W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > April 2017

Re: Blockchain Standardization (was Re: PR for playground)

From: Timothy Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:11:26 +0000
Message-ID: <CAM1Sok3vhVe4pgW0PuqfN2-R-yNH9Hra_oWf1NpSNGWXxb+XvA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Lemieux, Victoria" <v.lemieux@ubc.ca>, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
Cc: Greg Adamson <g.adamson@ieee.org>, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, W3C Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>, Blockchain CG <public-blockchain@w3.org>, David Wood <david.wood@ephox.com>
also: see - http://prosecco.gforge.inria.fr/ieee-blockchain2016/#schedule

On Wed, 5 Apr 2017 at 20:54 Timothy Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Wed, 5 Apr 2017 at 19:56 Lemieux, Victoria <v.lemieux@ubc.ca> wrote:
>
> Hello All, I attended the ISO meetings today, and the group passed a
> series of resolutions that provide the scope of the work that they will
> begin.  As soon as the draft resolution is posted to the TC 307 site, I’ll
> circulate it to you. At this point the focus is on getting started on
> terminology, as well as on a series of study groups that will focus on
> reference architectures,
>
>
> Can we set-up a web resource / location --> to illustrate these
> architectures we're (all) talking about?
>
> Whilst i understand the complications, i'm continuing to have issues with
> the term 'blockchain'.  Part of my problem here is that the general
> understanding of blockchains refer to a mechanism that requires 'mining',
> which in-turn offers an opportunity to sell alot of hardware (and
> thereafter use alot of energy).
>
> Perhaps indeed, i need to simply get off it; and i know within the
> 'Fintech' space blockchain = buzzword --> people have budget for
> 'blockchain' stuff; yet on the web layer of this work, it appears modern
> designs are working to take into account;
>
>
> taxonomies and ontologies; security and privacy; identity; governance, use
> cases; and smart contracts,
>
>
> plus much more.  From a technology perspective (rather than use-cases,
> which include some of the former)
>
> 1. RDF
> 2. HTTP / HTTP API
> 3. HTTP Signatures
> 4. some sort of provenance / version control
> 5. purge functionality
> 6. perhaps some way of packaging the referenced ontology definition (re:
> point 4) (maybe build upon LDP?)
> 7. variable decentralisation mechanics (ie: distribute to every
> participant, distribute to group -- (1 --> n)
>
> I would like to add also dignity (as an interoperable developmental method
> supportive of privacy)
>
> Identity (access/auth/utility - use cases) is tricky - IMHO, packaged,
> signed, sparql statements in plurality offer a flexible approach to
> representations of bundled 'identity constituent' statements, supportive of
> persona management.
>
> 8. have we reviewed https://www.w3.org/TR/ldn/
>
> among other things.  The goal of these study groups will be to determine
> what work the committee should undertake in each of these areas.
>
> Nick Lee will lead the study group on Identity.
>
>
> Define identity?
>
> web (online/digital, et.al.) Identity is a nebulas, continuously evolving
> permissive set of characterisations that are perceived by recipients
> involving choices made by the 'subject' as to perform / elect persona
> attributes within a temporally aware data space. These 'affirmations' are
> likely perceived differently between participants of any one identity
> related communication.  It gets more complex thereafter.
>
> Constituents to an identity framework may includes;
> - Authentication and preservation of access control
> - implicit, explicit and unstructured counterparts of knowledge
> representation provided on some sort of basis.
> - internal/external influencers (balanced out with dignity / privacy
> mechanics that may create/infer true/false pretexts)
> - interferences with the confluence of structured, unstructured, accurate,
> false/misleading knowledge fragments
>
> https://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/webid/spec/tls/ gives a relatively good
> means (despite documentation aspects, particularly re: ontology use) to
> define a device/account (being some devices have no accounts, and others
> do); but it doesn't really identify the user of the machine, this is
> currently inferred.
>
> So, in other words, it’s very early days yet, and it will likely be
> several months before there is greater clarity on exactly what the
> committee will work on as formal work packages.
>
> I hope that this information provides some clarity on what has been
> happening within the ISO.
>
>
> So, we have
> - ISO
> - IETF (are they in the chat?)
> - IEEE
> - W3C
> - OASIS was involved at some stage, not sure what's happening there...
>
> I think the big thing here; is this 'identity' counterpart; i think we
> need to be both particularly careful about it, but also honest and straight
> forward.  The 'identity' piece, has often been over simplified and the web
> has an array of characteristics throughout modern civilisation world-wide
> due to these implicit decisions.
>
> I watched it through the emergence of Web 2.0.  I think we need to
> consider these variant challenges with more diligence this time around.  If
> we're not going to look at that problem (or the implications of what we're
> doing in how it will impact that problem); then a simple press release
> stating so, may suffice.
>
> If we're going to incorporate some thinking about these sorts of enormous
> challenges...  (imho, better to have tried and failed than not to have
> tried at all); then my thoughts are that the breadth of participation
> (perhaps surrounding "linked data decentralised ledgers" on the
> data-presentation layer) may yield better results.
>
> I assume the use of these technologies will result in 'tamper evident',
> 'mathematic proofs' in machine/human readable formats for use as
> 'verifiable claims' as a high-level "identity constituent";
>
> ie:
> - i did this thing
> - i own this
> - this happened
> - this creative work has properties that others support by way of digital
> signature
>
> et.al.
>
>
>
>
> Best wishes,
> Victoria
>
> Tim.H.
>
> On Apr 4, 2017, at 5:18 PM, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
> wrote:
>
> Hi Greg,
>
> I have read as much as I could find publicly on the ISO work in this space
> but I am still unclear on what the deliverables of such a group would be.
>
> What is the group aiming to standardize and why?
>
> Adrian
>
> On 3 April 2017 at 19:35, Greg Adamson <greg.adamson.engineer@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> Hi Adrian,
>
> On ISO, I will let you know once the TC307 meeting finishes in Sydney in a
> couple of days. I take your point that ISO moves slowly. But I think it is
> important to see they come up with the best possible result (which may be
> or include endorsement of what others have done). One problem in the ISO
> process at the moment is that the self-selected global group group of
> participating national standards organisations doesn't include India or any
> African country. I am working to rectify that if possible.
>
> Regards, Greg
> Dr Greg Adamson
> Principal, Digital Risk Innovation
> Chair, IEEE Design for Ethics Ad Hoc
> +61 423 783 527 <+61%20423%20783%20527>
>
> On Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 4:29 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
> wrote:
>
>
> On 2 April 2017 at 04:19, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> On 2 April 2017 at 04:19, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
>
> bcc: Credentials CG
> cc: Blockchain CG
>
> Migrating this thread to the Blockchain CG mailing list as it's become
> more blockchain-y, than web payments-y or verifiable claim-y.
>
> For those that didn't see the start of this thread, it is here:
>
> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-credentials/2017Mar/0023.html
>
> On 03/31/2017 11:25 PM, Adrian Hope-Bailie wrote:
>
> I am interested to hear from those of you involved what the goals of
> these [Blockchain Standardization] initiatives are?
>
>
> I think the goals are different between the standards bodies, and
> personally, I find it very difficult to track everything going on at the
> moment as things are still very dynamic.
>
>
> So it's not just me!
>
>
>
> What are you trying to standardize?
>
>
> I've heard at least these answers to that question:
>
> * governance for each blockchain
>
> Are governance parameters transferrable?
>
> * decentralized identifiers
>
>
> Method of decentralisation (ie: variable between 1 --> n)
>
> I think we have to standardize decentralized identifiers, as everything
> else is built on that.
>
> +1
>
> I feel like a lot of the technical standardization work is riding the
> blockchain hype. It's big "S" standardization just for the sake of
> standards bodies not wanting to miss the boat.
>
> meh. http://info.cern.ch/ --> good design is one thing.
> https://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/ is investable, and
> has different characteristics / properties from a socio-economic
> perspective.
>
> Somebody please tell me what an ISO technical committee is going to
> standardize wrt DLT and Blockchain. The ISO process is way too slow to be
> effective in such a fast developing area.
>
> Broader market overtime.  important, but perhaps not the incubation lead..
>
>
> IMO technical standardization it will be ineffective until it has a
> focused use case (like DIDs). Part of the reason Interledger has been
> successful is that it's not trying to standardize something broad like DLT
> it's focused on value transfer.
>
> it'll be interesting to see what happens with interledger over the next
> decade.  It's a good step forward, but the problems in this landscape are
> significant (imho) due to the applicability of the works more broadly.
>
>
>
> We've been stuck on this topic for 10 years as everyone has their pet
> favorite identity system.
>
> there's that *identity* word again...   as those people are simply
> anecdotal to purpose.
>
> What is needed is a system that will interoperate, and we should
> aggressively throw out identity systems on the criteria that cant be shown
> to interoperate (which is most of them!) or have significant traction.
>
> i think people don't think about it enough, whilst also agreeing most
> existing solutions are not capable of achieving compliance with a
> well-formed 'fit for purpose' test.
>
> Work required to produce such an analysis would include doing the identity
> use-cases in a broad socioeconomic methodology - which isn't really a
> blockchain mandate, that's something else.
>
> The main problem I see is that people are fascinated by overloading
> identifiers to do two (or three) different things.  This is wrong.
> Identifiers should be opaque.  The reason being that different people will
> overload in different ways, and that leads to failure to interoperate, and
> balkanization.
>
>
> Actually I think the problem is interoperability in the various protocols
> used to resolve and discover addresses and services from an identifier/name.
>
> And crucially, the need for identifiers to be useful and accessible to
> humans.
>
> Accessible? human rights doctrine has a concept of 'right to self
> determination' (which i think should surely relate to 'accountability', but
> is certainly complex).
>
>
>
>
> The most logical thing to do is to start by saying standardization of
> identities MUST be URIs.
>
> Then look at ecosystems within each URI scheme:
>
> For example
>
> http URIs have a perfectly good spec that is widely deployed called
> WebID.  Alternatives in the http world can be proposed, but let's be ready
> to standardize what makes sense.  I would recommend labeling any identity
> system that relies on http 303 redirects as an anti pattern, as experience
> has shown they are a nightmare to deal with, and also they mix the data
> layer with the transport layer.
>
> lots of HTTP frameworks therein...
>
>
> bitcoin seems to have significant traction as a uri scheme and fits into
> the anyURI category
>
> I think enough work has been done on DID URIs to merit further
> investigation
>
> Of course mailto: and tel: URI schemes exist.
>
>
> This is a nice start but then there needs to be a standard discovery
> protocol per scheme.
>
> We have a standard encoding for a Universal Resource Identifier and this
> has an allowance for a scheme so that we can define a different Universal
> Resource Discovery Protocol per scheme.
>
> We have at least one already: HTTP
>
> Assuming you have this, the final piece is a standard representation of a
> resource. i.e. If you give me a URI that you say identifies a person then
> when I use the appropriate discovery protocol for that URI scheme I should
> get back a resource I know how to interpret.
>
> (We're changing topic here again)
>
>
>
> Perhaps we should start a wiki page on identity, and lay out the
> guidelines to achieve standardization.  This is the building block for
> everything we do.
>
>
> * interledger transactions
> * interledger linking
> * standardization around Bitcoin/Ethereum
> * smart contracts
> * blockchain data models
> * HTTP APIs
>
> So, there is technical standardization and political governance. Our
> organization is most interested in the technical standardization, but I
> struggle to see any initiative that has drawn more than a handful of
> blockchain organizations to the table. Interledger seems to be the most
> far along. I think we're making progress for cross-chain decentralized
> identifiers (DIDs). The Linked Data Decentralized Ledger stuff is new,
> but I'm speaking at a workshop on the topic day after tomorrow in Perth,
> Australia and will have a better idea on what the industry is thinking
> wrt. traction at that point (I don't expect much traction at present).
>
>
> As I said above I don't see "blockchain" or "DLT" standardization
> happening soon. The industry is still figuring out the details and while
> there is still a feeling that there may be undiscovered opportunities
> around the next corner the prominent players are not going to fall over
> themselves to collaborate on a standard.
>
> And, for many in the industry the belief that a DLT provides
> interoperability is still widely held.
>
> Interledger is not a blockchain standardization effort. The amazing
> developments around value recording ledgers (like Bitcoin, Ripple,
> Ethereum) have provided the diversity of use cases to inspire a standard.
>
> In reality Interledger could have been developed to just work between
> traditional private ledgers but the desire to make it interoperate with
> public DLTs has been a key influence on the work.
>
>
> So Adrian, to give you a data point... I can't see anything clearly yet,
> but I know that we're going to be seeing more and more proposals for
> standardization over the next year and we'll see how those resonate with
> the community. I'm skeptical that we can do big "S" standardization and
> should instead be seeking little "s" standardization. I think things
> like Interledger, Chainpoint, decentralized identifiers, data models,
> and HTTP APIs are all we could suggest standardization proposals for at
> this point in time... and even then, they'll be rough for another year
> or three before we start to see some momentum. Just my $0.02.
>
>
> Thanks Manu. With all this talk of standardization I worried that there
> was something I was missing. But it seems we're all in the same boat.
> Waiting to see where the tide takes this thing...
>
>
>
> Adam, are you in Perth for WWW2017? Pindar and I will be there tomorrow
> along with Tim and a few other blockchain folks. Perhaps we could sit
> down and have a chat about what we see as reasonable things to pursue in
> the next year or two?
>
> We had fun :) it was great to finally meet a bunch of people i've been
> working so hard, for so many years - but had never had that experience of a
> real-world conversation --> awesome...
>
> Tim.H.
>
>
>
> -- manu
>
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: Rebalancing How the Web is Built
> http://manu.sporny.org/2016/rebalancing/
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 5 April 2017 13:12:15 UTC

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