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Public Token Infrastructure

In a tokenized Internet every data object created is or has an associated token, an authenticated and programmable data structure which can be assigned property rights that can be transferred without a trusted authority. (The data is the token for cryptocurrency. For other types of data, the token can encapsulate or be linked to data.)

The cryptocurrency tokens and digital art NFTs we have seen in the first iterations of blockchain networks are just examples in the universe of data objects that can be tokenized. In our view, the next version of the Internet all human and machine generated data will be tokenized.

Public Token Infrastructure, the evolution of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), replaces digital signatures and timestamps with programmable tokens that have an additional proof of uniqueness.

Public Token Infrastructure

PKI, invented in the 1970s, has proved extremely successful for its original use case, that is, sharing a secret across an insecure channel. However, the complexity and cost of key management means that it is almost universally not used to authenticate data. Today, with some very few exceptions, data is just 1s and 0s without any mechanism beyond trust to verify where it came from, when it was created, etc.

One major innovation of Bitcoin was to prove the uniqueness of data (the Bitcoin blockchain), a proof based on the assumption that the amount of energy required to reverse the Proof of Work algorithm would be practically impossible. Proof of Uniqueness is necessary if data, such as currency tokens, has ownership and that ownership must be uniquely determined, and "double spending" prevented.

Public Token Infrastructure is a set of tools and technologies enabled through the Alphabill blockchain which extend PKI to support this proof of uniqueness property at the individual data object level. In this view, cryptocurrency tokens or NFTs are just a tiny fraction of the universe of data, all of which can be tokenized.