As previously considered; there are an array of integrally important ‘commons’ and group activity works and resources that have an array of stakeholder tenancy environments that are in-turn bound to the dignity vs. privacy related issues.
It is technically sought, that the operation of a persons online systems may be carried out permissively and privately (save rule of law related needs). This is an important ICT construct requirement to support human dignity; alongside others, such as the importance of ensuring means for socio-economic participation, the ability to ensure systems are built upon a framework where humanity is the beneficiary of works made by us; alongside other considerations made by documents such as the UDHR.
The means to provide an alternative framework to technically respond to these issues is entirely shaped by whether or not a ‘knowledge banking industry‘ is made able to emerge. If information systems do not provide a means for persons to store and operate their own information systems environment in a manner rendered meaningful support by law; any solution built around alternative methods (based upon existing knowledge equity frameworks) become foundational in what solutions can be offered; and what is not able to be provided, due to these socioeconomically applied constraints.
The most meaningful constituent paradigm relating to the use of ledger technologies (or ‘blockchains’ as is most-often the commonly known, yet often misused term) and decentralised identifiers (that are not necessarily, HTTP based.) becomes a circumstance of where it is the private keys are stored for access and meaningful use of these alternative technologies.
Ledger technologies all make use of cryptographic methods to make available, the means to ‘write’ to the ledger. This most often uses Public Key cryptography, which in-turn requires the private key, to be stored somewhere.
The relationship between the beneficial owner of an account that is publicly presented as a public key; is often solely based upon their means to privately retain exclusive use over the private key. Algorithms can generate them, as is exampled on the all private key website for bitcoin (in an unsophisticated manner) and beyond that, the means to keep them means the locations their stored in; need to retain the means for the owner of them, to use them.
This is more difficult than it sounds, particularly for non-technical users.
So the first part of the puzzle; is about storing the private keys somewhere that is supported to be owned by beneficial owner of those software tools. It is considered that an institutional ‘knowledge banking system’ can help with this. The next issue, is the amount of power consumed by some of the block-chain methods; which i’ll cover in a different post.
Instrumentally; what is ‘multi-sig’ or multi-signatures. Multi-Sig is the means to have multiple keys that provide the means to ‘unlock’ stuff. Through the use of Multi-Sig the means to ‘write’ to a ledger can be controlled by a group of keys and a subset of that group, who need to cooperatively use their key in-order to support write access. An example of how this done can be found here.
The implications of this include; the means to assign a private key publicly to an object in the world, such as a coffee cup or parcel; via something like a QR code or NFC chip, and make use of it in relation to others (via semantics) whose private-keys are otherwise kept private. So, what and why are ledgers important and what does any of this have to do with DIDs?
well. The importance of DIDs is the ability to build a bridge between traditional HTTP based URI services, and URI services (supporting linked-data) natively operated on protocols other than HTTP. This means in-turn, there is an ability to produce, preserve and support semantics using linked-data in relation to ‘groups’ and work-flows involving multiple participants. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly.
As reflected elsewhere; it is critical that the discovery of ‘commons assets’ is decentralised. A relatively easy way to think about this, is to consider the meaningful benefit wikipedia provides. Similarly, archive.org is another critical infrastructure constituent to the web; yet both of these organisations operate, in-turn, a form of centralised custodianship model; that does (in the case of wikimedia products in particular) support identification of agents in relation to edits; but is otherwise operated globally via a single group.
The means to decentralise how this works and how the underlying content is made discoverable (even in a semi-private environment) is brought about through the use of cryptography, ledger technologies, DIDs and related apparatus. Therein; whilst the rules, for how these technologies are applied to various considerations; the mainstay of how this can be brought about is in-turn made possible by making use of DIDs and Multi-Sig structures.
Humans are different, they require inforgs; which in-turn, needs some sort of institutional framework designed to support them, which i call, a knowledge banking industry.
The reason why this relates to ‘credentials’, is that the contributions made to all forms of different fields, in a decentralised data-storage structure (that in-turn, supports provenance related structural support frameworks); is in-turn still permissively applied in relation to a persons ‘inforg’; and in-turn, the infrastructure requirements brought about (and able to be supported) by ‘knowledge banking providers’ that in-turn improve the reliability of ICT.