Given all the positivity surrounding SSI, and its laudable promise to give people control, it may be surprising to find an essay called “The dystopia of self-sovereign identity (SSI)”. Its author Philip Sheldrake warns the SSI community that their projects may achieve the opposite of what is intended, partly by viewing the problem too much from a technical perspective: “SSI cannot provide an ‘identity layer’ of the Internet any more than the Internet might be said to be missing a ‘truth layer’.”
Pierce, meanwhile, was about to try to repeat his success in e-sports when people began mentioning cryptocurrency to him roughly a year after the first Bitcoins were mined. Pierce was shocked that he’d never heard of it. “There were no storytellers who knew how to convey the information in simple insights, so it required a lot of real heavy lifting to figure out,” he says. “I didn’t have the time to appreciate the power of decentralization at first. The day I got it, I knew that was it.”Bannon recently took a leap into cryptocurrency as well, not just because of its financial implications, but because of its political ones. “This whole populist revolt is going to come down to this concept of currency,” he says. “You can see the forces that are aligned to take advantage of it. Every smart person that I admire in the world, and those I semi-fear, is focused on this concept of crypto for a reason. They understand that this is the driving force of the fourth industrial revolution: steam engine, electricity, then the microchip – blockchain and crypto is the fourth. There’s going to be a war for control for this.”Once Pierce caught on to the potential of this new digital cash, he became an evangelist, giving away Bitcoins to everyone he could, whether to an influencer or to the audience at one of his talks. He eventually stopped giving the money away because “no one appreciated it, then they lost it, and it was a waste of my fucking time. I get messages all the time from people saying, ‘I think of how much I lost because I didn’t take it seriously.’ ”
Summary of previous years, for those of you who are new to Bitnation:Year 1 – 2014-2015: Bitnation was launched on 14th of July 2014, and the first Whitepaper was published in October 2014. The first few months we focused on conducting various pilots, including the world’s first blockchain marriage, world citizenship ID, land title and birth certificate. By July 2015 we had released the first version of the Pangea Jurisdiction on the NXT testnet. We built a worldwide Ambassador Network consisting of +50 individuals organising meet ups and hangouts and hundreds of volunteer developers and technologists. Read detailed yearly summary for Year 1 on Medium.
Dark DAO operators can further muddy the waters by launching attacks on choices the vote buyers actually oppose as potential false flag operations or smear campaigns; for example, Bob could run a Dark DAO working in Alice’s favor to delegitimize the outcome of an election Bob believes he is likely to lose. The activation threshold, payout schedule, full attack strategy, number of users in the system, total amount of money pledged to the system, and more can be kept private or revealed either selectively or globally, making such DAOs ultimately tunable for structured incentive changes.Because the organization exists off-chain, no cartel of block producers or other system participants can detect, censor, or stop the attack.
Cloud Communities: The Dawn of Global Citizenship?, kickoff contribution by Liav Orgad
Citizenship in Cloud Cuckoo Land?, by Rainer Bauböck
Citizenship in the Era of Blockchain-Based Virtual Nations, by Primavera De Filippi
Global Citizenship for the Stay-at-Homes, by Francesca Strumia
A World Without Law; A World Without Politics, by Robert Post
Virtual Politics, Real Guns: On Cloud Community, Violence, and Human Rights, by Michael Blake
A World Wide Web of Citizenship, by Peter J. Spiro
Citizenship Forecast: Partly Cloudy with Chances of Algorithms, by Costica Dumbrava
The Separation of Territory and State: a Digital French Revolution?, by Yussef Al Tamimi
A Brave New Dawn? Digital Cakes, Cloudy Governance and Citizenship á la carte, by Jelena Dzankic
Old Divides, New Devices: Global Citizenship for Only Half of the World, by Lea Ypi
Escapist technology in the service of neo-feudalism, by Dimitry Kochenov
Cloud communities and the materiality of the digital, by Stefania Milan
Cloud Agoras: When Blockchain Technology Meets Arendt’s Virtual Public Spaces, by Dora Kostakopoulou
Global Cryptodemocracy is Possible and Desirable, by Ehud Shapiro
The Future of Citizenship: Global and Digital. A Rejoinder, by Liav Orgad
This paper argues that many so-called digital technologies can be construed as notational technologies, explored through the example of Monegraph, an art and digital asset management platform built on top of the blockchain system originally developed for the cryptocurrency bitcoin. As the paper characterizes it, a notational technology is the performance of syntactic notation within a field of reference, a technologized version of what Nelson Goodman called a “notational system.” Notational technologies produce abstracted entities through positive and reliable, or constitutive, tests of socially acceptable meaning. Accordingly, this account deviates from typical narratives of blockchains (usually characterized as Turing or state machines), instead demonstrating that blockchain technologies are effective at managing digital assets because they produce abstracted identities through the performance of notation. Since notational technologies rely on configurations of socially acceptable meaning, this paper also provides a philosophical account of how blockchain technologies are socially embedded.
The first phase of Blockchange will seek to test the hypothesis that by applying blockchain attributes to identity management, a trusted digital ID can be created that can benefit, for instance:The estimated 1.1 billion people who are unable to prove their identity to the satisfaction of authorities and other organizations – often excluding them from property ownership, free movement, and social protection as a result;The 1.3 million refugees that are trying to relocate around the world but can’t be identified; andAll the women and girls, who disproportionately struggle to obtain IDs, often the result of barriers related to: freedom of travel, distance, financial costs, time constraints, illiteracy, lack of information and awareness, and lack of support from family members.To become smarter about the application of blockchain technologies for identity, Blockchange will initially seek to:Map, and provide a taxonomy of blockchain technologies that seeks to provide identity;Develop a primer on the potential and challenges of blockchain technologies across the identity life-cycle (such as creation; verification; authentication; and authorization);Map the actual use of identity provided through blockchain technologies for a variety of social good purposes through case studies; andCo-develop a set of (evidence-based) design principles that can guide the further development and use of blockchain for social change.
Cryptocurrencies are portrayed as a more anonymous and less traceable method of payment than credit cards. So if you shop online and pay with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, how much privacy do you have? In a new paper, we show just how little.Websites including shopping sites typically have dozens of third-party trackers per site. These third parties track sensitive details of payment flows, such as the items you add to your shopping cart, and their prices, regardless of how you choose to pay. Crucially, we find that many shopping sites leak enough information about your purchase to trackers that they can link it uniquely to the payment transaction on the blockchain. From there, there are well-known ways to further link that transaction to the rest of your Bitcoin wallet addresses. You can protect yourself by using browser extensions such as Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin, and by using Bitcoin anonymity techniques like CoinJoin. These measures help, but we find that linkages are still possible.
I was invited to speak at the Bitcoin in Education (BCINED) conference held in Groningen, September 5, 2017. Topic of my presentation: “Blockchain & Identity: Why you should avoid the blockchain like the plague“. While listening to the morning keynotes, praising the many benefits of using blockchains in education and for managing (academic) credentials in particular, I realised my message might provide a very much needed counterpoint. The short summary: using blokchain for identity management is ridiculous.