Identity proof in six handshakes — starting with Why

My personal motivation to start a new blockchain project.

Peter Porobov
Jan 18 · 6 min read
by Dannie-walker


I have a vision of a blockchain project. It is an identity proof system based on direct social contacts (your friends prove your identity).

It is a very ambitious and huge goal and I don’t know how to get there. I decided to start exploring my way by thinking online in a series of posts. And then squeeze these posts and discussions into project’s whitepaper. This way I hope to learn best, gain followers, get help and maybe some material support. I also hope that articles will be the best (and the only) marketing.

This is the first article in the series. It describes the main concept shortly, but mostly it is devoted to my motivation.

I’ve organized the article in connecting-the-dots fashion. So you won’t get too bored.

Dot number 1 — The mission

Once upon a time during my elementary school my grammar and literature teacher asked us to write an essay on our 3 wishes. In a couple of days there was a discussion on the essays. The last essay was mine. My wishes were: a car, a big house and peace in the world.

The last wish is the reason why she left my essay to be the last. Nobody wished anything except for themselves or their family.

There is a similar episode in The Final Circle of Paradise by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Elementary school teacher asks his students to write the same essay on 3 wishes. He says there are only 20–30 people out of 1000 who wishes something for the world or for other people.

Reading this episode around 4 years ago I remembered my own school wishes. It made me think. Until then I had my personal mission stated as “moving the world towards peace by nourishing creativity and inspiring people to do what they like”.

I thought, why so long? And why mixing mission and means of executing it? So I’ve cut it to just “move the world towards peace”.

Dot number 2 — The means

Still at school I heard about 6 handshakes theory (Six degrees of separation). This theory states that every person knows any other person in the world in just 6 handshakes. Meaning I know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows you. Yes you, the one reading these lines. There are just 6 direct social contacts between us.

This blows my mind every time I think about it since I was 14. And I was always experimenting with this theory. I used to sell cosmetics through affiliate marketing, get clients and employees for a web development company, find customers for my own blockchain project — all using 6-handshakes approach.

But the use-case which I remember the best is my experience at Seliger Entrepreneurs Camp in 2009. That year there were around 4000 people. Most of them gathered every morning for a huge open-air meeting and exercises, led by officials and celebrities from stage.

One day I started my way through the crowd giving away little notes printed on business-cards. The messages were “A sign from above: You gonna make it! Do it now!” and “Pass it forward” on the reverse side.

Translation: “A sign from above: You gonna make it! Do it now!”. Reverse side: “Pass it forward”

I had 100 of these. I started to move away from the stage. I gave cards to random people on the go. And by the time I gave half of my cards away I began to meet people who showed them to me. Though I was moving as fast as I could my cards were moving faster than me! And people were so happy to meet the one who started the spread. I was happy too!

And happy to realize that an idea may spread much faster than expected.

Dot number 3 — The technology

In 2016 I heard about Ethereum blockchain. Reading just one 15-min article was enough to fire me up for a long time. The same day I was reading Ethereum Whitepaper. A couple of days later I started to make my first blockchain project.

The project itself is an old idea of selling pixels. I just put it on blockchain and added some cool functionality. It is a webpage with 1000x1000 pixels field. Anyone can buy pixels and place their ads.

Blockchain also allowed me to add 6 handshakes functionality. So the only way to participate was to receive an invitation link from somebody already in the project. And if an advertiser buys pixels, the payment is sent to those who invited them and to charity.

The project earned $11000 for charity. But I considered it a failure because I merely sold 1% of pixels. So I rebuilt it.

Dot number 4 — The split

Analyzing the project I concluded that the failure was due to the 6 handshakes model. I thought people were afraid to participate as it resembled a pyramid or other form of scam.

Whether it was so or not, I decided to launch a new version. Without the 6 handshakes scheme and with even more cool blockchain functionality, like being able to trade pixels through 3-party decentralized exchanges.

With the new shiny version of The Glorious Million Ether Homepage (MEH) I made no sales at all!

But now I have 6 handshakes concept separated. And it turned out to be a value in itself!

Dot number 5 — The awakening

I tended to think that MEH is a failure. I thought 6 handshakes is the reason of this failure. After I separated the two I came to the conclusion, that none of them is a failure. The concepts just needed a view from another angle.

I thought. MEH is not an independent project. There is no need to promote it on purpose. Let it be what it is — an advertising page. I can write useful articles and mention Million Ether Homepage from time to time. I can mention MEH in all my profiles. This way anything I do will drive traffic to MEH. Hopefully one day it will become viral.

6 handshakes concept is not a part of MEH. It is an independent project. And it is probably the most important project of my life!

This is it! My mission. I can move the world towards peace by connecting people. I already have a sprout of code which makes possible to do it through borders, governments, religions and everything that separates our loving beings from each other.

Why it took years to realize?

Connecting the dots

Actually I made this conclusion two mouths ago. But I was (and still am) so afraid! So afraid it paralyzes me. I’m afraid I have not enough coding skills. I have no team. No plan. No funds.

But isn’t it a perfect situation for a new endeavor? Screw it! Let the path reveal itself. As I said I decided to think online. This is the sixth dot.

And It seems to work! Not only I have now more confidence in what I do, I already know what to do next. The next step is still “just” writing. But I’ve already got several paths to chose from.

My next post is about goals, more thorough 6 handshakes description, or … something that will strike me the most.

Thank you very much for reading. Even seeing article reading stats is a huge support! If you feel you would like to give more support, clap, share your thoughts, have a look at my advertising project.

The Startup

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Peter Porobov

Written by — Buy pixels, sell pixels, advertise, help charity. — identity proof system on blockchain.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +537K people. Follow to join our community.

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