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Blockchain Won’t Stop Telemarketers from Hustling You for a Quick Buck

Blockchain Can't Fix Everything

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted August 14, 2018 at 4:32PM

They’re hated more than politicians, nazis, and people who say “OMG,” in real life.

They’re yelled at, demoralized, and treated worse than people who still have AOL accounts.

But I actually feel bad for them.

I’m talking about telemarketers.

Let’s face it: You have to be a special kind of person to be able to do a job like that.  And while they are loathed by most of humanity, the truth is, they’re just trying to make a living. That being said, there are few things I despise more than getting a call from a woman named “Nancy,” who happens to have an Asian accent, telling me that it’s time for me to buy the extended warranty on my car. 

But what really makes this annoying is the fact that I jumped through all the necessary hoops to get my phone number added to the “do-not-call” registry.  That thing has proved to be about as useful as a Kardashian on a Texas oil rig in July.

kardas

But a solution may well be underway.

This will take far more than Blockchain

Last month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India announced the process of integrating blockchain technology into a system designed to stop unwanted sales calls throughout the country.  Essentially, this would be a type of decentralized do-not-call registry that would expedite the process of acknowledging and logging preferences and complaints. 

Today, this process takes about a week, but with the utilization of blockchain, the process could take as little as 15 minutes.  India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority has also hinted that it could use artificial intelligence to “help detect the signs of digital signatures of those who abuse the system.”

Of course, while this sounds all well and good, the reality is this whole thing could end up being more trouble than it’s worth.

Telecom analysts and regulatory officials have already complained that it could take nearly two years for telcos to deploy the blockchain solution, and at a significant cost.  The process also requires a “do-not-disturb” app, which apparently is not very user-friendly.  This, of course, comes as no surprise to those who know how effectively things tend to be run by government organizations. 

The reality is that while blockchain technology could certainly make a “do-not-disturb” solution much more efficient and credible, there really hasn’t ever been much in the way of tackling the problem in a serious manner.  And perhaps there’s a reason for this.

Yes, unsolicited sales calls are annoying as hell, but there’s no real free-market rationale for imposing harsh restrictions on the companies that facilitate these calls.  To put it another way, your level of frustration and inconveniences is worth far less than the revenue generated from these sales calls.

While I’m the last person to doubt the ability of blockchain technology to make all kinds of applications more efficient and more secure, if there’s no direct financial incentive to integrating it, it’s unlikely to get much support. Especially if the Telecom Regulatory Authority is already tripping up this much so early in the process of getting this thing up and running.

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