Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sorry, Amazon! Facebook beat you to the crypto-punch!

By now many have heard of, Libra, Facebook's foray into the world of cryptocurrency.

According to TechCrunch:

"Libra, which will let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees. You’ll pseudonymously buy or cash out your Libra online or at local exchange points like grocery stores, and spend it using interoperable third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet that will be built into WhatsApp, Messenger and its own app."

The head of Libra, David Marcus, went on CNBC to discuss this initiative as well.



The move represents the growing power of Facebook and other IT companies that increasingly dominating the economy.

In fact, this reality was one that was discussed at the CPA Foresight Initiative that were recently held. In my breakout group, dubbed "Tech Titans, I proposed is that there is actually nothing stopping one of these companies from becoming a bank. Circulating this picture to the wider group:

20160527_Cash

It is quite clear that these tech giants are well capitalized. What stops them from blessed by the grand wizards of Capitalism to become a bank? For example, Rogers has been issued a bank license in Canada to "issue credit cards and other financial products". Although the charter seems limited in scope, if they have enough capital reserves what's to stop the next step of them issuing loan through the magic of fractional reserve banking?

And so here you have it. Facebook is the first of the Tech Titans, also known as it’s Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (FAANG), to turn embark down the path of financialization. What separates Libra from Bitcoin is that it's a stablecoin, is that it is a "stable coin"; where the value does not fluctuate. Bitcoin, in contrast, is not an actual currency as it is not backed by nothing. Hence the fluctuating value prohibits it from being something that consumers and retailers can keep in their wallets to buy things. As the Libra whitepaper notes:

"Libra is designed to be a stable digital cryptocurrency that will be fully backed by a reserve of real assets — the Libra Reserve — and supported by a competitive network of exchanges buying and selling Libra. That means anyone with Libra has a high degree of assurance they can convert their digital currency into local fiat currency based on an exchange rate, just like exchanging one currency for another when traveling. This approach is similar to how other currencies were introduced in the past: to help instill trust in a new currency and gain widespread adoption during its infancy, it was guaranteed that a country’s notes could be traded in for real assets, such as gold. Instead of backing Libra with gold, though, it will be backed by a collection of low-volatility assets, such as bank deposits and short-term government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks."

Arguably, Apple was the first of the FAANG to go down this road with their shiny new credit card, but this was largely incremental innovation as they are leveraging Goldman Sachs and MasterCard for the underlying infrastructure. And it’s a credit card, which is obviously a legacy payment technology.


Facebook, on the other hand, is charting new territory by wrapping its foray into financialization in blockchain technology. However, they too have assembled a coalition of the willing as well:
Libra

How will they make money?
As they have advertised, the idea is to help the unbanked and to transfer money across borders at a lower rate. Blockchainthusiasts, such as Don Tapscott, have often pointed to the ability of blockchain to help those that don't have access to the mainstream banking system. The other way they could make money is through the returns they would make on the portfolio of assets

Although Calibra (Facebook's digital wallet to hold Libra) will not be connected to people's Facebook account, there is a treasure trove of data that would come from linking a person's personal data to the audit trail that would come from their Calibra wallet. And given Facebook's track record on privacy, it's not difficult to see why people would be suspicious about Facebook trying to monetize this data. That being said, David Marcus (head of Facebook's Calibra divison) noted on an interview on CNBC that there is a significant effort to get the cryptocurrency up and running.

My bet was on Amazon
As I noted in a previous post, I thought it would be Amazon that would be first to the market with a "stable-coin". My prediction was based that Amazon would have the most to gain by cutting out the credit card companies. The trick though, was how would Amazon get people to load up cash directly into their systems? Amazon would have to make a deal with a retailer, like Starbucks or Walmart, who could not only provide such access to Amazon but could also then get to use that cryptocurrency.

What did I miss?

The FAANG are not as powerful as the banking sector. Both Apple and Facebook have included major financial players in their respective entrance world of financialization. Perhaps that will change over time but for now, it seems they are content to partner with major players within the industry.

Why financialization?
Apple and Facebook may occupy the headlines when it comes to their respective financial plays, but they are not the first in tech to realize there are pots of money to be made from the rentier economy.

Perhaps the biggest illustration of this is how Sony makes 63% of its operating profits from finance with “[l]ife insurance has been its biggest moneymaker over the last decade, earning the company 933 billion yen ($9.07 billion)”. So even Sony - the inventor of the Walkman - is not focused on the production of goods or services but on such rent-seeking activity.

What about regulation? 

How on earth is Facebook going to get away with this without being regulated?

Facebook appears to have bought themselves time by establishing this initiative in Switzerland. The other reality is that it's highly unlikely that this initiative was overlooked by the legal departments at Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, etc. That being said, could regulation be the worst thing for Facebook? I think that they may benefit from it. As I noted in this post, regulation can be a monopolist's best friend:

"In Tim Wu's Master Switch, Theodore Veil also advocated for the concept of a regulated monopoly in the arena of telephones:

"[Theodore] Vail died in 1920 at age 74, shortly after resigning as AT&T's president, but by that time, his life's work was done. The Bell system had uncontested domination of American telephony, and long-distance communication was unified according to his vision. The idea of an open, competitive system had lost out to AT&T's conception of an enlightened, licensed, and regulated monopoly. AT&T would remain in this form until the 1980s, and it would return in not so substantially different form in the 2000s. As historian Milton Mueller writes, Vail had completed the "political and ideological victory of the regulated monopoly paradigm, advanced under the banner of universal service."" [emphasis added]

We all know, including Facebook, that the world of finance is heavily regulated. Consequently, they likely know that the day they will have to comply with numerous regulations is inevitable.

However, could it be that the US Regulators are turning a blind-eye on purpose?

According to CNN, there have been calls from US officials to get Facebook to freeze what they are doing to getting them to attend a hearing. However, there's been no mention of a "cease and desist letter" or actual legislation being passed to reign in Libra.

More importantly, there are advantages the US government could leverage from Facebook's offering. As noted in Paul Vigna's and Michael Casey's Age of Cryptocurrency:

"Things really get interesting when the U.S. government issues a digital dollar. The dollar is already the world’s primary reserve and commercial currency, but this would give it an even bigger edge. That’s because people in countries whose currencies aren’t trusted or who are barred or restricted from buying foreign currencies—think China, Argentina, Russia—could now easily obtain the one currency that has long symbolized international stability. Whereas the international movement of paper dollars can be (somewhat) controlled with physical checks at border crossings and regulation of bank transfers, digital dollars would be far more footloose. They would invade other jurisdictions’ currency zones. If citizens of other countries can easily acquire dollars—by far the most sought-after currency in the world—and use them to buy almost anything, why would they need renminbi or pesos or rubles? In this scenario, other currencies become less sought after, the dollar more powerful. It is the ultimate expression of U.S. hegemony, and, for other governments, undermines their nation-state sovereignty."

In other words, China, China, China.

That is, Facebook's deployment of the cryptocurrency gives the US government plausible deniability that the US is working to undermine the Chinese from a currency perspective. As I noted in this post, I cited the Wall Street Journal in explaining China's concern regarding cryptocurrency.

"Virtual currencies in theory allow holders to bypass China’s traditional banking system to move money outside its capital-controlled borders. That could make it more difficult for Chinese regulators to maintain a tight grip on the yuan."

(I also noted that the US had similar concerns around bitcoin and used DoJ operation Chokepoint as well as IRS rules to curtail the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It's not realistic to think that a country will let down it's guard when it comes to capital controls.)

Although the foreign policy aspect may be important, there are real risks for the consumers here. How do the consumers know that their money is safe at Facebook? For example, the FDIC insures deposits of actual banking institutions. Unlike Bitcoin, Facebook can be forced to under audits and other compliance activities. Without such oversight, it's impossible to know whether Facebook is actually keeping enough reserves to back Libra. Take for example Tether, a stablecoin that was allegedly backed by the US Dollar. They initially had to break things off with their auditor. And it seems that they have retained lawyers to provide the necessary assurance over their reserves. However, this article on Forbes traces how Tether seems to be changing its wording around whether Tether is actually fully backed by US fiat currency.

So, we shouldn't be surprised to the FDIC or some other financial regualtor's seal as part of its updated infographic in the near future.

In future post(s), we will look at how bitcoiners are reacting to this as well as what potential opportunities Libra could bring to the audit.

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte or anyone else.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

China’s Bitcoin Ban: A boon for Canada or are we waiting for the bubble to burst?

China’s continued clampdown on bitcoin has provided an impetus for miners to relocate to USA and Canada. In this article, Forbes noted that China’s, National Development Reform Commission (NRDC) might identify bitcoin mining as an activity that is causing harm to the environment. The article also cited that problem of the ability for the rich to evade the country’s capital controls, which I raised in this post. The NRDC has put May 7th as the deadline when it will ban bitcoin. As a result, Bitmain Technologies is looking to relocate in Canada (and the US) and BTC.Top is “opening facilities in Canada.”

Will this relocation to Canada prove to be a boon or is it a prelude to the inevitable bursting of the Bitcoin bubble?

The valuation for cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets ultimately depends on the underlying asset that backs the digital token held by management. That is, certain crypto-assets represent a service or delivery of future assets. For example, State of Wyoming has “ cleared a bill that would exempt certain types of crypto assets from securities laws…so-called “utility tokens” that are “exchangeable for goods and services.” For such tokens, valuations specialists would be needed to understand the underlying value of the service or goods to assess the value.

Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are highly volatile. Some companies use the spot price to determine their value and report it on their financial statements. Hive Blockchain notes on financial statements that:

“Digital currencies consist of cryptocurrency denominated assets (Note 8) and are included in current assets. Digital currencies are carried at their fair value determined by the spot rate based on the hourly volume weighted average from www.cryptocompare.com. The digital currency market is still a new market and is highly volatile; historical prices are not necessarily indicative of future value; a significant change in the market prices for digital currencies would have a significant impact on the Company’s earnings and financial position”.

With that in mind, it is essential to remember that the onset of any innovation is accompanied with an investment bubble and cryptocurrencies are no exception. For example, during the DotCom Bubble, 457 companies had an initial public opinion in the final year of the boom. According to Wired, “[m]any of the most promising companies filed for bankruptcy including Pets.com, WorldCom and FreeInternet.com.” This is the reality of how investment has worked within Capitalist economics. We see a similar pattern in the British Railway Mania of the 1840s, where “[p]rices of railway shares rose by an average of 106% between 1843 and 1845, but the market then crashed, and during a prolonged decline, railway shares fell back below their original value”. With the Dot Com Bubble, Wired article notes that:

“While this boom and crash was unfortunate for investors, it actually produced some of the most innovative ideas that were simply just ahead of their time. Concepts developed by many companies that went under, including VoIP, eCommerce, big data and the web experience, still live on today, in many cases as the fundamental concepts driving success in large corporations.”

The railway investment mania led to the development of railways in the UK. The other innovation? Accounting. According to an academic paper published by Professor Andrew M. Odlyzko:

“The 1840s were a period of dramatic growth and change for British accountants. Many of today’s big accounting firms trace some of their roots to that period. As just one example, the accounting firms around the world that use the name “Deloitte” derive it from William Welch Deloitte, who set up his own practice in London in 1845. There is rare unanimity among experts on this period in attributing the growth in the ranks and prosperity of accountants to the rising demand for accounting services from the railway industry.”

When applying these lesson to crypto-currencies (that use the proof-of-work algorithm), the reality is that there is no underlying asset or service – other than a digital token that cannot be double spent. Therefore, unlike the Dot Com companies – who could at least feign a business model – cryptocurrencies have no mechanism of delivering value to its holders or purchasers. Consequently, the best way to mitigate against valuation shocks is to avoid investing in such speculative investments.

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte or anyone else.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Blockchain: What is a 51% Attack?

Earlier this month, Ethereum Classic suffered a 51% attack.

Although it was not the first cryptocurrency to get attacked, it did have the moniker of one of the big brand names of the crypto-world. That being said, Ethereum Classic is not the main branch of the Ethereum but rather the branch who decided not to go with the decision of the foundation to undo the damage caused by the DAO Hack.

Everything gets hacked, so what makes such an attack so special?

When promoting the bitcoin blockchain, many blockchainthusiasts have touted its tamper-resistance properties as something that users can hang their hats on. Don Tapscott, as one example, notes that since the bitcoin is"transparent, peer-to-peer, and administered by everyone who uses it, it's all but impossible to corrupt"; implying that such an attack is not something that a bitcoin user should worry about.

So what is exactly a 51% attack?

As noted in my process flow post, the idea here is that the segregation of duties concept is breached because the miner has effectively the ability to write to the ledger on their own.

Did a few searches but Ivan Liljeqvist does the best job in terms of breaking it down:



In summary, the hacker will use their hashing power to build a “secret” chain that is longer than the active chain that contains the transactions submitted by the attacker. This secret chain will not contain those transactions. Then at the right time, the attacker will publish their secret chain. Since it is the longer chain (i.e. as the attacker has 51% of the hashing power), it will be accepted by the protocol and displace the public chain, thereby allowing the attacker to spend those bitcoins again, as the official record (which has now propagated across the network) does not record those transactions as spent but as retained by the attacker.

The key to his explanation is the following:

  • The longest chain principle: the network essentially is able to maintain integrity as long as 51% of the hashing power is distributed as it is only the network that is capable of generating this chain; not a single person. The bitcoin blockchain protocol uses this control to resolve to the situation where two chains are being created simultaneously. For example, let's says miner in Canada has identified the nonce for a block of transactions. However, a miner in Japan has also arrived at a nonce for the same block of transactions. Which chain should take precedence? The protocol will declare the longest chain the winner, where length is a function of the difficulty to create that chain. Therefore, as long as the majority of the hashing power is distributed across the network, the control will function as intended. 
  • Specific transactions will be compromised: The attack allows to double spend on their transactions or transactions they are paid to attack. The rest of the records on the blockchain are not impacted by the attack.
  • The attacker can win each competition: What's interesting is whether the attacker would bother double spending their transactions when they can simply win each mining competition. 
That being said, the system will lose trust if such attacks became rampant. If that were to happen, miners have the most to lose if such a thing. were to occur. 

The bottom line is that all blockchain is like any piece of technology. The bitcoin blockchain network, which has numerous miners is very different than a newer blockchain that is unproven. Consequently, we can't simply assume because something is a blockchain it will be "auto-magically" invincible. 

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte's or anyone else. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

GM Layoffs: Towards a people-free economy?

Why is Fox News afraid of upsurge socialism in America?

And it’s “not a Democratic Socialist, just a straight-up socialist”!

One reason is that they see – regardless of their uber-Capitalist stance – corporations engorging themselves on the wealth of the nation. Specifically, Fox Business analyst, Chris Payne commenting on GM’s decision to lay off nearly 15,000 workers said:

“And again, it's not like they're in dire straits. Now, they're trying to get ahead of things, they want a big fat cash flow. But this is why, I think, capitalism in and of itself is in a lot of trouble in this country…Because these companies keep posting record earnings and they keep firing people. They keep posting record earnings and they buying back billions of dollars of their own stock. The American public is going to get hip to this and my fear is that they're going to end up electing, not a Democratic Socialist, just a straight-up socialist because of these kind of shenanigans. They should have saw this coming a long time ago.”

What does this have to do with automation? 
The interesting aspect about the layoffs, from a technology perspective, was that it was mostly white-collar workers that were impacted - 8,000 workers according to New York Times.  The article went on to say:

"The cutbacks reflect a transformation underway in both the auto industry and the broader U.S. economy, with nearly every type of business becoming oriented toward computers, software and automation."

According to this clip from the CBC's the National, Goldman Sachs slashed its cash equity from 600 to 2, but gets the same amount of work done because those traders have been replaced with 200 computer engineers. Furthermore, the expectation is that between 1.5 to 7.5 million white-collar jobs will be lost due to automation.


But what does all this have to do with a people-free economy?

For that, we have to go back an exchange that is said to have happened at a Ford plant:

"Henry Ford II showing Walter Reuther, the veteran leader of the United Automobile Workers, around a newly automated car plant. “Walter, how are you going to get those robots to pay your union dues,” gibed the boss of Ford Motor Company. Without skipping a beat, Reuther replied, “Henry, how are you going to get them to buy your cars?"

The Capitalist economic system is a system that maximizes the freedom of ownership by focusing on investments. Everything else is secondary. Sometimes people in society can impose a cost on the Capitalists that forces them to accommodate them. However, the Empire inevitably Strikes Back. For example, the concessions made to labour unions in 1930s (that upheld Capitalist beliefs) was temporary. Once Communism was dead, these unions were destroyed through the Volcker interest rate hikes in the 70s, globalization and the non-enforcement of labour laws (meaning the government let the companies commit illegal acts).

However, given this, people should realize that the right number of workers at a company is zero. That is, if one can get more output from investment in machines instead of HR, there is no law or other mechanisms that will force a corporation to hire people.

Check out what Andy Puzder, CEO Carl’s Jr, told Business Insider after visiting the fully automated fast food chain Eatsa:

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs…You're going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants… They're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

All doom and gloom or can innovation lead to hidden jobs? 

A good example of how innovation can lead to hidden jobs is the advent of recorded music. Recorded music, courtesy of the phonograph, would disrupt the piano. Prior to that time, pianos were the chief source of musical entertainment. Families would cluster around the piano and one of the relatives would play music. However, with the advent of the phonograph sales of pianos fell falling from their peak production of 400,000 pianos in 1905, while currently, production is a fraction at about 32,000. But what jobs did the phonograph – and the recording industry more broadly – create?

According to the same Freakonomics podcast, approximately 600,000 in total (200,000 in radio and TV broadcasting, 300,000 in motion-picture and sound recording and another 100,000 in the repair of electronic equipment).

Although this is likely a good way to think about the future, it is important to remember that the underlying economic system has no consideration for people. It's cold hard logic is about generating cash for the shareholders - even if it means laying off everybody. But it seems like the best way to do this is with the combination of man and machine - for now.

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte's or anyone else.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cryptoassets: Key to making Googlzon a reality?


On one of my consulting gigs in my prior life, I recalled seeing the video called "EPIC 2014". One of my colleagues at the time told me to check it out. It had the "Matrix" feel to it, but for those familiar with recent movies I would say it's a bit closer to Her.

Take a look:



I've intended to write a post for a while on how Googlzon may actually come to fruition. Sure, one of the key messages of the flash-based video is that people are "amusing themselves to death", but to stick to the tech side of things I wanted to reflect on how the payments aspect works in EPIC.

And that's what struck me: it would probably require some type of crypto-asset or blockchain enabled technology that would enable content providers a way to get paid.

Is this really a scenario where blockchain could help?
I've commented on the past about "blockchainthusiasts" overhyping the technology. But this it's time different.

In a previous post, I wrote how Amazon would be the natural patron for a corporate-cryptocurrency:

"So likely a retailer alliance could be something that poses a challenge to banks and their networks. Amazon already has Amazon Coin, but I think that if they teamed up with Walmart you would have something that basically has wide acceptance. And that's when the games will begin. Retailers also have an incentive to cut-out the banks and save those credit card fees. However, for this to have user acceptance the retailers would need to give their consumers a cut."

And also I noted how a cryptocurrency could be the antidote to media's malaise, specifically:

"When I heard the panelist discuss [use of cryptocurrency-technology as a basis for micropayments], I thought this made a lot of sense. Being someone who has given into paywalls, I would most likely have a media budget set aside that would allow me to pay for articles - 10 cents here or 25 cents there - to consume content. This is much better than being on the hook for hundreds of dollars a month for subscriptions you may or may not use."

Enter the Brave Browser and the Basic Attention Token
I recently was reintroduced to Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Check out how it works:


Pretty amazing how EPIC almost predicted the establishment of a system that would require BAT?

It seems like such a small part of the EPIC system that was outlined in the dystopian pic. But it is a key part of such of a Googlzon eco-system as to how people would be paid and it seems like crypto-assets would be the best candidate for the job.

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte's or anyone else

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Can Blockchain really offer a way out of the Brexit quagmire?

For those following the continuing Brexit crisis in the UK, there have been many issues not least of which is solving the "Irish border" issue. If you need more context on this issue, see the following video by Vox Atlas which does an amazing job of summarizing the issues in about 7 minutes:


What does this have to Blockchain?

Well, it seems that blockchain was identified as a possible solution for this situation. I came across this idea from an article in CCN, which stated the following:

"According to Phillip Hammond, UK’s finance minister, the best way to ensure trade across the Irish border remains frictionless after Britain leaves the EU lies in the use of blockchain technology.

“There is technology becoming available (…) I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology is blockchain,” Reuters reported Hammond as having answered after being asked what the government was proposing to do to ensure smooth trade after Brexit."

I followed the Reuters link but it didn't add much context to the quote; how can blockchain offer any relief from the issues related to the customs union and hard border?

But then I found an article on FT, which stated the following:

"It is safe to say technology used at the border is a red herring, as even the best database can't poke its nose inside a lorry. Here, for instance, is one of the IT experts quoted in the Irish Times calling the idea of technological solutions to the border question “complete nonsense”...

Wired also looked at tech solutions for dealing with 6,000 heavy goods vehicles per day crossing the border, and decided that they were “untested or imaginary”. Blockchain as a border solution is both.

So what inspired Hammond to jump on the blockwagon? It might have been a “white paper” literally called “Blockchain for Brexit”, released last week by Reply Ltd, a consultancy which promised a “solution that could save global businesses billions of pounds through seamless border checks and virtually infallible tracking systems for their goods”.
"

Although I have commented that blockchainthusiasts need to be careful about overstating the capabilities of the blockchain (such as replacing the need for financial audits), we can hardly blame blockchainthusiasm here. Rather it's the Wizard-of-Oz trick of hiding behind the magic curtain. But this time it's not a magic trick but rather the complexity of technology that some are attempting use to gloss some key issues that have emerged in the aftermath of Brexit.

Technology at the end of the day is just a tool fashioned by human beings and is not God. It can't magically solve complex business problems let alone extremely complex political issues that have been simmering for centuries.

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte's or anyone else

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Google Traffic, Time zones and Train Travel: What's the connection?

Had an interesting conversation about Google Traffic with my step-daughter the other day. Originally, my wife was supposed to pick her up, but the way things worked out was it made more sense for me to intercept her at the bus station and then bring her back from home. We were able to calculate timings and distance using Google Traffic.


I was explaining to her "life before Google": those days that I would work late at the client only to be stuck in traffic because a game just got out. We don't know how to avoid these jams because we didn't have Google traffic in those days and so we just had to wait it out.

She was a bit bewildered at the prospects of having to plan one's journey without having the benefit of being able to use Google Traffic. She compared to an era when trains didn't have the benefit of centrally coordinated time zones. As explained in this PBS clip, both trains and cities independently maintained their time based on the sun. Consequently, a train passenger had no way of knowing when they would arrive at their destination because the cities didn't coordinate on time. Hence, the invention of time zones.



And that's the connection.

We can no longer can we blame traffic for being late for an engagement, as we should have checked Google Traffic before we left to make sure we are on time. Google Traffic has now become essential to coordinating with others. Even for getting things done more efficiently requires us to leverage such information.  For me, it helped me pick up my step-daughter and made me realize that I hailed from a pre-historic era ;)

Author: Malik Datardina, CPA, CA, CISA. Malik works at Auvenir as a GRC Strategist that is working to transform the way we do financial audits. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent UWCISA, UW, Auvenir, Deloitte's or anyone else.