April 6, 2023

Proof of Personhood: Inclusive, Fraud-Resistant Identity Verification

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Identity verification is a critical aspect of modern society. From financial transactions to social media accounts, individuals are required to prove their identity in various scenarios. However, traditional identity verification methods such as IDs and passwords have significant drawbacks, including fraud, identity theft, and exclusion of marginalized groups. The proof of personhood (PoP) mechanism offers a potential solution to these issues. 

This article explores what PoP is, how it works, and why it matters.

What is Proof of Personhood?

PoP is a mechanism that verifies a person's existence without revealing any personal identifying information. It is designed to be inclusive, meaning anyone, regardless of their location or background, can sign up for PoP. PoP is also fraud-resistant, as it uses biometric data to ensure that each person is unique and cannot be duplicated.

How Does PoP Work?

PoP relies on custom hardware devices that use biometric data to verify a person's identity. Iris biometrics are the most commonly used form of biometric data as they are highly unique, difficult to replicate, and do not reveal personal information. 

The hardware device captures an image of the person's iris and issues an AI-safe PoP credential, which is stored on a blockchain. The issuance of the credential is privacy-preserving, as no images need to be saved, and using the credential reveals no personal information as the protocol employs zero-knowledge proofs.

Why PoP Matters?

PoP offers an inclusive and fraud-resistant approach to identity verification, promoting fairness for all participants. 

Traditional identity verification methods often exclude marginalized groups such as refugees, the homeless, and individuals in developing countries. PoP allows these groups to participate in society, access services and resources, and prove their identity in a secure and private manner. 

PoP also offers a potential solution to the issue of identity theft and fraud, which is a growing problem in the digital age.

PoP has the potential to revolutionize the way we verify our identity, making it more accessible, secure, and private. As society becomes more digital, it is essential to have a reliable and trustworthy mechanism for verifying identity, and PoP offers a promising solution.