🚧 This is a work-in-progress 🚧

Verifiable ownership

Verifiable ownership means others can verify you own something. You can verify I have a specific address by requesting a signature. You can verify I own an NFT by getting a signature from me, and checking that the associated public key is indeed one of the owners. You can verify I have a specific Google account by getting a JWT from Google after I sign-in with them.

One of the key innovations of blockchain is to enable verifiable ownership en masse with all sorts of interesting data. But blockchain is fundamentally public — everyone else can see you own something as well. It is the most public database humanity has ever created. There are some attempts at private blockchains or stealth addresses, but those either don’t get full privacy or are too clunky for reasonable use.

True ownership

True ownership requires both privacy and verifiability. If your data isn’t private but still verifiable, it’s visible and somewhat owned by other people. This applies to all data that is exposed on a blockchain, and is why so many people don’t really understand NFTs (haha I’m gonna copy your jpeg, loser).

But if your data is private to you, or to other trusted parties, then there is a much deeper sense of ownership. It is more akin to having decor in your house or clothes on your body. You can show these things to people as you choose, but fundamentally they are yours and never leave your hands. ZK enables this for digital information for the first time in history, and I am very excited to explore the new affordances we can get from it.