ENS as a Catalyst for "Post-National" Identity Infrastructure

Heads up - this is getting into my more “pipe dream” and arguably radical views. My reason for posting this is mostly to prompt discussion. I realize it’s pretty “lofty.”

Largely in response to the global failure of nation states to properly control the basic human right to travel freely during this pandemic in an apolitical manner, I propose the need for replacing passports and visas with something natively digital, nation agnostic, and with the goal of eventually achieving enough infrastructure and incentive to be held in higher regard than the current nation state issued alternatives. I believe ENS could eventually become comprehensive enough to serve this type of purpose. There are already several travel companies including airline brokers and home sharing platforms beginning to surface that natively support payment entirely in crypto, cutting out the middle men that exist only to extract capital and ration opportunity.

Essentially, I feel that the capabilities of credibly neutral, open-source, decentralized, fully transparent blockchain technologies and platforms have reached a point that we can begin providing real, superior alternatives to many of the current functions of nation states. First and most obviously was providing an alternative to nearly the entire traditional financial “services” sector. It is apparent to me that the traditional analog systems are becoming more and more obsolete every day. Cryptocurrency has shown us that central bank issued currencies, and by extent allegiance to the nation states that issue said currencies can be thought of as a sort of religion - one that just so happens to have central banks and militaries to carry out their exploitative status quo.

Payment companies such as PayPal, Visa (ironically), Mastercard, etc, have already accomplished a similar nation agnostic, global system for payment, although it is still essentially just a bridge to the current central banks. Bitcoin showed us that an entirely natively digital, nation agnostic currency has the potential to become the reserve currency of the entire planet… and I hope to see more and more functions previously only possible through arbitrary human leverage and exploitation taken over by neutral, open-source, decentralized, fully transparent applications. Identity verification seems like an obvious system that can be accomplished more effectively, equitably, and ethically outside of the control of any nation state.

Just food for thought. What PayPal did for online payments, I feel ENS could eventually do for single sign-on, identity verification, and credential verification, even beyond what is currently only handled at a national level. Do you think your .eth domain could eventually function as a physical passport? Would you want it to?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

Otherwise I agree with what you wrote.

I’m of the opinion that physical identity should be entirely separate from a digital identity, unless one wishes the two to be the same. Anonymous payments are why cash is desired. In the online world, there are very few ways to purchase something anonymously. There is a need for anonymity in the online world. ENS is not the solution.

Physical identity should not be tied to online identity unless absolutely necessary… just like giving out your home address to strangers you meet in the park doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Humans being human and making errors in life should not be recorded in an immutable record unless absolutely necessary. Passports should include only enough information to ascertain the legal citizenship of the traveler and the intended destination… all other information is extraneous and subject to PII leakage.

Always remember OpSec is key.



Are you familiar with Zero-knowledge proof? I feel like that would be the type of authentication protocol needed - one that doesn’t share any information at all to A or B but can still verifiably prove a condition is true to both parties.