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2017-02 (February 2017) Meetings

This page records the Discussion Group's meeting notes for February 2017. We meet Tuesdays at 7:30am PT / 10:30am ET / 3:30pm UK / 4:30pm CET and Thursdays at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm UK / 8pm CET for 60 minutes. US times are normative during daylight saving time changes. We use Kantara Line A (US +1-805-309-2350, Skype +99051000000481, international optionsweb interfacemore info, code 4022737) and for screen sharing. See the DG calendar for our full meeting schedule. Previous meeting minutes are here: JulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember, January.

Tuesday, February 21


Attending: Eve, Susan, Thomas, John, Devon

We examined our Technologies definition of "blockchain" and Steve Wilson's email critique, and are satisfied that it shouldn't excite antibodies among the experts (see this blog post).

AI: Eve: Add a terminology definition of "blockchain" (cheekily pointing to the blog post).

AI: Eve: Share Jim H's Wise Contracts paper with Devon et al.

Jim H and Eve had a mind meld about how he believes P2P is the main value of decentralization, not the blockchain technology part.

Eve can't run the Thursday call; she'll ask if Thomas can.

Tuesday, February 14

Attendees: Steve O. (ISOC), Jeff S., JohnW, Kathleen, Susan,

  • Need to sharpen language on contracts
  • Mention dispute resolution (R3 efforts)
    • Clauses for dispute/arbitration
    • SC may be reading from external data sources
    • Dispute about reference data sources – can be exploited
    • Section on Analysis od contracts need to be reviewed again.
    • User Submitted Terms  -- weak text, need to explain role in SC and BC
      • Is it creating standards
      • JohnM’s idea (Research Notebook use case): capture the author of information (e.g. notebook), hash captured on a blockchain, proving creatorship.
        • First to file
        • Some research authors do similar with papers (i.e first to publish idea)
        • Similar to timestamp in PKI
        • Thomas AI: look at Open Music Initiative (OMI)

Tuesday, February 7


Attending: Eve, Thomas, Kathleen, JohnW, Matisse, Marco, Susan, Adrian, Jeff

Discussion of Jeff's critique/comments:

  • Is the challenge with the phrase "blockchain technology" that it is being taken to apply only to the specific encryption technique? It appears so. We discussed how there are two uses of the phrase "blockchain", where a preponderance of the world uses "blockchain" to mean the entirety of the set of technologies; Jeff is using it to mean just some subset involving encryption. Matisse's professor taught her that "In traditional finance, the bank sends an encrypted transaction between clear people, while in Bitcoin, the bank sends a clear transaction between encrypted people." We edited our Blockchain technology section slightly to make clear that we mean "the whole, not the part".
  • Does the ethical diamond use case get in our way because the diamond miners have challenges that other use cases wouldn't, such as high-value pharmaceuticals or luxury goods? See this story on blockchain and human rights. Susan will reach out to Everledger to ask a few questions about the workers involved in the diamond case and Eve will reach out to Vchain to ask them to fill out a questionnaire regarding their border control (not "human empowerment") use case.
    • What impact is there on OPAL/Enigma in thinking about where data is stored: central servers vs. distributed servers vs. clients? Enigma is on distributed servers; all the nodes act as a data server; the data is encrypted into shares. OPAL simply means moving the queries to the data. You can accept (consent to) algorithms running over your data.
  • We're all in agreement that the key problems of identity, such as verification/proofing, credential linking, etc., are not solved by blockchain itself.


  • Susan above
  • Eve above
  • Eve to send out PPT
  • Jeff to comment on the doc from his "new eyes" perspective

Tuesday, February 2


Attending: Eve, Adrian, Devon, Thomas, Jeff, JohnW, Kathleen

Jim H has shared with Eve and Thomas his "Wise Contracts" paper, not yet published. Okay to distribute to the group prior to publication (Feb 23) so we can see if the group can use it to inform our recommendations?

AI: Eve: Ask Jim H about distributing his paper.

Eve mentioned her "Designing a New Consent Strategy" talk at RSA; her draft slides can be seen here. JohnW will be keynoting at the P&S conference next week; Eve will also be around.

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