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Who am I? Secure identity registration on distributed ledgers

Azouvi, S; Al-Bassam, M; Meiklejohn, S; (2017) Who am I? Secure identity registration on distributed ledgers. In: Garcia-Alfaro, J and Navarro-Arribas, G and Hartenstein, H and Herrera-Joancomartí, J, (eds.) Data Privacy Management, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology: ESORICS 2017 International Workshops, DPM 2017 and CBT 2017: Proceedings. (pp. pp. 373-389). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that uses a ledger (or “blockchain”) to keep track of the transactions made between its users. Because it is a fully decentralized system and anyone can join, every transaction is by necessity public. Thus, to preserve some semblance of privacy, users in the system are represented not by their real-world identities but by pseudonyms. While pseudonyms are acceptable for a standalone cryptocurrency, the emergence of other potential blockchain-based applications — e.g., using them to administer benefits and pensions — poses a need to associate certain attributes with the users of the system. In this paper, we address the question of how to register identities and attributes in a system built on globally visible ledgers. We propose a variety of possible solutions and in each case, we analyze the tradeoff our solution provides between privacy (ensuring that no one can associate the user’s real-world identity with the pseudonym or other attributes they use on the ledger), usability (ensuring that verification of their attributes poses the lowest possible burden to users), and integrity (ensuring that no one can impersonate a user). We also present an implementation of one of our solution using Ethereum.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Who am I? Secure identity registration on distributed ledgers
Event: ESORICS 2017 International Workshops, DPM 2017 and CBT 2017, 14-15 September 2017, Oslo, Norway
ISBN-13: 9783319678153
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-67816-0_21
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67816-0_21
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058898
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