Encointer Common Good Parachain Manifesto
Encointer aims to become a common-good parachain on both Polkadot and Kusama. This manifesto shall make a case for granting Encointer the privilege of a system-parachain slot.
Why is Encointer a Common Good?
As a not-for-profit endeavor, Encointer does not fit the Polkadot parachain crowdloan model. Parachain crowdloans rely on DOT holders to lend their DOT. They do so for a financial incentive exceeding their opportunity costs for disclaiming their right to stake DOT on the relay chain. Encointer cannot offer such an incentive as there is no revenue model and if there were one it would inevitably conflict with Encointer's goal to reduce inequality globally.
We believe an Encointer parachain is of common interest to the Polkadot ecosystem because it offers a sybil defense mechanism and a basis for democracy.
Value Proposition: Sybil Defense
Encointer is a unique identity system and solves one of Vitalik Buterin's hard problems in cryptocurrency. The Encointer protocol (whitepaper) enables every human to maintain a unique proof of personhood (uPoP) through pseudonym key-signing parties.
Among its contenders (Idena, BridghtId, Trustlines, CirlesUBI), Encointer claims to have the most secure sybil defense mechanism. It requires physical participation at concurrent key signing meetups with randomized participants in randomized locations within a limited region in regular intervals. If the majority of a community is honest, there can be no sybils. Other projects use social graph approaches or randomized bilateral video chats which may be less involved and more inclusive - but also less secure.
Encointer also goes to great lengths to protect your privacy - which is even more important if you can only maintain one single unique identity.
Polkadot is governed by free-market capitalism. Who has more coin has more say, or: who has more to loose has more say. For many financial applications this might be a sound governance design. But there are other applications where we require democratic governance, where every human should have one vote. Such applications are:
- Self-sovereign identiy
- Reputation systems
- Decision making on off-chain matters, not represented by on-chain token holdings
- Global commons governance (human rights, fighting climate change, nuclear disarmament, AI and bioengineering regulations. (See GloCo)
Encointer enables online democracy - on a local to global scale.
Encointer itself leverages its uPoP sybil defense for issuing a universal basic income to every human. Other platforms may want to use uPoP for their token airdrops or faucets.
Native Token and Fees
As a common good parachain, Encointer does not seek to have its own native token.
Encointer will use DOT/KSM as its native token. Transaction fees will be charged in DOT/KSM and will be collected in Encointer's treasury to be spent on infrastructure maintenance and protocol improvements. Encointer will take measures to adjust fees to mitigate the volatility of DOTs and ensure inclusion of the global south.
The Encointer parachain will feature a similar governance design like Polkadot. However, decision making will be based on democratic voting instead of coin voting. Every person participating in Encointer ceremonies regularly will have one vote to elect council members or vote on referenda.
During an initial phase, the Swiss Encointer Association will define the set of trusted communities whose members will be allowed to vote with equal power. Over time, an unpermissioned web-of-trust will evolve based on inter-community attestations and trade.
Any third party application can register an application token on our parachain. Encointer ensures that every human can only claim a single account for that application for a certain time period.
Parachains can use Polkadot's XCMP to benefit from Encointer sybil defense. Off-Chain applications can use the Encointer Collator API.
Polkadot and Kusama
Encointer aims to be deployed on both Polkadot and Kusama. It will synchronize the ceremony schedule on both parachains to ensure that meetups happen on both platform concurrently, ensuring compatibility of their sybil defense systems. It will also aim at bridging uPoP between the two.
Encointer aims to provide every human with a digital proof of personhood and a basic income in a local cryptocurrency. This means that every participant can maintain exactly one digital identity and that every participant gets a fixed amount of cryptocurrency per month. In contrast to other known cryptocurrencies, encointer issues local currencies, meaning that their issuance is locally bound. The currency of Benin can have a different exchange rate than that of Norway.
Encointer currencies feature nominal demurrage: All balances get devalued over time. 10 units you own today turn into 5 units within one year. Think of this devaluation like a payment to a solidarity fund that pays for the UBI. This way, Encointer can issue monthly UBI and still maintain stable money supply. Demurrage increases money velocity, which in turn fuels the local economy.
Privacy is a major focus of Encointer. The protocol leverages trusted execution environments (TEEs) to enhance the privacy of its users and also increase scalability by delegating transactions off-chain into TEEs. We use SubstraTEE for this, another Polkaproject developed by our team.