Gitcoin logo
Our Blog

Anti-Bot Solutions for Crypto and Web3: Why Gitcoin Passport is the Ultimate Choice

On this page

The cryptocurrency industry is burgeoning at an unprecedented rate. Yet, with this growth come serious challenges, including an upsurge in bot attacks that threaten the security and integrity of crypto platforms and their users. From market manipulation to fraudulent transactions, bot attacks can wreak havoc in multiple ways. This underscores the critical need for advanced anti-bot solutions in safeguarding digital assets and ensuring a smooth user experience. This comprehensive guide delves deep into the types of anti-bot technologies available. It makes a compelling case for why Gitcoin Passport is your go-to anti-bot solution for crypto and Web3 platforms.

Types of Anti-Bot Technology for Cryptocurrency Platforms

One of blockchain technology's biggest promises and paradoxes is that it allows deeper connections between members of online collectives at scale while also protecting user privacy. Genuine community control over platforms and online communities through onchain voting and communally governed funds are now possible. However, many emerging applications assume that every participant is who they say they are and is acting in good faith. To address this challenge, various projects are exploring using identity verification mechanisms on the blockchain. These mechanisms establish trust and ensure that participants are authentic and accountable for their actions. 

Anti-bot solutions for cryptocurrency platforms typically encompass the following:

  1. CAPTCHA and other anti-bot verifications: A reverse Turing test, CAPTCHA, a "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart," is widely used to elicit proof from humans that they are not bots by having to solve basic challenges. It is worth mentioning that although reverse Turing tests can help prevent automated and bot attacks, they do not effectively address attacks generated by humans. In such cases, an individual may pass the test multiple times and create multiple identities.
  2. Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security to ensure that people trying to access an online account are who they say they are. It combines something you know (like a password) with something you have (like a mobile device) or something you are (like a fingerprint or face scan). 2FA primarily focuses on authenticating individual users but doesn't inherently prevent an attacker from creating multiple identities using different authentication factors for each. Determined attackers might employ social engineering or other methods to convince individuals to use 2FA for multiple pseudonymous identities, effectively bypassing its intended purpose.
  3. Behavioral analysis: This technique leverages patterns, characteristics, and anomalies in how users interact with a system, application, or website (mouse movements, typing speed, navigation sequences, and session duration). Anomalies may include rapid or repetitive actions that are unlikely to be performed by a human. However, advanced bots can simulate human behavior to a certain extent, making it challenging for behavioral analysis systems to distinguish them from genuine users.
  4. IP whitelisting/blacklisting: Security systems identify IP addresses associated with known malicious activities, such as hacking attempts, spamming, or other cyber threats. These IPs are added to a blacklist and blocked from incoming connections. However, attackers can use various techniques to change their IP addresses. IP whitelisting, on the other hand, allows access only to specific, approved IP addresses or ranges. However, IP whitelisting can be restrictive and cumbersome in dynamic environments or with a large user base.
  5. Rate limiting: Rate limiting is a widely used and effective anti-bot mechanism that helps protect systems and applications from abusive behavior, including those initiated by bots. It involves restricting the number of requests or actions a user or entity can perform within a defined period. However, carefully considering user experience and potential false positives is necessary to optimize its effectiveness and minimize any negative impact on legitimate users. While rate limiting is essential to security measures, it should be supplemented with appropriate identity verification methods to establish and maintain unique digital identities.
  6. Intersectional approaches for unique digital identity: In pseudonym parties, authentication is based on physical presence at a specific location and time. Attendees will register their presence by scanning each other's QR codes generating an anonymous credential or token. A Web of Trust involves identity certificates other users can sign to declare their validity and provide Proof of Personhood. This method can be combined with a Token Curated Registry, where users can vouch for each other with a financial stake. Vouching deposits serve as a bounty to incentivize the maintenance of the registry and identify false positives.

These methods, while useful, have their limitations when pitted against bots equipped with machine learning and AI capabilities. How can we build and verify digital reputation without sacrificing user privacy?

The Gitcoin Passport Advantage: Uniting the Best Proof of Humanity Solutions in Crypto

Gitcoin Passport is a flexible, easy-to-use developer toolkit for protecting projects against bots and bad actors. It helps users build robust online reputations and enables project leaders to create trustworthy digital experiences that keep out bots and Sybil attackers. Unlike traditional measures, it offers a comprehensive solution that amalgamates the best features, providing bot-free, privacy-preserving spaces for communities, apps, and DAOs in the web3 ecosystem.

We created Passport for Gitcoin's own needs: to defend Gitcoin's Grants program from Sybil attacks so that only real people can help decide which projects receive funds from a shared matching pool. We have learned from defending the Gitcoin Grants program that Sybil defense is complicated and resource intensive. Yet it is essential for any web3 project that hopes to have longevity because users will not stick around if your project is filled with scammers. As we developed years of in-house expertise in Sybil defense, we saw a responsibility to help other web3 projects protect their communities from bots and bad actors. We decided to turn Passport into its product because we believe that private identity verification is a public good.

A system must fulfill two requirements within its domain to achieve a Sybil-resistant consensus for human identification. Firstly, it must ensure that every identity is unique, meaning no two people should have the same identifier. Secondly, it should ensure that each person can only obtain a singular identifier, preventing them from obtaining multiple identifiers. Stamps serve as the foundation for identity verification in Gitcoin Passport. They consist of verifiable credentials collected from identity providers and stored in a Passport. Various web2 and web3 identity authenticators provide these stamps, including Guild, Civic, BrightID, ENS, and Proof of Humanity. The Passport system aggregates stamps and assigns weights based on their cost of forgery and ability to signal unique humanity. These weights are instrumental in calculating the forgery cost of an identity, resulting in a credibility score for potential participants' online identities.

With dozens of identity providers using Passport to protect their communities, Passport is on track to become the world's leading, open-source identity verification protocol.

Why Choose Gitcoin Passport as Your Anti-Bot Provider?

Choosing the right anti-bot solution is critical for your platform's overall success and security. Gitcoin Passport offers:

  • Ease of Integration: Passport has an easy-to-integrate API with a battle-tested scoring algorithm. Using the Scorer API, it takes only a few lines of code to give your project Gitcoin Grants-grade Sybil Protection. The ease of integration enabled ShapeShift DAO to implement its OP Rewards Program using Gitcoin Passport as its anti-sybil tool, ensuring equity in distributing incentives to its users. 
  • Comprehensive Defense: Passport is a meta-aggregator of identity solutions, including BrightID, Proof of Humanity, Civic, and more. This allows communities to select the combination of defense tools that work best for their needs while improving defense solution efficacy. While setting up a vote on Snapshot, an offchain voting platform, admins can now specify a combination of Passport Stamps to validate before allowing the user to register their vote.
  • Developer Flexibility: Passport allows integrators to opt into default scoring mechanisms that Gitcoin is continuously working to improve or they can design their scoring algorithm to their unique requirements. By requiring two stamps alone for users to claim a badge after the successful lesson completion, the Bankless Academy saw a fivefold increase in the average Gitcoin Passport score of participants achieving Bankless rewards. There is also an opportunity to build a custom stamp-weighing system for the best results as part of the next steps. 
  • Gitcoin-Grade Protection: Irrespective of their size, projects and communities can now benefit from years of institutional experience safeguarding the Gitcoin Grants program. When the Goerli testnet faced challenges with the scarcity of testnet Ether (GoETH) due to malicious bots, PoWFaucet implemented Gitcoin Passport and Scorer API to protect testnet funds and enhance the legitimacy of users by using Passport score to calculate a reward boost factor.
  • Onchain Stamps: With interoperable onchain attestations, projects can select relevant attestations for Sybil resistance and authorizations, advancing the vision of a more interconnected and secure digital identity landscape. Bringing Gitcoin Passport Stamps to OP Mainnet lays the groundwork for scaling onchain identity and governance. It has the potential to enhance the capabilities of the Citizens' House governance, a key component of Optimism's ecosystem, by contributing attestations as an experiment to build inclusive and open identity primitives that any application across the Superchain and beyond can use. 
  • Resource Optimization: Integration with Passport significantly decreases the manual workload for identifying Sybils. The seamless integration with Gitcoin Passport saved time, resources and the manual workload for the CyberConnect team, allowing it to focus more on targeted gaps in fortifying reward distribution in their loyalty program.
  • Web3 Sybil Defense Flywheel: When communities gate their projects with this defense, and more users create their Passport, they collectively help build the decentralized "Web3 Sybil Defense Flywheel", making Passport faster and more reliable. 

Conclusion

At Gitcoin, we believe that digital identity is a public good.  To coordinate and scale an open internet, we need tools that enable successful and trustworthy collective decision-making–without worrying about bots and bad actors extracting from our communities. We know that a decentralized identity is not a silver bullet. Sybil resistance is one of several governance and community design elements that ensure a community’s safety. Whether members vote on a key piece of governance or verify wallet addresses for compensation distribution, we must create systems that bad actors can’t manipulate.

In a world fraught with digital threats, crypto and Web3 platforms need an anti-bot solution as agile and sophisticated as the bots themselves. Gitcoin Passport is a comprehensive, advanced anti-bot solution that protects Web3 communities, apps, and DAOs. It is specifically engineered to provide all stakeholders a robust, secure, and user-friendly environment.

If you want to safeguard your platform seamlessly, it's time to consider Gitcoin Passport.

Click here to discover how Gitcoin Passport can fortify your digital fortress.

Use Gitcoin Grants Stack to run your own funding program

Read more
Featured Posts

Gitcoin Grants 20: Results & Recap

Announcing the Aave & GHO Ecosystem Advancement QF Round

Announcing: Gitcoin Grants 20

loading
loading