Making sense of recent drama in Proof of Humanity

I wrote a quite detailed (15 min read) article about what I think of the recent drama in the Proof of Humanity community.
Note that this article may seem and is sometimes harsh.
In order not to create additional drama, I had sought private conciliation at least 3 times and those attempts have failed. So I believe that after all of this failed, the community has to know.

English: Making sense of recent drama in Proof of Humanity | by Clément Lesaege | Jul, 2022 | Medium

Español: Explicación del drama reciente en Proof of Humanity | by Clément Lesaege | Jul, 2022 | Medium

In this thread I’d like to discus the closing statements of the article:

Now there are a few possibilities ahead which would depend on how people vote/delegate (for this delegations would be appreciated):

  • One side wins the balance of power.
  • Sides believe that they are better working together rather than separately.
  • Sides acknowledge that they have irremediable vision differences and decide to split.

What do you think should happen?


I don’t know all the details so I have no strong opinion on this. I just think it would be such a waste to see the project go down the drain. So, whatever is best to move the UBI/PoH project forward.

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I’ve been catching up with the debate. I voted on HIP-50 and I really want this project to move forward. The following is not a rethorical question and it’s mainly out of ignorance, but in good faith I ask: don’t you (plural: builders, MB, etc) have something better to do?

The fact that these issues are relevant for all of you is because there’s nothing more important to discuss, or because the prioritization framework is flawed/non-existent.

I really think that what should happen is that “Sides believe that they are better working together rather than separately”, with each appropriating what they do best and delegating the rest, with a democratic coordination on what the common goals are (i.e with a prioritization framework implemented which all parties abide to). From that point forward, opinions on what’s optimal will arise; they shouldn’t block PoH’s growth.

Sadly, I’m not that deep into the backstory of all of this nor do I know any of you enough to make better suggestions. I’d love to make time and contribute better. I hope this question is well received and that we start building better.

PS: I have mad respect for all of you. I’m not a contributor nor an active member of the community, so I think my opinion is low priority. However, this debate has been made public and I’m an early adopter, I think I get the vision and I really want this to succeed.


Hello everyone! I haven’t been in the community that long, but I offer the most objective point of view I can:

My vision is that yes, “it is better to work together than separately”. And I will try to describe the “sides” that Clement mentioned in a different way:

I see two very powerful dimensions:

  • hard (development, incentives, research, crypto in general)
  • soft (onboarding, guides, detection of ui/ux frictions, detection of unfair and fraudulent resolutions).

The basis were built by the hard, but the evolution was guided by the soft (Not talking about people). I see them as necessary and complementary for the growth of the project. However some people is more aligned/expert in only one of these dimensions. There are few people with one foot on both.

Similar but different, in the community I see the two lines of interest:

  • PoH is focused on scaling to different dapps and build a more restrictive and resistant registry.
  • UBI is focused on a more social drive, maybe more flexible.

But again, both sides can be enhanced. If there are sticking points, let’s discuss them and try to conciliate strategically. In fact there are some ongoing topics about the registry being flexible or not, depending on the use case, for example. Sometimes one side should give in, and sometimes the other side should also.

Nonetheless, if the people with leadership in the community (MB in principal but other strong members also) do not have the possibility (or the interest) to discuss, reconcile and give in, the path together as a community will be hard.

Maybe I’m a bit naive, but that’s my try ^ Thank you for reading.

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Split. Stop wasting precious time and energy. It is clear both sides have different objectives. A lot more progress could be made by each side focusing their energies in pursuing their own visions.

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I don’t think a split really solves anything - give the newly split-off project a year then the arguments are back. In democratic project, nothing prevents the same people to vote in BOTH projects. And in a sense the project is already split, PoHDao and UDIDao - we could perhaps finish this split (separate MB, Telegram, and Discourse for instance to force people to decide where to put their focus).

But I think the real problem is that we are voting on technical HIPs that have not been technically vetted. I, for instance, know little about technical implementations. People are voting on headlines and a general feeling of liking/disliking Kleros/Democracy.Earth/other and do not know/check if the HIP actually proposes an implementation.

Seems like our democratic DAO has many of the same problems as national democracies (perhaps we were naive). I think we have some difficult work ahead to find a good governance model.


I don’t think a highly technical protocol that deals with code and law should be directed democratically unless everyone voting is going to learn about how these things really work and understand the implications.

Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone has knowledge or understanding.


Democracy doesnt work. Technocracy in other hand…

Fascism you mean? it has been tried before.

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If a majority wants a new arbitration mechanism, so be it, but that decision needs to have a very clear description of implementation and feasibility. Having a decision to make such a fundamental change and no clear way of doing this is a nightmare scenario for our community.


“Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree.” --Thomas Jefferson

DAO Gerrymandering is a serious threat to the continuity and resilience of Proof of Humanity.

HIP-49 is a one (of many) examples of this, 22(!) authors on a HIP that would have irreversibly destroyed PoH, coordinated from backroom telegram groups, cheered on by a Mission Board member and rushed through the HIP phases without allowing proper thought. Playing on emotions and political views rather than the rational mind and the spirit of cooperation. Practically project suicide.

The way I see it we’re at a crossroads: either we reconcile or a split occurs.

Reconciliation (we-go)
The conflict between the members of the Mission Board has / is creating a wedge in the community that is not in the best interest of the project. I think a realization must be made here that this project transcends any particular individual. I then ask the non-recent members of the board, if the conflict cannot be resolved by mature conversation, can the conflict be resolved by stepping down from the board, and allowing a fresh start without the personal vendettas currently imposed on the entire project.

Split (ego)
If unable to resolve these issues either through mature conversation or mutual reconciliation a split will occur.

Regardless if a split or a reconciliation occurs. I believe the MB should have a more specific agenda.
Items I’d like to see being worked on:

  1. Growing and maintaining a healthy, positive community.
  2. Improving HIP quality & tangible results.
  3. Better explaining the technical matters to the community, preventing misunderstanding and the consequences thereof.

To everyone involved, the last period in this project’s community has shown many of the worst aspects of humanity.
Going forward, regardless of the outcome; please consider showing empathy and respect for each other.
Most if not all of your differences are simply misunderstandings and escalations thereof, a pattern in humanity that brought on war and death. We can do better.

Forza Humanity.

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I’m for reconciliation. I had a long reply drafted that could’ve continued this fight ad eternum… but quite frankly I think there’s much to gain sticking together as the democratic dao that we are, rather than engaging on a competitive nature that distracts us from greater goals.

  • We have UBI v2 in the pipeline.
  • We can do an UBI PNK liquidity pool which @clesaege has agreed to in the past with the UBI holdings of Kleros. That I believe would help align interests.
  • There’s PoH v2 about to be launched in August.

I don’t believe in holding resentful views in spite of being the victim of a smear campaign and certainly I think that now that we had a big fight, we all very much deserve to pause and reflect in our actions how to improve. Specially those of us holding a greater responsibility to the DAO.

It must be said that a big part of the community does not feel represented by Kleros. Claiming there was gerrymandering or underestimating their interests, does not contribute to a peaceful resolution @George. But I value that you put the option on the table for reconciliation. I always pursued that, in spite of the image that was attempted to be created about myself.

forza humanity.