What Is MetaBlox Protocol? #
MetaBlox protocol refers to the data flow involved in connecting users to MetaBlox’s global, decentralized WiFi OpenRoaming network. This includes the process whereby MetaBlox routers verify decentralized identity (DID) credentials to establish WiFi connections, which creates mining opportunities for both network hosts – who deploy MetaBlox routers – and users, who can validate the network from their device.
The DID (or decentralized identity) is simply the special cryptographic data format that MetaBlox’s WiFi OpenRoaming credentials are based on, and they enable on-chain WiFi authentications. Read about DIDs here.
The rest of this article will explain how DIDs fit into the entirety of MetaBlox protocol, which also includes Verifiable Credential and Verifiable Presentation data formats in the process of establishing WiFi connections via blockchain technology.
Verifiable Credentials (VC) #
Besides the DID, the other major component of MetaBlox Protocol is the verifiable credential, which is used to represent users’ identities to routers, and vice versa. The main idea behind verifiable credentials is the identity credential, which proves the holder’s identity in order for them to access some specific service.
For example, the passport is the type of identity credential used to access travel services by verifying the holder’s identity. Identity credentials can also be used to prove the holder’s qualifications in a given area (for example, a university diploma or driver’s license).
Identity credentials like passports have been digitized in recent decades, as they now use machine readable codes to help identify holders.Yet their underlying physical form has persisted (e.g passports are still made of paper).
In contrast with physical credentials that are inscribed with digital identifiers, verifiable credentials have enabled the full digitization of identity credentials, doing away with the need for dedicated physical objects to store them.
The verifiable credential simply refers to a standardized identity credential format that can be stored digitally on computers or mobile devices. This format requires identity credential to include the following features:
-Cryptographic security measures
-Privacy-protection measures, including Zero-Knowledge Proofs
-The ability to be verified by machines (e.g computers)
Numerous types of identity credentials, like passports, academic diplomas, and drivers licenses, can be formatted as VCs. Organizations that issue these IDs (otherwise known as IDPs) can store the info contained on them cryptographically on VCs.
Before an organization that issues physical IDs can issue a VC, they must prove its holder’s identity using the personal info included on their physical ID for that organization. A VC may store some or all of this info, but it remains hidden when presented to a machine for verification.
VCs allow organizations (like banks or government agencies) to automatically verify user identities by using machine-based verification rather than human inspection.
Verifiable Presentations (VP) #
Routers and users store permanent VCs that verifiably identify them, but what routers and users actually exchange to establish WiFi connections or validate the network are Verifiable Presentations.
VPs are presentations of specific pieces of information encoded on one or more VCs. If all the information on a VC is presented, this too becomes a VP.
Putting it all together: DID + VC/VP Authorization Process #
Below are the steps used by MetaBlox Protocol to connect users to the global WiFi OpenRoaming network, which creates mining opportunities for both users and router hosts. Mining rewards will become stakeable for MetaBlox tokens after MetaBlox’s TGE in 2023.
The overall DID-verification process whereby MetaBlox nodes (routers) verify DID-credentials to connect users to WiFi is carried out automatically by smart contracts when the connecting device comes within range of a participating router.
The following process occurs only the first time a user connects to MetaBlox Network. After they are created during initial setup, the user’s VP, VC, and DID are stored on a blockchain. The user’s VP is deployed again to reconnect to WiFi whenever they move back within range of a router using MetaBlox protocol.
1.After the MetaBlox app is opened by a user for the first time, it generates a DID for them, then requests a WiFi OpenRoaming profile based on this DID from MetaBlox’s radius server. After this, the device will connect to WiFi automatically whenever it comes within range of a router implementing MetaBlox Protocol.
a. When the user’s device comes within range of a participating router, the app provides the user’s DID-based VP to the router in order to request the router’s VP from the WiFi operator hosting it.This operator, which functions as an identity provider, could be MetaBlox itself, or a partner operator implementing DID+VC protocol.
b. The operator verifies the information held on the user’s VP, which is then ‘signed’ with a secret code by the user. This is equivalent to a credit card user signing their name on the back to verify that they are its owner.
3. As requested, the WiFi operator sends the router’s VP to the app after verifying the user’s VP, thereby connecting the user’s device to MetaBlox’s WiFi OpenRoaming network. The app user who connects can claim points for verifying the operator’s VP from their device. After the user does this, the router host/owner can claim the rewards it generates for verifying the user’s VP.