Epicenter – Podcast on Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies

#119 Adam Gibson: A New Kind of Auditing – Cryptographic Proof of Online Accounts

Epicenter – Podcast on Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies

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A pioneering feature of Bitcoin is verifiability of transactions: It is designed to enable low-power devices and high end computers alike to be able to verify occurrences on the blockchain.

This observation led our guest, Adam Gibson, to wonder why webpages aren’t so easily verifiable as a Bitcoin transaction? Can I prove to you that I have certain bank account balance over the internet? Why do we submit photocopies of passports rather than furnishing a cryptographically verifiable proof of citizenship by logging on to a Government site?

Born out of this intellectual itch is the TLS Notary protocol. It pioneers a new kind of auditing that enables participants to prove that a certain https page was in their browser. This protocol paves the way to brilliant designs for Proof of Reserves, Smart contract oracles and Decentralised fiat-to-bitcoin exchange.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Why is the current Web structured to be not easily verifiable?
  • What is TLS and how does it work?
  • How TLS differs from SSL
  • The TLS Notary protocol
  • Capabilities and limitations of TLS Notary
  • Applications of TLS Notary including provably honest smart contract oracles

Episode links:

This episode was hosted by Meher Roy & Sébastien Couture, and is availble on YouTube, SoundCloud, and our website.

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