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Did you know…our CTO is cited in your macOS regarding blockchain and bitcoin?

Updated: May 15, 2023

Bitcoin painting, Mattise style

On October 31st, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper that would spark the advent of a cryptocurrency era: "Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system", eliciting a wave of cryptocurrency creations, starting from the most known one: the bitcoin. The bitcoin is today still the first cryptocurrency in the World, according to Forbes.


Xavier Serret Avila

But in his paper, M. Nakamoto cited 6 founding papers, including a paper entitled "Design of a secure timestamping service with minimal trust requirements", presented in 1999, by Henri Massias, Xavier Serret Avila, J-J Quisquarter, regarding the proposal of a timestamp server, the system at the heart of the blockchain principle and maintenance, where "each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, forming a chain, with each additional timestamp reinforcing the ones before it". Doing this on a truly scalable and distributed manner was a big challenge at that time, and this paper set up the conditions and first milestones into achieving this. This was an important steppingstone as the main need or urgency was not just in designing a new currency, but in supporting any documentary digitalisation with a unique stamping that could prove its source, its communication path and its authenticity.

What is blockchain of use for at FinMetrics today?

The principle of the blockchain can be thought as having many potential uses. One in particular, is the stamping of spreadsheet data source files that provide FinBoard with the necessary additional data that is not present in the ERP or in the TMS system. FinBoard can aggregate many types of data sources to have all the necessary and relevant data for cash flow and risk management.

Typically, even though the enterprise, corporate treasury, family office or private bank have an ERP, back-office system, mid-office system or TMS,... there is still some data that is not available there for obvious reasons and is transmitted through spreadsheets:

  • Cash flow forecasts.

  • Trial positions or strategies that are designed on the side and tested against the real data.

  • Specialised market data, term sheets,... received through emails from banks.

  • Parameter sheets that stem from policies and are reviewed periodically by some board. For example, the parameters of a given risk policy, i.e. thresholds, alerts and action path, list of primary counterparts,... can be more easily maintained and exchanged on a spreadsheet and after the revision of the board meeting, can be uploaded back into FinBoard.

Would it be for important parameters or for specific data, it is supremely important that:

  1. these spreadsheets are kept as raw data and versioned,

  2. duly checked, digested and integrated by the bots of FinBoard,

  3. AND that any report is capable to first check if the spredasheet version used for the calculation is indeed the same that was produced at that time and the flow hasn't been tampered since.

What does it have to do with your macOS?

Well, as referred to in this article from MacRumors, "Apple Has Included Bitcoin Whitepaper in Every Version of macOS Since 2018", if you type

open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf

you will have a nice surprise!


 
  • "Apple Has Included Bitcoin Whitepaper in Every Version of macOS Since 2018", April 6, 2023: https://www.macrumors.com/2023/04/06/macos-includes-bitcoin-whitepaper/

  • Nakamoto, Satoshi. "Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system." Decentralized business review (2008), October 31st: 21260.

  • References on Satoshi Nakamoto's website: https://nakamotoinstitute.org/literature/

  • Massias, Henri, X. Serret Avila, and J-J. Quisquarter. "Design of a secure timestamping service with minimal trust requirement." In Symposium on Information theory in the Benelux, pp. 79-86. Werkgemeenschap voor Informatie-en Communicatietheorie; 1998, 1999.

  • Massias, Henri, X. Serret Avila, and J-J. Quisquater. "Timestamps: Main issues on their use and implementation." In Proceedings. IEEE 8th International Workshops on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WET ICE'99), pp. 178-183. IEEE, 1999.

  • Referenced also at The Encyclopedia of Cryptography and Security here : https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4419-5906-5_136

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