W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-interledger@w3.org > February 2016

Re: Registry Services [via Interledger Payments Community Group]

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:51:17 +0100
Message-ID: <CAKaEYh+19pv5-aBHEyJZMVvOZ_gqQFcEWv73Me=HaZp+YrwcWQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Stefan Thomas <stefan@ripple.com>
Cc: Interledger Community Group <public-interledger@w3.org>
On 11 February 2016 at 03:21, Stefan Thomas <stefan@ripple.com> wrote:

> Here are my two cents on the identifier issue:
> Right now in the ILP prototype, destinations are expressed as URIs. From
> OpenID we know that exposing the user to URIs as identifiers was a terrible
> user experience that users strongly reject.

Using URIs is a great way to scale.

Not sure this characterization is accurate.  Users see URIs all the time,
for example hyperlinks, and in the address bar.  What you are referring to
(I think) is a user experience, that of typing a url into an input box,
rather than, clicking one.  It's clear that users are not trained to do
this, in the same way they have been trained to type in email addresses at
this point in time.  Your language indicates you have strong view on this
topic, further discussion my not prove fruitful, let's see. :)

> At Ripple we used to have identifiers like
> this: rHb9CJAWyB4rj91VRWn96DkukG4bwdtyTh and we introduced Ripple names
> which look like this: ~bob (pronounced "ripple Bob")
> This might look reminiscent of Twitter usernames (@bob) or Square cashtags
> ($bob), which is no coincidence - the colleague
> <https://angel.co/gregkidd> who strongly advocated for these names at
> Ripple was also a first round investor in Twitter and an advisor at Square.

Facebook use firstname lastname, which is what I think most people are used

> The lesson I took away from that whole experience was that creating a
> namespace like that without a central operator is hard. Namecoin is trying
> to do it, we were trying to do it, I'm strongly against making either
> effort a dependency of Interledger.

That's where the web can help, it is good at namespaces.

> That leaves the "next best thing" which is federated identifiers.
> [username]@[domain.com] Email uses them, OpenID Connect adopted them in
> their OpenID Connect Discovery spec
> <https://openid.net/specs/openid-connect-discovery-1_0.html>. Ripple used
> them as a hack <https://wiki.ripple.com/Federation_protocol> while we
> were working on Ripple names. They were extremely easy to build, developers
> had an easy enough time adopting them, they are the most decentralized
> thing that is actually production-ready and users have an ok time using
> them.

I dont know what this is?  Is it an email address?  An acct: URI?  A sip
address?  An xmpp address?  Any number of other addresses.  There's a
scalability point of failure right there.  Let's say it's an email
address.  We're back to the centralized model where the big email providers
dominate.  Can we do better?

> Identity is very hard and I applaud anyone who is working to create better
> solutions. But I've learned not to make a new identity protocol a
> dependency of your new payments protocol.

I feel the opposite.  To scale payments you need a first class identity
system.  Or you'll hit a wall scaling -- ripple and bitcoin are good
examples.  Meaning no disrespect to either system, both have very cool
features, just scalability is not one of them, when compared with the web.

> For any peer-to-peer payment solution on top of Interledger *today* that
> requires an identifier, I would recommend an [account]@[ledger domain]
> looking thing, e.g. bob@superpay.com which resolves to an ILP URI via
> webfinger. With any luck the scheme will get popular enough such that email
> providers let you set a wallet provider and your actual bob@gmail.com
> email address will redirect to your wallet. I'm fully aware of the awesome
> work that Manu Sporny, Mozilla (Persona) and many others have been doing on
> a scheme that doesn't require cooperation from the domain holder (Gmail in
> this case), but I don't think those efforts are production-ready today. The
> same goes for decentralized identity networks like Namecoin and identi.fi.

Persona is being shut down, imho, due to this bad design decision.
Webfinger isnt far behind it.  Why not just use WebID?  It's best of breed
in this class.  I suspect the usual biases will kick in at this point.  But
I'm more than happy to let implementations do the talking on this one.

> If you disagree, you don't have to convince me or anyone else, you just
> have to build a prototype of a protocol on top of ILP using whatever
> identifier you think is better. Once we have both options implemented,
> it'll be easier to decide which one we like.

Working on it! :)

> On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 3:48 AM, W3C Community Development Team <
> team-community-process@w3.org> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Are there discussions around registry services ? I assume to handle
>> transactions
>> across ledger, one needs to identify the addresses and the ledgers. To
>> interface
>> with existing ledgers, we would need account number, servicing bank
>> identifier
>> ...
>> Thanks,
>> Stephane
>> ----------
>> This post sent on Interledger Payments Community Group
>> 'Registry Services'
>> https://www.w3.org/community/interledger/2016/02/10/registry-services/
>> Learn more about the Interledger Payments Community Group:
>> https://www.w3.org/community/interledger
Received on Thursday, 11 February 2016 02:52:03 UTC

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