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25 January 2019

Keybase Review

by Allen Plummer

My team has leveraged Keybase in a project at work for the distribution of secrets via folks’ PGP keys. It has been interesting, because the main problem that Keybase solves is the wrapping of GPG/PGP functionality around a nice GUI wrapper.

In addition to this use-case, it solves the web-of-trust issue that PGP/GPG has currently in that folks don’t really want to verify/validate other users in real life. Furthermore, by adding up social network ID’s (github, twitter, pgp/gpg, etc.), a sort of ‘web-of-trust’ is formed for validating and verifying an online identity.

Additional uses of Keybase include an encrypted Git rep (private or teams), and a full-fledged slack-like encrypted chat feature. Also, with the adding of Stellar/Lumen wallet functionality, I foresee Keybase as becoming a major player in crypto-for-the-masses.

Word to the wise: Generate and save off your ‘paper key’ somewhere for account recovery in the event you lose your passphrase. Otherwise, your identity is lost, and it will have to be deleted by Keybase staff. (Max was very helpful for me with this; props to him.)

tags: keybase - gpg - crypto