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By HarmonyMedia | Fungal focus | 15 Sep 2020


The basis of some so called decentralized Identity projects is flawed. I cannot prove that I exist, nor do I need to. Entities believe that I exist because my free will reaches their perception and they recognize it.

When trying to build a system where identities can be believed, all that matters is peoples perception of others. That consists of a relationship, which emerges through space and time as entities interact. In other words, reputation! Reputation formation requires people to interpret reality, therefore the only way to “prove” yourself to others is by information that others must accept or reject. Reputation must be built by people interacting with people. A function of belief, trust, does not derived from logic. Even when the internet facilitates the interaction, the relevant meaning of the interaction come from the participants. This meaning can accrue over a wide variety of domains as blockchain economies mature.

People participating in organizations and products related to cryptographic protocols creates the relevant reputation building interactions. When people work on something meaningful to them, they put energy into it. That energy, perceived over time, allows others to trust the persons intent. When a organization or product involves a cryptographic value transferring system, observers can match contributions with a cryptographic identity due to public transactions, or the contributor can share their address, letting others decide whether they really own it. While peoples threshold for trust always vary wildly, one main dynamic emerges, the relation of a communicating entity to a cryptographic address. To work together and organize this is all that is required! Even with stranger over the internet, when I engage in conversation I almost always quickly recognize the stranger as a sentient being. If my subjective opinion of the entity is positive and I find information leading me to beleive that they own a specific crytpgraphic address, then we can engage in valuable operations such as financial, commercial, or organizational enterprises together.

To reiterate, belief and perception rules peoples agreements with reality. Despite the traumatic excess of logic needed to create the trustless decentralized verification machine we all love in the first place, we do not need to eschew the living aspects of reality. 

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