It is a very simple ideia that has the intent of increasing player interaction.
The idea is based on escalation interaction for highsec anomalies and lowsec Ded sites.
When sites escalates, everything would happen as usual, however instead of receiving the site location the player would receive a key (which could be some kind of encrypted data).
All keys would have their expiration time on their description (which coincides with the escalation expiration time) and the escalation name on its name.
This key can be decrypted or left encrypted. Both versions would be marketable via contracts. The difference is that the decrypted key would have the system of the escalation on its name, and anyone holding the decrypted key would receive the escalation location.
And, of course, the key is required to “activate” the site (like the sleeper caches are activated by hacking) and is consumed in the process.
Keys would expire rapidly (as sites expire after 24h). So a centralized market in Jita would not be efficient. This would force players to look for buyers (if they intend to sell) or use smaller trade hubs.
The key is a guarantee that the escalation exists and is new. If decrypted the key also guarantees the site location, which leads to the following risk vs Reward game: Encrypted keys would be the safest, as only the player decrypting it would know its location. However you have no way of telling where the escalation was granted, so there is the risk of it being on the other side of the galaxy.
Decrypted keys would be the most efficient, however there is no way of telling how many times the decrypted keys changed hands and therefore how many people know the escalation location.
The escalations, as always have been, are not instanced and after the key is consumed anyone can enter.
Since escalations expire quickly, someone could sell decrypted keys and camp the sites location.
This system would give players more guarantees in negotiating escalations. Scamming is possible, but requires more effort on the scammer part.
On a side note, I think the game could use a lot more escalations that rewarded players working on different fields, like explorers receiving gas escalations, DED site leading to relic escalations, hell even mining an ice field you may find a encrypted key in ice for a combat site? But in order for any of this to work, the exchange of escalations between players need to give more guarantees, otherwise it will remain a mechanic that is only used between members of the same corporation.