Blockchain 101 + Why You SEE BC Identity Projects

From IIW

Blockchain 101 + Why you SEE BC Identity Projects

Day/Session:Tuesday 2C

Convener:Riley Hughes

Notes-taker(s): Steve Fulling

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

'Blockchain 101 (not 102) and Why you see Blockchain Identity Projects by Riley Hughes '

Notes by Steve Fulling

Allegory: We are medieval farmers. Some wheat, some pigs. Some want to expand farms. Some have extra money, some have extra pigs. We all write down in our notebook. A lent $50, B lent $100, C got $150 for expansion, etc. We do this in a ledger. We each have our own notebook which records the whole ledger. If there were a central notebook that could be bribed/corrupted. With all the notebooks it would be tough to corrupt. Every Sunday we compare notebooks and sync them, of sorts. We keep our books in order. But this can be costly and arduous. Lots of friction here. This is a distributed notebook system, of sorts.  

So, we invented banks. This is a middleman, someone we trust. This middleman’s best interests is served by keeping accurate records. Banks are managing the ledger and get the shit kicked out of them by the government if they allow fraud or corruption. This is much lower friction.  

Everyone uses middlemen. Generally, this makes society better. But there are problems with middlemen. Like balance of power. Censorship problems arise.  

A blockchain is at its core: going back to everybody having their own ledger. But, it’s now automated. There is no middleman. It is all peer to peer. There are downsides. This is more expensive, we have many ledgers, not a single one like a bank would have. It can be more expensive, energy wise. It can be inefficient. There are also higher learning curves.  

We still may have centralized services like Coinbase to help people use decentralized protocols (move BTC into fiat currency or vice versa).  

Resources to learn more: 

Wiki. Google. YouTube.

Crypto Zombie – to learn crypto coding.

Vitalik Buterin – clear but very technical

Play with stuff. Download Blockchain and Coinbase  

Why would a ledger be good for digital identity?  

There are 2 models of identity:

Traditional (Facebook, Bank, administrative)

Federated (OpenID)  

How do we get to DLT is a better way to manage digital identify??

What are the problems with administrative identities? Lack of privacy. Closed system. Honeypot (it could be stolen). Can be impersonated. Scale.  

What is the reward for breaking into one large system, or hundreds of smaller systems?? Do you want to rob a bank or rob 1,000 homes??  


We talked about smartphones and grandmothers. We need smarter grandmothers. Ha.

Have we considered keeping something physical like a digital key that stays in your pocket?

In emergencies people resort to physical systems: cash, birth certificates, etc.  

Framework to gauge legitimacy


Lights Out test

Community / interoperability standards

Context independent?

Viable for at-risk populations.  

The End.