damn, you guys stole my idea I have been doing a lot of thinking lately on how to make a cryptocurrency with basic income. From what I’ve read the ideas you guys have are very similar to mine.
That being said, I think there are some weaknesses in the design as I understand it right now. I think the WoT idea is good, and it’s a good start, but I don’t think it will be sufficient.
In fact, I don’t think we can design an algorithm that makes the decision as to whether a node can join the network or not. It seems no matter how we try to design this algorithm, there will be ways of fooling it into accepting forged nodes, and it will probably not be very difficult either. All that is needed is that some corrupt members that have been accepted into the network cooperate with each other.
We want to achieve a system which provides a decent basic income, i.e. it should be sufficient to cover basic living costs, right? An account for receiving a UBI would hence be worth quite a lot, and this would create a very strong incentive for fraud. Now imagine a network of some hundred not quite honest people, who each have a legitimate account in the WoT, and who would want getting an additional, illegitimate account each. “All” they need to do is to find other equally corrupted members and to cooperate with them, “trading” signatures in a way so that all false nodes get accepted. Not “I sign your fake account and you sign mine”, that would be quite apparent, but something more sophisticated like “I sign the fake accounts of user A, B, C and D and my own fake account in turn gets signed by user E, F, G and H”, etc. It would probably be easier for a gang of fraudsters to orchestrate a trade of signatures that looks very “plausible” to the network, than it would be for an actual flesh and blood person who has a poor social network to join. I can’t imagine an algorithm that could stop such more cunning sybil attacks, and this means that in the end a significant fraction of the nodes in the network could probably be fraudulent, even under ideal conditions.
So I think we would see some kind of “race” to create as many fraudulent nodes as possible, if this basic income starts getting worth anything, and no matter what conditions you impose on the WoT the fraudsters would “push” towards these limits, making it harder for legitimate nodes to join.
Any thoughts on this?