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

Re: [TIME CRITICAL] Provide input on Verifiable Claims Charter revision 2

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:50:53 -0400
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <cdb8e8fd-fa72-4acd-43a3-2de7b53f7b09@digitalbazaar.com>
On 03/29/2017 12:56 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
> Isn't this a technology that could potentially be deployed to
> billions, not millions? Isn't that really why this work is being
> done? (Entity verification, payment between entities of any size, in
>  any amount).

Yes and yes.

> But, isn't it also true that those who want to write it for their
> existing customer base of millions might not have the best interests
>  at heart for those who wish to write it for the billions; which goal
>  might be seen as a competition to their position?

Yes, that is also true.

> And if it's a process these corporations partially control, and parts
> of it are secret, then we're forced to trust the 'powers that be',
> much like trusting a secret court or government cabinet with secret
> meetings.

Yep, although there are people inside those secret courts that also want
to do the right thing. In fact, I'd go further and say that most
everyone involved "on the inside" wants what's best for global society
to happen. Only, you can't see that, because it's happening behind
closed doors. :)

> In other words, logically, it might not be developed the same way,
> between those two different goals, as it would have been if everyone
>  was engaged; an open debate about all levels of the goals, including
>  about who decides them.

That is correct.

> Of course, as you've pointed out in the past, time spent on all
> aspects of this will be great, and those with larger pools of money
> (the corporations) will be best placed to pay for that development
> time.

Yep.

> So it's ironic then that what this group, and the original payments
> group, were attempting to develop was a system where money flows
> differently, between entities of all sizes, in all amounts, for all
> sorts of goals.

It is ironic. :)

... but we're making good progress toward those original goals. The
latest Web Payments meeting went REALLY well (minutes will be public in
the next week or so). So, even though these things are bumpy along the
way, they move us MUCH closer towards the goals that the community has
than if the work was not started or done at W3C in the first place.

> And maybe that's not possible until the decision-making flows that
> way too.

We can still make progress working through W3C. It's not black and
white... there are many shades of gray between and W3C has a solid track
record of building out a decentralized network the enables peer to peer
communication.

In a way it's global society that keeps screwing it up by depending on
centralized services, which inevitably concentrate power.

> In other words, maybe the solution at both levels will be
> distributed ledgers. :-)

I have a feeling that many of those "decentralized ledgers" will end up
being centralized in some way... it's the physics of information theory,
decentralized systems tend to centralize to a certain degree over time.

It doesn't mean we should stop trying, nor does it mean that we're not
making progress as we repeatedly strive for decentralization. Global
society has come a long way via the Web in the last 20 years. :)

-- 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, 29 March 2017 18:51:24 UTC

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