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Re: PR for playground

From: Greg Adamson <greg.adamson.engineer@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:47:59 +1000
Message-ID: <CAB2or4NMYQ0=9C3vcbPvgBFrANtbvoib+4-voQzqgqDc_6+nUQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
Cc: Pindar Wong <pindar.wong@gmail.com>, Timothy Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>, Christopher Allen <ChristopherA@blockstream.com>, W3C Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Tony Arcieri <bascule@gmail.com>
Hi Adrian,

Great questions!

There is a conceptual definition of cloud, which is useful. At the next
level there are no standards that allow me to easily move between AWS,
Azure, etc. A bunch of walled gardens, not good. Below that there are lots
of specific technical standards.

I personally find the ISO 7 layer model very helpful for data
communications, even if the Internet only references 4 of the layers (more
or less). A similar (linear) model for blockchain I think would be great.
The models I see today look like a bunch of boxes on a chart with a whole
lot of undisclosed assumed feedback loops.

Leaving it to the market for major technology standardisation is actually
standardisation through litigation.* This takes decades and is incredibly
wasteful. How is banking blockchain standardisation through the market
working? Not very well based on the bankers I talk to. It has turned into
an argument about "is blockchainchain the same as dlt?", not because that
is a useful discussion, but because companies that don't want to follow the
blockchain approach still want to pretend they provide all the benefits of
Satashi Nakamoto's invention. (I am not saying there isn't space for
everything, but that constructive discussions get obfuscated by commercial

The example I generally use is the failure of every single one of the
10,000 e-commerce exchanges from the early 2000s (remember Covisint?). So
we had EDI, which had trouble scaling below corporates, then XML was going
to fix it all up, and 15 years later we end up with Amazon and Alibaba.
That isn't very open or inclusive, and certainly not universally scalable.

An example of where standards can really help is what IEEE is doing with
big pharma at the moment. There is a US regulation on trackability due
2025, a bunch of unhappy big pharma players with a need, a potential
blockchain solution that will allow them to bypass 20 years of traditional
IT supply chain development (from pre-barcoding to blockchain, skipping
comprehensive barcoding and RFID-based solutions). IEEE is inviting all the
key companies to a workshop in June. If that works well it will also bypass
many rounds of "we don't trust another company to take the lead".

Regards, Greg
Dr Greg Adamson
Principal, Digital Risk Innovation
Chair, IEEE Design for Ethics Ad Hoc
+61 423 783 527

*In the US the telephone was standardised through 300 patent battles (late
19th early 20thC). The US government intervened in Radio and forced the
players to work together by creating a single company, RCA (post WWI). In
television the FCC created NTSC to prevent RCA from dominating and killing
it (1930s). In software AT&T was banned from selling software (1950s) so
they invented and gave away Unix virtually for free. In satellite the US
privatised regulation and thereby entirely destroyed the commercial value
of their 1960s technical leadership. With the Internet the FCC stopped AT&T
from charging for local data (1980s), creating net neutrality. In mobile
the US relied on a competitive market, and it then took them 20 years to
catch up with Europe.

On Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 1:04 AM, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>

> Hi Greg,
> Thanks, that is useful context. It still seems very premature to me to be
> trying to standardize something as broad as "blockchain" when both the
> governance and technical standards are likely to be vastly different for
> different use cases.
> I am happy to be proven wrong, but it seems to me a more pragmatic
> approach would be to allow industry groups to figure out how they might use
> this technology for their own use cases. When we have emerging industry
> specific standards then we can find commonality across industries that may
> be worth calling out, if only for the purpose of being able to all speak a
> common language.
> Alternatively, there are specific problem domains that are being
> addressed, either by blockchain solutions or because of a need to solve
> them for blockchain tech to work. A great example of focused early work
> that could lead to standardization is Christopher's work in defining the
> multi-signature problem space: https://github.com/WebOfTrustInfo/
> ID2020DesignWorkshop/blob/master/draft-documents/smarter-signatures.md
> Final question, is there precedent for this kind of standards work? Did
> anyone ever define global standards for "big data" or "cloud", the in-vogue
> tech of the last hype-cycle, that are useful today?
> Adrian
> On 1 April 2017 at 06:41, Greg Adamson <greg.adamson.engineer@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Adrian,
>> In my experience the general goal is to address governance, and I think
>> the list is far more than 4. For me the negative example is e-commerce
>> exchanges. There were something like 10,000 of thee created or proposed by
>> 2000, the most visible being Covisint, and every industry, every large
>> corporate, had their own proposals. Within a few years 10,000 out of 10,000
>> had crashed. What we have instead now are a few large commercial
>> organisations (eg Amazon, Alibaba).
>> Governance is needed particularly when things go wrong, when things need
>> to be fixed, and when things need to be updated. Standards are a strong
>> governance mechanism. For comparison I look at the Internet, which (and
>> this can be debated) has no central point of control, but for which we can
>> find around 300 governance organisations around the world.
>> The views of what will be standardised tend to reflect the views of how
>> important blockchain will be to the future of technology. Coming from a
>> data comms background I would love to see agreement on a protocol stack,
>> but most of the diagrams I see are less linear. In particular I am keen on
>> international common approaches, because the hard problems that blockchain
>> solves (eg in supply chain) are usually multi-jurisdictional ones. If there
>> isn't a standard, it is that much harder to have a global application.
>> I wear two hats in this area, participating in the Standards Australia
>> IT-041, which is the secretariat for the ISO TC307 (meeting next week in
>> Sydney), as well as chairing the IEEE SIG. There seems to be good
>> cross-initiative cooperation at the moment. My recent background is
>> financial services for a large bank (trade, payments, correspondent
>> banking), but in a past life I also worked in health informatics, so I am
>> involved in some pharma work. For much of my life I have worked in aspects
>> of supply chain.
>> 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 Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 2:25 PM, Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com
>> > wrote:
>>> Hi Pindar, Greg, Manu,
>>> I think the list of organizations doing "Blockchain Standardization" now
>>> includes ISO, the IEEE, ISOC and W3C. I am interested to hear from those of
>>> you involved what the goals of these initiatives are?
>>> What are you trying to standardize?
>>> Adrian
>>> On 31 March 2017 at 03:09, Pindar Wong <pindar.wong@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Hi Manu,
>>>> FWIW, the Internet Society <http://www.isoc.org> has also formed a
>>>> Blockchain Special Internet Group where I serve as the interim-Chair.
>>>> I hope that we can all find a way to move the ball forward together.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> p.
>>>> On Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 1:25 PM, Greg Adamson <
>>>> greg.adamson.engineer@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Manu
>>>>> IEEE has been developing a SIG on blockchain over the past year which
>>>>> I chair, and will be announcing an "Industry Connection" on identity and
>>>>> blockchain next Tuesday in Vancouver at our Blockchain Summit. An IC is a
>>>>> pre-standards engagement activity.
>>>>> The blockchain standards / governance space is going to be chaotic and
>>>>> fragmented for a while (I am also part of the ISO process as a member of
>>>>> the Australian TC), but if you see any pain points that seem to fall into
>>>>> IEEE's areas of expertise, point them out and we will see what can be done.
>>>>> Regards Greg
>>>>> On 31 Mar. 2017 4:02 pm, "Timothy Holborn" <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> On Fri, 31 Mar 2017 at 10:51 Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> On 03/25/2017 06:55 PM, Tony Arcieri wrote:
>>>>>>> > I would recommend Blockstream's secp256k1 Schnorr signature
>>>>>>> > algorithm, although unfortunately I don't think there are existing
>>>>>>> > standards describing it published through any sort of standards
>>>>>>> > body.
>>>>>> Just introducing Greg re: blockchain / IEEE
>>>>>>> I'll close the loop on this w/ Christopher Allen, who works at
>>>>>>> Blockstream. We'll be collaborating on this and other things at the
>>>>>>> next
>>>>>>> Rebooting Web of Trust 4 Workshop in Paris at the end of April:
>>>>>>> http://www.weboftrust.info/next-event-page.html
>>>>>>> > In all of my personal and professional work we are using EdDSA,
>>>>>>> which
>>>>>>> > is a Schnorr scheme and standardized in RFC 8032.
>>>>>>> I've raised an issue to implement this:
>>>>>>> https://github.com/digitalbazaar/jsonld-signatures/issues/21
>>>>>>> I don't expect it to be done any time soon, as we're heads down on
>>>>>>> other
>>>>>>> things, but demand for it is rising and as soon as we get an
>>>>>>> implementation in Forge, we can move forward with it in the Linked
>>>>>>> Data
>>>>>>> Signatures stuff.
>>>>>>> -- 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 Monday, 10 April 2017 23:48:33 UTC

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