Episode Notes

In this Episode, I chat about Decentralized Identity with Danny Zuckerman, Co-founder of 3Box Labs, a company whose mission is to transform the web's relationship with data. 3Box Labs creates software for a more open, safe and collaborative web. Their identity and data infrastructure is already being used by some of the world's most ambitious web3 applications.

We discuss the importance of self-sovereign identity and identity management, why it is a key piece of unlocking online innovation that wasn't previously possible, what web 3 offers, reputation building amongst others. Danny also shares what sparked his interest in blockchain as well as what he and his team at 3Box Labs are building.

Topics & Timeline

  • 1:30 - Danny's background & interest in blockchain
  • 4:30 - What Identity & Identity Management is
  • 7:15 - Web3 & Permissionless Innovation
  • 12:30 - What 3box Labs' Ceramic Networks unlocks
  • 14:20 - User data management & Governance
  • 18:12 - Reputation building
  • 22:00 - Identity & Privacy
  • 26:30 - Challenges around UX for data management
  • 28:15 - Why Decentralized Identity isn't getting much attention
  • 29:30 - How wallets will evolve to manage cryptographic keys
  • 30:50 - About 3box Labs
  • 35:00 - Recommended Resources

Links from this Episode

Danny's Recommended Resources

Social Media

Episode Transcript

disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate, comical transcription errors amongst others)

Danny: There's a lot of examples, even kind of web to today. Like you connect your Fitbit to yourJohn Hancock life insurance policy. You can get a bank. Well, is that so wrong that John Hancock wants that data in order to give you a big discount? Like that seems like a pretty good win-win. It's just kind of hard to make happen in web two.

Laide: Hello. Welcome to another episode of Onchain Medley. That was Danny. Danny is a co-founder of 3box Labs, a company whose mission is to transform the web's relationship with data. 3box Labs create software for open, safe, and collaborative web. Their identity and data infrastructure has already been used by some of the world's most ambitious what 3m.

In this episode, we'll discuss the importance of self-sovereign identity and identity management. What web three offers, why self-sovereign identity is the key to unlocking an online innovation that wasn't previously possible. We also talked about reputation building, whether privacy and decentralized identity can co-exist.

Danny also shares what drew him to blockchain, as well as what he and his team at 3Box Labs are building I've always thought of identity and identity management as an understated and potentially hero use case of the blockchain we've done is knowledge and insights. And also that perspective with further, I learned a lot.

I really enjoyed the conversation with Danny. I'm sure you will too. Without further ado. Here's Danny. Hey, Danny. Welcome to the Onchain Medley podcast. Thank you for joining

today.

Danny: Thanks for having me excited for this.

Laide: Yeah, same here. I just want to start off by talking a little bit more about your background and how you found your way working into blockchain.

Just so our audience has an idea of who you are.

Danny: Yeah, of course. So it was a winding journey. I've been fascinated for a long time for with how people work together. Started with being obsessed with the west wing, growing up my favorite TV show. When I got to college, I tried a whole bunch of things and what caught me was political philosophy.

The study of how people work together at societal or even cross societal scales after college didn't know what I wanted to do. Ended up at Bain and company doing consulting and what I found most interesting there was, or design and governance cases which I ended up doing a lot of, mostly for big tech companies.

And when I moved on from there joined a small startup building products, but what I actually found more interesting than building the products was building the team, getting teams to work together effectively. And in 2016I decided to travel and read for a while. And among the things that I read was trying to figure out what the hell this blockchain thing was.

And the more I read about it, the more pieces started to fall into place. And ultimately it hit me. This was the best technology we've ever had for coordinating people at different scales and in different ways really efficiently. So that was what cooked me. And as soon as it did, I started exploring the space more.

It was very early in kind of the application stack at the time.But there were some projects like Aragon and colony and others who were working on some of the ideas around how can we create coronation tooling based on this technology. And so Working more in the identity and data primitive area, which we can talk about.

But it was this idea of blockchains as this coordination technology that brought me in. Gotcha.

Laide: I was doing some research and I noticed that, I think in one of the interviews you had, you had mentioned that you'd heard about blockchain a while back, but you kind of ignored it. Cause he just thought it was a lot of noise, typical of likeSilicon valley sometimes.

And, and it's cool to hear you, how you found your way back into it, but I'm curious when you first heard about it initially, what was it.Maybe turns you

Danny: off. It's a good question. I'm not sure it had anything to do with the narrative around it and more just where I was and how I was receiving it. I had lived in the bay area for 25 years in San Francisco for three of them.

And I had, at that point in my life just happened to be a little bit overwhelmed by the. Kind of overwhelming technic tech, centricity ofSilicon valley and San Francisco, and was used to hearing the new buzz. And at the time it was like when everything was LoSoKo, local, social and mobile, I guess LoSoMo

And I just kind of heard Bitcoin blockchain as this new thing.People in SF for assessments, but nobody else cares. And so I just rejected out of hand. I did none of the work to really understand what was exciting about it and why people were excited about it. And so it was only once I did several years later that I was able to kind of meet the technology and the possibility where it was.

Laide: I always think it's interesting to see how people eventually sort of go from maybe a little bit of skepticism to believers. I'm not sure why I stand on that spectrum. I'm hoping that conversations like this, help me sort of figure it out this, go, go into identity management. Now I think just for our audience, we get to sort of explain what is identity management?

How do you define it? And when we think about the current sort of role that live in, which is defined as well to how do you think it evolves between the set of now and where it's going to go in the field. And so let's just start with what at any management

Danny: is. Yeah. So identity is one of these terms that no matter the context just is so loaded, it has so many potential connotations in context.

And so it is worth pausing to define it. So identity management, if you say that you'll, you'll often have people in the tech world think about like enterprise identity management, basically access controls.What data goes with, what identifier what person or log in online and then who has access to various parts of it?

More broadly identity in web two is you know, it's a bunch of different things, but. The the managing of information attached to different identifiers. And the way that that works right now is applications run databases on their own server that they maintain. Then they have what's called the user table.

It's a really simple database with basically rows for each user that they serve. Basically, everyone has a login and then columns for the different data associated with that user, your profile name, your email address. Maybe it's a pointer to another database with all of the clicks you've ever made on their site or calls to other external databases so that they can triangulateKYC information or something else.

But these user tables on databases are how applications on web to manage their user base. And. Us as users when we come to these applications have to play by those rules and conform to that infrastructure, which means every time we go to a new application, we log into their accounts and they go look us up on their table, their user table.

And so it's this very fragmented, very application centric,very siloed and very redundant model for user identity and therefore for user data. And we've just gotten used to that. And people are used to complaining about their passwords. But it's more than just logins and passwords. It's all of this data and information is reproduced for every single application we goto and managed by them potentially insecurely potentially in counter productive ways potentially in ways that are abusing our data and information.

But we really have had no say in that. And so that's kind of the state of things in web to. No, that makes total

Laide: sense. And I think you talked a little bit about why that is broken, but for somebody who is just saying like, well, it works fine today. What is web three bring to the table that we didn't have before?

Danny: So I think that. It's possible to say it works fine today. Now increasingly that won't be the case. It's not just the reports of Facebook abusing user data or security breaches. These are the tip of the iceberg, I think more and more. As we're contending with fake news with with data hacks, which are becoming more common, like actually, you know, very intentional, very sophisticated hacks from external actors, but also things like deep fakes.

Like we have no ability to actually trust these systems of record run by applications, which we've had to, to date, but as, as these breaches become more common, Who's to say the bank or the application, didn't forge a history. And, and who's maintaining that. So the bigger deal though, isthose negative stories are really only the tip of the iceberg.

The much bigger deal, which we don't feel as acutely is all of the innovation that isn't happening because our identities and data are siloedand controlled by these applications. And especially by a few big platforms, what that means is we get. Platform like Facebook who has this extremely valuable user table, basically all, all the users who have Facebook accounts, all of their friends, the social graph, all this data.

And they control that. And that has become this really important infrastructure for the web that lots of other applications draw ontoo. But that means the Facebook basically has this massive advantage over anyone else who wants to do anything in the realm of what Facebook does from a product perspective which means they have this, this huge advantage and they get to choose who gets to build on this, this database.

And so what you have is a massive reduction in the amount of innovation that can happen, right. On the web, because most developers can't compete with Facebook, most applications can't get built. And so this idea of permission to innovation is actually much more sizeable than, you know, the stories we hear about data breaches is actually the fact that this data is locked off is creating a silent killer of a lack of innovation.

And so very long lead into what web three offers is permissionless innovation and the ability for anybody to build on top of the same data sets and the same shared decentralized network of users and data. So that we unlock all of this innovation and you don't have a few people get a few corporations.

Gate-keeping what can gate belts and what can compete. And the way that that works is instead of every application running their own database,their own user. You have all applications operating on the same decentralized data network to construct this shared user table around which all this data gets aggregated and each user has control of their own data.

And so we can talk much more about what that looks like, but that is the basic idea is to invert this model to a shared user centered.

Laide: Gotcha. No,thank you for explaining it. And yeah, I loved it. I'd love to talk a little bit more about what that looks like. Can you just sort of walk me through what that would look like in practicality? Sure.

Danny: So we let's start with like what blockchains have, have done today. Cause it, it might be a helpful anchoring point.

Blockchains are decentralized networks that store a very specific. Of data in a way that everybody can audit, like kind of look at the blockchain and see the record and trust because of the math and the game theory and the incentives that all the participants in the network are playing by.Instead of trusting a third party, maintaining a database, you're trusting a network of people who are incentivized to keep this data.

In a single trusted state. Now blockchains are for very specific type of data. They're for like value data, financial data. So these are like assets, whether those are fungible tokens or non fungible tokens contracts. And these are things where you need very specific properties to keep track of the.

Pieces of information. But the same concept of a public state network can be applied to any kind of data online, a list of users or other data associated with them. And so that's basically what we're building at, starting with network. One of the projects that I work on and helps create is this decentralized network for persistent.

Arbitrary data that isn't value data. That is just any kind of data online. And the way that it works is you have a decentralized set of participants running nodes in the network. So like a blockchain, you have these nodes that are purchasing this information and on ceramic, what they're persisting are these streams of data.

Basically these data objects that can hold any set of updates to a piece of data and each piece of data. Is authored by a self-sovereign user identity called the did. And. Basically, this is a way to have these instead of again, you know, rows in a table on a database and application controls, the did is controlled directly by the user, through their different wallets in blockchain accounts.

They can like multiple to it. So it's much more user-friendly and flexible than a typical kind of blockchain account. But they're directly writing this information into these streams of data, which are then persisted on decentralized network. So that's the basis. And on top of that really,really.

Primitive data structure. You can construct things to organize this data in very specific ways including like a decentralized user table where you keep an index of all the users data, no matter where it's stored, no matter where it comes from. So again, you're organizing data around the user. Yeah.Ah.

Laide: Okay. I see then. So in that case, then I know you've talked a little bit about composable data. Like the idea that information, a data is portable enough to be like reuse the read by various applications. And that is sort of in contrast to what we have to do where there's a centralized server that stores all your information.

So is this ceramic network, are you enabling that to happen orI'm just trying to figure out, is there a roaming network? So essentially.Database here, or is it the protocol involved in passing data between various applications?

Danny: Yeah, so it's definitely not centralized. So again, the, the, the protocol itself can be run by anyone.

And if they're running a kind of a node in the protocol, they're part of this network. So no one party, including 3box labs, my company has no governance or control over the network, the protocol or the data on it. And. Because of this, there's no, lock-in right. Like anyone can build an application and any user can use this applications.

And that data is going to be stored on some set of these nodes.But anyone else can run a node and start to persist that data too. And it can always be moved to other networks as well. And so you don't have the, the lockin that you have with a centralized data. And because of that, you can kind of trust and build on top of this data.

And as another application, a third party application who didn't, you know, necessarily participate in saving that data in the first place you could come in and build on ceramics. And then if I, as a user come to this new third party application, I bring with me all of the data that I've created in the crude with all the other applications that I've used.

And so that's the data composability is that these different apps get to leverage and build on the same underlying data because it's on the shared open

Laide: network.Gotcha. That makes sense. So when you think about the actual content of the data itself, then does anyone party besides the owner? Okay. Do you have access to it or do I have to give you access to that?

Are you able to verify it for example, with a zero knowledge proof without actually having access to the content of the,

Danny: yeah. So every piece of data on ceramic and every update to the data on ceramic is signed bythe did have the controller and we call it control rather than the owner, because ownership is kind of a messy concept when it comes to something likedata.

So every stream has a controller, which is usually the user and they sign every update and those updates could be public, or they could belike, the content can be public or private. And right now the implementation is fairly naive public or. In the future though, you'll be able to use things likeyou mentioned, like zero-knowledge proofs to be able to disclose kind of proofs of what's in the content without actually sharing the content itself.

That's something for the future, but the core concept is yeah. Users or controllers of the data, get to choose who has access to that data and who doesn't. And so you can bring your data with you from app to app, but you actually get to more granularly. Choose. You know, I want eBay to see this set of information and that B to C my, all of my information or app to see just this, this, you know, my, my gaming data, for example.

And so it's really up to the user, what they want to disclose.

Laide: Yeah. That,that that's right. That makes a lot of sense. I, some of the things I was thinking about as you were just talking about how a user is able to grant access to data, to their applications, like I do wonder is it possible? And maybe this is just me being a little bit more cynical here where.

I only give you access to a, B and C for an application, but you know that to see maybe some more information on that application, I have togive you some more data. So for example, let's say I'm on Facebook. When I sayI give you my, my picture and my name, and then they're like, yeah, that'sfine, but we're going to limit whatever you can do with this application, because he gave me that data.

And then for you to get full use of it, then we want like your entire Life story. You think that's like a possibility out of that? Or is thata little bit too cynical in thinking

Danny: about it? I think that's a very strong possibility, but I wouldn't be so cynical about that. I think it's pretty reasonable for for applications to, to ask for more data, to deliver more services.

And one of the really interesting things about when you flip the model of how data is managed is that you're giving. Kind of governance over data flows to users. And because of that, you really changed the incentives around applications and what they want to do with data. Instead of trying to hoard data.

Now, what they really want to do is earn your trust to get more access to that data because you can always revoke it and take away all their.Access. And so, you know, there's, there's a lot of examples even kind of in web to today, like you connect your Fitbit to your John Hancock life insurancen policy, you can get a big discount.

Well, is that so wrong that John Hancock wants that data in order to give you a big discount? Like that seems like a pretty good win-win, it'sjust kind of hard to make happen in web two because all these data sources are so fragmented in web three. I'll very happily give access to certain trusted applications to have a lot of my days.

At least temporarily in exchange for discounts or exchange for better products or better services, or even sometimes in exchange for better ad targeting. So that what I'm seeing on the page is at least more relevant to me.That's a win-win and applications can know that if they abuse that data, if they copy it or share it, I'm never going to give them access again.

And they're going to be cut off in the. Because ultimately I have the governance over my own data. And so I think that your, your anticipation of what might happen is right. But I actually think that opens up a huge new set of possibilities for creating value out of data with more kindof more informed governance over how that data is.

Okay,

Laide: that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for clarifying. And then switching gears now to thinking about reputation and reputation building. I kind of see the argument about reputation for a gun owner of the identity, like the individual, but there's also, to me what you mentioned earlier, trusted apps, like they also have to have a reputation for me to grant them access.

So when you think about decentralized identity, how do I think about reputation on

Danny: really is, is different. Different aggregations and abstractions on top of data. Whether that's a whole bunch of ratings or a bunch of your financial histories combined into a credit score, like these different kinds of reputations are just putting the data together in different ways for different contexts.

So in a world in which we are building on this user centric, shared data infrastructure. As a user, you have all this data aggregating around you all the time. And that creates the possibilities for really, really sophisticated and rich reputations. But it doesn't mean that all data needs to play into all reputations all the time.

And so you have all this data around you, it's all signed. So it's verifiable where it's coming from and that it's valid. And so you might have a whole bunch of data that you use for a social app. The, and they might be drawing on a whole bunch of social data, like who has liked your posts and what topics are you interested in and do you know about?

And that's one form of reputation and they might be able to draw on not just the data from that one application, but all your other ones.You know, social experiences, because again, this data is I'm getting around you and you have this portability over it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there'll be drawing on your financial data for this social application.

And it doesn't mean you need to be granting access to that financial data for that social application. And so the thing that I think gets to kind of the right principle is give users the ability to bring their data with them across contexts, and then make it easy for applications. Request data and build different reputation systems on top of it.

But give users ultimate control over, you know, which of those datas are brought to bear. And so I think what we'll see longterm is like reputations as a service, different algorithms that pull on different data indifferent. That the applications at the interface layer can try to make use of and use.

Gotcha.

Laide: Yeah, it sounds similar to, like, I think I read like China has like this social credit score system or something. I can totally see it as being like the combination of that plus your credit score. And I don't know, maybe seeing where we go with

Danny: that. I hope we avoid that. I think that the China system is kind of the the nightmare scenario in that case.

You know, it's centralized, it's one entity and therefore like users actually don't have the ability to opt in and out doubt. It says universal reputation system that is putting everybody basically on trial. So that's why I think it's so important to be aware that reputation is really contextual. What'd I do in a financial transaction, has no bearing with how I behave on Reddit.

How good an Uber driver or rider I am. And so the, you know, the China system is basically forcing users into this surveillance state, where everything is being added to like how good a citizen. And I won't pretend to bean expert on the China system, but like that is surveillance, not just capitalism, it's Fairless state.

And we want to avoid that like a universal reputation as a really nightmare scenario, but universal portability of data to deploy, to really contextual reputations. That's really powerful. And it's very different because now. The right data for the context to make good determinations. And I think that that leads to very different, very different experiences for, for the users and for, for the internet we could be creating.

Laide: Yeah. Thank you. No, I definitely agree. I would like to avoid a universal reputation scheme that is very nightmarish. Switching gears now to thinking about privacy.So in this case then, like, if you think about decentralized identity, Is it an oxymoron to also talk about privacy or can those two things exist or maybe there's some coexistence partially there are.

How do I think about privacy

Danny: here? Yeah, it's tricky. And I think how to think about it is probably the right question and starting point there's ways in which it compromises privacy and there's ways in which it massively improves privacy. And so I think that there's so much built into the privacy narrative and conversation today.

It's useful to like pull apart what we're actually after here.So. If, if your goal around privacy is the ability for any person online or after online to not have any of their information disclosed or known to anybody. This is very, this is not going to help that because you are storing this data on a public network on a shared network.

You're storing it on a more open infrastructure, then a private database, therefore more information, even if it's incorrect. And protected and various ways is being leaked and fingerprinted. And so from a, from the concept of privacy, as the ability to completely hide yourself, This is going to compromise that, but that's not really what most people want when they talk about privacy.

That's kind of the very that's like the hammer approach. A very blunt approach is just hide everything. Most people when they talk about privacy, what they really want in different contexts is what we talked about earlier, like governance over their data choice about who has access to their data to know that Facebook.

You know, selling your data, that the apps that you use, aren't letting your data be hacked and share it all over the place. And so in that context to have data organized around users, encrypted by them and access controlled by them is a huge improvement in the ability for users to determine who has access to their data when and so.

That massively improves a lot of the issues impacted in the narrative around privacy. It improves the ability to share data with multiple parties without there being a whole bunch of half together kind of third-party solution. So imagine like your medical data you used multiple hospital systems and now they have to share your medical data between them.

That is a massive opportunity for. Privacy to be compromised.If, if they're not using really good protocols, not really good security. And there needs to be a massive fem bureaucracy and workflows around enabling that because it's to other third party organizations, sharing data about you want to user centric world, they don't do that.

One hospital system saves data with you and you just bring it with you to the other, and it's all going through you and through your governance. And so again, I think it really kind of matters what. Well, we want, when we talk about privacy is it the ability to hide from the world or is it the ability to have some control over our data?

And that really determines kind of whether these systems help or hurt the cause or some combination of the two, but

Laide: going back to that medical data example, then like, what if I argue that you can do that in web two today, right? You could, somebody can give you access to your own data.And then when you go into a different hospital, you could bring that data with you and give that hospital access to your data.

I guess, in that particular example, I'm trying to say. Does that governance case. Is that really the, is that the main benefit of, yeah, so

Danny: I mean, APIAPIs and web to give applications, the ability to expose that data, but it's not with the control of the user. I mean that the applications might decide to give consent to the use of a technologically applications are the ones, third parties are the ones controlling this data and there's no, you know, you have to trust them that they're controlling it and the way that you want them to.

It's also just far less elegant. Yeah. You know, many, many different connections between, you know, so we talking about medical data might not be as obvious, but talk about, like, if you look at the pipeline of data sharing and the industry around data sharing for advertising and marketing, your personal data is being shared dozens of times per second.

Every time you go to a new website. And it's just like, in addition to compromising privacy, extremely. Ineffective because they're having to triangulate lots of different factors and identities and pieces of data to try to make a best guess about who you are. And delivering sometimes what feels like very creepy information.

And so like, you know, over 15 years of the MarTech industry, like making a lot of money from, for this, they've gotten creepily good at times, but that doesn't mean it's efficient and, and overall effective. And it's definitely compromising people's privacy all over the place. Okay.

Laide: That helps.Thanks for that explanation.

A question or a thought that comes to mind that when I think about user governance is around. You know, we also know that the average person values convenience over anything else. So just write down what you think about it. I have to sort of manage all my data and figure out who I give it to. I'm guessing eventually technology will evolve to a place where it's a little bit easier, but I do wonder.

How burdensome that is to the user to have to give access or control what data can be seen by whom. And is there like an elegant solutionaround that for the user? Or how should I think about

Danny: that? There's definitely a set of challenges ahead around keeping it both secure and a goodUX for users, but it doesn't have to be granting access to every app for everypiece of data.

Users might have policies that say, if this app is. You know, trusted according to some metric, then they get them access to this set ofdata. Users might grant data governance rights to Dows or to centralized companies who are making those decisions and basically acting on watchdogs ofwho's trusted and who's not.

And, and so users will be able to get, you know, users kind of have fine grain control and choice, but there's ways for them to, and for appsto kind of abstract up from. And not have to be quite so granular and, and direct with every single thing, but rather write rules, policies. You know,the, the vision of many is kind of granting kind of agents or these kinds of smart AI driven pieces of software that make choices about who to grant, what data.

And so I think we're pretty, pretty far from that. Although maybe not as far as, as it sounds but just because we have the ability to besuper granular, it doesn't mean every user has to be in different users. We'll make different. Trade-offs about how much control they want to. Have day-to-day versus how much they want to trust these other systems and policies and rules.

Gotcha.

Laide: I've always sort of thought about, you know, identity and identity management as the hero use case for blockchain. I know we talk about NFTs. Finance and defy stuff. And that seems to be more interesting and for lack of a better word sexier. But I am, I am wondering though, like, what else do you think has to change for this use case to be more known or more talked about?

Like it's a very underserved use case where you think the struggles are and how do you think that ecosystem is? Do

Danny: both. Yeah. I mean, I think it's less maybe sexy than the others we've talked about. For two reasons. One, you know, the tech is still just being developed and just coming online. So ceramic is really.

The first protocol to deliver on some of these ideas, but the other is it's not targeting mainstream users you know, NFTs, DFI. These arethings that anybody can go use and the, the, you, the customer of the product is anybody. That's not true for new data infrastructure. The customer of new infrastructure is developers.

And so if you talk to web developers, people building applications in this space, Just as excited about this as an FTS or defy, but that's just a, a smaller subgroup compared to every user out there. And so I think that's, what's driving the difference in, in noise and buzz. There's

Laide: one question I actually forgot to ask you earlier is the concept of wallets and how we use wallets as a way to give access and grant access to various applications for whatever reason.

Do you think that that's how we're always going to manage our identity? Or do you think like eventually it's going to evolve to.

Danny: Yeah, that's a good question. I think that the concept of wallets to manage cryptographic keys is really important. I think the UX of them will change and I think there'll be embedded into deeply into our phones and devices and browsers.

And so the way that they show up and work might be very. You know, we've taken a different approach than many in the space. We have a system that uses any wallet and any key and kind of works with it. And so you can use any blockchain account with any wallet to manage data on CRM. A lot of others who are kind of building identity solutions in the space, have a concept of kind of a standalone identity wallet.

We think that's kind of unnecessarily high friction and creates distance between these two concepts of financial rails and data rails. But youknow, that is something that others are building. And so I think we have a lot of iteration to go as a space before we kind of end on. The full UX and an experience for web three and especially kind of metaverse type applications built on one three.

So I think it's pretty hard to, to guess at where that's going to end up, especially since I don't spend most of the. So then

Laide: talking about your company, 3box labs, what is it that your company is doing and what are you doing to evolve this space? You mentioned ceramic networks. I know you also have IDX, but just give us an overview of what 3box Labs is.

Danny: Yeah. So we are basically trying to bring all these concepts to life by building the decentralized identity and data infrastructure that we have three developers need to build fully featured rich applications. That benefit from. A decentralized staff from censorship resistance and composability and trust, and this permissionless innovation that comes with all of that.

And so the way that we've been doing that is building this developer infrastructure and tooling kind of in different ways over time, that started with an SDK that made these concepts really easy to use in kind of a subscale. And I had about a thousand applications. And if your ecosystem build on that SDK, it was like a decent tries Firebase.

And that kind of tell us what we needed to know to build the protocol that we think will really make this usable for every dev across webthree and that ceramic network, which you and I have both referenced. And so ceramic network is basically the data rails for web three applications. The way that blockchains are the financial rails.

And so it is this protocol for managing. Dynamic information in a completely self-sovereign way where each user's in control of their own data on a permissionless decentralized shared data infrastructure network. And so it's on a limited may net right now, completely open and permissionless Testnet.

Dozens of apps are alive, hundreds are building on it. And so we still kind of stayed a little bit under the radar because we're really making sure that it has the performance and reliability and full set of use cases and security. App's need as they go live before we kind of scale and go big.

But that will change pretty early in 2022. Can you talk

Laide: about if you can, if it's public knowledge, some of the companies or apps that are building a uncertain make networks and just give examples of what they are and what they do. Sure.

Danny: I can look up at a few different ones. So. One of the really common use cases for ceramic is to manage what you talked about earlier, the kind of cross identity and cross account reputation.

And so when that went live recently, his rabbit hole which is doing pretty amazing work, onboarding new users into web. And to do that rabbithole is this con this concept of skills these credentials that you can get to kind of show that you learned something and therefore qualified for the different quests that they have.

Those credentials need to be stored somewhere. And so rabbithole is storing those credentials on ceramic attached to your your identity.And so this reputation is a really popular one. Another really popular use cases for user generated, content posts, comments, proposals, chat, all of these things need to be stored somewhere in it can't really store it on the blockchain.

And if you start on a server, you're kind of compromising the, all the properties we talked about earlier. And so a bunch of projects are using ceramic to manage this social content. One example is boardroom who released this ideation feature. Governance for Dows. Another example is project that actually just came out.

We had kind of never Ned didn't even know it was being built called Orbis. Someone in the community has built this decentralized Twitter clone that they're constantly adding new features to and innovating very quickly on top of and all the content is on a combination of ceramic for the. Y the application and user data content and an are we for longterm storage?

So those are a couple of the examples. There's a bunch more, but also I'll pause there for now

Laide: all three compelling examples and familiar with a couple of them, but we'll go read up on Orbis after this. I'm actually just curious. What's the business model for this? Building and total ceramic, is it so much on API model or is it something different?

Well,

Danny: for each app has their own business model. Some have token, some have API,

Laide: so for them to use,

Danny: so right now, ceramic is similar to it's a peer to peer networks and we can run a node. There will be hosted notes on ceramic companies that want to host infrastructure for others and do in the long run though ceramic will have its its own token to power certain parts of the network.

And we'll be sharing more about that in in the new year, butThat's that's the longterm how we make sure that the network is sustainable and all the participants have both, you know, guaranteed persistence and availability of the data they're saving there and can rely on in the fully decentralized way.

As well as making the network itself economically

Laide: sustainable, she's been really helpful. Is there anything else that you'd like our audience to know about. Questions, I should've asked or any additional information around identity and any management that you think is

Danny: no, I think the big thing is just like how powerful this is not just to eliminate some of the harms we hear about and we have to, but to just unload.

So much more rapid innovation and so much more of a level playing field online. And so if you're a developer, I'd encourage you to start packing. Like you can't really understand the power of this until you try it and use it. And as a user look out for the use cases where you'd love to have your data be portable and a more, you know, we don't quite know exactly what use cases are going to make this really take off first.

And so it's always interesting to be on the lookout for which ones most benefit from this model and will help. As an ecosystem really gained steam.

Laide: What are some of your recommended resources for someone who's interested in this space to learn more? I'm guessing we start with 3box Labs, but just curious if you have any other reasons.

Danny: Yeah. Oh man.So many what got me into the space was reading, but it wasn't any one thing. I think, I think that this hits, it's a rabbit hole. It's never ending and it hits everybody differently. And so I'd recommend like, honestly, as cliche as it is, like start following, you know, groups of people on Twitter that resonate with you and then see who they retweet and who they follow, because the space changes so fast and there's more and more kind of overall primers on web three and different concepts out there now.

But I wouldn't. Like, you know, pick and choose from different places and hear different voices. Forefront is a really great you know, forefront Dow is doing a great job curating content. So if I was going to send people one place that might be. Watch for one developer, Dow is doing, it's a dowel of developers that are creating really cool new things.

Of course you can find what we're doing at on twitter@ceramicnetwork or in our discordchatdotceramic.network. I'm at D a Z U C K on Twitter and share out things every so often. But I really think it's just diving into communities and including the crypto Twitter community and finding a stuff that resonates and.

Laide: Yeah, that's really helpful. I definitely agree. I find myself just scrolling a lot throughTwitter and discord. There's a lot of information. It's very hard to keep up, but I still think it's the best way to learn for sure. How can people find you?What's the best way to connect with you? Is it Twitter? Is there some other way to connect with you?

Danny: Twitter?Awesome.

Laide: Great. Well, thank you so much, Danny. I really enjoyed talking to you. I learned quite a bit and I really am super grateful for your time today. Of

Danny: course, this is fun.

Laide: Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcast. I'm your host Laide until next time.