[Cryptography] Using the NFC chip of the Passport to do Proof-of-Work

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Tue May 5 10:02:06 EDT 2020

On Sun, May 3, 2020 at 11:59 PM Jan Lindemann <panda at panda.cat> wrote:

> I came up with a funny idea on how to create an egalitarian POW mechanism
> that would let everyone have the same or a very similar "hashing rate".
> To keep it short, it uses the active authentication feature of the NFC
> chip contained within passports.
> This feature consists in having a private key contained within the chip
> signing a challenge to prove that it hasn't been cloned.
> So my proposal is to use this signing functionality instead of using the
> typical SHA256 or Scrypt hashing algorithms.
> Passports have likely a similar singing rate, and people are likely to
> only have one passport.
> More details can be found here if you are interested:
> https://medium.com/@janmoritz_48488/using-the-nfc-chip-of-the-passport-to-do-proof-of-work-b77e1a5343a1

If you assume that everyone has the same trusted hardware, you don't need
proof of work. You can just have the secure hardware restrict the rate at
which signed evidences are produced.

There is a relevant patent covering the application to anti-Spam messaging


There is an earlier patent, presumably expired which described the more
general scheme.
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