Certification best practices

Hi there everyone,

my understanding of UCoin or Universal-Basic-Income-(UBI)Coins in general is that proof of person (or proof of human, proof of identity?) is an essential part of the system: If anyone could create as many UBI-receiving accounts as he/she wants, this would render the whole money distribution process useless. This doesn’t mean however, that a maximum of 1 account per person MUST be assured, but the difficulty to create several such accounts should be so hard, that it wouldn’t pay out in reality.

Main hurdle of creating a UCoin account is receiving enough certifications for the account. However, the current process mostly consists of assembling some identificational infomation (email address, pgp keys, facebook and other social network accounts, …) into a forum post and asking for certifications (propably of complete strangers). Most of this information may be faked or duplicated for different accounts, so this isn’t a real hurdle atm.

I know, UCoin is still in development, so this question is not relevant at this point of time. But it’s propably unrealistic to assume that there will be enough users in the beginning that anyone can get enough certifications of IRL (in real life) known persons. And even for personally known people, it’s possible that one person gets certifications for one account from 1 group of people and certifications for a second account from another group of people, unless the identifying information points directly to the account in question (e.g. the UID is identical with the identification number of your passport). So I’m opening this thread for collection and discussion of requirements and proposals of potential certification processes, both remote or in real life.

Awaiting ideas :smile:

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Hi all,
true, just social media is not enough. best would be to require personal meeting, or video chat where id is shown.
That should be fine for the start.

All the good,

Yes, but even in this case, I can’t be sure there is another account certified with the same id by other people. So how might this be assured?

lol yea, easiest solution would be, total transparency of all account names + their real life names + birth-year :smile:

:smiley: yep, that’s what I thought, too. But I wouldn’t like loosing my whole privacy, even if it’s for a good thing (UBI). So, are there alternatives? Maybe something like: UID = Hash(RL Name + birthday + city of birth + ?), so my privacy only leaks to those that certify me. But maybe there’s also other ways… sometimes it appears to me that I want to solve all problems by pure crypto :stuck_out_tongue:

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yea somethink like hash of your pass id + birth-year would also be fine, then only those who know your pass id could look it up :smile:
For me I would be fine with transparency for account registration. The use of the coins itself can be made anonymous.

I just found this statement by cgeek:

Citing the discussion from What percentage of evil actors is necessary to overtake a group?:

[quote=“cgeek, post:6, topic:311, full:true”]
Typically, you just have to sign individuals you deeply know (family, neighboors, etc) and do not try to reach your maximum stock of signatures.[/quote]

As I wrote prior, I’m not sure if this is a reasonable assumption as long as the system is not completely adopted worldwide. I.e. I propably don’t have any chance to get any certification that meets this criteria, and this will be true for most of the other members, as long as the WoT is below a certain size, so with the current certification process, there isn’t very much trust in the WoT. But as long as there can be no trust in the WoT, the possibility that this currency gains any value is propably very low (as it could be easily exploited). So no more people will add to the network and this is were we got a catch-22 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22) / are moving in circles.

Hello KaCee :slight_smile:

First of all, let me precise that our current identification process (asking e-mail, website, social network proofs, …) is just a just here for our testing currency. It is probably not enough for a production currency.

Good point.

Note that by “worldwide” we do not mean we will have only 1 “uCoin” currency, we only mean that currencies won’t be limited by geographical boundaries. Actually we currently consider the maximum size of the community behind a uCoin currency is about a million people, because of the Web of Trust algorithm we plan to use.

Now, about the “willing to cheat”: we first have to understand that debt-money influences a lot on cheating behaviors and races to obtain money. There is way less incentives to such behaviors with Libre Currency (the kind of money uCoin produces, what you call UBI currencies) since money is abundant for every single individual of the monetary community. This point is crucial to understand.

Secondly, database is public. People will want to detec cheaters, and tools will emerge to discover them. Will it worth the price of taking the risk to loose all future money creation (a life of UDs, ~80 UDs) for oneself because he would have been deteced as a cheater just to gain 1 or 2 UDs? This does not seem to be a good operation.

Finally, you have to consider WoT rules. Gaining certifications is not enough, WoT has a limited diameter so every single individual is close enough to any other one. Certifications expire, have to be renewed by different people than the previous, are long to be officialized (probably 1 week between each certification in a production currency), …, this is not an easy process.

But as you said earlier, it is not a real problem if some people cheat. We don’t need to put too much energy on this, all we have to do is to find acceptable parameters so cheating stays contained and marginal.

We think our WoT model, associated to the Libre Currency effects, will be enough for this goal.

Yes, I thought so :slight_smile:

Ah, that’s an essential point to know. So currencies/members would actually “grow” around an initial nucleus (like snowflakes :smiley: ) and there would propably be a dynamic currency exchange at the “borders” of those currency communities…

But on the other hand: It’s definitely easier to gain enough users for reasonable usage if you can gather these users from all over the world, compared to a locally restricted search. Might be that this characteristics of UCoin limits usage of the network effect that’s needed to gain a criticical size that UCoin needs to be successfull. I’m no specialist here. It’s just a thought, so I might be wrong.

I oppose this thesis. Money may be abundant in whole, but I think there’s an impulse in every human to expand their belongings. Most of us will do this in a way they think is fair to others. But there are some who think it’s ok to use unfair/asymetric methods to gain easier access to such properties than others. So: No, I don’t think the form/mechanisms of money have an impact on the magnitude of cheating. What propably has an impact, is the amount of work that’s needed to gain access to such unfair advantages. An evidence for this thesis is, that fraud not only occurs in positions where money is absent, but it also occurs (maybe even more) in positions where much money is processed (banks, gambling, big enterprises).

This is under the assumption that the cheating identity can be linked to sybills. If the hurdle for creating a membership account is too low, and this account can be created additionally to a valid account without any linking information (e.g. like it is now), then discovery of sybill accounts would never result in loss of more than any illegitimate gained money, especially not in loss of the valid user account. So it would be a “safe bet”.

Yet, experience tends to confirm my opinion: our few plays with Ğeconomicus all shows that debt-money have notable effects on players compared to any other currency (barter, mutual credit, libre currency): there is a higher level of noise, stress, more competition, people are put in jail, people try to cheat, less cooperation than in other currency types, … and it is not just my opinion, it is what players say themselves.

Have a look at these videos where player testify of their experience.

More precisely: it happens in positions where much debt-money is processed. This does not tell us what would happen with Libre Currency.

Anyway, we do not say there won’t be cheating. There probably will be. Even more since newcomers of the first years lived with debt-currency in a first place, and will probably reproduce their debt-money behaviors in this new kind of money. So in a first time we need protections against this. That’s where WoT rules comes into place, but other tools will probably be required thereafter (like reputation tools for example).

Why would it be so much a good deal to gain money? My guess is that you still think with debt-money representation in mind. You should play Ğeconomicus to see the effects of Libre Currency. This way you would see how money is no more the real problem, and how people no more run for it. They prefer values. Still, money is very useful, but it is much less a goal than a mean to the real goal: create values.

Anyway, we can talk and talk about this and I wouldn’t be able to convince you :smile: only more experience will tell us how we are right are wrong. Yet, the more we experiment, the more I am convinced we are on the good road.

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Someone should really have a go and translate all this material into english… Unfortunately my french isn’t that good and there are many more interested people with that problem :smile: Could you please summarize the rules of those games and the results?

Yes, that’s true. But I’m still not sure why those cheating players would be willing to prefer a (hard) way with more work over the cheating (easier) way with less work in a Libre Currency. In my eyes, the amount of work is the essential factor, but I’m relying on personal experience here and not on scientific data :smile:

Counter question: Why should it not? Money can be used to create personal welfare, so more money = more welfare. This doesn’t propably change with Libre Currencies, does it?

I’m quite open to all of this, essentially thats why I’m here :smiley: It’s just, that my life experience (which is indeed biased by dept-money) doesn’t give me any clue why cheaters in debt-money systems should change their way of play in another money-system.

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Heh … I will let somebody else give a complete answer. The game and its rules are available at GitHub - galuel/Geconomicus: Ğeconomicus is a free economic game. It simulates more than life expectancy and allows to compare different money systems. I think rules are still in french though.

Again, it might seems hard to work in debt-money system, because of money scarcity: we need to work hard to maybe obtain peanuts (what we call poor workers, and this is large majority of people around the world).

Do we need to work that hard with libre currency? Experience shows us it is not the case (because we co-produce money, but also because every single individual can spent it - he has money to spent to others!).

It’s true that, maybe, people will prefer money to values! We never know. After all, money is also a value, and maybe people will prefer this particular value. But today, debt-money power has granted the money to a goal instead of a mean to produce values. We see in libre currencies how money is no more a goal but a pure mean. That’s why I think gaining money won’t be the goal anymore :slight_smile:

Maybe you shoud wonder how Galilée could have any clue that any object free falls at the same speed whereas reality was saying the exact opposite. A plume does not fall at the same speed than an anchor, obviously this is due to the fact a plume also wants to extend its belongings to the universe!

Or maybe is it because of air resistence? What about debt-money resistence on men? :wink:


cgeek, I agree that using a libre currency might have a good impact on people’s tendency to cheat.

However, I think KaCee makes a good point by raising this cheating issue. Even if we assume that the great majority of the adopters of a Libre Currency will behave, the fear that someone may easily cheat might be enought to refrain adoption.

It would be nice to have a solid answer to reassure people scared by cheating and sybils.

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Some thoughts from me to trust scaling:

Why not make very small communities like up to 120 members, thats round about what a human is good ad having still some kind of relationship awareness.

and then treat these communities on the next meta level the same like users to a new meta currency that just links in their meta chain to the current block of the member communities.

this meta currency can also be limited to 120 communities, but be part of the next bigger level meta currency.

if some community is known to cheat, no further trust relationships are made and the one to one pegging to this currency is canceled, so all further generated universal dividend cannot be exchanged one to one to the meta currency anymore.

Maybe I should just argue something like:

Creating an account is not that easy and takes time. Still, we will have tools to dected suspicious accounts allowing us to reject them or ban them from the system.

Let’s dig up the idea, and even try with communities of 1 member! We can still exchange currencies, we already do that with Bitcoin, Euro, Dollar, no problem.

The difference is that this way, you create individual currencies, that is, currencies at the smallest possible level. But such currencies are not common currencies and does not solve the three productors problem because you don’t have any shared value.

Individual currencies are pure barter as the essence of each currency is to be a particular value, in the sense of individual.

Currency is a lubricant for exchanges, we should not forget this central role. The bigger the currency, the more it is efficient for exchanges. Individual currencies are actually the worst possible solution of currency.

So the actual solution is to create the widest possible currencies we can. Note that this doesn’t mean we need to create only 1 world scale currency, but rather make cyrrency systems allowing to create such currencies if men want it.

In the outlined suggestion about I was talking about to use a meta currency that unites them.
Wouldnt this solve the three productors problem?
One community leaving the meta currency could be treated like one member leaving one community.
So all coins generated up to the point where the community left, would be still treated equal to all other community coins.

Happy new year everyone :slight_smile:
I hope you had some nice holidays.

@cgeek: I tried to read into the Geconomicus rules paper during the holidays, but as I indicated before, my french isn’t very good and it’s not easy to get some sense from a google translated document… so I didn’t grasp all too much, except that money is visualized by different colored cards (wich differ in “money value” by factor 2?) and the difference in playing a free vs. dept currency is, that in dept money, the banker decides when additional money is created. I didn’t however understand what players in this game use money for: there are “value cards” (pencils, guitars, cars, …), but how are they used in the game?

Additionally, I’d appreciate if you could tell us something about your experiences when playing this game. Especially about the bahaviour of players in free vs. dept money games.

Creating an account is not that easy and takes time. Still, we will have tools to dected suspicious accounts allowing us to reject them or ban them from the system.

I still can’t get the idea why it’s hard in your eyes to create an account. ATM at least, it isn’t. How exactly should verification be processed in a future-coming go-live version of a UCoin currency? Must I only verify people I know in person? Must I have seen any identification document? Does a drivers license do? student ID? Or must I know the person at least 5 years?

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I prefer to let @vit, @kimamila or @Galuel answer you about Geconomicus rules and results, they are the specialists out here :smile:

Yes MetaBrouzouf currency isn’t constraining at all. Still, you have to consider that the certification process will be a long time process, or should I say a human time process.

So certifying someone will be costly for a certifier, because:

  • he will have a finite stock of certifications
  • he can make only 1 certification a week

These constraints, added to the distance rule, avoid sybil cancer. To sump up, these rules are just technical rules avoiding massive automated cheating.

Still, we shouldn’t forget about people who will organize themselves to create fake identities (at a human time scale though, since massive automated sybill attacks won’t work). We consider uCoin protocol shouldn’t care that much about them, and let the detection and ban tasks to humans directly.

For example, humans may create public websites displaying a list of potential cheaters according to blockchain analysis (should I recall that the blockchain is public, so anyone can check who certified who and when). This analysis could also be linked to a public place where people publish informations about their identity (why not State informations if they agree to do so) to strengthen the possible trust in their unique & living identity.

Maybe this is a mistake to think this way, I don’t know yet. All I try to make is a flying prototype. Maybe this won’t ever fly! But maybe some people will learn about our mistakes and makes something that will actually fly.

Grant me the benefit of doubt :slight_smile:

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how many certifications at max?
1 week could be little bit too less if we are in the starting phase
that means at max we could double every three weeks.
but of course it depends also on how many members are in the starting web of trust and how many of them take part actively in certifying people.

just to think about, we could also give en economical incentive:
for example if one wants to make more certifications in one week he has to pay the Universal Dividend of 7 Days.
This would encourage that people who did not verify take part in verification.

I think it is very hard to choose the right parameters from the beginning.

But then I could ask somebody who wants a second account the sum of UD 7 so that I can certify the sybil. Kind of a certification black market…

However I agree with you that we have to define good parameters from the start. We had an interesting discussion (in French) about this here: Validation identitaire - #43 by Shinra

I think @cgeek idea of having a public page analysing the blockchain in specific ways is also interesting. However I don’t see how we could ban cheaters other than refusing to certify them (but they could then get certified by other less scrupulous individuals)?
Other banning techniques introduce again the problem of centralisation. If we don’t want anybody “controlling” the people entering the system, we cannot have anybody controlling the exit either. Because then we would again have a currency controlled by individuals who have the power to ban others.

I think there could be some sort of computer-calculated “risk of cheating indicator” that people can be aware of when making transactions with others. However power is now in the hands of the algorithm… Because sellers could now refuse to sell to individuals having been identified by the algorithm as “high risk”.

What do you think?