For a while now I’ve been pondering the possibility of creating persistent, unique and resolvable identifiers, without having to register these identifiers anywhere in a specific registry. This whole idea came up when trying to find a way to register PIDs for European healthcare databases in the IMI EHDEN project in which I’m involved, and I realized how hard it is currently to do that in a future-proof way (hopefully EOSC can address this going forward).
But… is this even possible? Yes, it is theoretically possible, if we agree on a standardized and reproducible way of encoding data and using its hash as the identifier. But more than that, the technology already exists today. Using the IPLD standard and CIDs as identifiers, with the backing of the growing IPFS (Interplanetary Filesystem) which is an ambitious project to decentralize the internet. If you have no idea what I’m talking about (that happens, often to myself ), perhaps the clearest explanation is this small article with code examples: https://docs.ipld.io/tutorial.html#addressing.
I just don’t know a good place to bring this topic up and experiment with it. The open science / FAIR digital objects community where PIDs live and the blockchain world of CIDs have almost zero intersection, it’s just that I happen to be interested in both. So I’m trying this forum which is about PIDs, has anyone thought about this or an interest to experiment with it?