Abstract by Danny Allen
Adapting Centralized Reduced-Trust Public Key Infrastructure to a Permissionless Blockchain
A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a system which manages the cryptographic resources that its clients depend on for secure communication. As those resources are often directly linked to some sort of online identity, clients are forced to implicitly trust that whatever identity provider controls the corresponding namespace will operate the PKI ethically. CONIKS is a PKI that was developed to require less trust from its clients by allowing them to actively monitor the state of their resources in the system. Despite the improvements in privacy and efficiency which CONIKS affords when compared to traditional PKIs, the reduced-trust system still exhibits certain shortcomings inherent to its centralized design; our research aims to resolve these shortcomings by adapting the CONIKS framework to a permissionless (i.e. public) blockchain.