POW, POS and strong identity

we know that

POW (proof of work) is a consensus algorithm that hardly scales and centralizes on few actors for economic incentives.

POS (proof of stake) is not “democratic”. The richest rules.

other mechanisms have been proposed [e.g. algorand, avalanche] based on random selection of validating nodes.

but as all these entities are immaterial, validators can be created and the more the resources I can invest, the larger my probability of being among the randomly defined validating pool.

so, it becomes a kind-of probabilistic proof of stake.

POW and POS try to solve the well known sybil attack using scarce resources:

  • POW -> energy,
  • POS -> capital

and by doing so, they are not democratic nor human-centered.

that is, unless we can tether one node to one physical person (a concept known as strong identity, based on some kind of procedure akin to KYC), thereby limiting the possibility of corruption of the pool of possible validators.

as today, in Italy we have in excess of 4.2M strong digital identities, you can use on your smartphone (that is, without smartcards), guaranteed by the state, with authentication performed by a federation of identity providers (private and public entities).

the system is called SPID (Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale) and provides two authentication levels: username/password and OTP.

AFAIK, is the largest federated network of legally recognized digital identities. It is a part of the eIDAS european digital trust services framework and we have already in place an interoperability systems so that one can use italian credentials to be legally recognized when accessing participated online services (public or private) in other states like Germany or Estonia.

perhaps SPID could be the basis to tether identities (eventually through a network of fiduciary intermediaries) to test random based validation algorithms.

in the end, in the immaterial dimension, identity is the root of all services and attention is the scarce resource.

Disclosure: I am an advisor to Fulgur lab.

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