Why Phone Numbers Should be on a Blockchain with Noah Rafalko

Podcast Host Andrew Ward

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Andrew Ward - Hello and welcome everyone to VOIP for Independent Telecoms, the podcast for local service providers who want to offer great services on a resilient network. I'm your host, Andrew Walsh from Award Consulting, and I'm joined today by Noah Rafalko from TSG Global. Welcome, Noah.

Noah Rafalko - Thank you very much.

Andrew Ward - So for those who don't know you could you give a brief introduction and tell us a little bit about TSG Global?

Noah Rafalko - Sure. Thank you, Andrew. Great to be here. My name is Noah. Rafalko. I'm the CEO of TSG Global. I've been in telecommunications, in particular, advanced communications technology for several decades. In other words, I see what's coming before everyone gets to use it and test it. So it's a fun job and sometimes grueling. But I've been in that space for so long and really always keeping your finger on the pulse of technology allows you to how companies like TSG, which, you know, allows us to offer enhanced software solutions to manage telecommunications because it's become so darn complex.

Andrew Ward - Yes. The complexity of telecoms is something that we've certainly seen in our work over the years. And I think every year or a few years more gets added to the pie of what you are responsible for. If you're running a telecoms network and you know, it used to be the case that you only needed to understand TDM, and then you add VoIP and then you add Stirk/Shaken, you know, you keep adding more complexity of jobs like cloud services. Now, and you're still supposed to still understand all the old stuff, too. So it's a challenging environment for operators. So you've mentioned you've been in telecoms for several decades. How did you start like what? You know, you finished high school or go to college. What made you think, I want to be in telecoms or anything like that?

Noah Rafalko - Yeah, it certainly wasn't that early in my career. But it was definitely early enough to make an impact. I saw that telecommunications was just growing so quickly. It was changing so rapidly, and it fit my personality. Frankly, I'm ADHD, and that's before they actually had a phrase for it or a diagnosis. So I think that it fit me perfectly and allowed me to not just deal with one element, but many elements. So people take for granted that a call is just, Hey, I pick up a phone and I make a call or I send a text. There is a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes to make those those communications happen.

Andrew Ward - Excellent. Yeah, it sounds pretty clear from how you described it and from reading your bio that, you know, you're really a technologist. It sounds like that's what's interesting. You have the technology and figuring out the applications, and I was excited to have you on the podcast today because our listeners are certainly very familiar with the problems of robo calling and with, you know, shaken as a meant the method for preventing caller ID fraud. And one of the errors of technology that you have been investigating, you know, relates to that, but with a different angle, a different approach to how we might deal with that problem. So I'm looking forward to exploring that with you. So let me start with this question. If you could wave a magic wand and implement some technology into the phone network and to the PSTN related to a how caller ID or identity more generally is handled. What would you do? How would you do things to make a better approach to identity?

Noah Rafalko - Well, that's a great question because again, there's so many elements that tie to a single service, like just take your phone number, for example. There's multitude of layers that touch that same number before you think its yours. So you know, what we see as the ability to share information in those and between those parties is what seriously need it. And if you look at voice over IP, that really was the catalyst to two different events at the same time. One, my goodness, what access you could have, what new products you could create, the versatility of doing voice over a digital IP packet was insanely wonderful for everyone. The problem was it came with a lot of risk and security holes at the same time. So and no communication. So instead of having historically you had a phone line delivered to your house, for example. Well, that was the ultimate attestation, if you think about it. The phone company knew exactly where you were because they delivered this copper wire from their facility to your facility. So that was pretty, pretty darn accurate and the sense of understanding who you are.

But as soon as voice over IP came on. Now that telephone number is no longer tied to that physical connection between those two endpoints. So there's a lot of trust that you need to start having to think that that caller is using the right phone number, calling the right destination that's accepting and or willing to communicate with that caller.

So there's a lot of things that opened up. And by not being able to manage the multitude of layers going from a single point connection, like your phone line to the phone company became unwieldy. And that's where fraudsters come in. That's where they take advantage of the moment and they take advantage of these these loopholes that can cost folks.

For example, just in last year, tens and tens of billions of dollars in fraud. And that just gets passed to the consumer in one way or another. So really having the ability to share information in a more secure way, because in telecom, they all touch that same thing that phone number. How do we create a system that they feel safe in using, that they feel that their competitors are going to get too much information from their data and that it solves for this shared problem, this shared problem of fraud, because it touches every single element in that chain of custody. So tying that chain of custody together to create a community of like minded sharing, folks on that phone number that have to support you as a consumer or look at IoT devices breaking into the market is over ten and a half billion IoT and sell devices on the planet today and growing by the second How do we manage all these end points?

Well, now we can have a way, hopefully with new technology that's emerging to manage that layered multitude of end points.

Andrew Ward - So I think I really like the simple way in which you described, you know, the core problem we have here, which is the fact that the PSTN went from an entirely basically trust based network. It was a closed network. There wasn't really any security on the PSTN because everyone trusted that the people who are connected to it, the phone companies control their networks and can be trusted. And so yeah, there isn't security within the PSTN basically. And then voice over IP kind of created a problem, which now we're trying to bolt on security into the PSTN, which isn't really designed for it. We love the way you you describe that. So if I understand you right, you're saying that there are multiple entities that have an interest in a phone number, right?

So if you've got a let's say, even a traditional landline, you've got a traditional landline. The there's a person who lives at the house that has that number who you will call if you dial it. But then there's the local phone company who owns that number. But then that number is also part of a number block that's associated with a tandem. And that's, you know, there are long distance carriers who know route calls to that number where a certain path. Is that kind of what you're talking about when you talk about multiple people having an interest in it?

Noah Rafalko - Yeah. Or even worse, like let's add the IP element to it because the IP element could be that you buy a service from a software company that buys it from an aggregator that buys it from a telephone company, that buys it maybe from another telephone company that then leases from the United States government, in a sense. Right. So nobody actually owns numbers there, leased all the way down. Just people don't realize that.

Andrew Ward - You've got in the middle kind of, you know, who as a central organization that is allocating the number blocks and so on, and then it all trickles down the way you described. Yeah.

Noah Rafalko - Yeah. So the old days, let's look at law enforcement. That's probably the clearest line to seeing how bad it's become. So in the old days, they had your address and they could just tap your line, let's say And nowadays they have to send the subpoena, starting from the numbering administrator who assigns it to a telephone company. They have to start at that telephone company.

Noah Rafalko - And a three month process triggers all the way down until it finally hits the software company that's supporting the offender. And that could be almost a year later and all that legal process to get there. And so is there a better way to just see transparently right down to that relationship and know that everyone in between is attested to each other?
One degree down. Right. Because if you think about it, the numbering administrator has to tell the government, yes, we assigned it to this carrier Next subpoena comes on. Carrier says, yes, we were assigned that number, but we assigned it to this aggregator, go subpoena them. So then they subpoena that aggregator. Now the aggregator says, well, we do have this number, but we support this software company.


So, you know, now everybody in that one degree already knew it. But where what we need to solve a lot of this issue is an identity that passes between them. That's a secure, single source of truth among all of them. Mm hmm. Right. And that will solve the problem identity.

Andrew Ward - Okay. So tell me a little bit more about what you are doing or how you're thinking about a solution to, you know, the problem that you describing.

Noah Rafalko - Sure. So I'll start really quickly and give a shout out to a good friend of mine, Jeff Pulver, who founded Vonage and brought the world together with voice over IP and still continues to change the world. He brought me into this technology when I was speaking at one of his events where he brought technologists together and it was half interactive communications, texting and A.I., that kind of side. And the other side was blockchain. And I was just amazed. There was like once this blockchain stuff, it's it's crazy. You know, this is Monopoly money, you know, like everybody else thinking Bitcoin crypto yak, yak, yak and seeing the community. It was really odd to, like, people dressed in furry coats like know like fur suits and armor and, you know, just strange.

It was like an anime hackathon and hacked up with some new age stuff. It was just very strange to me. I mean, I felt like I found myself in a few of the seminars that were being held, and I had a moment and that moment was, Oh my gosh, this is the next network that we're all going to use.

Not. This is about money or, you know, the new monetary system it's about the network. It's about the technology that carries this from here to there or identifies things from here to there. It's a new way to look at things and with blockchain, it really is. Just imagine a checkbook that you balance or an Excel document for your expenses that you could never erase.

You can put information into it. Every single cell, every single just imagine every single cell becomes a block that's continuously connected to the prior block. So you can't ever delete anything from the past. You can only review it, search it, and know that it's never going to change. So really, the blockchain is a continuous set of blocks that authenticate each other from the prior block to the next block.

And with that, if you think of applications and network and even tying it to our problem that we just talked about and who owns a number, who's responsible for that number, it instantly applies. And ironically, coming from telecommunications, the telecommunications industry, we're already naturally built to just plug this technology in and oh my gosh, what could it solve?

Well, it could solve texting spam and it could solve voice calls that you'd never wanted or authorized, because when I grew up, I remember living on a farm and and and the only two times the phone rang was a wrong number of family and friends. Somebody sold us out since then. Right. And now we need to take our identity back and again through that technology. It seems as though that allows us to manage our own identity as opposed to trusting that phone company to manage our identity on the other end of that wire.

Andrew Ward - So explain to me how that works. You hear lots of people say, oh, blockchain is the future. Blockchain is going to solve everything. And let's look at your specific example. One of the examples you mentioned there. How does somehow putting your telephone number on the blockchain can prevent you receiving unwanted calls?

Noah Rafalko - Great question. Well, first, you're identifying yourself, right? So imagine everyone who has a valid phone number, identifies themselves for free just by putting this new digital letter of authorization, a record that you exist and you're tied to this phone number and they put it in this big community, like imagine a big Slack channel. And in that Slack channel, you get to say what you want.

That might stop some fraud. So let's say how many of your listeners have have received a call or a text from maybe a nonworking number or maybe a family or friend that someone was basically what they call spoofing, where you can plug in any phone number to, to present to the the folks you're calling and to kind of misrepresent who you are.

So imagine now you have your record, you've created it, and you just check a box in your record saying, Hey, I want to share that my service is on Verizon Wireless, and I never want another phone company to originate a call or allow a call to originate with my phone number from another network. Now, what does that cost the industry?

A lot of fraud because there's a lot of spoofing going on. What does it cost the carriers? Well, they can dip now into a free place, a community of users that's saying, hey, this is my ID and I don't want it originating from your network. So if it starts there, stop it. Don't let that call continue, because it's really not me that's a bad player.

So that's one..one layer. And then another layer is what you said earlier. Caller ID. I want my caller ID to represent who I am and that's and texting and voice. And if somebody is going to call me they better know me and call me or know me and text me and who gives anybody the right to get through to me without that consent?

So again, it allows you a repository to start telling the world what you're allowing and what you're not allowing attach to your phone number attached to your identity.

Andrew Ward - Okay. So let me try to say this back to you. So you see you're describing using the blockchain as a central database, central distributed, etc. database of truth about. First off, saying, you know, through some process this phone number is mine. This is my identity. I certainly know I don't know what the process would be to prove that, but in some way you prove that this phone number is associated with me.

And then you can also attach other information to that identity in the database. Such as, like you said, I will never place a call except from the Verizon network because it's a Verizon cell phone and I'm not using that number anywhere else. And of course, presumably you as the owner could then update that to you, your number two, AT&T, if you wanted that.

So you can put various information into that database. And then the service providers, presumably in particular the terminating service provider delivering calls to you would or maybe anyone in the middle as well, I guess, could use that database to decide what to do with a call that's destined for you or from you and maybe dump a bunch of calls that are spam because they see it doesn't match the rules on the blockchain is. That's the general idea.

Noah Rafalko - It is. And that's where I you know, it's a great segway into your comments about Sitr/Shaken. Right. What are they trying to do there are trying to identify callers or callers networks from one to another and they're having problems. So imagine an end user representing themselves and how much easier that would make it on a on a phone company and all those in between that support the end user.

Andrew Ward - Yeah. So the core architectural difference between Sitr/Shaken and what you're talking about is with Sitr/Shaken. We're trying to pass through the existing network kind of in line with the connection, the relevant information to certify that this call is legitimate. And there are various issues with that because for example, TDM don't really support, Sitr/Shaken and much of the network is still TDM.

But your approach instead would be to say it's basically out of bad identity. All right. So say you've got we have the giant database in the sky on the blockchain saying this is all the information you need about this identity and how the owner wants it to be used. And then rather than trying to change anything about how the call is delivered, each telco in the path of the call has the option to look on the blockchain and decide what to do with that call based on the information associated. Is that right?

Noah Rafalko - Correct. And think of what else the carrier can support for you once that happens.

Andrew Ward - Now, obviously, this is a solution for Calling Name which is a surprisingly frustrating system today, among many other things, just as a very simple example.

Noah Rafalko - Yes.

Andrew Ward - Okay. All right. That is beginning to make sense to me, but this is not the direction in the world. Well, as you know, before we get into that, so with blockchain, as I understand it, nobody really owns the blockchain. That's kind of the point, right? It's a distributed thing, but somebody's still got to set it up. It's still got to be to exist somewhere.

So if you I'm guessing you've already begun kind of, you know, the process of doing something along these lines. What is this, something you gets put on Ethereum? How are you thinking about actually creating the the central database in the sky?

Noah Rafalko - Great question. Again, interesting. You can get into the differences and blockchain methodology and maybe another podcast, but just know it's different than Ethereum because that's where like Bitcoin and that's just, you know, the whole proof of work logic computing power, all that stuff. We're talking about creating a community of trusted users in the private blockchain that allow to support end users.

Right. And then end users coming into that mix to attest that they're part of that chain of custody. So in that methodology, we are creating a private blockchain network of large users, large software companies, large carriers, you know, those who are trying to support you as an end user better and then involve you as an end user by just sending you an invite from one of those parties that are supporting you today.

Noah Rafalko - Therefore, as an end user, you're just saying, yes, this is my data and now you can start controlling it at that point. But it is a community of users. So it starts with every single end user. And that could be a phone company. It could be you they claim their identity tied to that number if they haven't assigned it and might still be a carrier.

Right. If it's assigned to an end user, the end user might say, hey, here's my copy of my phone bill. This attests who I am. And at that point, you have a free record that you can create for yourself or your business. And then if you want to facilitate doing certain activities, that's where the community gets a piece of that savings.

Right. So, for example, what's deployed today is specifically and it's called TNID Telephone Number ID community, it's deployed to support text messaging from businesses to consumers or businesses to businesses that's been taking off. And now there's this very thick registration process similar to Stir/Shaken, but a lot more business details needed. So we apply the ability to have a record created either by an end user or an enterprise to then facilitate saying, Hey, we are who we are, and pushing that out to third parties that are requiring that registration of that user now.

So we have solved that already today in production in one flavor of what's needed to use your identity so that the ability for it to maintain is self-sustaining because the contribution of data into the community also creates value externally for those who want to dip into that community for data. So it's self-sustaining shared software at a community level.
But every participant that's part of that community gets voting rights unlike any other network in a blockchain community, and you're part of that private community before it will eventually touch the public side. But in the private community, everyone gets a vote and you rate each other, you rate your experiences. There's just so much it's like it's like Facebook smashed with like Slack.

But in a sense, right? Except on a grander scale of sharing data back and forth.

Andrew Ward - And this this community ownership as I understand it, is a core concept within the whole, you know, blockchain ethos. The idea that it's distributed, you've got a lot of different parties who are involved and as long as nobody has 51% of the ownership of the community, then, you know, nobody has control. You can only do things to a majority vote.
And yet as long as you as I said, you've got many different carriers or, you know, companies who are associated with us who are involved in it, then you have nobody can kind of abuse it and override the system Yes.

Noah Rafalko - And there's always an element of a nonprofit that manages the governance of the blockchain community. Just imagine any community you have, you have rule makers rule keepers, rule watchers, you have participants, you have vendors. It's just a new community, just like the Internet was a new network to us. And back in the day, just think of how we made that evolutionary step.\

Noah Rafalko - We had all these processes that we did in person, and we had this new technology that allowed them to do it in this new place, like you said, in the cloud. Right? And now we're having access to a newer cloud. So it's just a it's an evolution of taking what we already have created and applying it on this new network to solve some issues that all along the way we create for ourselves.

Andrew Ward - So I'd like to dig a little bit more into the current production application of this to SMS and MMS messaging, which it sounds like is where it's, you know, the kind of first application. And I'm aware that recently I think I've seen notifications and Twilio for example, that they're requiring anyone sending a message to kind of fill out forms to validate that business and so on.

Andrew Ward - Can you talk a bit more about the current state of deployment of TNID and maybe if you're able to share, you know, like who's using it and what impact that is having on both businesses who are wanting to send SMS messages, but also users who are wanting or not wanting to receive them.

Noah Rafalko - Excellent. Excellent. Thank you for that. Question. So TNID was deployed to support the messaging campaign registration. So to your point, let's say you were a customer of Twilio yesterday. And all of a sudden you get this notice and you were sending out texting to a group of either friends, colleagues, whatever. It didn't even matter if you're a regular person or a business at this point.

But you started to use these telephone numbers that were text enabled from Twilio, and now you have a notice come in the next day saying, Oh, by the way, you're going to pay more per message. You're going to pay to register whatever use case you're going to use these for, and we're going to crawl up your butt for 30 pieces of information we didn't get from you yesterday.

And if you want to continue to use that messaging to communicate with your associates, you're going to have to not only pay this stuff but you're going to have to register. If you don't register, you're either going to get kicked off of our network or you're going to get fined. Wonderful. Yeah. So what we deal with as companies, as big or bigger than those companies like Twilio who have to support all these tons of end users, well, how do they do it?

Well, today's ecosystem is this new entity where you're supposed to register. This information popped out of the ether at behest of the wireless operators, a centralized database where now you have to populate all your information as a let's start at the top of the food chain. You're a carrier and you support text messaging enablement. Somewhere down the line you need to now register that you're a carrier supporting these tax enabled numbers and who you're supporting subset.

The next person in line, let's say it's let's cut to the chase and say it's just a software company. Let's say it's a large CRM software company. Right. And they're supporting you. And now not only do they have to register, but if you're creating any of that content, like, hi, you know, I'm sending out a message, you have to register as a business as well.

And if you don't register as a business, you'll pay higher rates, you'll have potential blocking and you can get fined. So that's the current ecosystem where everybody had to connect to a new database that popped up just yet another one, and then a few others popped up around it that you have to populate the same information into. So I thought that was redundant, but that's how the industry works, redundant single databases that you populate information into. So TNID solves this by saying, okay, large companies, small companies, it doesn't matter to us you're a user create your own identity instead of pushing it through this third party and just having another place that you just put your an expose your information to just create your driver's license for telecom.

Now let's do it together. We allow you to create your own record. That record is then connected to your service provider that service providers connect to their carrier, so it connects all those chains of custody members to the same asset through a tokenized invitation or just an invitation process saying, Yes, I do business with Andrew. Good. Andrew doesn't need to know that Twilio does business with another company above it.

Twilio just needs to make sure that Andrew does business, and Andrew needs to know Twilio does business on their behalf, and Twilio now upstreams to their vendor. They have a relationship, but they don't want to know necessarily want Andrew's information to go to a potential competitor above them in most cases. So in our solution, as soon as the identity is accepted by the FCC, and a little bit stronger of a way, then your entire identity becomes a tokenized, alphanumeric code where it doesn't give you your identity.

It gives the the ability for someone to say, yes, this is this is a driver's license number. This has been attested. Mm hmm. Right. And it connects all those dots for whoever starts the chain of custody event. It goes up and down just like one degree until it hits the ends and then ties those records together, shares them with the third parties necessary.

So the companies that we work with today in the community connect to one API and all those different endpoints are absorbed into the network of shared software. And so they never have to support those endpoints. Again, they only support the one entry into the community, which lowers all their costs all over the place and development cycles. So that's where we solve for today we're also being asked to solve for Stir/Shaken because that's just another place to put the same data that you just created for text messaging.

Andrew Ward - Yeah. So let's assume for a second that TNID in the infrastructure around that and you know that blockchain around that is the perfect solution to this problem. Let's just assume that that's the case. The challenge with something like this is adoption. Like if everyone used the perfect solution, then it would be great. If no one uses it, it's valueless.
I mean, in the Bitcoin world, Bitcoin's only got any value because everybody decided it should have value. I could, I couldn't, but somebody could and does every day create a new cryptocurrency. But if nobody uses it, it's fabulous. I guess in an ideal world in the U.S., you'd want like the FCC to say everyone should use TNID and or all the carriers, all the big carriers.
Do you want carriers to get together and say, we are all going to use this and then it becomes an industry standard? How are you approaching that problem and how and how is it going?

Noah Rafalko - Great. Great. Well, again, we did mention governance, so we've talked to a standards organizations that exist in the telecommunications space, both domestically and globally. We've spoken to the FCC, the FTC. We have strong contacts and all those layers because it is a technology that if you just look at a different country like India, India, uses blockchain to both have for regulators to see transparently into that and to stop robocalls and spam.

So it's already being used elsewhere. It's can we as a community and the community starts with two players basically. It's like the Internet remember the Internet started with like a handful of servers. Right. And then it grew from there. So really in our model, it's our clients want to connect to these third parties anyway and at a lower cost.

So that's what we do today that makes enough money for the community to keep going and building and building and building. And it gives as much value to the members to say we need to join this. But it really starts with only two parties that need to share information in a more secure, immutable way. That's the beauty of of this solution.

Andrew Ward - So you're saying that even with yet two members of the community at basically a peer to peer connection, that there is value provided there. And because of that, you don't really have a network effect problem where there's no value until there's lots of people using it. There's value at the beginning. But of course, the value does increase the more people use it.

Noah Rafalko - Right. And TSG Global attached to this community TSG Global supports the messaging and transport layers. It has to register its end users. But because TNID did what it did TSG didn't have to create that. TSG just plugs into a database the source of truth and now can create additional technology surrounding it. So TSG created the ability to look at this campaign that this user registered and put restrictive behavior around it so that they can't break the rules by sending out too many text messages in a day because that's what they loaded in this immutable database.

And we have a source of truth to say. Now we know what you signed up for now we know what to hold you to so that you don't get us in trouble and you don't get in trouble either.
Andrew Ward - And as you apply the same approach in the future, to voice calls, then it's pretty easy to see the analogy. You can you could have a rule saying I potentially you could have a rule saying, I only want to receive calls from my mom and you know, that could be enforced by the carrier. Or you could have a rule saying, I don't want yeah.

Andrew Ward - Any calls from any unallocated numbers or from anyone that's looks above 50% likely to be spam, whatever? You know, those rules could be there and then the carriers could query those rules and then enforce them at any point in the network.

Noah Rafalko - And you just touch too deep into my Patents, which I do think that.

Andrew Ward - That was purely by accident, by the way.

Noah Rafalko - It's actually, it's naturally where we go, right? What else can we do with this? Just like the Internet, what else can we do with this? People often ask us questions, so what can we do with this? And it's like asking what you can do with flame or what you can do with electricity or, you know, it's that multi-purpose, utilitarian, utilitarian, right?

Like it's a it's completely a utility that you can attach to anything that if it makes it more efficient, you use it. If it doesn't, you don't use the tech that's how it works. Yeah.

Andrew Ward - So I'd like to kind of start drilling this down to the things that our listeners should worry about today or be thinking about today. Probably the typical listening to this podcast is a involved in operating a rural iLEC So a fairly traditional small telephone company. Let's start with them as they listen to this should they be thinking this is interesting, one day in the future I will expect to see this?

Is there anything they should be doing today or looking at today that will be helpful for them as they think about Stir/Shaken or alternative approaches to Stir/Shaken and identity?

Noah Rafalko - Absolutely, I think every player that's in telecom, no matter the size of the company, I mean, there's enterprise bigger than CLECs. There's you know, CLECS as part of enterprise, CLECS part of universities. So it's a mix world right now. So it doesn't matter where you are in the mix, the the best next commodity that you're going to be able to manage for folks you already have in your hands.

It's a phone number and it doesn't matter if you have 500 or 5 million or 50 million, it's an asset that's tied to now an identity record, not only you can stop others from utilizing your records on your network as fraudulent on other networks. But now you can authorize access to your own users based on even like a wallet type function saying to your point, Are you authorized to call Andrew?

And if you're not or let's say you are authorized to call Andrew, is there a settlement that I should be doing for on Andrew's behalf? Because you're sending him five text messages this is based on maybe an agreement you had together. How do we renumerate, Andrew? How do we make his phone service for free and charge the other guy to have access to him?

Andrew Ward - So potentially you could set it up so that you have to pay to call me?

Noah Rafalko - Yes. Yeah. And you set those rules because it's you. If I had a penny for every time I received a call that I didn't ask for, I'd be on an island somewhere, right?

Andrew Ward - Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, that's that's an interesting concept of how this could eventually be applied. And you can certainly imagine that, you know, super important people could end up in a situation where they basically make it very hard for people to call them through financial means or whatever. Okay, so someone who's listening to this and is thinking, this is kind of interesting, I want to learn more.

What's the best thing for them to do? As a first step to kind of, you know, learn more about this, to read more, to learn more about their TSG Global or TNID, where would you recommend they go there?

Noah Rafalko - Well, number one, always listen to your show because clearly you're on top of the game of technology. Number two, you can go to our website at TSG Global dot com. So that's a T as in Tom, S as in Sam, G is in George and then the word global dot com, and the new community site is TNID like telephone number ID dot com.

That's where you can learn a little bit more about that and you can always reach out to us at info at TSG Global dot com and we'd love to hear from you. We are a community of folks, so TSG is a community member of that new network and we'd love to expose what we're doing together already.

Andrew Ward - Cool. Oh, thank you. I will put those links in the show notes for anyone looking at this on the website. And yeah, before we wrap, is there anything else you know that say you want to mention or you think it's important for our listeners to to hear about before we wrap this up?

Noah Rafalko - Absolutely. I do believe in identity and I do believe in what they call self-sovereign identity, you claiming who you are. And I want you to just take a moment after this podcast and I want you to think and imagine what you use your phone number today for and imagine it becoming so strong and powerful as an identity mechanism.

What you could do tomorrow without think of anything that's tedious, time consuming, lots of paperwork work asking for the same data over and over again. And now imagine what you do today for coupons, you enter your phone number. Imagine that you just get a token that you can share with a swipe and you've changed how you interact your information with others.

So I always say Welcome to the future and welcome to blockchain.

Andrew Ward - Hey, if I could avoid having to fill out my kid's health insurance information on forms for school field trips that by itself would make it worthwhile to me. So I definitely hear what you're saying. Well, thank you know, I appreciate you taking the time to join us today. For those who are listening, I hope you enjoyed this discussion.

I certainly did. And if so, please be sure to subscribe to the podcast, leave a rating or review in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts or wherever and join us again for the next episode of VoIP for Independent Telecoms. Thanks for listening.

Noah Rafalko

About Noah Rafalko

A communications visionary for over 20 years, Noah Rafalko is the founder and CEO of TSG Global, Inc., which provides voice, messaging, and identity management services for SaaS companies, and large enterprises.