Shady El Damaty, Ph.D., is a co-founder at Holonym, a zero-knowledge identity protocol for producing private proofs of verified credentials, and founded OpSci, a non-profit developing tooling for web-native open science practice. Shady has a Ph.D. in neuroscience with expertise in MR pulse sequence development and ML/AI for neural signal processing. Shady was awarded a 2023 Foresight Fellow in the Intelligent Cooperation and Neurotech tracks. Previously, Shady was the principal investigator on a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant to track the neural correlates of violent outcomes in young adults. He is also a Mistletoe Fellowship alumnus, providing consulting for hardware start-ups. Currently, Shady is based in Washington, D.C. and can be found tapping to the beat at local jazz clubs, or practicing other languages at neighborhood cafes.
Shady El Damaty discusses the use of zero-knowledge proofs to enhance security, usability, and self-sovereignty on the internet. He emphasizes the importance of shaping the future through technology, relationships, and institutions that promote voluntary cooperation and distributed networks. El Damaty recognizes the benefits of distributed ledgers but acknowledges challenges like Sybil attacks, accountability, privacy, and verification of off-chain behavior. He proposes privacy-preserving attestations as a solution, allowing individuals to verify off-chain claims while preserving privacy. El Damaty also explores decentralized secure online identities, seamless key custody, and the challenges of identity protection.