"We Are All Satoahi" - The Technology Of Identity
*Let me try something new here - Work in progress .
I dont intend to give the best answers, only my answers, you may try to give more or better answers.
Most people and startups which now deal with the notion of identity are trying to resolve a "link" problem.
In a simple form the "link" problem looks like that:
If A claims that it is A then my system need to be able to verify it.
If you look at the this representation of the identity problem closely and if you know a thing or two about the blockchain trending tech you will be able to draw some direct lines between that and Zcash. However Zcash is not an identity platform and no one probably other then myself will define it in that way. not yet anyway.
Identity in terms of bureaucracy and organizations are merely about naming A as A and connecting A to it's interactions with the system which that organization formed, be it a complex organization of millions like states are, or an intimate group of 2 like a partnership. However for that to form some fundamental rules have first to be applied:
- what defines the group as a group.
And a second one which in the most basic state is defined by the first one:
- If a group is not fixed then how an entity enters and/or leave the group.
These in actual can be formulated into very simple mathematical axioms .
In fact identity is a mathematical problem. but mathematics alone may not be enough. just like axioms, also identity is a consensus based autonomous form.
Let us now visit Zero knowledge poof definition on Wikipedia.
In cryptography, a zero-knowledge proof or zero-knowledge protocol is a method by which one party (the prover) can prove to another party (the verifier) that a given statement is true, without conveying any information apart from the fact that the statement is indeed true. If proving the statement requires knowledge of some secret information on the part of the prover, the definition implies that the verifier will not be able to prove the statement in turn to anyone else, since the verifier does not possess the secret information. Notice that the statement being proved must include the assertion that the prover has such knowledge (otherwise, the statement would not be proved in zero-knowledge, since at the end of the protocol the verifier would gain the additional information that the prover has knowledge of the required secret information). If the statement consists only of the fact that the prover possesses the secret information, it is a special case known as zero-knowledge proof of knowledge, and it nicely illustrates the essence of the notion of zero-knowledge proofs: proving that one has knowledge of certain information is trivial if one is allowed to simply reveal that information; the challenge is proving that one has such knowledge without revealing the secret information or anything else.
Now before moving into Zcash lets refresh identity definitions and use a dictionary for that :
- Person: who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others
- Algebra: an equation (= mathematical statement) that is true for every value given to a variable (= number that can change)
Let me now skip to the heart of the matter (and without using an established formalism only old fashion commonsense) since the implication of connecting between zero knowledge proves and personal identity are incredible:
If A is not B then the minimum requirement for that to be true is if A have something that B do not have. That something is information (easy to understand in information theory and as information in digital world )
Now lets assume A is the prover and B is the verifier . This means that B is able to prove that A is A despite the information gap, or rather thanks to the information gap. let me emphasize that :
If A and B shares the same exact information than A=B. However they are different than having only A and A=A. A and B are different manifestations of the same information, they are different formation of the same IN-formation . DNA is such IN-formation, and so is any program.
Allow me now to make a great leap which I will explain in details later on, but I think that the truly brightest of you (thous who know to use pure logic over consensus. LOL the crazy ones) will get it. Identity is this formation. Now the question that you all should ask yourself is how this formation is formed?
History. the image of the past. the ledger of transaction.
Now lets move on to a group, this time a group of four
A,B,C,D when A is (a,b,c,d) and B is (a,b,c,d) ext. ( to any degree of fractals). "A" as a group identity is a fractal formation of individual identity. In fact there is no such thing as individual identity!
AN IDENTITY IS A GROUP PHENOMENON
Identity is the formation of all the "individual's" histories as one hidden ledger. it is the ledger of all individual interaction. but unlike bitcoin it has a decentralized governing mechanism which requires that only the program will know all histories yet insure that everyone but the program can form the consensus.
Bitcoin's Blockchain is a result of a consensus reached by different individuals who do not share the same information at the present only agree on it as the past. There is no prof involved only agreement, which means that the past can be recreated at any moment. which means that identities can change at any moment. which means that they have no marker . which raise the question why at all do we need identity?
Well we need it for governing! we need it as a technology of governing
Identity is a governing algorithm an algorithm that use something very similar to zero knowledge.
how ever he "Identity" can not participate as an actor in the game. it is a choice that each player can make to act on behalf of the information that the identity supply as a verifier.
in terms of gaming it is similar to the prisoner dilemma. "Identity" can not favor "a" over "b" unless "c" and "d" benefit from it as well but since none of the four knows what the other knows, members of the group will leave the group if will side with one participant. the identity know everything about all actors in the group yet can benefit only from the group as a whole, thus is a commune. "I am the sum of all my parts." . yet it is based on a choice each individual can make. each individual can leave a group and join a different group
This is only the beginning of this exploration of "identity" from pure mathematics to psychology , All are so central in our life. It really is worth spending the time understanding it