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Re: Web3 First Impressions by Moxie Marlinspike (was: Re: Ideals meet Implementations - Blockchains, NFTs, Decentralization, Oh My!)

From: Alan Karp <alanhkarp@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2022 15:05:09 -0800
Message-ID: <CANpA1Z0d88jhrPEoRtLToTt2zAs+F4qunZZyKfM1-BdVizWqpQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Christopher Allen <ChristopherA@lifewithalacrity.com>
Cc: Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us>, Simone Ravaioli <simone.ravaioli@parchment.com>, Taylor Kendal <taylor@learningeconomy.io>, Juan Caballero <caballerojuan@pm.me>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Drummond Reed <drummond.reed@evernym.com>, W3c CCG <public-credentials@w3.org>, public-vc-edu@w3.org
I don't see the word "Subject" in the discussion.  I thought that an Issuer
creates a VC identifying a Subject, which may or not be the same as the
Holder, the party that knows the private key associated with presenting the
VC to a Verifier.

Alan Karp

On Wed, Jan 26, 2022 at 2:34 PM Christopher Allen <
ChristopherA@lifewithalacrity.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 26, 2022 at 12:29 PM Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us> wrote:
>>    - Why have you listed VCs as not generating "Value due to scarcity?"
>>    GIven the essentially unlimited variety of claims that could be
>>    incorporated into a VC, it seems to me that one could craft a VC which has
>>    semantic content equivalent to any NFT. (i.e. A VC that identifies the
>>    "ownership" of some specific object.) The limited issuance of such
>>    VCs would create a "scarce" resource in just the same way that issuance of
>>    an NFT does.
>>    - Why do you say that a VC is not "transferable?" Rights that are
>>    recorded in a VC could either be delegated , in whole or in part, or the
>>    "ownership" of the VC itself might be transferred by the issuance of
>>    a new VC recording the delegation or transfer. How is this different from
>>    an NFT?
>>  ...
>>    - Why do you say that a VC only proves the "identity of an entity"
>>    but not "ownership of an object?" I can issue a VC to identify the
>>    existence (identity) of some right (e.g. the ownership of, or limited
>>    right to use, an object) and then issue another VC to associate that VC
>>    with some identified individual. While the VC-based mechanics are a bit
>>    different from what is typical with NFTs, how is the net effect different
>>    from that provided by issuing an NFT?
>> When I read this, I realize that once again, our language around the use
> of "owner" is entirely wrong. We've in the past tried to do better and
> avoid any of the words associated with property rights idea of "ownership"
> in DIDs and VCs, but it keeps cropping back in. (An aside: "control" is
> better but not perfect. I've also been seeking language from the "law of
> agency" such as authority. Not so far limited success in coming up with
> something better).
> Part of the problem is that there is a natural centrality in the
> controller of a DID, and for the issuer of a VC. This natural centrality
> isn't "ownership", but sometimes acts like it. Similary, there is the
> problem that multiple parties may have unrestricted read-access (no
> encryption or DRM), but are restricted in their ability to fully verify the
> VC by some other party. Though this is not part of the definition of
> "holder", I feel that a holder a) has to have a readable version of the VC,
> and b) can fully verify it, else they are not truly a "holder". They also
> are not an owner, instead have limited control or authority.
> Another part of the problem when comparing NFTs to VCs is that the role of
> the issuer in an NFT is very limited, or none at all (typically only a
> royalty on future sales), once the transfer is complete. Whereas an issuer
> of a VC can always revoke a VC, refuse to reissue one on expiration, and
> issue a new one possibly even to a new cryptographic party so it resembles
> a "transfer" but isn't. As far as I know, there is no way to "transfer" the
> issuer's role in a VC — they either issued it, didn't issue it, or there is
> a problem. Thus NFT isn't quite comparable to a VC, as in effect the issue
> has no (or limited) control or authority over its future use. Note also
> that I don't know of any NFT that is revocable or expires.
> -- Christopher Allen
Received on Wednesday, 26 January 2022 23:06:35 UTC

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