My Move From Traditional Asset Protection to Crypto

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My Move From Traditional Asset Protection to Crypto

With or Without You

Here’s a sentence to ponder: According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the first nine months of 2018, consumers lost approximately $1 Billion in crypto.  

Yes.  One BILLION…in good ole American dollars.  

I would assume that half the readers are mildly aware of what “crypto” is and if you consider yourself mildly aware, you mildly feel that the words “crypto” and “scam” go hand in hand. 

I would also assume that about forty percent of readers have heard about “crypto” but don’t care too much about it.  “It’s like that computer money, right?”  

This leaves a small percentage that are well informed on the following to name a few:

    • The vision behind the first cypherpunks’ dreams of decentralization
    • Consensus algorithms
    • The power of decentralized ledger technology
    • A “guy” named “Satoshi” 
    • The ever-growing explosion of adaptations happening in almost every big company trying to catch up, ranging from banking to crowdfunding to supply chains, real estate, healthcare, and growing.

This whole “crypto” thing is happening, and the momentum increases by the second with or without your knowledge, participation, adaptation or approval.

 

Fuzzy Math  

If one takes the current approximate market cap value of crypto (approximately $120 billion as of December 2018) and factors in that billion the FTC reported on, total loss is less than one percent.  And as the total market cap of crypto rises, then that percentage becomes smaller and smaller, right?

At this point, any business retail professional that deals with traditional shrinkage goals will understand what “under 1% shrink” means. 

“Under 1%” is this arbitrary target that made everyone feel good.  

It got people promoted and backs patted.  It was the essence of “fuzzy math” in retail and kinda still is.

At some point in my career, I moved away from this concept and “got it.”  From then on, the percentage meant nothing to me. 

The only thing that mattered was the dollar figure.

I began observing the traditional Loss Prevention world like Neo in The Matrix.  By the way, Loss Prevention is also called “Asset Protection” if you’re feeling like thy glass is half full today.

There was this code built into things one could tap into if you could just see it.  The code behind the rules that determined how customers typically shopped, how thieves acted or walked, how employees did or didn’t do their jobs, how “paper shrink” happened or how vendors defrauded systems…

It was the code of how shrink drops were created and into which bucket they fell.

It didn’t matter if a 40 year company person told me about all of those pesky thieves that walked in and stole every day as if that’s what caused the shrink.  I knew that tenure didn’t equal the ability to root-cause losses.  They either “saw things in code” or they didn’t and that’s when the obligation to coach and skill-transfer would kick in for me as a leader.

 

Criminals, Hucksters and Fraudsters

“Like, there’s this thing called blockchain and it’s called Bitcoin.”

I think the above was my first inept thought on the whole crypto thing a few years ago and if you’re in that small percentage I referred to earlier then you know how wrong that sentence is and yet probably how commonly uttered (including starting a sentence with “like”).

As I began to feel the power behind decentralization back in the day when Napster attempted to peer to peer themselves and the traditional music industry into oblivion, I just couldn’t connect the importance of the concept until Bitcoin came around.  

Imagine it.  Decentralized digital money?  “Mined” just like gold in that it was a finite resource…

“Amazing!  I’m in!”

Now, this whole “crypto-sphere” is booming with incredible ideas, inspiring teams across the world to develop the next great decentralized application or come up with the next great idea on how to inspire people or possibly even affect entire economic models.

“Amazing!  I’m in!”

Unfortunately, criminals, hucksters and fraudsters said that as well.

I took a peak into the crypto world and tried to find some kind of Asset Protection team in companies.  I couldn’t find it.  “AP” teams consists of the C-suite team themselves or quality blockchain engineers that understand the code and every way in which it can be attacked or manipulated.

Remember…One Billion dollars in crypto lost in the first nine months of 2018?

Of course, this figure is reported solely by consumers but here’s the question of the day:  

How much did companies lose?  Ever heard of Mt. Gox?  Look it up.

How much was internally stolen and never reported?  How many investigations should have been started and closed?  How many employees DIDN’T go to jail and how much in restitution did companies fail to collect?  After all, the criminals, hucksters and fraudsters are not just the ones sending out bomb threats in return for Bitcoin.  It’s within companies themselves.

 

BlockWRK and Tooting Horns

The mission in the next few years will be simple.  

Legitimize crypto not just in perception but in reality.   

Every single company will have to do their part and as more and more companies dive into blockchain technology and dip their feet into “token economics” this barren AP-less landscape will have to evolve.  Traditional AP will have to evolve past standard e-commerce anti-fraud knowledge and strategies.

Tokenization of everything will soon be here.  As stated before, with or without your knowledge, participation or approval.  I would prefer AP be on the code boat.

I’m lucky to be part of a fantastic team that happens to believe not just in the power of transparency but in the essential need to create leadership positions based on real life, legitimate and proven strategies that have worked and will continue to work even if this is only part of the “crypto-sphere.”

After all, crypto, in its essence, is only ones and zeroes but that’s no matter…

I like seeing things in code.  And for me, the only thing that matters is the dollar figure.

 

We at blockWRK are attempting not just to inspire people but change the employee and employee relationship at a fundamental level by creating an innovative way to incentivize productivity. 

Visit www.blockWRK.com to find out about our amazing team!

About the Author:

Alfredo Caraveo is the Vice President of Asset Protection for blockWRK. With over 15 years of experience at multiple levels in several organizations, he brings a wealth of knowledge and exciting perspectives to the world of crypto. He is also the founder of SherLOCKED Consulting.