So yeah... beginning to think about formally changing my name to Liz now.
Mostly cause the university are being difficult with their stance on preferred names on student cards. That's a whole other rant...
Note my original plan was/is to change it so my degree 🤞 had the right name on it and that when I got my first 'real' job (as my grandparents call it) I could go in with no hassle.
Deedpoll in the UK is actually a fairly simple process, all you need is:
- Some generic spiel stating that you renounce your old name and wish to adopt the new one for all matters moving forwards.
- Your address
- Two signatures (your old one and your new one)
- Signatures and addresses of two witnesses
That's it. Simples right?
The issue, at least for me, is who to ask to be my witnesses? Immediately coming to mind would be my two parents but unfortunately, they aren't independent from me (as family members) and as such kinda useless in this regard (Love you really xxx).
This also brings to mind the number of people that might wish to recognise/mark the occasion or even just to get involved in something big in my life. My grandparents would probably like to get involved in someway, even if it is just to mark the end/beginning of a new phase in my life.
I don't have any particular ill will toward my old name and view it more as a stage in my life that I was in and now I am in another. It is for that reason that, whilst I would seek to get my MPhys degree printed in my new name (mostly for bureaucracy reasons), I probably wouldn't display it as prominently as my original. I got my MPhys as Rob and I don't regret that.
So a Name Change party... an opportunity to let anyone wishing to celebrate or mark the occasion of my formally changing my name to do so.
Addressing the issue of who'd be my witnesses? That's a whole different ballgame and given the choice I'm sure many people would be willing, if I were to ask them to do so.
What about people who cannot attend such an event? Those I've interacted with and grown close to over the years who wish to leave some type of message?
How do I mark such an event in a manner that is likely to hang around for sometime yet?
Now I know, some people reading this are probably saying - a book or engraving etc. but does that really sound like a Liz type of thing to do?
So, to get it out of the way, I'm not trying to turn the entire deed poll process on its head by refusing to use the current system or anything.
Instead I am aiming to create a way of allowing multiple witnesses to sign and confirm that they were in attendance when the documents were signed in a manner that cannot be changed once finished.
This means that a blockchain witness system needs the following properties:
- Allow new entries for a limited time only
- Allow people to leave short messages/greetings/well-wishes
- Fixed preemptable reference/address that I can include on the 'original' deed poll preferably in a fancy way.
So how do?
Well the answer immediately available to my brain was an Ethereum smart contract.
What information do we want to be recorded:
- Name of the party
- Date (kinda intrinsic to the blockchain process so it's a freebie)
- Message (optional)
What behaviours do we want from the contract?
- A defined operating date range (a.k.a start date and a stop date)
- The ability for the creator/developer to remove messages (in case of trolls)
- The ability to move any remaining credit back to the developer's wallet after the stop date.