Improving Proof of Humanity (Vouching and Registration)

This is probably the best project I’ve seen hands down for creating a viable and good UBI, however, there are things that can hopefully be done to improve the overall smoothness so that eventually millions of people can sign up for the registry from around the world.

I deal a lot with plans for creating a better world and one major aspect of this is how various projects and ideas I may have affect people who may be living in different countries and those who have different resources than someone like me that’s living in America. This is the same measure I use when looking at other projects.

This project has a huge potential to really change things for those in the world who need it the most. However, and this is something I don’t say lightly, in the current form it may not reach it’s full potential.

  • The cost of Registration / Deposit is too high for even many people in developed / rich nations. There is no way someone who lives in an impoverished region or who really needs UBI can possibly even afford a fraction of the deposit, nor the gas fees that Ethereum charges to do a transaction.

Potential Solutions:

1: A side chain or a 2nd Layer protocol, or moving the project from Ether to another blockchain.
2: Lowering the Deposit / Registration fees and subsidizing the gas costs.

  • Vouches are way too hard to get for someone who isn’t well connected to people already in the registry. It is unlikely that someone who isn’t part of the in crowd can get vouched for as long as vouching is tied to trust rather than “proving humanity.” The amount of people that will be backlogged for lack of a vouch will grow exponentially as the registry grows. This can tie up resources and make it harder to spot robots or false submissions. In addition, many people I know can’t have 300 - 400 dollars worth of Eth sitting in Limbo for months waiting for a vouch. The reality is over 6 billion humans do not have 300 dollars worth of Eth in any capacity and those users are the ones who need UBI the most.

Potential Solutions:

1: Decouple vouching from “trust,” make it so that vouchers can reasonably vouch for people who are clearly human, even if they don’t directly know them. With 7.8 Billion humans, it’ll be difficult to expand the registry if this isn’t improved.

2: Make additional ways how people who do not have vouches can share information about themselves, to network with people (perhaps even here) and do other things to show their humanity. These ways should preferably not incur costs and should be things people can do regardless of their resources.

3: Designate a group of trusted users that can Vouch for people they do not know. They should have access to resources to make sure no one is a duplicate and they could perhaps even be allowed to help people correct small mistakes in their submissions. If they vouch only by the parameters of the rules here, “ie: user is not a robot but a human and user has submitted properly” rather than via friendship or family relations then there won’t be a backlog.

  • Newbie Friendliness of Proof of Humanity needs to be improved on greatly. I created an SLP token and many of the people I know aren’t in Crypto at all. This means I had to write out very detailed instructions of how to open a wallet and help those around me even with the most basic tasks involving my token. Even with all of that, including pictures, step by step instructions several people whom I know are highly intelligent had a really hard time to just send me their wallet address for me to send them my token. This has huge implications for any project involving Ethereum and any project as complicated as Proof of Humanity. Even me knowing enough about crypto and knowing how to use MetaMask had a semi difficult time figuring out what all is required to be on Proof of Humanity. I still don’t know how to get a vouch, the steps I’ll have to take after vouching; nor exactly how many Ether transactions will be needed. It took me a lot of looking to find any information about the UBI token and still haven’t found the blockchain for it.

Potential Solutions:

  • Better instructions in multiple languages for how to sign up for Proof of Humanity, what is needed, the steps and even how to use MetaMask and set up a wallet. Newbies need a little hand holding, especially if the thing they need to do involves multiple hundreds of dollars worth of Ether.

  • More clearer information about Kleros and UBI token. Where can we find it? How can we see where to trade it and other vital information about it.

Thank you for listening to my long post. I hope this helps someone out.



Some good points. :slightly_smiling_face: I think the most important thing right now is to produce a great day of soundness in one place. At the moment the information is spread out all over the place, and very hard to find unless you deep dive into Telegram.

This can put off a lot of people.

For instance, to your point about vouc inhing, apparently it’s working really well at the moment with a pool of vouchers in Between 2 and 4 days to get vouched in there. But who knows? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Appreciate your reply and I agree with you. A central place for all the information would help a lot too. I didn’t even find this community until I literally searched everywhere in hopes of finding some place that wasn’t on Telegram. Got one of those limited minute phones so can’t do anything on Telegram right now; least of all a deep dive.

The simpler it can be made, the easier it will be for people to participate. Especially for newbies, even something a tiny bit complex can put off someone who is new. I know as I deal with a lot of people who are completely new to crypto.


Welcome! We are all very early alpha adopters. So much work to be done.

Regarding costs, lowering deposits seems like a great thing at face value. But ultimately it works against the system. If I am an attacker trying to create fake identities the deposit is one of my major deterrents. If the deposit price is too low I would be willing to take more risk. Also challengers/jury need financial incentive to do their jobs. I agree it seems like a lot of capital to put up. Maybe it can be improved on in the future (for example through crowdfunding). But try to look at the protections PoH offers from the perspective of an attacker.


@Justin I guess the bottom line is to try and make it as expensive as possible to game the system. Kind of like blockchain in general. :slight_smile: It would be great to continue to make it ‘expensive’, but also maybe not elitist. I’m not sure how that’s going to be possible in the short term.

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Agreed friend, it’s such a fine balance. For me the deposit is negligible. For a starving artist in Peru it is a fortune. The connection of humanity and what the web is becoming won’t be easy, but it is crucial.

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I am trying to be as down to earth as possible, but I do believe this experiment has the potential to really have an impact on the most severe forms of poverty. But obviously only if the wealthiest part of our societies are willing to subsidise/support the poorest. I have a feeling that if the mechanics are worked out and made stable, it will actually take off. Such a dreamer, me. :slight_smile:

Actually I believe the gas fees themselves would dissuade most people from making false accounts. If you have to pay twice a transaction fee and get a vouch, then even making 2 accounts is already quite expensive and too much of a hassle for any but the most determined scammers.

Ethereum is so high now and not likely to go down much, so the transaction fees will always be a good chunk of money. This will get more expensive as time goes on, as Ether is about to seriously increase in value when they move it to proof of state. I just checked; my 0.157 Ether deposit is now worth 528 $. It’s been held up 4 weeks while waiting for a vouch. That kind of money is completely impossible for even someone living paycheck to paycheck to pull together in America or Canada, much less someone in an African Nation, India or Peru. Even crowd funding won’t help much there as there are over a Billion people who live under 2 $ per day; and likely another 2 billion who live under 10$ per day. I and my friends thought about those of us well to do to help bootstrap people who aren’t well off, and we couldn’t do it as we’re talking thousands of dollars worth. If we all pooled we might be able to help one person but what of the other 3 Billion who desperately need this right now?

This is why I suggested something fundamentally be done to help this process go smoother. Otherwise it will remain something that only those who are well financially off and well connected enough can go through the process…

I’ll answer the rest of the posts tomorrow.

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