Quarterlies

2022 Q3 Blockchain Commons Report

It’s been another busy quarter at Blockchain Commons, with a focus on new foundations, created in coordination with our community.

Major Works

Firm Foundations:

  • Hello to the Identity Community
  • Gordian Envelope
  • MVA Algorithm Suite
  • Collaborative Seed Recovery
  • CSR Use Cases

Community Events:

  • Silicon Salon 2
  • RWOT11
  • Congrats to DIDs

New & Updated Projects:

  • Beancount
  • SpotBit

Advocacy:

  • Law & Advocacy Repo
  • Private Key Disclosure

Web Site Updates:

  • Vision Page
  • About Page
  • Projects Page

Doc Updates:

  • Revised Gordian Page
  • New Test Vectors
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2022 Q2 Blockchain Commons Report

This quarter Blockchain Commons had one of its biggest events ever, the Silicon Salon, but there was lots more going on:

Major Works

Growing the Community:

  • Welcome to Chia
  • The Silicon Salon

Evolving Our References:

  • Gordian Seed Tool 1.5
  • Gordian Server 1.0.2
  • Gordian QR Tool Deprecation
  • Lifehash for Python

Evolving Smart Custody:

  • Full Draft of Multisig
  • Outline for #SmartCustody 2.0

Welcome to New Interns:

  • The Third Cohort of Blockchain Commons Interns
  • Learning Bitcoin Pre-Updates

Working with Wyoming:

  • e-Residency
  • WRDAs
  • Private Key Protections

Looking Toward the Future:

  • CSR
  • Hardware API
  • Reference Upgrades
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2022 Q1 Blockchain Commons Report

In Q1, Blockchain Commons achieved a variety of milestones, from the maturation of our community to the development of Smart Custody v2.0, from the release of Gordian Seed Tool 1.4 to the design of our next generation of specifications.

Major Work

Our major work included:

Growing the Community:

  • New Patrons
  • New Possibilities
  • New Contributions

Developing Specifications:

  • New Specifications
  • Test Vectors

Progressing on Reference Apps:

  • Gordian Seed Tool v1.4
  • Spotbit

Releasing Services:

  • Esplora

Advocating for Smart Custody:

  • Smart Custody for Multisigs
  • Smart Custody Case Studies
  • Proof of Personhood Support

Looking Forward:

  • Rebooting the Web of Trust
  • Self-Sovereign Identity
  • Ethereum & NFTs
  • 2022 Interns
  • The Silicon Salon
  • What’s Coming Up?
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Blockchain Commons 2021 Overview

Though Blockchain Commons initiatives date back to our 2016 foundation of Rebooting the Web of Trust and our 2017 work on Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line (initially funded through support from Blockstream), it’s only in 2020 and 2021 that Blockchain Commons has come into its own as a full member of the blockchain design community. We’re thrilled with the work we’ve been able to produce in the last two years, with many projects seeing great advancement in 2021.

Our Vision

One of the core things we did last year was to define our vision and objectives in a concrete form. Our vision is to advocate “for human dignity online by enabling people to control their own digital destiny.”

We feel that this is particularly critical following the increased focus on digital life during the pandemic, and what we hope will be an increase in human prosperity as we emerge from the COVID crisis. At this crossroads, we must choose to either trust governments to have total control over our digital self, or we must fight for our digital freedom. Obviously, we choose the latter path.

We are working toward our vision through the creation of infrastructure that is open, interoperable, secure, and compassionate. Four early objectives are intended to advance our vision in the next few years: the creation of a community of designers; the definition of a self-sovereign design architecture; the creation of demand for this architecture; and the welcoming of peers into our industry.

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2021 Q3 Blockchain Commons Report

Q3, 2021 saw Blockchain Commons projects that spanned the spectrum from our first security review through continued reference releases, new translations, and the expansion of our specification work into standards and laws.

Our major work included:

Reference Libraries:

  • Released Security Review for SSKR

Reference Apps:

  • Released Seed Tool 1.1 and 1.2
  • Released Minor QR Tool Updates

Bitcoin Utilities:

  • Updated Bitcoin Standup Scripts
  • Released Gordian Server 1.0.0

Learning Resources:

  • Finished Portuguese & Spanish Translations of Learning Bitcoin
  • Released New SSKR Docs

Looking to the Future:

  • Supported the Standardization of DIDs
  • Initiated Discussion of Principal Authority
  • Testified in Wyoming & Elsewhere

Looking to the Future:

  • Began Investigations of Ethereum
  • Finalized Our Second Intern Program
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2021 Q2 Blockchain Commons Report

It was another busy quarter for Blockchain Commons, with a focus on work on our Gordian reference apps, which demonstrate our architectural models and specifications. However, we had numerous other releases as well, including a lot of documentation to let everyone know what we’re doing.

Our major work included:

Overviews

  • Releasing a video overview of our specifications and technologies;
  • Publishing our list of Gordian Principles;

Reference Apps

  • Releasing Gordian QR Tool and Seed Tool through the Apple App Store;
  • Debuting our Sweeptool command-line tool;
  • Experimenting with Timelocks for the next generation of #Smart Custody;

Coding Processes

  • Increasing our focus on the Rust programming language;
  • Working with a sponsor on our first security review;

New Docs

  • Publishing docs on our UR and SSKR specifications;
  • Kicking off two translations of Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line;

Other Priorities

  • Beginning work with our summer interns;
  • Continuing to testify for the Wyoming legislature;
  • Celebrating the fifth anniversary of self-sovereign identity; and
  • Talking about the future of the BTCR DID.
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2021 Q1 Blockchain Commons Report

In Q1 2021, Blockchain Commons largely focused on working with companies to integrate our Gordian architecture, best practices, specifications, reference libraries, and reference applications into their wallets and services. This included:

  • Released three Gordian reference apps for public beta testing on Apple’s TestFlight;
  • Planned the creation of an independent Gordian Recovery app for use with third-party wallets;
  • Updated our keytool-cli command-line interface app for new UR (Universal Resource) usages and future specifications;
  • Refined our Lifehash specification to optimaize for black & white usage;
  • Tested new improvements to Lethekit;
  • Supported the adoption of Gordian best practices by a variety of manufacturers; and
  • Worked directly with our sustaining sponsor Bitmark to architect their new Autonomy bitcoin app.

We also did work to support the wider community, including:

  • Produced a major design document on multisigs;
  • Supported DID’s advancement on its standards track;
  • Worked to develop the did:onion DID method;
  • Developed packages to support activists; and
  • Testified to legislatures in Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

(Also see our previous, Q4 2020 report.)

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2020 Q4 Blockchain Commons Report

In Fall 2020, Blockchain Commons continued to work on creating architectures, specifications, and applications to support blockchain infrastructure.

This has included:

  • Releasing a trio of Gordian Cosigner apps;
  • Advancing wallet interoperability specifications in the Airgapped Wallet community that we host;
  • Researching new multisig specifications;
  • Releasing a third platform for our seedtool application;
  • Publishing Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line 2.0;
  • Debuting our new torgap architecture;
  • Organizing our reference crypto libraries and applications;
  • Starting a DID architecture review;
  • Working on Digital Identity laws; and
  • Starting our 2021 blockchain internship program.

Here’s a bit more information on everything:

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2020 Q3 Blockchain Commons Report

In summer 2020 (Q3), Blockchain Commons really came together as both a professional organization and as a collective to support open infrastructure for blockchain.

This quarter, in addition to the ongoing financial contributions from our Sustaining Patrons, we’ve begun receiving our first funds from Github Sponsors, which has totaled more than $8,000 to date, including mostly contributions from small sponsors. We’ve in turn been able to use those additional funds on a wider variety of projects. Simultaneously, we’ve also been revising our vision, strategy, marketing, and branding plan, to both set the future of Blockchain Commons and to explain its benefits to the wider world.

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Salons

Silicon Salon 3 Call for Contributions

The Silicon Salon is Back for the New Year!

Blockchain Commons will be facilitating Silicon Salon 3 in mid-January, tentatively on January 18th. These Silicon Salons are an ongoing series of virtual events intended to bridge the gap between wallet requirements and semiconductor development, between academic research and real-world practice. Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the next generation of cryptographic semiconductors meets everyone’s needs, advancing the entire cryptography industry.

We will bring together semiconductor designers, secure hardware developers, academics, and other experts to present at Silicon Salon 3 and are calling for other contributors who are interested in making a presentation focused on silicon-logic-based cryptographic acceleration or support for new functionality such as Multi-Party Computation (MPC) leveraging hardened semiconductor-based security.

The field of MPC (Multi-Party Computation) for security applications has been an area of energetic academic research since first introduced by Andrew Yao in 1986. More recently, increases in computation capability and improvement in the efficiency of algorithms have enabled MPC to move from the theoretical to the practical. Varous MPC-TSS (MPC-Threshold Signature System) approaches offer significant benefits in security, robustness, and recovery versus traditional “single private key” systems. However, practical MPC is still in its infancy and is rapidly evolving, which introduces challenges in providing silicon support for the future of cryptography.

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Silicon Salon 2 Posted!

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our second Silicon Salon, this one focused on Secure Boot, Supply-Chain Security, and Firmware Upgrades. Courtesy of some terrific presentations, we were able to get into good depth on these topics, both discussing the state of the art and what we could do better. You can find all the info on the Silicon Salon 2 pages of siliconsalon.info.

At the website, you can find the videos, slides, and transcripts of all the presentations, plus an overview of the discussion. We’re also continuing to use our Silicon Salon topic to further these discussions as part of our Community repo.

If you would be interested in sponsoring or planning Silicon Salon 3, either this fall or winter, please email us.

Announcing the Silicon Salon

What if semiconductor manufacturers made chips especially intended for crypto-wallets? That’s the topic of Blockchain Commons’ first Silicon Salon, which will feature two different chip manufacturers who are expanding into the crypto industry. The first is CrossBar, a leader in Resistive RAM (ReRAM) technology, which can implement high-performance physical unclonable functions (PUFs). Together, ReRAM memory and PUF solutions enable a new class of secure computing and storage with physical countermeasures — and CrossBar is interested in bringing that to digital-asset management. The second is Tropic Square, whose tropic01 secure element offers a fully transparent and auditable chip as a basis for better hardware security. They use transparency as a driver for innovation.

Because Blockchain Commons is dedicated to bringing together a community of developers and manufacturers to jointly develop specifications that will empower the entire industry, we’ve seized upon our work with these two companies to produce our first salon since the pandemic: a virtual Silicon Salon, where semiconductor manufacturers, crypto-wallet makers, and other interested parties can come together to talk about the next generation of semiconductors, which for the first time ever will be specialized for our cryptographic needs.

The Silicon Salon is scheduled for June 1st, running three hours beginning at 9am PT (noon ET, 6pm CET). Signups for the Salon are now available on Eventbrite, with tickets limited to the first 40 participants.

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Apps

Gordian Seed Tool Reveals the Foundations of Cryptography

Blockchain Commons has released Gordian Seed Tool, a new iOS app that allows for the creation, storage, backup, and transformation of cryptographic seeds is now available on the Apple appstore. It is an independent, private, and resilient vault, which can protect the most important underlying secret used by most cryptocurrencies: the cryptographic seed.

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Gordian QR Tool Supports Vaccine Records, 2FAs, Cryptoseeds, and More

The state of California recently announced their Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record system. It allows Californians to access a digital copy of their vaccine records, rather than having to depend entirely on their physical copy. The main entry point is a QR code containing a rudimentary Verifiable Claim (VC), which makes for great ease of use. However, Blockchain Commons has concerns over how the user experience (UX) design might negatively affect both privacy and security; we are working to address these with our new Gordian QR Tool for the iPhone, Blockchain Commons’ first Apple appstore release.

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Blockchain Commons Releases Feature-complete LetheKit

Blockchain Commons has released a feature-complete version of LetheKit, a do-it-yourself hardware platform that allows you to conduct cryptographic operations on an airgapped device. Complete information for creating your own LetheKit and downloading its software can be found in Blockchain Commons’ LetheKit repo.

Because you build LetheKit yourself and use open-source software, you know everything about your kit, and can depend on it for safe Bitcoin seed generation.

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Articles

Private Key Disclosure: A Needless Threat to Rights and Assets

ABSTRACT: Digital assets are only as safe as their private keys. Securing private keys through responsible key management has thus been a major focus at Blockchain Commons, under our #SmartCustody initiative. Unfortunately, securing keys ultimately isn’t just a logistical problem or a technical problem. It’s also a legal problem because US courts have inserted themselves into the process by demanding keys, often as a part of discovery.

Turning over keys to courts not only introduces major threats to the digital assets controlled by the keys, but it also fundamentally misunderstands the purpose and use of private keys. There are better tools for court-based discovery, public keys prime among them. There are better, more traditional ways to enforce the turn over of assets. Requiring the disclosure of private keys instead is a needless threat not just to digital assets, but to our rights as well.


Increasingly, attorneys in the United States are asking courts to force the disclosure of private keys as part of discovery or other pre-trial motions, and increasingly courts are acceding to those demands. Though this is a relatively recent phenomenon, it’s part of a larger problem of law enforcement seeking back doors to cryptography that goes back at least to the U.S. government’s failed introduction of the Clipper Chip in 1993.

Unfortunately, today’s attacks on private keys in the courtroom have been more successful, creating an existential threat to digital assets, data, and other information protected by digital keys. That danger arises from a fundamental disconnect between this practice and the realities of technologies that leverage public-key cryptography for security: private-key disclosure can cause irreparable harm, including the loss of funds and the distortion of digital identities.

As a result, we need to support legislation that will protect digital keys while allowing courts to access information and assets in a way that better recognizes those realities. The private-key disclosure law currently being considered in Wyoming is an excellent example of the sort of legislation that we could put forth and advocate for in order to maintain the proper protection for our digital assets and identities.

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Principal Authority: A New Perspective on Self-Sovereign Identity

This summer, we’ve been iterating through an article intended to talk about the success that Blockchain Commons has had working with the Wyoming legislature to help to define a first-in-the-country legal definition of digital identity.

The Digital Identity Working Group for the Wyoming Select Committee on Blockchain meets again next week, on September 21-22, 2021. I will be providing testimony there at 2pm MST. As a result, we’ve decided to release the current draft of this article on digital identity and how Wyoming has defined it using Principal Authority, with the goal of helping to shape the agenda for digital identity for the next year, both in Wyoming and elsewhere.

—Christopher Allen


ABSTRACT: “For Self-Sovereign Identity (aka #SSI) to truly achieve international success, it needs to not just be embraced by the technological sector, but also to have a basis under law. Wyoming now offers the first definition of personal digital identity in the United States as “the intangible digital representation of, by and for a natural person, over which he has principal authority and through which he intentionally communicates or acts.

By saying that a Principal has the ultimate authority to control their digital identity, then that Principal may then delegate their authority under existing fiduciary Laws of Agency and Custom. Wyoming’s digital identity law is the first example of legislation that focuses on using these laws in this way, rather than under Property Law.

Principal Authority focuses not just on a single person’s authority to act digitally, but also on their ability to delegate to and require duties from other entities. In other words, these peer-to-peer relationships works within the context of a state who recognizes the concept of Principal Authority. Thus the use of Principal Authority to empower Self-Sovereign Identity provides a legal foothold for many of the original 10 #SSI principles. It also suggests five additional duties that are generally defined under the Laws of Agency to be due from agents to Principals.

Wyoming’s definition of personal digital identity helps us to lay more foundation for self-sovereign identity, but it’s still just a starting point. There may be other legal elements that can support this new definition of personal digital identity. These possibilities need to be studied. The Digital Identity subcommittee in Wyoming will continue to work with the state legislature, and welcomes discussions with other states and nations.”


In 2016, I wrote “The Path to Self-Sovereign Identity” to talk about the historic evolution from centralized identity to user-centric identity and to define the next step: a self-sovereign digital identity that was controlled by the user, not some third party. In it I also offered 10 Self-Sovereign Identity Principles which have been widely accepted by the decentralized identity community.

Self-sovereign identity has matured and grown considerably since, as I chronicled in “Self-Sovereign Identity: Five Years On”. There are now specifications, products, and entire companies supporting the concept. However, recent legal efforts to define self-sovereign identity may be just as important for catapulting it into the mass market.

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Project Proposal: New Social Social Key Recovery Approach

The goal of social key recovery is for the user to specify groups of individuals that together possess the ability to recover the root secret of a wallet. A good social key recovery protocol should not just reflect what cryptographic primitives happen to be available for use, but rather instead should be designed to correspond with the structure of trust in the user’s social network, while balancing the technical tradeoffs involved under the hood.

The most popular social key recovery algorithm, Shamir Secret Sharing is considered information-theoretically secure. That is, any combination of shares less than the necessary threshold convey absolutely no information about the secret. However, all secrets have equal weight and once a sufficient threshold is achieved the secret can be reconstructed. In social contexts this can cause a number of problems in common real-world scenarios. In addition, Shamir Secret Sharing has a history of being naively implemented including a number of serious vulnerabilities.

To quote Bitcoin Core Developer Greg Maxwell:

I think Shamir Secret Sharing (and a number of other things, RNGs for example), suffer from a property where they are just complex enough that people are excited to implement them often for little good reason, and then they are complex enough (or have few enough reasons to invest significant time) they implement them poorly.”

Ideally an implementation of social key recovery should balancing numerous competing goals:

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Specifications

Seven Years Later: DIDs Have Been Ratified!

Congratulations to W3C on the ratification of DID v1.0 as a W3C standard!

Though Blockchain Commons has only lightly touched upon DIDs to date, they nonetheless are a crucial part of our history. In addition, their ratification today as an international standard demonstrates the ability of a cooperative commons to incubate ideas that will eventually be adopted as standards to be used widely by governments, corporations, and individuals.

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Blockchain Commons Launches LifeHash on the Web

Wolf McNally’s LifeHash is one of Blockchain Commons’ interoperable specifications intended to make digital infrastructure open, interoperable, secure, and compassionate. A LifeHash takes a cryptographic objects such as a seed or a key (or really, any sort of data) and turns it into a beautiful and easily recognizable image.

You can now play with LifeHashes at LifeHash.info. This C++ implementation compiled to WebAssembly allows you to enter an arbitrary text string or a SHA-256 digest and view the corresponding LifeHash — using one of a few different LifeHash variants. (We recommend v2 as the “official” LifeHash.) Because it’s compiled into Webassembly, LifeHash.info does all the work in your browser, ensuring your secrets stay safe!

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Blockchain Commons’ Uniform Resources (URs) Support Airgapped PSBTs & More

The Uniform Resources specification is one of Blockchain Commons’ most notable wallet enhancements of 2020: it enables airgapped PSBTs and is supported through a variety of reference libraries, including C++ and Swift implementations. Third parties have already ported the UR encoder to Python, Java, and Rust.

Uniform Resources, or URs, are a method for encoding binary data in plain text strings that are also well-formed URIs. They are simultaneously intended to address the challenges of QR codes, which are the main way that Bitcoin wallets transmit data across airgaps. While QR codes themselves are standard, the data encoded within QR codes is not, resulting in inconsistent usage among developers.

URs were created to resolve these interoperability issues by creating a standardized method for encoding binary data. They’re built on CBOR, the Concise Binary Object Representation described in IETF RFC 7049. The CBOR data is encoded in a typed UR object, which creates a self-describing, structured binary representation. URs can be transmitted as text or encoded via other means, including QR codes. Once received, URs can be decoded by different apps on different machines without having to guess about the contents or the encoding methods.

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Courses

Learning Bitcoin Upgrades to v2.0

Blockchain Commons has recently released v2.0 of our Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line course.

Learning Bitcoin was one of our first projects, launched back in 2017 with support from Blockstream. The intent of the course was to teach the fundamentals of Bitcoin programming through Bitcoin Core and its RPC-based command-line interface. We chose this methodology because Bitcoin Core is one of the most robust, secure, and safe cryptocurrency interfaces in existence. We believe it’s the solid foundation for programming Bitcoin; it also allows you to interact with Bitcoin in a way that teaches the fundamentals.

Blockchain Commons’ overarcing goal has always been to improve the open infrastructure of the blockchain industry, and one of the ways to do that is to build the next generation of engineers. Our course was very successful in this regard. It has helped Bitcoin novices to become Bitcoin developers: some have created their own open-source projects and others have been hired for entry-level jobs. Some of Blockchain Commons’ own engineers, including many of our interns, got their start with the Learning Bitcoin course. Even GitHub’s raw numbers reveal the interest in the course, with 100 Watches, 350 Forks, and 1300 Stars.

However, Bitcoin is still undergoing rapid development, which led to the need for v2.0 of the course, to update it for the most recent releases Bitcoin 0.20.0 & 0.20.1: every example in the course has been updated and revised accordingly. The updated course has also has been expanded to include a number of new topics. New sections discuss wallet descriptors, SegWit, and how SegWit’s new transaction types interact with Bitcoin Scripts. We’ve also added new chapters for larger topics:

  • A chapter on PSBTs looks at Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions as well as how they can be used with Bitcoin Core’s Hardware Interface.
  • Though our focus is on the command-line interface, we also show how to create simple C programs to talk to Bitcoin Core using RPC and ZMQ (zeromq.org) libraries.
  • Libwally from Blockstream is a great library to use with command-line programs, so another new Chapter covers leveraging its wallet and other cryptographic features.
  • We also touch upon RPC programming in Go, Java, NodeJS, Python, Rust, and Swift.
  • Finally, we’re proud to present our first look at using the Lightning Network from the command-line interface, focusing on Blockstream’s C-Lightning, in a two chapter finale to the book.

Bitcoin is quickly evolving, but the Learning Bitcoin course from Blockchain Commons is now updated to teach all about its newest concepts. If you’re a novice looking to learn about programming Bitcoin, an educator needing to teach students blockchain technologies, or an expert wanting to help us by reviewing, adding to, or translating the course, please take a look!

However, we need your support. Where v1 of Learning Bitcoin was largely sponsored by Blockstream, v2 was done with our own resources. We hope that you can help us recoup those costs, so that we can continue to create open infrastructure of all sorts. If you think that education resources of this sort are important, please become an Sustaining Sponsor, or if you prefer, make a one-time donation at our BTCPay. As an individual, you can join as one of our many individual sponsors to financially support future development of Learning Bitcoin, other educational resources, and open infrastructure.

Thank you for your help in improving our techological commons for blockchain and Bitcoin users!

First #SmartCustody Workshop: Simple Cold Storage & Self-Custody

Our first #SmartCustody workshop will be on Tue, January 29, 2019, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST, at 554 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, CA 94040-1217, Map.

You can signup for the Workshop on EventBrite.

Overview

This is the first of three different #SmartCustody workshops. This workshop is designed for individual holders of digital assets, in particular cryptocurrency traders and those high net-worth individuals who are already familiar & working with digital assets, but are seeking to learn best practices for protecting themselves and their business from theft, fraud, or loss.

  • Are you considering all possible threats to your digital assets?
  • Do you have comprehensive procedures to assess your risk profile?
  • How does your system stack up against others in industry?

Future workshops will be focused on holders of digital assets that have fiduciary responsibility to others, such as small investment funds & family firms, or those who are required to use third-party qualified custodians for management of digital assets due to the amount of funds held.

These #SmartCustody workshops are a project of Blockchain Commons, which supports blockchain infrastructure, internet security & cryptographic research.

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Introduction

An Introduction to Gordian Envelopes

Gordian Envelope is a specification for the achitecture of a “smart document”. It supports the secure, reliable, and deterministic storage and transmission of data such as seeds, keys, decentralized identifiers, and verifiable credentials in a way that enables privacy while preserving structure. Gordian Envelope’s privacy features are built on a hashed Merkle Tree that provides implicit support for cryptography of your choice and explicit support for privacy-related methodologies such as progressive trust and Merkle-based selective disclosure.

Blockchain Commons is currently working with multiple companies on the development and deployment of Gordian Envelopes via regular biweekly meetings; contact us if you’d like to be involved. We are also presenting Envelopes as a prospective Informational Draft for the IETF and engaging in discussions with the W3C Credentials Community Group.

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Blockchain Commons Overviews Its Technology in New Video

In the last year, Blockchain Commons has produced a large collection of specifications, reference libraries, architectures, and reference utilities meant to improve blockchain infrastructure by enabling interoperability among Bitcoin wallets — and in the future, other cryptocurrency applications, such as Ethereum wallets, and other cryptography programs, such as chat systems, key management programs, and more.

So, what do Blockchain Commons’ technologies do? We’ve just released a Technology Overview video that discuses the concepts and foundations underlying our work and also highlights many of our most important technological releases.

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Community

Announcing Blockchain Discussion Forum

Blockchain Commons has been accepted into the new GitHub discussion program, allowing for more freeform discussions within the context of our GitHub repos. As we are a GitHub-centric organization, we are now using this as the main venue for discussions about philosophies, goals, standards, and projects. Please join us!

We are currently focusing on three different discussion areas:

  • Gordian System Discussions — for users and developers of the Gordian system, including the Gordian Server, Bitcoin Standup technology, QuickConnect, and the Gordian Wallet. If you want to talk about our linked full-node and wallet technology, suggest new additions to our Bitcoin Standup standards, or discuss the implementation our standalone wallet, the Discussions area of the main Gordian repo is the place.
  • Wallet Standard Discussions — for standards and open-source developers who want to talk about wallet standards, please use the Discussions area of the Airgapped Signing repo. This is where you can talk about projects like our LetheKit and command line tools such as seedtool, both of which are intended to testbed wallet technologies, plus the libraries that we’ve built to support your own deployment of wallet technology such as bc-bip39, bc-slip39, bc-shamir, Shamir Secret Key Recovery, bc-ur, and the bc-crypto-base. If it’s a wallet-focused technology or a more general discussion of wallet standards,discuss it here.
  • Blockchain Commons Discussions — for developers, interns, and patrons of Blockchain Commons, please use the discussions area of the Community repo to talk about general Blockchain Commons issues, the intern program, or topics other than the Gordian System or the wallet standards, each of which have their own discussion areas.

We of course will continue to use the Issues and the PR features of GitHub for discussions of repo-focused topics and for individual fixes, respectively, but the discussion areas are a great place to talk about more general topics.

Come join us in our new Blockchain Commons community!

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Libraries

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Partnerships

Blockchain Commons Joins COPA

To fulfill its commitment to open source and to a defensive patent strategy, Blockchain Commons has joined COPA, the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance.

COPA is a non-profit community that was formed by Square out of concern that misguided and offensive use of patents can stifle innovation, and that companies not focused on patent creation themselves would be unable to defend themselves from aggressive (often non-practicing) patent holders. Members of COPA pledge not to use their patents offensively and instead pool their crypto-patents to form a shared patent library.

Blockchain Commons was resolute in joining COPA because it addresses problems and resolves frustrations that Commons Founder Christopher Allen has long observed with the American patent system.

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