Looking into the more technical aspect of how to store data on the block chain; so far, I've found these two methods:
1) Uses multiple outputs to send a message (store data). Each output address is data; therefore, the coins are destroyed.https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block_chain_message_service
2) Transaction with a message inside the scripthttps://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Script#Transaction_with_a_message
Mike Hearn makes some good points about the first method that I believe also applies to second.https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=47283.msg607667#msg607667
Also, if I understand correctly, there are other ways to embed messages(data) into the transaction that are less likely to be (pruned) and deleted, but I'm still leaning towards #1.
Here's my reasoning:
* It requires more bitcoin to add data into the block chain when using the addresses in the outputs. Because of all the costs, it should satisfy any naysayer because the creator of the transaction "paid for it". Even if someone doesn't agree with the blockchain being utilized this way; well, who cares, those users burning their coins are making the rest of us more wealthy.
*When the question is asked "What uses does bitcoin have beyond just financial transactions?", you will now have an additional reason to give: pay miners to add data in the most distributed, secure, and accessible database in the world.
*Also, it would still be friendly to those that only want to manage a pruned/trimmed blockchain. As Michael Hearn pointed out, transaction outputs that will clearly never be spent can be deleted with no worry of anyone spending them.
I've also been thinking about adding in the technical document that all the coins used on undependable outputs for "Bitcoin's Distributed PKI" will be available for miner rewards once all the block rewards are finished. A new type of generation transaction could be created that would allow miners to collect those coins based on certain rules. This would give incentive to maintain all the unspendable outputs used in the PKI in the block chain database. Update: 7/24/2012
Still Playing around with the title. Now, the name is just right IMO in describing where I hope this thread and project will go. I had debated about using the word "decentralized" since the name Bitcoin already implies this; however, the implementation of this PKI compared to the majority out there is decentralized in so many ways that I decided it had to be there.
Here's some good material of the technology already out there.http://highsecu.free.fr/db/outils_de_securite/cryptographie/pki/publickey.pdfhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key_infrastructurehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signatureUpdate: 7/19/2012
Updated the Title
Old Title: Decentralized Identity Management using the Block Chain
Thanks to all for the responses and resources. When I originally had this idea, I had no experience or knowledge of what already existed on the net.
Wasn't even sure what to call it. The Web of Trust was by far the closest to what I had envisioned.
My idea isn't new at all and there's are many similar applications and projects online.
I came across an article today that was a gold mine of information and the first part lay's the foundation to web of trust, decentralized ID system, and others.
Beyond “web of trust”: Enabling P2P E-commercehttp://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CFwQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fciteseerx.ist.psu.edu%2Fviewdoc%2Fdownload%3Fdoi%3D10.1.1.15.82%26rep%3Drep1%26type%3Dpdf&ei=lU4IUMPQGsXI2wWqyL3SBA&usg=AFQjCNEPBsAnoUQrgcd1Uj76DUbbVLLriw
I'm considering starting a github repository where the technical aspects of this PKI using the blockchain can start to be formed.
If this is conflicting with anyone's efforts, please let me know. Also, PM me if you would like to be part of the project.
I know the idea has been tossed around alot, but has anyone taken it seriously.
Is there any project out there.
I'm been toying with the idea to start something along this line, but do not want to re-invent the wheel if there's already progress.
Just like money, Identification is too important to leave to a central entity.
What are the possibilities with Decentralized ID?
Open ID login pulled from the block chain
The ground works for a new voting system.
What are your thoughts? Anyone working on a protocol write-up?
Here's a link with some great information. it describes the problem and the limitations of the solution currently at hand.
Could bitcoin overcome these limitations?http://dig.csail.mit.edu/2007/06/ieee-ic-decentralized-identity-weitzner.html
Very relevant link provided by Stephen Gornick below:http://privwiki.dreamhosters.com/wiki/Distributed_Web_of_Trust_Proposal_2
Another great find:http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kaliya-hamlin/identity-matters/why-identity-matters-0
So, the goal, as I see it, is to create a competing ID system that serves more than the agenda of government and large corporations.
Also, it would limit the mischief that could be done having power and monopoly over ID systems.
Mt.Gox Trusted Vendor Programhttps://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=92334.0
Now, if they used the block chain and allowed others to be a trusted vendor or person.
A big thanks to bitcoin.me for referencing me to http://bitcoin-otc.com/
It's a great working example of what could be done. The main difference between what they started and this proposal is they manage the information instead of it being decentralized and located on the block chain. Check out the full graph: http://corrupt.jails.se/~magnetron/
And you can also look at the graph between two users: http://serajewelks.bitcoin-otc.com/trustgraph.php
Here's an example: http://serajewelks.bitcoin-otc.com/trustgraph.php?source=Cusipzzz&dest=noitev