What the purpose of self-certifying path names?

I’m reading through IPFS’ v3 paper and understand the need for mutable links, but can’t comprehend the concept of self-certifying path names.

What are we certifying and to whom?
I tried reading the paper behind SFS (Escaping the evils…), but couldn’t understand how the role of the central authority is being removed by hashing the public key.

Could someone help ELI5?


I think this is answered in the self certifying part of section 3.7 (about IPNS and mutable namespaces) in draft 3 of the whitepaper.

When other users retrieve the object, they can check
the signature matches the public key and NodeId. This
verifies the authenticity of the Object published by the
user, achieving mutable state retrival.

ELI5 version attempt:
What are we certifying? The path you’re resolving is cryptographically certified to be published by the person who says they published it.

To whom? Whomever is trying to resolve the mutable namespace path.