people who hold the password to the information. Two-thirds of them must agree on the password so that the information can be accessed. A holder who disagrees with the consensus is kicked out of the system. So even if one or more of those people with the password are working with a hacker, it is difficult and even impossible for the hacker to get to enough of the myriad password holders to get a consensus so they can break into the system.  
  • Cryptocurrency has been around for a long time and it includes airline miles, credit card payments, and more.
  • Trustless is commonly used, but it has a weird meaning. It really means there is no need to trust the system because it cannot be penetrated.
These systems also decentralize transactions. The traditional system depends on banks and other financial institutions; whereas, the Blockchain system eliminates all the middlemen, all of whom take a cut. The new process is immediate, safe, and allows the buyer and seller to save money. Smart contracts are a key part of the system, which allow transactions to take place immediately.  Linton said that these systems are a way to bringing truth to the community and go beyond simple monetary transactions and includes news and more.
Watch Linton's presentation here.