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Keystone foundation for digital democracy and society
Oct. 20, 2016 01:45 PM
Blockchain Identity - Keystone Foundation for Digital Democracy and Society
By Neil McEvoy
As good Venn diagrams always show it's the intersection areas that offer the sweet spot for trends and markets, and an especially potent one is the intersection of Cloud computing, with the blockchain and also digital identity, particularly when considered within contexts such as Digital Democracy.
Given the diversity of each field alone there are multiple perspectives to this, more the start of a conversation rather than a definitive design.
Identity and the Blockchain Cloud
For example Blockstack offers this proposed definition of Blockchain Identity:
A blockchain identity (or blockchain ID) is a generic term used to refer to any identity on the blockchain. Users can have one blockchain identity or many and can register them just like one would register domain names or accounts on Facebook or Twitter.
Leveraging the blockchain for identifier functions is a very powerful dynamic, and is already being pioneered by ventures like Shocard.
Given the current Internet identity system, DNS, has been in use since the 1980's, these focus areas are smart and offer considerable benefits for all users.
For example Namecoin describes the modernizing role the blockchain could play, even accelerating performance as well as offering heightened levels of security.
BraveNewCoin writes about the ‘Blockchain Cloud‘, exploring further integration between the blockchain and the computing infrastructure of the Internet.
Another benefit Namecoin highlight starts to reveal the potential for the context of Digital Democracy:
With standard DNS, the digital phonebook can falsely claim "there's no website here"; this is what SOPA would have mandated in the U.S. Dot-Bit cannot easily be censored, for the same reasons that no one can easily prevent you from spending bitcoins.
In a previous blog I suggested Scotland should follow the lead of E-Estonia and implement ‘i-Voting' for their upcoming Independence referendum, so it's also clear to see immediate application areas, where the integrity of the transaction is of upmost importance to those using the system.
The ‘V-Initiative‘ is proposing exactly this, a new voting architecture based entirely around the integrity this technology offers, and further this leads us into the concept of ‘Blockchain Democracy‘, a concept that goes far beyond this simple but essential security function.
For example Australia is boasting an emergent, radical new political party called ‘Flux' which is also offering to bring it to life down under. Etherium offers you a guide on How to Build a Blockchain Democracy, leveraging the core principle of ‘DAO's (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations).
Probably the most comprehensive introduction is offered by the National Democratic Institute, describing What the Blockchain Could Mean for Democracy in the Digital Age. They cite already underway applications like, again, E-Estonia using the blockchain to enable more secure citizen signatures.
Disruption? Holy shit the whole world's gonna change. We have entered Very Interesting Times.
As Re:publica writes "the protocols & algorithm on the blockchain define the ‘constitution', the underlying crypto laws of our future crypto economy".
It's not one particular function that makes the blockchain so important, like a digital currency, but rather that it holistically enables an entire Digital Economy.
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