Crypto-Biometrics Helps Create Decentralized Pseudonymous Identities  by@humanode
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Crypto-Biometrics Helps Create Decentralized Pseudonymous Identities

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Dato Kavazi, co-founder of Paradigm, a crypto fund and research institute known for their thorough analytics, was stumped by the fact that mining cartels and validator oligopolies seemed to dominate the market. The solution that Dato came up with was a consensus mechanism based on human biometrics. Humanode will be the first crypto-biometric network where one human equals one node. This not only solves the issue of having to rely on capital based Sybil resistance, but it allows innovative governance models to evolve in the crypto industry.

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The first crypto-biometric network where One human = One node....

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“Why is it that the cryptocurrencies that were supposed to launch a new age of decentralized finance, are more centralized than even the Federal Reserve System in the U.S.?” was one of the main questions that shot through Dato Kavazi’s head back in 2017. As one of the co-founders of Paradigm, a crypto fund and research institute known for their thorough analytics, he was one of the many who were hopeful about the possibilities that decentralized finance could bring to the global economy, but at the same time was stumped by the fact that mining cartels and validator oligopolies seemed to dominate the market.

As of mid 2021, 7 mining pools, or groups of people, actually control 55% of the entire Bitcoin network, Ethereum has 3 pools that control 51%, and even for the newer platforms such as Polkadot, the top 20 stakers hold 66% of the network. The main issue, according to Dato, is in the framework of Sybil resistance - network’s security model.

“Sybil resistance in modern Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake based consensus mechanisms is 100% capital based, making them plutocracies at the very core” says Dato. “There is nothing wrong with money making money, or people striving for wealth, but when money does all the talking, this affects the governance of the DAO, it limits participation of ordinary people, and the systems become limited to the point that they limit their own future growth”.

The solution that Dato came up with was a consensus mechanism based on human biometrics. By using human biometrics as the stake, there was the possibility of developing a consensus mechanism that was based on one human biometric ID, one validator node. The goal was clear, move from PoW and PoS mechanisms, to Proof-of-Uniqueness and Proof-of-Existence models. The problem was that in 2017, the technology to create such a system was simply nonexistent.

For the following few years, Dato, along with Paradigm co-founder Victor Smirnov slowly developed what a biological ID-based truly decentralized platform could bring.

As time passed, the technological barriers that stood in their way dissipated, and in 2020, Dato and Victor started to assemble a team, and the Humanode project was born.

“Using private biometric technology, Humanode will be the first crypto-biometric network where one human equals one node. This not only solves the issue of having to rely on capital based Sybil resistance, but it allows innovative governance models to evolve in the crypto industry, and establishes a secure and private biometric identification solution for decentralized protocols and Dapps” says Victor.

The solution: Crypto-Biometrics

Naturally, when people hear the word “biometrics”, the first thing that comes to mind is the issue of security, especially when it comes to decentralized platforms. After all, biometrics is the most private of private data, and the fear of having someone “take over your identity” is all too real.

“That is why our biometric authentication team came up with the concept of crypto-biometrics,” says Rafa, a cryptographer, and Humanode core team member.

“Crypto-biometrics was born from the need to devise a way to create decentralized pseudonymous identities that establish a reliable Sybil defense that keeps the identities of the users private, while allowing the existence of real human beings to be auditable in a decentralized fashion”

Although the advancement of biometric technology is breathtaking, and there are a large number of biometric modalities that can be chosen from, including but not limited to facial recognition, iris, retina, fingerprint, finger vein, palm print, hand vein, ear, and eye vein, securing the information by simply encrypting it is not enough when the information needs to be distributed amongst tens of thousands of computers across the globe.

Thus, in order to ensure absolute security and privacy, crypto-biometrics is based on a combination of various technologies and exists at the intersection of mathematics, information security, cybersecurity, Sybil resistance, biometric technology, liveness detection, zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technologies, homomorphic encryption, and blockchain technology.

“What we needed was a way to prove that a person who wants to create a node in the Humanode network is actually a human being, meaning not a mask, photo, or deepfake, and that the person does not already own a node. If the person is already a human node, then we need to verify that that user is who he or she says they are'', says lead Humanode developer, MOZGIII. “Once mainnet is launched, we will most likely require a user to submit 2 or 3 biometric modalities for authentication, but for the beta testnet launch scheduled in September, all we will require is the user go through live video based face recognition and liveness detection”.

Once a user goes through a video-based 3D face scan and liveness detection to launch a node, the 3D face mapping vector of the neural network is converted to numerical values and is encrypted. When the node is launched, the homomorphically encrypted user identity is sent to all the nodes in the network, and these nodes in turn store the received encrypted feature vectors for 1 to n matching operations. The 1 to n matching happens in an encrypted space, and the only information that can be given out is if the user is registered or not, and if so, if the person logging in to an account is indeed the registered user or not. It is important to note that the video and actual biometric data used to create the encrypted 3D feature vector, never leaves the node of the user, and is never shared with any 3rd party, not even with the Humanode network.

“The key,” says Dato, “is to make biometric identification secure, private, and accessible enough for anybody to use, without having to put up too much capital. However, the ultimate technological goal is to create a real-time Proof-of-Existence mechanism based on internal biometric modalities, such as microchip implants, neurosignatures on brain-computer interfaces and DNA-matching”.

“Humanode will make SciFi a reality.” says Alex Ye, Managing Director of Republic Crypto, a strategic partner of Humanode, “Biometric digital identities are a crucial step forward in disrupting the otherwise plutocratic governance, staking, and validation schemes today. Crypto-biometrics will undoubtedly be omnipresent far beyond just cryptocurrencies, and now with a foreseeable horizon.”

What makes Humanode unique?

Humanode is currently based on a Snow-family consensus mechanism customized to work with biometrics and rapidly process EVM-compatible smart contracts on thousands of homogenous human nodes, and any existing protocol can integrate 1 human = 1 vote DAO into their protocols, making them fairer and more decentralized.

Humanode based crypto-biometrics is also inalienable. So, from medical info to legal documents and NFT’s, Humanode can bind any digital entity to a user’s biology, allowing the advancement of a wide range of decentralized services including but not limited to financial services tied into a credit score, insurance, fair launch / airdrops, Sybil resistant marketplaces, and yield farming.

However, what makes Humanode truly unique, are the concepts that are woven into the Humanode platform itself.

  • Co-ownership: As the Humanode network is based on a one person = one node = one vote system, there is no need for the founders, or a small group of people to hold on to a majority of the tokens and voting power. As the power that one node holds is equal to other nodes, transaction fees are distributed equally amongst the human nodes, all nodes will equally own the technology developed in the network, and will equally reap the benefits of the network.
  • The FATH-based Monetary Algorithm: The amount of emission is defined by the Fath protocol algorithm, which calculates the difference between real value creation of the network (rVC), in two different time periods. The rVC could be considered to be the network's GDP. If the rVC in the second period is different from the rVC in the first, then the algorithm calculates the percentage difference and changes the monetary supply by the same percentage. Issuance is distributed proportionally across every account in the network. That means that token holders always own the same % of the token supply. What makes Fath unique is that Fath combats both devaluation of currency and negative effects of deflation, unlike the current fiat-based currencies.
  • Cost-Based Fee System: As all validators in Humanode are equal and have the same hardware requirements, we can calculate how much validators spend, to create a cost-based fee model, making fees stable in dollar value despite token price fluctuations. Fees are not defined by some market, but by a strict formula. Price of tx = Computation + GB per period * Tx size * ∞ Persistence Time. In public blockchains, all the incoming transactions stand in one straight queue and no one can pay more to hop in before the others. Humanode's cost-based approach with a strict Formula makes fees very stable and cheap.
  • The Humanode DAO - Vortex: Governance in the Humanode Network will be decentralized from genesis and is known as the Vortex. The Vortex rules over all changes and proposals in the network, and any human node has the right to become a governor. Governors will have different rights according to their ranks, and ranks are based on Proof-of-Time, and Proof-of-Devotion, meaning that devotion in the system is valued more than the riches one has. In other words, money does not automatically give you a bigger voice. Having said that, ranks do not give any additional voting powers to their holders. The governing rank only determines what topics a governor can directly vote on or propose to the network, and give them the ability to promote others' proposals on crucial matters. The ranks are governor, senator, legate, and consul.

Shannon Higgins, a core member of Humanode says that the ultimate goal of Humanode is to pave the way for a true global economy that transcends the boundaries of nations, race, faith, gender, and wealth, to emerge.

“I am not naïve enough to believe that we will be able to accomplish this with our endeavor alone, but I do believe that the problems that we can solve through technological advancement, along with the concepts of fairness, inclusiveness, and accessibility that are core to the Humanode project can perhaps open the door to a whole new generation of ideas and ideals that can mold the path to an inclusive true global economy”.

The foundation for the success of any decentralized platform and project, not only lies in its technology that it develops and utilizes, or the concepts that they try to realize, but to a larger degree, the community that emerges from it.“ The success or failure of the Humanode project, truly lies in the hands of the community” says Dato. “Especially considering that every single human node will have an equal voice and co-ownership of the network. So, we would like to reach out to each and every one who finds the Humanode concept intriguing, and would like you to get involved in whatever way you can”.

Humanode has scheduled its testnet launch for September 2021, and mainnet launch for June 2022.


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