Ian Grigg is a financial cryptographer known for his work on triple-entry accounting, Ricardian contracts, and digital cash systems. He is currently a partner at Block One, working on the EOS project by applying his expertise to the development of a governed blockchain; Principal Architect at ChamaPesa, an app for social savings groups that uses a blockchain to add cryptographically-backed transparency, accountability and reliability to the informal networks which constitute 40% of Africa’s GDP; and Chief Scientist at Mattereum.
As the final talk of the conference, his core message was that the current financial system is locked into a race to the bottom in terms of customer service due to the rising cost of compliance (increasing 20% each year since 2002) and how identity and accountability frameworks sorely need revisiting. He presented the Financial Identity Trilemma Syndrome, which posits that out of three desired goods—regulatory compliance, security of assets, and customer service—only two can be achieved simultaneously, with customer service being the usual casualty. He then framed identity as an edge protocol consisting of collected attestations or facts between individuals as a cheaper approach, and the four qualities that will help provide a solid foundation within this distributed framework. Ian concluded his talk by highlighting the lack of liability surrounding identity providers and certificate authorities, and how implementing a dispute resolution system can help hold all parties to account within a certain system.