Updates from the Dev Cave: What is a Bound Witness Interaction?

Johnny Kolasinski
Mar 21, 2019 · 2 min read

Last week, we took a closer look at the Proof of Origin protocol that forms the backbone of the XYO network. A device’s Proof of Origin Chain is its full history of Bound Witness Interactions with other XYO devices like Sentinels and Bridges. But what exactly is a Bound Witness Interaction?

To put it as simply as possible, a Bound Witness Interaction is an electronic “handshake” between two devices that is permanently recorded by each device, and that can also include additional information. According to our white paper, the concept of bound witnesses means that if two distinct devices each report the same interaction with each other on their own unalterable ledger, we can be certain that both reports of their interaction are valid. We can verify that they agree by examining each device’s Proof of Origin Chain. A real-world example would be a polaroid selfie — if Jenn and I both took selfies together at our morning meeting, printed them out, and each signed and dated them, we could say with certainty that Jenn and I agree that we both showed up to work this morning.

What Kind of Data Can a Bound Witness Interaction Include?

A Bound Witness Interaction is valuable in part because it can include virtually any type of data along with the “handshake.” Initially we spoke mostly about tying in absolute and relative location — for example, two phones acting as Sentinels that both agree on their latitude and longitude as provided from GPS or a cell tower. By attaching Sentinels to sensors, though, a Bound Witness Interaction can validate almost any sort of real-world data. For example, two Sentinels with thermometers can agree on temperature at a given time and place, or two Sentinels can agree on air quality. If only one Sentinel has a sensor, they can still validate the information — the Bound Witness Interaction will be a permanent record of what that sensor reported to the other at the time of the interaction.

Scott will be speaking more on the nature and value of this type of data as part of the State of the Future Address, which will be livestreamed today and tomorrow (March 21 and 22) beginning at noon Pacific.

Johnny Kolasinski
Head of Community

XYO Network

Johnny Kolasinski

Written by

XYO Network

XYO is building the world’s first decentralized peer-to-peer data sharing network.

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