At Gitcoin, we believe that digital identity is a public good. To coordinate and scale an open internet, we need tools that will enable successful and trustworthy collective decision-making–without worrying about bots and bad actors extracting from our communities. One of the biggest promises and paradoxes of blockchain technology is that it allows deeper connections between members of online collectives at scale while also protecting user privacy. Genuine community control over platforms and…
At Gitcoin, we believe that digital identity is a public good. To coordinate and scale an open internet, we need tools that will enable successful and trustworthy collective decision-making–without worrying about bots and bad actors extracting from our communities.
One of the biggest promises and paradoxes of blockchain technology 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 an on-chain 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.
How can we build and verify digital reputation without sacrificing user privacy?
The Gitcoin community has built a tool to do just that: Gitcoin Passport, your citizenship pass for the decentralized internet.
Passport is a decentralized identifier (DID). DIDs allow anyone to own, manage and verify their digital identity without relying on a centralized database.
As a Passport holder, you can collect “stamps” from different authenticators around web2 and web3, such as Bright ID and Proof of Humanity, that act as credentials for your Passport. By collecting your stamps in one place, Passport verifies your identity and builds trust across multiple platforms without sharing your private information.
Validate your online identity without sharing your private information:
Integrating Passport, an online community, lays foundational infrastructure to support meaningful (and secure relationships) between members.
A community can verify a participant’s credentials with a customizable algorithm that weights different stamps based on the community’s entry criteria–essentially allowing communities to create a customizable “entry visa” with their participation requirements.
This functionality allows community managers to verify a participant’s online experience and membership in different communities, making it easier to vet new applicants and ensure secure interactions among existing members. It also protects their community from bad actors and bots who want to game the system, allowing the Passport holder to have complete autonomy over what information the community can verify.
Developers can easily integrate Passport’s identity verification functionality into their apps with just a few lines of code via the Gitcoin Passport API. Better yet, integration is possible on any blockchain. Check out Passport’s SDK for all you need to know.
There are many communities already integrating Passport to verify user and participant identity. Learn more on our Passport integration and get your community featured.
A stand-out integration case is Gitcoin Grants Round 15.
Gitcoin Grants are the largest community-driven funding source in web3. With over 35,000 donors creating Passports and adding stamps, we streamlined our identity authentication process, greatly limited Sybil activity, and ensured fair distribution of matching funds for Gitcoin Grants Round 15.
The key to making this a success was our Trust Bonus Score function. Any donor that proved their identity with Passport and had a score of 150% or more was able to increase the impact of their donation with a 1.5x bonus from our matching pool funds.
Another critical piece to Passport’s success with Gitcoin Grants was user agency: participants owned their identity data, not a third-party middleman, and they shared it through a smart contract instead of opaque terms of service. Passport’s scoring algorithm and verifiable credentials allowed Gitcoin Grants to check someone’s identity without ever having to view their personally identifiable information.
We know that a decentralized identity is not a silver bullet. Sybil resistance is one of several governance and community design elements that ensures a community’s safety. Careful consideration of checks and balances in decision-making processes and more intangible aspects of a community’s vibes play an equally crucial role in creating a culture of trust beyond the onboarding process.
However, Sybil resistance is key to ensuring the processes that boost accountability and build trust. Whether members are voting on a key piece of governance or verifying wallet addresses for compensation distribution, we must create systems that bad actors can’t manipulate.
As champions of a free and open internet, we must prioritize building and adopting technologies that:
Further, by building our protocol open source, we’re contributing to a future where decentralized ID software architecture is transparent and available as a public good to the entire web3 ecosystem.
Open-source principles are critical to our development process at Gitcoin, and our identity solution is no different. Despite our initial wins, we know our protocol is still a work in progress, and we want more people to be able to take advantage of benefits like Trust Bonus. We also want to explore new use cases for Passport beyond Sybil resistance. That’s why we’re taking an iterative, community-first approach to develop Passport, to ensure that communities across the open web can trust it as a leading decentralized identity solution.
Through the Passport Partner Program, we’re actively inviting early integrators to directly influence our roadmap. As an early adopter, you will have the chance to help us build a web3-native identity protocol tailored to your community’s needs; you will also have access to our expert engineering team with years of experience implementing Sybil defense in Gitcoin Grants rounds.
Help people take back ownership of their digital identities, integrate Passport, and develop alongside us today.
Are you an identity provider interested in helping secure the open web? You can use our SDK to add your platform as a Passport stamp, so when a Passport user authenticates with your service, they’ll be issued a verifiable credential that helps increase the legitimacy of their decentralized ID. We’re also working to allow communities to issue their own verifiable credentials to verify membership and participation in digital experiences.
Bullish on decentralized identity and want to establish yourself as a leader in privacy and Sybil resistance? We invite you to be an early adopter of our SDK and implement our DID into your platform! Using our identity protocol is permissionless – anyone can do it.
Our team (and a growing open-source developer community) is only a Discord message away in our #passport-builders channel on the Gitcoin Discord server. You can also contact us in our Telegram Group and send us a DM on Twitter.