What's the short explanation?
The short non-technical explanation is that as long as you ensure that your identity is not published, then all of your data on the Sailing Resume Blockchain is anonymous as only your Sailor ID and public key is included on the Sailing Resume Blockchain.
However, if you choose to release and/or publish your name as the owner of either the Sailor ID or public key, then anyone with this information will be able to associate whatever identity information your released/published (first name, last name, etc.) with the transactions on the Sailing Resume Blockchain.
What's the more technical explanation?
The more in-depth technical explanation requires some understanding of what blockchain/distributed ledger technologies are, and how Charter Rode has used these underlying technologies to create a Hybrid Blockchain to benefit all mariners world-wide. So, grab your favorite beverage and let's dive in!
What are blockchain and distributed ledger technologies?
Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is another name for blockchain and the underlying components that enable a distributed and immutable (unchangeable) database.
Blockchain systems use cryptographic keys to digitally sign data and to prove that the holder of the cryptographic keys created the data. This allows for a secure and trusted way to share data. In the case of Bitcoin, it is data relating to who owns which Bitcoins on the Bitcoin network. In Charter Rode, it is who owns and who verified sailing experience logged on your Trusted Sailing Resume.
Charter Rode Is a Hybrid Blockchain
Public blockchains allow anyone to join the network; anyone to verify transactions; and anyone to read all data relating to the network/chain. Charter Rode is a hybrid blockchain because not all the data relating to the Charter Rode network is made public. Only verified transactions, without identity information, are published to the Sailing Resume Blockchain that anyone in the world can see without any restrictions. For example, when you create your account, you must upload government issued photo ID pictures to ensure you are who you say you are. These photos are never shared on the Sailing Resume Blockchain and are only used internal to Charter Rode to validate your identity.
In addition, not everyone may join Charter Rode. If you refuse to allow Charter Rode to verify your identity, or if you create fraudulent transactions of your experience, you will be denied an account, or your account may be suspended, or you may face a lifetime ban.
Finally, only verified accounts may provide Crewmate verification of another user’s experience. Charter companies may only verify experience directly obtained on their charter fleet. Education institutions such as American Sailing Association (ASA) or United States Sailing Association (US Sailing) may verify only their own students who earn their credentials through their education providers.
Why is Charter Rode open to the public to view all confirmed logbook entries?
See sections above regarding what is a blockchain and Charter Rode is a Hybrid Blockchain. Having publicly available data is at the core of blockchain technology. Charter Rode makes public the necessary information to ensure your Trusted Sailing Resume is accepted, and trusted by others, while still protecting your privacy if you don’t publicly share your key information, just the same as public blockchains such as Bitcoin.
The reason why Charter Rode is a blockchain is because blockchain technology, and its underlying components, methodologies, and designs, lends itself perfectly to the problem of insurance companies, charter companies, and other agencies trusting experience logged by a sailor in some cases many years or decades ago. By using these blockchain technologies, sailors now have a simple, secure, and trusted way to track, verify, and share their boating experience with anyone.
Charter Rode Security
Part of Charter Rode’s security comes from the underlying blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. For example, once a new block (data) is published to the Sailing Resume Blockchain, it is immutable (unchangeable) on the storage devices that are used forever. In addition, when a new block is added to the Sailing Resume Blockchain, it is simultaneously published to multiple secure and immutable storage locations around the world. Each transaction within a block is cryptographically signed so that anyone with the public keys of the signing parties, which are also included in each transaction, may verify the authenticity of the data.
Before a transaction is confirmed (published into a new block), the Charter Rode network is secured using the latest in military grade encryption. ISO/IEC 27001:2013, IS/IEC 2700:2019, PCI:DSS v3.2.1, Level 1, and Cryptocurrency Security Standards (CCSS) are all employed to ensure data is secure and safe.
What Does All This Mean?
At the end of the day, the visibility of your account, and your identity, is much like how it works in the real world. If you want to remain anonymous, then you can even with your Charter Rode logbook data as part of the public Sailing Resume Blockchain. However, just as in the real physical world, if you get on television, radio, or even drive through a town with a bullhorn, and tell everyone who you are, then people are going to know who you are.
Common Ways to Make Your Identity Public
There are almost an infinite number of ways to release/publish/broadcast your real identity and associate it with your Charter Rode Sailor ID or public key, but here are a few common ones:
- Your Profile - when updating your profile, you enabled the option to associate your name (first and last) with your Sailor ID on the Charter Rode Public Resume Lookup Tool.
- Social Media - you, or someone that you shared your information with, posted your identity information along with a Charter Rode Sailor ID and/or Charter Rode public key that you are claiming to be.
The real question should be why does it matter if people know who you are, and how much real on-the-water sailing or boating experience that you have? If we as mariners all agree that our sailing and/or boating experience should be public information, then we are likely all to be safer when we are on-the-water and around other mariners and vessels. After all, it is kind of cool that we can easily see and compare ourselves to each other's experiences as a community!