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> persistent global public identity

Certificate Transparency could be reused/abused to host it. If, for example, you issued a cert for name <key>.contact.example.com and the tooling would check CT logs this could be a very powerful directory of contacts. Using CT monitors you could see if/when someone tampers with your domain name contact keys.

Mozilla is planning something similar for signing software: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Binary_Transparency

This is basically the keybase.io log system. Although they too rely on PGP currently

Minus the network of independent logs as from what I remember only keybase.io runs their own log system. Although they do timestamp their Merkle tree roots into Bitcoin.

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