The global banking system may have already solved the problem of spoofed phone calls and online identities; the solution just needs to be explained to telco regulators and internet engineers. The story begins in the aftermath of the banking crisis of 2007-08, when the leaders of the G20 countries sought to prevent the same thing ever happening again by instituting a Financial Stability Board to monitor global banking. One challenge they faced is the impossibility of knowing how much financial risk is being taken unless you first know about all the banks that exist worldwide, and which banks own which other banks. This was addressed with the creation of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) in 2014. Some of the problems faced by the global comms industry have similar issues at root. For example, US agencies like the Federal Communications Commission would like to reduce illegal robocalls but they never had a registry of all the comms businesses that make and convey calls within the USA, and their attempts to build a registry for foreign telcos are unlikely to ever succeed. But what if the recipient of a phone call could tell who was phoning them because they were shown a secure digital signature that corresponds to the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) of the originating business? Such a method could obviously be applied to stopping scammers from impersonating banks, but could also be adopted by many other businesses too, and could eventually be generalized so that everybody has their own identifier, using the same technology and series of codes.

The potential to extend the telecoms use of the methods underpinned by GLEIF will be discussed with three expert guests:

  • Stephan Wolf, CEO of GLEIF
  • Timothy Ruff, blockchain pioneer and General Partner at Digital Trust Ventures
  • Randy Warshaw, veteran telecoms executive and CEO of Provenant

Topical news items will also be debated by the show’s three regular presenters, industry analyst Ed Finegold, senior risk executive Lee Scargall, and the Editor of Commsrisk, Eric Priezkalns.

This episode is scheduled for 4 October 2023. Click here to add it to your calendar.

A recording of the episode will be available on this page after the show.