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Trust, identity and info-commerce -- the Interform initiative

In 1913, the United States guaranteed that U.S. coin and currency could be exchanged for gold. Then, in 1933, the U.S. abandoned the gold standard. At that time the U.S. Government guaranteed that: "United States coins and currency (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues." Thereafter the U.S. Government guaranteed that the coin and currency printed and minted by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was as “good as gold”. The critical feature of the system is trust.

Today, the lack of a universal system for exchanging trust or individual identity on the web is inhibiting the development of a convenient, simple payment system for news and digital information.

In an 11-page essay, ex-banking industry senior technologist Bill Anderson lays out a foundation for this argument by explaining how the credit-card system evolved, how it has become compromised by the Internet, and what can be done. He then proposes that a non-profit Information Trust Association (ITA) be established to research and promulgate standards and protocols for a ubiquitous shared-user network for trust, identity and information commerce . . . along with a for-profit operating company, Interform (working title) to run the system under the ITA’s authority.

The user-sharing network

"I propose we build a user-sharing network based on both non-internet and internet technology," says Anderson. "[A]nd a micro-accounting system similar to the micro-account systems that are used by the cell phone industry." It would create a gateway to the bank payments systems that would not require ANY customer financial data EVER be viewable on the Internet. "That means there would be an end to financial data disclosure and mis-use via the Internet," Anderson says.

Anderson says an Information Trust Association guided system, operated by a company he's tentatively calling "Interform," would allow the aggregation of charges from multiple websites or mobile apps, with once-a-month billing to a single account. "The systems and physical infrastructure are mostly in place, we just need to integrate them," says the banking technologist.

About Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson is a retired banking-industry mainframe/networks SVP. He joined his first bank as a software developer in 1968. He helped develop the ATM, ACH and Visa network protocols at Seattle SeaFirst/Bank of America and successor banks. He also led technology at Rainier Bank. In this white paper, Anderson explains in detail why the credit-card system evolved and what it does. He then argues that its key value – the transfer of trust and identity – needs to be the core of a new “open market” for digital information – text, multimedia, news, entertainment – where payments can be aggregated among multiple websites and periodically settled.

Bill has been Cleared by the OCC and the FDIC to be a new-charter bank board-of-directors member and subsequently served as a board member for a financial service startup, served as a lecturer at the University of Washington and served by appointment of the Governor of the State of Washington as the private sector technical advisor of the Information Services Board. Linkedin: [1]