I think the key innovation that Nostr brings is letting people own their identity. In this post, I’m gonna explore the implications of this fundamental shift, and where it could lead: https://bitcoinpolis.gitlab.io/posts/2023/01/20/nostr.html

What use cases are you folks excited about?

2005 sats \ 4 replies \ @thrown 23 Jan

Identity? Sure.

Data? No (or at least not yet).

When you post on Nostr, you neither get a guarantee of permanence, nor a guarantee of impermanence. The author has absolutely zero control over what happens to their content after they hand it over to a relay.

I believe that it would be better to post a reference link to a relay. That way you could delete the content and the link hosted on the relay would lead to nothing.

But because a system like that is a “soft delete” and not a “hard delete”, Nostr implementors are of the belief that it is better to not bother. Instead they would prefer to explain to users that they don’t have control at all.

For this reason, I am of the mind that the best use cases are ones that involve content / data that is simultaneously trivial and valuable. For example, product reviews. People don’t post PII in product reviews, but it is still data that is very valuable.

Good point! Agree that the creator does not have control over their data. The title is wrong.

Once you broadcast to the internet, you don't have control over ever deleting it. Nostr can't do anything about it.

But you are not locked into single platform provider as strongly. If you publish onto medium, or send an iMessage, and the platform bans you, you can't easily take your content with you. I guess you could be backing up everything, but its really hard.

I believe with Nostr, it will be easy to have a relay that will back up all your content, including responses to it, and you can replay any of it anytime in the future. No single client or relay can stop you.

Thanks for the comment. You actually made me improve my original thinking. Take my sats!

200 sats \ 2 replies \ @thrown 23 Jan

Once you broadcast to the internet, you don't have control over ever deleting it

I think this way of thinking is just too simplistic. The vast majority of people do not have enemies that are specifically logging everything they say/do permanently in an effort to “get” them in the future.

Most people just don’t have that threat level. Which is why many of us would like to have soft deletes at least as an option.

Yep, that makes sense. I like to have soft delete functionality as well, its useful. But you can't verify it yourself.

0 sats \ 0 replies \ @thrown 16h

You can verify a soft delete if you are only sharing pointers to your data on the relay. Then you would only need to verify that you yourself deleted the data.

But again, that’s not how Nostr is designed. And that’s one of the issues I have with it.

But I still think there would be ways of a relay verifying a delete for you. At least you could try to access the note and it would be gone. That would be the naive way

142 sats \ 1 replies \ @defeat 21 Jan

For a while maybe. But ultimately 1 client and 1 relay will have super majority market share and will be able to undermine users privacy and what not. Will a new client be developed then? Will people migrate to a new relay? Time will tell :)

There is also 1 major bitcoin client. I see no problem there, since it's all open source. if you don't like it, fork it

Well I'm not too sure, more control rather than own, if you lose your private key or it becomes compromised, then your "identity" goes along with it, which could be a big problem, imagine that person now has all your followers, content and could swap out their LN wallet and make money off the reputation that you built

Good point. Nostr doesnt solve this yet, but it is something cryptography folks been thinking about for decades, so hope someone will solve it. Ie rotating keys.

1000 sats \ 4 replies \ @pi 21 Jan

Yes. I'm with you on that.

My thoughts summarised: Owning your id, ie being able to independently and unequivocally prove who you are and what you own (authentication and authorisation, with private and public keys resp.) is the innovation.

This is valuable because it lays the foundation for true digital property rights in an increasing digital world.

200 sats \ 3 replies \ @satcat 21 Jan

Private/public key encryption is not an innovation, it's been around forever; perhaps it's being implemented in a more useful manner for users in Nostr?

Useful isn’t the result — it’s need for the other parts of the solution that people are flocking to. People don’t care about how the public and private key stuff work, but they’re so much more dissatisfied with what they have now that they are looking for hope and feel like Nostr can be a solution. To take power away, and protect them from cause they’re scared of getting canceled.

This makes Nostr super critical in many ways cause with all the UX difficulties it as a solution means more to them that they’re willing to learn about private keys or pay attention to where they store their data (replays).

200 sats \ 0 replies \ @pi 21 Jan

And/or scalable?

Good point. I think its the minimalistic protocol which enables many parties to interact using keys. We had email protocols but they don't handle encryption or signing, all efforts to encrypt/sign emails failed.

Bitcoin and Nostr and the two most amazing digital technologies invented in recent times. Governments around the world invest in AI because it centralizes power. Bitcoin and Nostr decentralizes power.

Very good point. AI/ML is very powerful tool to make efficient decisions at large scale. So while communism never worked in practice, I sometimes worry that with AI/ML it might...

However, I think its more the data than the algorithms, and that's why I see this as potentially very important direction: for humans to take control of their data, and I believe nostr protocol has the potential to enable that.

What a great post, thank you so much for this. Something I have been thinking about is the storage and sharing of medical records. Freeing this from the burden of government control (who doesn't even want to do it in the first place) will reduce an immense amount of friction in the medical industry. It will increase privacy and freedom for Patients while reducing costs and administrative burden on Providers. Nostr is probably the single most interesting technology right now but people are distracted by AI and shitcoinery.

What other projects do you all know about this space? (Freeing data for better innovation in health)

I don't know of any other projects in the space so thank you for linking me to a few, it got me a lot of afternoon reading. I am connected to a lot of physicians and private equity in the medical industry and this is something I only began seriously thinking about days ago.

Medical Records are something I figured many people are trying to cram into a blockchain project. And indeed, lots of ethereum based projects and other overly complicated applications and platforms. They are missing the point I think.

Nostr has a ton of velocity right now and it clicked for me that this could be the solution. The real issue with doing medical records is authentication, ux, and working with existing standards. It must be able to follow the standardized code system that is connected to the convoluted billing system of the medical industry. More importantly, the UX has to be there. It shouldn't be complicated at all, it should be one of the easiest transactions to take place in any visit for both parties.

I don't think its really been possible until what feels like yesterday.

I think there is still big missing piece: solving privacy. Nostr is public broadcast. People won't be comfortable broadcasting their medical data to the world, it has too many negative implications for them, ie insurance company charging more if they know.

Differential Privacy is interesting for this. I think it could help people control how sensitive insights can someone learn, rather than who gets access to their data. But I don't think its solved problem.

https://www.openmined.org/ -- another relevant project, open source

Doc.ai was trying something more directly with people (rather than training models across hospitals), but I haven't heard much about it recently so probably didn't go anywhere.

Totally. There is a lot of people motivated to innovate in health and so much need, but it is hard problem to tackle because its one of the most regulated industries. That's why we might need to demonstrate these ideas really work in some easier domains.

For instance BitFount is a startup in this area: federated learning mostly focusing on health. https://www.bitfount.com/

Although private/public keys have been around for long time, Bitcoiners have a leg up on understanding this idea of custody

Really excited that there is a communications solutions (though it was going to come ontop the LN network eg. Sphinx, but delighted to see this DeComm happen this way:)

I hope so. I've been reading and playing with it for while, it is indeed a breath of fresh air. Still haven't established a presence, but the possibilities and use cases are huge. The Lightning network integration also helps to build an healthy economy around it.