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Research | EAS (Ethereum Attestation Service)

An overview of EAS and its application


This article mainly includes the summary of interviews/ presentations from the EAS core team

  • What's an attestation

  • The identity problem

  • Rethink of what identity is

  • View of current identity protocols

  • What is EAS

  • Who is currently using EAS

  • What are the potential use cases of EAS

  • More info & Reference link

What's an attestation

  • Attestations are digitally signed claims from any entity about anything or anyone. It's a digital signature of some structured data.

  • For example, on social media platforms, your action of posting, following, liking, commenting etc. can be attestations. Your diploma, certificates, licenses can also be attestations.

The identity problem

  • The current problem is that all those data and interactions that representing part of our identity are controlled by different entities. And they are fragmented and siloed within those entities. Imaging an Ebay seller with a high reputation selling stuff on Ebay wants to start his business on Amazon. He would be nobody on Amazon and need to rebuild his reputation there from scratch, which doesn't make sense.

  • And in the AI era, the problem is getting worse as AI-generated content will become explosive in the next few years, and it will be difficult to verify the source.

Rethink of what identity is

  • When you are just born, you don't have any identity, until your parents name you. It's when they attested to your name. And throughout life, other entities like schools, friends, government, employers etc. start attesting to different aspects of you

  • Thinking in that way, your identity is actually an aggregate of attestations around you over time. You cannot presuppose what your identity is because it can be many things, and relative to different people. So to solve the identity problem, it can't start with a presupposed identity service, but rather should begin with a base layer for attesting.

View of current identity protocols/ solutions

  • Protocols like Worldcoin, Bright ID etc., are all moving in the right direction, but still they are fragmented identity solutions and aren't interoperable with each other. If they don't have a common layer to communicate, you can't have an aggregate view of who someone might be and can't give builders or users the choice to define who is trustworthy.

  • Besides, they also tend to either tokenize or try to extract value at the protocol layer. When you think of the layer of finance and trust & identity, you cannot really mix the two, cause someone might come in with a bigger budget and try to direct the narrative of what is identity and it would become their gain.

  • With EAS, different protocols that have their own standards can still build their own schemes, use and test them on EAS, but they are on the same layer. That interoperability makes it useful for decentralized identity and reputation. Reputation data from different platforms can contribute to an individual's overall reputation, which will enhance trust in decentralized system.

What is EAS

  • EAS (Ethereum Attestation Service) is an open-source infrastructure public good for making attestations onchain or offchain.

  • On the onchain part, EAS utilizes two smart contracts, one for schema creation (data structure) on any attestation topic, and another for creating attestations using any schema.

    • Schema smart contract is kinda like attestation form factors registry

    • Attestation ledger smart contract is ledger of attestations, each referencing a particular schema

    • Schemas can optionally have a smart contract associated with them, an optional resolver. Anytime an attestation happens of that schema, it will run through the smart contract and that smart contract can control who can attest, send payments, mint an NFT, or any smart contract logic

  • On the offchain part, EAS made the process simple and allows users to selectively disclose private data against the hash of the merkle root

  • EAS is open-source, permissionless, tokenless, and free-to-use as it aims to be credible neural and serve as public goods. And its core team includes Steve Dakh, CTO of EAS and Bryce Patrick, Product of EAS. Currently, it is mainly funded by grants and donations.

Who is currently using EAS

What are the potential use cases of EAS

  • Use cases can be beyond identity, to voting, authenticity, marketplaces, compliance, digital notaries etc.

  • As EAS is the base layer of attestation, an application layer can be built on top to structure various attestations. DApps like DeFi, Gaming, DeSo can use their "lens" of viewing EAS to build score for their product. And there can also be open source tools for users to construct and aggregate attestations in different ways.

  • There are already some apps using EAS.

More info about EAS

Reference link


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