In the previous two articles, Zero Knowledge Proofs: A Beginner’s Guide and Embracing the Future: The Rise of Decentralized Identity, we gained an understanding of zero-knowledge proofs and decentralized identity. In this article, we delve into a fascinating array of projects shaping the future of identity verification on the blockchain. As you might imagine, the application of decentralized identity will require full ecosystem adoption on the dApp and blockchain sides and the consumer side. Numerous projects are currently underway, addressing various points within the ecosystem. Today, our focus is on projects with consumer-facing solutions, which individuals can opt into and explore.
The following “Proof of Personhood” projects offer innovative solutions that combine privacy, security, and sybil-resistance to create verifiable and trust-based identities. Still, as you will see, the methods of identity verification vary. Lastly, please note that this round-up is only a partial list of all available options, and we anticipate many new solutions will continue to be developed. With that said, let’s explore!
Gitcoin passport: Gitcoin Passport enables you to collect verifiable credentials that prove your identity and trustworthiness without exposing personally identifying information. Your passport is a unique identifier (a DID) associated with your Ethereum address, stored on the Ceramic network. The DID can be used to look up a user’s Stamp data, which exists as a collection of verified credentials. (source)
Bright ID: BrightID is a privacy-first social identity network that allows you to prove to applications that you are accessing them fairly with only one account. Each person holds a BrightID and makes connections with people that know them. A social graph is formed with their BrightID and their connections and fake BrightIDs are detected by analyzing the graph. (source)
Proof of Humanity: Proof of Humanity is a system combining social verification with video submission in order to create a Sybil-proof list of humans. It is meant to be used by individuals as a point-of-entry to a myriad of new use cases that require Sybil-resistance to be able to be deployed at scale and also to be plugged into a variety of existing and new applications in need for such identity systems. (source)
Circles: Circles is a monetary system that is based on individualized cryptocurrencies and a social graph of trust between these currencies. This money system will be for the purposes of distributing money in a way which will, over time, lead to the equalization of wealth and function like a globally accessible Universal Basic Income. When new users join Circles, a new personal cryptocurrency is created for them on a smart contract-enabled blockchain. Users have the ability to trust the personal currencies of other users, which requires them to treat this personal currency as identical to any other Circles currencies that they hold. As the social graph becomes more interconnected, these personal currencies converge on one single global monetary system. (source)
Quadrata: Quadrata Web3 Passport is a privacy-preserving, sybil-resistant technology that brings identity, compliance, and reputation to DApps built on public blockchains. Businesses and consumers onboard onto Quadrata by attaching their wallets to an identity passport. The Quadrata Passport is issued as a non-transferrable NFT. (source)
Anima: Anima is a decentralized identity protocol for managing the issuance and verification of your identity. Anima provides a frictionless experience for users to manage and share their identity using their existing wallets (Metamask, Ledger…). (source)
Idena: The Idena blockchain is driven by Proof-of-Person consensus with every node linked to a cryptoidentity, one person with equal voting power. It suggests a novel way to formalize people on the Internet: Idena proves the humanness and uniqueness of its participants without collecting personally identifiable information by running a Turing test at the same time globally. (source)
WorldCoin: World ID is a global digital passport that lives locally on its holder’s phone. World ID supports multiple types of verifications that accomplish this with varying degrees of accuracy. At launch, this includes phone number verification and privacy-preserving iris verifications. (source) In other words, World ID uses a biometric iris scan as the basis to prove one’s humanity, that is then encoded to a unique iris code. According to their documentation, the iris scans are deleted once encoded and never leave the scanning devices (“Orbs”). As you can imagine, there are many people with concerns regarding this new protocol. The recent release has been controversial, to say the least.
Other Projects of Interest
As mentioned earlier, several projects are currently in development focusing on blockchain layer and DApps integrations. Some interesting projects you may want to explore include Fractal, Civic, SpruceID, zkPass, and Ethereum Attestation Service (EAS).
What Does the Future Hold?
With so many projects in the works, predicting which solution(s) will ultimately gain mass adoption is challenging. Will the first-mover advantage come into play, or will the future bring entirely new developments? Some may argue that Proof of Personhood is unnecessary; however, these innovative solutions undeniably pave the way for a more secure and inclusive digital future. They empower individuals to assert their identities confidently and transparently, all while retaining control over their personal information. It will surely have a transformative impact on the blockchain landscape and our digital lives.
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