Humanode and Its Proof-of-Human Existence
Web 3.0 wallets — such as Metamask — have democratized the ownership of crypto deposit accounts.
The ease of setting up a crypto wallet has made it so much easier to buy something online with Web 3.0’s technological infrastructure. For example, If you want to purchase an NFT on OpenSea, all you need to do is to connect your Metamask wallet to their website and you can start purchasing any NFT listed there.
This is a vast improvement over Web 2.0 E-Commerce platforms, because there is no need to open a separate account with the online merchant. As a result, our online identity is increasingly tied to the public address of our Web 3.0 wallets.
And, since anyone can set up as many public addresses as one wishes, many people control multiple public addresses on the same network.
But are there unintended consequences?
First off, we won’t be able to pin down the precise number of actual users on each network. Suppose a platform plans to airdrop its governance tokens equitably to each user — it’s not possible to execute in a way where one user will end up receiving only one allocation.
In fact, many savvy users will engage crypto protocols with multiple addresses, as a measure of ensuring that they’ll be entitled to multiple allocations in the event of an airdrop or whitelisting.
Since protocols cannot stop people from gaming the system, most airdrops will not be equitable unless KYC is conducted on each public address.
Towards an Equitable Design
Humanode is a challenger blockchain that is trying to solve the aforementioned issue.
As you can see in Humanode’s Twitter account, they are aiming for 1 Human = 1 Node = 1 Vote.
But how does Humanode know that there is only one person behind a node? By bundling together various technologies, such as biometric hashing, convolution neural network, and zero-knowledge proofs, before deploying them on Humanode’s blockchain.
Your share of ownership in the network is not based on hashrate — as in the case of proof-of-work consensus — nor is it based on capital — as in the case of proof-of-stake consensus. Each unique person controls one vote in the consensus mechanism, as one living person can only launch one node.
As long as this 1-for-1 relationship between a node and a person holds, an equitable airdrop is executable for protocols built on the Humanode network.
Other Uses Cases
Aside from airdrop recipients, gamers can also rejoice — it will be much more challenging for bots to roam the gaming platforms built on Humanode and thus ruin the gameplay.
Users will have to bear with the nuisance of periodically proving that they are alive (i.e. not a bot) in exchange for a much fairer gaming experience. However, this seems like a fair exchange since bot farms will not be able to take advantage of actual players and amass egregious in-game rewards.
To a certain extent, bot detection can already be done today, off-chain. What Humanode brings is the decentralization of bot detection, which allows GameFi companies to outsource bot detection to the blockchain layer and focus on building and maintaining the game itself.
Another area where Humanode might play a role is decentralized social media. Beanie, who was undoxxed in January because of his NFT foul play, had used multiple Twitter accounts to forge social engagement.
While deception has accompanied social media since its birth, proof-of-aliveness will help prune the social network off duplicate accounts. Real level of social engagement can be measured — something that dapps can take advantage of by building on Humanode
A Continuous Battle between Forgers and Detectors
Whether Humanode can deliver on its promises hinges on this — its ability to verify if a biometric hash is unique and if the owner of the biometric data is alive.
Perpetrators, or arbitrageurs depending on your perspective, will perpetually look to fool Humanode’s biometric detection.
To those who are familiar with the inner workings of Generative adversarial network(GAN), a deep learning architecture, the resemblance of the interplay between the Generator and the Discriminator is uncanny.
But, in spite of this potential arms race, Humanode puts forward a blockchain settlement layer where trust is built upon the collaboration of actual humans.
In a world where crypto whales hold massive economic sway, an equitable blockchain has a chance in showing us that crypto is not merely a rich-gets-richer scheme.
Fractal Staking is a validator on Humanode’s testnet.