Alice will obtain a proof from the Key Directory that demonstrates that the data is in the permanent append-only log, and then just encrypt to it.
Within the message to send to Bob, Alice includes a super-compressed version of the Key Directories that fits in a 140 characters (called STHs which stands for Signed Tree Heads). This super-compressed version can be used later on by anyone to confirm that the version of the Key Directory that Alice saw is the same as they do
Append-only log. Global. Hash of the log's tip state at the time of use...
Smells like a mixed blockchain/git type approach - which is a good thing. The "super-compressed" version of the log tip sounds like git revision hash. The append-only, globally distributed log is pretty much like a blockchain.
And it attempts to solve a really hard global problem. I like it.
The real innovation in the "blockchain" was using proof of work in combination with the Merkle tree in order to enforce a single history.
Take that away and yes, it looks alot like Git. :)
Proof of work is used to limit behavior by adding artificial cost - in hashcash they are used to make spamming more expensive, and in Bitcoin for controlling block creation.
It's not a desirable feature in a protocol if you can avoid it. In the case of coding contributions, it's easier and more reliable to have a central maintainer that accepts patches and pays out bounties.
Would that work? I design and build a set of tests that extend existing OSS business app A. I post them up and ask for contributions ... Only to be accepted if tests pass.
But really the value I want is in "quality" a very hard to quantify idea.
But Test first development as a means of proving compliance is a good idea. Not sure the git chain is useful though.
Edit: Domain already taken; I guess after bitcoin's success people just bought up (word)co.in for every value of word they could think of...
In much the same way as Quora credits are used to power A2As, gitcoin would enable you to ask J Random Coder on github for a fix and pay him in karma. The GPL is effectively a no-freeloaders mechanism, gitcoin could be another.
The term "Merkle tree" was familiar, but I didn't know what it was used for. (Read: never had reason to look it up.) Now I do.
Thank you. :)