Humanode selects FaceTec biometrics and liveness to secure decentralized platform
Humanode has reached a deal to integrate FaceTec’s face biometrics and liveness detection into its ‘crypto-biometrics’ platform, and also announced a strategic partnership with startup support and finance firm Republic Crypto.
The integration and development partnership with FaceTec will provide an anchor for the chain of trust behind the digital identity. FaceTec’s 3D FaceMaps will be used to create decentralized pseudonymous identities with reliable defense against Sybil manipulation, and enable remote identity verification.
Humanode uses blockchain and a consensus mechanism based on what it calls ‘crypto-biometrics’ to work towards a goal of providing a node and a single vote for all people within a stable and just financial system. The company closed a $1 million angel funding round in June, and is attempting raise a further $2 million in a Seed round supported by Republic Crypto, which it hopes to close within the next few months. Humanode also plans a larger funding activity around June of next year.
“We are very impressed by Humanode’s approach to digital identity and look forward to working side-by-side with their team to bring some truly groundbreaking new ideas to fruition,” comments FaceTec CEO Kevin Alan Tussy.
Humanode Co-founder Victor Smirnov told Biometric Update in an email that FaceTec provides “the best anti-spoofing system.”
The blockchain company plans to launch its public test net in September, and its main net in June, 2022.
The partnership with Republic Crypto will provide strategic and technical advice for Humanode, including on use cases, partnerships, marketing and fundraising.
The advisory’s team selects a limited number of companies each year that it believes can contribute to its growing ecosystem, working with founders, sometimes for extended periods of time.
“Humanode will make Sci-Fi a reality,” states Republic Crypto Managing Director Alex Ye. “Biometric digital identities are a crucial step forward in disrupting the otherwise plutocratic governance, staking, and validation schemes today. Crypto-biometrics will undoubtedly be omnipresent far beyond just cryptocurrencies, and now with a foreseeable horizon.”
What is crypto-biometrics?
Humanode describes the genesis of its crypto-biometrics as inspired by the excessive centralization of cryptocurrencies which were supposed to usher in decentralized finance in an explanation posted to Hacker Noon.
Co-founders Dato Kavazi and Smirnov are also associated with crypto analyst Paradigm, and note that in mid-2021, 7 mining pools held control of 55 percent of the Bitcoin network, while 3 pools control 51 percent of Ethereum, in a pattern seen throughout the crypto world.
“Sybil resistance in modern Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake based consensus mechanisms is 100 percent capital based, making them plutocracies at the very core” says Kavazi.
“We coined the term crypto-biometrics to describe a biometric system connected to blockchain directly which enables the use of biometric technology in decentralized protocols: from decentralized organizations to decentralized finance,” Smirnov explains to Biometric Update. “With that we can open a lot of new use cases to the crypto industry. Users will be able to utilise blockchain-based applications without revealing their identity but proving they are the same real human beings.”
Simply encrypting biometric data, however, does not provide sufficient security if it is distributed to computers around the world. Humanode therefore uses a combination of mathematics, information security and cybersecurity techniques, Sybil resistance, biometric de-duplication and liveness detection, zero-knowledge proofs and homomorphic encryption to ensure that each person on the network has only one node and that the person is who they claim to be. The user identity is stored as homomorphic encryption on the blockchain, with the actual biometric data and encrypted 3D feature vector never leaving the user’s node, Humanode says.
Authentication to the Humanode main net is expected to require multiple biometric modalities, but the beta test net will require only live video-based face biometric matching and liveness detection.
This post was updated at 1:56pm Eastern on August 11, 2021 to clarify the details of Humanode’s fundraising plans.