Thoughts on Gitcoin Passport
Gitcoin Grants 18 is on the halfway. Hope you enjoy the journey of discovering interesting projects.
I would like to add some thoughts about Gitcoin Passport. I knew that some people enjoy collecting stamps and showing off scores. But it’s been always challenging for me to pass the score threshold.
“You are a robot before getting verified as a human.”
That’s how I feel about Gitcoin Passport.
Because the passport links so much information to my wallet address, I would link personal information as little as possible, for privacy, even if I knew that Gitcoin Passport has been serious about it. Every stamp verification requires a separate signing, and there is Gitcoin Security Bounty Program.
Finding the right balance between detecting robots and verifying humans is quite challenging. It’s like fighting piracy during the early days of the Internet, where digital information was almost free.
A wallet address is inherently anonymous. It’s created out of cryptography algorithms, much easier than creating an email address or so.
To make sure a wallet address as “unique” as possible (one person one wallet at best), Gitcoin Passport combines lots of information to calculate the “uniqueness.” If those information leaks, that could be “valuable” for ads targeting. But Gitcoin Passport doesn’t hold all information except for web2 accounts. Other stamps are just web3 wallet activities (already public) or third party human verification services (distributed trust).
Gitcoin Passport doesn’t directly benefits users. It raised the entrance level. It could benefit web3 service requiring some levels of anti-bot mechanism, so their users need to verify the Gitcoin Passport for using the services. Is that viable? Probably.
Ultimately it comes down to valuable applications. For example, we had free information since the early days of web1, and lots of pirated music or videos as well. Because digital information has been inherently “free” to copy and distribute. Streaming services came along and took the market back, by offering much better user experience than piracy. But it took the industry nearly two decides to reach this point.
We’ll see how web3 applications perform for our future, not just in months but years.