Taiga Labs

Using distributed ledger as a tool for digital authentication


2023-11-10 (Updated)

We think the most important feature of the blockchain is verifiability. Users don't care about decentralization and many earlier projects have been built solely for price action, failing to help people understand the true potential of the noble technology.

Blockchain's unique approach of chaining a sequence of data using a cryptographic hash function ensures data immutability. By design, the distributed ledger can serve as a source of truth in the digital space where millions of computers are interconnected. Immutably persisted data can be useful in some cases.

Where blockchain is needed

Truth matters when one seeks to prove something. Depending on the context, a prover needs a well-grounded fact of some sort to convince the listeners. If she were to prove over the Internet, she should have this truth information reliably kept somewhere, free from tampering. Blockchain is one of the places where such data can be persisted.

Why verifiable computing

A prover, however, only wants to selectively disclose the truth. She should use only as little information as she can that is just enough to convince the audience. If not, the redundant knowledge may later be used against her.

For decades, scientists and engineers have attempted to devise a technique that allows verifying the result of computation with significantly smaller computational resource than executing the computation. Verifiable computing, in addition to facilitating the verification cheaply, protects the provers by letting them hide the detail of the computation and submit only the necessary parts, for example, just the result of it. Given that there is a way to convert any logical expression into an arithemetic representation, this new approach suggests that we can make some generic argument without revealing all the details of the reasoning to support that argument.

Verifiable computing can be an immense enhancement to blockchain as it makes the core feature of the blockchain, verifiability from data immutability, usable. Also known as zero-knowledge proofs, it opens the possibility of making an undeniable claim about partly obscured immutable truth.

Blockchain's value proposition

Taiga Labs believe some fundamental value proposition of the distributed ledger can arise from this aspect. Being able to claim a fact, with shrewd control over how much information to publicize, can affect how humans interact. It means various categories of products, not just finance apps, would make use of the blockchain with some specific purposes other than price action.

Down the road, Taiga Labs will investigate what the combination of the two technologies, an immutable ledger and zero-knowledge proofs, would imply to our day-to-day lives.

Questions we seek to answer include

  • Can verifiable computing help reduce the spread of misinformation without forcing users to submit all the unwanted information?
  • Will it replace the existing digital authentication scheme in terms of what type of data should be collected and in what procedure?
  • How much cost-saving can the new technology bring about with respect to user data protection?
  • Can it help multi-party decision-making process in the digital space?
  • Which segment of the market would most need such technology?

And to a further extent,

  • Can we verify machine intelligence (ML training/inference) so that users don't just take the behavior of AI as something they can't do anything about?