Blockchain as Part of the Web: Does It Fit in?

Schools are now using Bitcoin technology to record and verify candidates' credentials; and to track the creation or transfer of physical assets, shareholdings, certifications, digital rights, intellectual property or even votes.

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Blockchain as Part of the Web: Does It Fit in?

Schools are now using Bitcoin technology to record and verify candidates' credentials; and to track the creation or transfer of physical assets, shareholdings, certifications, digital rights, intellectual property or even votes.

Some say it represents the second generation of the Internet. But what’s in it for the Web?

The World Wide Web Consortium W3C voluntarily convenes companies and communities to help structure productive discussions around existing and emerging technologies. It is seeking answers to several questions relating to what the Bitcoin blockchain or other public or private distributed ledgers portend for Web technologies beyond payments.

W3C states on its website:

“When we talk about blockchains as “part of the Web”, we face some specific questions: How does this fit into the same origin security model of the Web? What are the privacy implications, especially when talking about identity management? What part of the Web stack would be involved: client-side, server-side, protocols, interchange formats? What is the relationship to payments, including W3C's Web Payments work?”

Blockchain and the Web

The group hopes to get some of the answers at a free 60-attendee Blockchain Workshop slated for between June 29 and 30 at the MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

More so, it is seeking position statements (till May 27) from people with “deep knowledge about Blockchain and the Web, with positive and productive energy, and with imaginative minds who can apply lessons learned about Blockchain to the Web stack” to ensure an informed discussion.

The website states:

“There are a lot of voices and conflicting opinions in the blockchain communities. Are you skeptical that standardization should be discussed at all? We also welcome position statements on issues which pose challenges to standardization, helpful to frame workshop topics and serve as a reality check.”

Blockchain Workshop at MIT Media Lab

Workshop topics are not limited to Blockchain APIs such as JavaScript or REST APIs; decentralization primitives such as transaction initiation, key signing, wallet management; ledger interchange formats and protocols; and optimal use cases for blockchains.

Opened to the public, the event’s participants will include representatives from the Bitcoin community, and related communities such as Hyperledger and Ethereum, browser developers interested in adding support for blockchain APIs, identity systems, and other functionality, digital currency projects, security and privacy researchers, financial institutions and developers of blockchain systems who want to improve interoperability.

The website says about the workshop:

“The goal of the workshop is exploratory. One of the primary outcomes is to bring different voices and perspectives together. While we hope to identify opportunities and possible timelines for standardization, we do not anticipate that W3C will form a Working Group as a direct result of this workshop. Instead, if we do identify areas that need Web standardization, our aim would be to incubate and refine these ideas, to make sure that the right steps are taken at the right time for the key stakeholders involved.”

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