...address...age....phone number...race...etc to trust me.
Listening to the Off The Chain Podcast this morning, Pomp was talking with Connor Brown about Smart Contracts. I attended a conference in Northern Virginia last year and one of the panelist, Patrick South, was asked a question about what he thought was the killer app for Blockchain; his response was identity.
"Financial contracts are contracts of 'Trust.'" - Connor Brown
Connor said, "If I am giving you a loan, I need to know who you are." But do you? I believe systems, esp financial system, only need to know if conditions have been met. This is where I believe what Patrick said is true. Blockchain Identification will be the foundation to smart contracts. The following will be what I believe could be possible if Blockchain ID's (like those issued by Civic, YourBlock, Microsoft, etc) were adopted in mass.
Disclaimer: This will take decades, if not multiple decades, to be fully mature I am sure.
If I were issued a universal Blockchain ID (BID), specifically on the Bitcoin Blockchain (as Microsoft is aiming to build) and I wanted to get a loan from a bank (let's say Navy Federal), I could apply online. Without revealing any personal information, my BID number, would be entered in. Because it's only Blockchain, it could be integrated with other systems that connect to that BID. For example, the bank needs to verify my income. Since I know that I am applying for a loan, I can grant access for NFCU to my employment information or if self employed, access to the systems required to show that I make the amount of money required to responsibly apply for that loan. Based on the type of loan it is (home, auto, credit, etc) any information required can be a simple yes or no question.
The smart contact can ask, does this person make enough to responsibly be able to pay back this loan? The system could respond yes. That's all they really need to know or should care about. It could access my credit history to see that I have a 5 star track record at paying back loans. It doesn't need to know my name or if I am single or married, or if I have kids, or etc.
I've heard the example of women at bars. Why does the bouncer need to see her ID? To verify if she is old enough to drink. Does that person need to know her exact date of birth? No. Does that person need to know her home address? No. Does that person need to know her height, weight, eye color? No. All that person should care about is can this person legally drink.
Blockchain provides TRUST in a trust-less system, or so I've been told. If that is the case, let's allow the system, smart contracts, provide the trust we need. I believe it could speed up the process creating efficiency and effectiveness where humans are limited. Will it be perfect? Flawless? Not a chance but as the systems evolve I do believe we will get closer and closer to a friction less society that can free us up to so many other things.