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Re: Verifiable Claims Telecon Minutes for 2016-04-19

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:18:23 -0700
To: Kaspar Korjus <Kaspar.Korjus@eas.ee>, Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5719277F.3070506@sunshine.net>
On 4/19/16 11:51 PM, Kaspar Korjus wrote:
> Steven, regarding your comments about Google and MDFT blocks etc.. I
> would like to say a few supportive comments on the things you're building.
> Also, this e-residents today need some kind of Verifiable Claims
> platform. I'm here to learn more about it, but if it would work out,
> we could give you pretty cool use case as the first government who has
> fully implemented the platform for not only its own citizens but for
> everybody, internationally.

Interesting. And the three links you sent about e-Residency in the 
later post were quite an eye-opener for me.
(These were:



However, after reading the first two white papers from the first 
#RebootingWebOfTrust Workshop:


I see that things are moving fast in parallel in various places in the 
world, and we're at a point where, at least for me, it's best to step 
back and take stock: does the path lie in government, in corporations, 
in peer to peer? What combination of those?

That second #rebooting white paper, with verifiable claims use-cases, 
is the best I've seen on the subject (clearer for me than the one 
being developed by the VCTF, at least in the latter's current form).

Putting all these parallel threads together to decide what *might* 
happen next, and how to help that, seems very difficult. I feel like 
stepping back to look at the big picture is the best strategy at this 

If I do that, my thoughts go something like:

   a) Because of the Internet, all humans can, and increasingly do, 
consider themselves global citizens rather than national citizens. 
Especially young educated people expect this. There's no going back.

   a) ID cards that declare this already exist: Estonia's e-Residency 
card, my Bank's Direct Deposit card, and Visa's Credit card, all have 
that same chip technology and essentially are identical. They enable 
the owner/holder, cross-border, to *act* like a global citizen.

   c) If other governments can tolerate things like e-Residency, 
perhaps this will proliferate, and we'll have dozens or hundreds of 
digital ID cards issued by different government and companies and 
maybe even non-profits, that allow people to do cross-border commerce 
outside their own countries. This will be chaotic, but will allow 
choice of ID system at least.

  d) But perhaps the UN efforts at Identity, upcoming April and May of 
this year and ongoing, will create an actual Global ID version, a 
United Nations ID card. One card to rule them. Maybe Estonia's will 
take over and be adopted by the UN. Or Visa's. :-) . Or my bank's. ;-)

I'd prefer d) for efficiency, except that it leads to the possibility 
of big brother. Nowhere to go if there's a backdoor with unfriendly 
eyes peering in.

So until a trustable blockchain (or whatever) exists, it seems like 
'c' is most likely. Multiple types of ID systems will compete, at 
least in the near future.

And if that's what happens, then where that would leave an attempt to 
make a single Verifiable Credentials standard? Perhaps it makes it 
even more important. But harder to achieve.

Perhaps Verifiable Credentials work is just slightly too early -- 
maybe we need to know how things like e-Residency and the UN work pan 
out, before attempting to sync with them.

Or is it the reverse -- that, as Kaspar indicates, they're waiting for 
VF work to be completed so they can integrated it? Maybe just going 
ahead and publicly discussing more use-case functions, writing more 
code, making more mock-ups of more UIs, so that more people can try it 
out, and, maybe, adopt it?


Steven Rowat
Received on Thursday, 21 April 2016 19:18:55 UTC

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