The Prosopo team made a trip to the third Polkadot Decoded in Berlin in June and enjoyed talks from some great ecosystem projects. We came away with a custom NFT to our names and a fraction of a CryptoPunk thanks to Unique Network!
We had a lot of interesting talks with people building smart contracts on Polkadot and realised that bot protection is definitely on the radar for most projects but not yet implemented. People are either not protecting their contracts from bots or falling back on centralised gateways. This includes the aforementioned Unique Network crypto punk giveaway, which forces users through a telegram bot protector.
One of the highlights was hearing Gavin Wood speak about Governance v2, which is coming to Kusama soon. These changes will anyone to start a referendum and also allow an unlimited number of referenda to be run consecutively. This increased volume will likely result in faster network upgrades and more innovation. Referenda previously took 28 days to complete and network updates could therefore be slow to realise.
Additionally, referenda now fall into one of 3 tracks (high, medium and low risk):
Having independent tracks allows us to tailor the dynamics of referenda based upon their implied privilege level. Referenda which execute their proposals from more powerful (read: dangerous!) Origins will have more stringent safeguards, higher thresholds and longer consideration periods. The Root Origin has the highest such thresholds and safeguards. Those Origins which convey relatively little power (e.g. the Tip Origin, able to spend at most 10 DOT from the treasury), have accordingly shorter consideration periods and lower thresholds for approval.
We'll be cautiously watching the rollout of these new features to see how well they hold up to hijacking by malicious actors.
In the decentralised identity space, the most ambitious project we heard from was Encointer with its aim to provide a Universal Basic Income using local currencies that continuously lose value due to demurrage . This principal acts as a disincentive to hoarding money and increases its velocity (the speed at which its spent on things). Decentralised local currencies like these will be of most use to the 1.7 Billion people who are still un-banked worldwide. In order to achieve their goal, Encointer will have to ensure that the participants are human, to a high degree of certainty. They achieve this through in-person meetups (or encounters) that can only be gamed if all participants are colluding. The Prosopo model functions at the opposite end of the spectrum to Encointer - we know our human checks are not entirely bot proof. Instead, they raise the barrier to entry for scripting smart contracts. To hear more on this topic, check out the video of our founder, Chris, describing the product to PNinja at Decoded.
We also managed to enjoy a night out in a beer garden.
Enjoying beer and very salty pretzels at a beer garden
Prosopo is building the future of human verification for smart contracts. Fancy joining the team? We are also now hiring for a software engineer!