This week we dive in with Petr from Upala, a proof of personhood system that provides human uniqueness score.

How did you get into web3?

I read an article about Ethereum in May 2016 and instantly started to build my first project - Decentralized Cabbage Farm (decentralized advertising space)

Tell us about Upala ...What was the inspiration behind it?

My personal motivation is peace. I want to give people an instrument to unite and oppose bad government decisions (including war declaration).

Why does SSI matter so much?

As far as I can see in the media SSI is mostly about storing existing credentials and controlling access to those credentials. This is already awesome. We need this. But there's even more important aspect of identity - the issuer. We don't have many decentralized identity issuers right now. Governments hold monopolies on identity issuing. This causes massive trouble of course. Some governments suppress their citizens with ID, others are just not capable of even creating an identity system. 1B people in the world don't have any ID's now. Meaning they cannot access basic services - healthcare, education, banking - they cannot protect their property. Technically they cannot even own anything.

What's the relationship between Identity and privacy?

This is a tough one. In perfect world those are totally different things. So ideally they should have no relationship unless "the user" decides to "disclose". This is what we are aiming for.

What are the core competitors/alternatives to Upala?

Upala has a very unique approach : price of forgery. We don't have our own human verification methods. Upala is a protocol. It builds incentives for human verification methods to provide their "staked" human uniqueness data to DApps. Thus Upala may be viewed as a quality control and incentives layer for other identity systems. So we have only partners. Among very desirable ones are BrightID, Proof Of Humanity, Idena, Gitcoin.

What are your thoughts about the state of the Ethereum ecosystem in 20212?

To... the... mooooon!!!!.... Just kidding. What can I say? It evolves fast! But in its early days. Most people still view it as a mean of speculation. They don't understand most of the amazing stuff going on here. I usually explain flash-loans to my friends to show how far we went. But that's of course just one example. I think the best blockchain use cases are still to come. Hope to see more non-DeFi, non-NFT projects soon. The room for innovation is vast.

What triggered you to become a clr round recipient ? (a cold plunge)

Clr fund allows to earn some funds - this is already cool! Apart from that curiosity. I knew clr fund is using MACI - a very interesting concept for me. And I got attracted by the first clr fund logo (the shaving man) very much!

Why does Clr Fund need Upala? ELI5

In quadratic funding systems, bots have very clear and quantifiable incentives to attack the system. The better Sybil-resistance Clr Fund has, the more effective it's funds distribution gets.

How do you feel about the future of quadratic voting?

It depends on Sybil-resistance heavily too. We have a long way ahead.

What use cases beyond the current ETH ecosystem fundraising do you see QF being super helpful for?

Probably it could be useful outside crypto. It looks to me, that Sybil-resistance is not solved yet. So we could move into "real world" and rely on existing IDs. Then we could fund some "real world" causes (and onboard many people along the way).

If you could change one thing about the space right now, what would it be?

Pretty happy with how things are!


TYSM for joining us in conversation, Petr!