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Re: Chainpoint

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:51:55 -0400
To: Adán Sánchez de Pedro Crespo <adan@stampery.co>, public-blockchain@w3.org, Wayne Vaughan <wayne@tierion.com>
Message-ID: <09ae8454-1b66-3bd3-7bf8-42e3795c3ec2@w3.org>
Hi, Adán–

Thanks for detailing this! I've been talking to Wayne Vaughan from 
Tierion (CCed), and he seems interested in bringing Chainpoint to W3C 
for consideration as a standard. Other people have been interested in 
this as well, including unofficial interest from Blockstream and Disney.

Since Chainpoint was started by Tierion, before we would get started on 
any next steps, we'd need to make this a bit more formal to make sure 
that we have IP concerns covered; Wayne would need to join the 
Blockchain Community Group representing Tierion (which is free, and 
which makes the IP commitment clear), and submit Chainpoint as a 
potential work item of the CG. I'm happy to help with all of that.

I have a few questions and comments, inline…

On 9/9/16 7:56 AM, Adán Sánchez de Pedro Crespo wrote:
> Following Manu's checklist from the "Getting stuff done at W3C" thread,
> I have taken the liberty to write down a little problem statement draft
> regarding the Blockchain Data Anchoring formatting issue. Please
> consider it as a starting point for discussion.
> # Blockchain Data Anchoring: Statement of the Problem
> This problem statement draft notes some facts and problems about
> Blockchain Data Anchoring that, if not faced properly and on time, can
> lead to future conflicts, poor practices and industry discredit.
> + __Blockchain Data Anchoring__ (BDA) solutions embed data into public
> blockchains and generate proofs of anchorage (hereinafter called
> __proofs__) that allow any holder of the original data to prove its
> existence in a certain point in time.

Is "proof of anchorage" a common term in blockchain circles? Can we come 
up with a set of definitions that will help people understand, 
differentiate, and relate different terms like "proof of anchorage", 
"proof of existence", "proof of stake", "proof of work", and so on 
(maybe even some terms that don't start with "proof of …", like BDA :P).

> + BDA-based solutions providers are proliferating all around the world.
> Some notable players are Stampery, Tierion, Blockstack, Factom,
> Bitproof, Colu, Ascribe, Omni Layer, Coinspark and Monegraph.

This list is great, thanks! Do we have indications of interest from 
these other BDA providers that they would adopt a standard?

Getting a list of competing technologies to Chainpoint, and finding 
common and unique factors, would be really helpful in considering what 
the "sweet spot" for standardization would be.

Maybe Chainpoint already occupies that sweet spot, in which case it 
would be good to demonstrate that with our analysis.

The main hurdle to overcome right now for W3C doing anything with 
blockchain, such as Chainpoint is making sure that:

1) We've identified the right technology to standardize: the tech would 
be useful; it solves a real-world problem for a significant number of 
providers and users; it would move the tech stack forward; and that it 
wouldn't be overtaken by a competing tech;

2) We have the right stakeholders: we know that implementers would adopt 
and conform to it; we have those stakeholders at the table giving 
feedback into the process; those stakeholders represent a significant 
portion of the market for the tech.

If we can show that Chainpoint satisfies those points, then I think 
we've got a good chance to get this going.

Would anyone like to help compile this information on our wiki (or send 
it via email, and I can collect and structure it for the wiki)?


> + The mentioned providers are already working with big companies that
> may bring their own products or services based on BDA technology to
> their customer base shortly.
> + Although most of them use very similar technologies and procedures to
> perform data anchorage, every BDA-based solutions provider uses its own
> ontology and data format for presenting proofs.
> + Such format incompatibility makes impossible to use the same software
> for validating proofs coming from different providers. In addition, the
> proofs cannot be either stored, retrieved or referred to in a uniform way.
> + The resulting fragmentation undermines the credibility of the
> blockchain technologies and industry and as a whole. Furthermore, it
> hinders its widespread usage, specially as a legally admissible mean of
> evidence, because it reduces the willingness of computer science
> judicial experts to learn and use the tools for presenting and defending
> BDA proofs on court.
> Best,
Received on Monday, 12 September 2016 15:52:11 UTC

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