A Bot Tax: Scaling For the Average User

Real, human users should be able to transact for free. Unlike EOS, which rate-limits transactions at the smart-contract level, Project Oblio aims to rate-limit transactions at the user-level.

Every cryptocurrency to date has, at some point, garnished claims about the internet-of-things, machine-to-machine payments, and easy-to-use APIS for sending stores of wealth. Often, it only takes one or two lines of code to send a transaction, resulting in large amounts of automated payments between exchanges, wallets, and advanced users. However, these kinds of payments are actually a bigger problem for cryptocurrencies than one would initially expect. Because these transactions are taxed at the same rate as the occasional transaction made by a “new” or casual user, they end up clogging the network, causing increased fees, tremendous block sizes, and relatively simple and inexpensive attack vectors, such as DDOS. For this reason, you’ll often see bitcoin developers talking about “anti-spam” measures to limit these excessive automated payments from disturbing the user experiences of a newcomer. A bad user experience is a barrier to adoption, and this barrier to adoption is bad for everyone, as it ultimately harms the returns of the businesses using the network so much.


Through its one-human-one-vote protocol, Project Oblio aims to allow for reduced fees to those members who are well-identified by the network, through a “Karma” metric. More specifically, transactions are prioritized when a user is “liveness detected” – proven to be actually there, needing a transaction to be sent as quickly as possible. Although machine-to-machine payments are necessary for network function, they greatly stress the decentralized network protocol. Prioritizing transactions in this manner can allow for a better end-user experience, while still allowing businesses and other machine-to-machine payers to function. Ultimately, it encourages real user adoption.


Because so few transactions sent on networks like these are initiated by humans, it is unlikely that fees for bots will be greater than that of competing networks. As such, the bot tax is really better thought of as reduced fees for live humans, rather than any deterrent against machine-to-machine payments.


Of course there are a lot of reasons to have machine-to-machine payments, but there are better reasons to create a garden of the internet which is provably human. Namely, real discussions, real voting, and real applications for BMIs.


Most scaling protocols to date have focused on payment channels, which are themselves a great idea, and will one day be implemented on Project Oblio. But payment channels won’t be useful for one-time payments and other types of transactions an end-user may wish to make. Really, to create a decentralized network that is used by the masses, it is much more important to first solve the issue of one-human-one-vote, so that we can, among many other things, favor real-world users over anonymous bots.

Why re-distribute wealth?

Imagine a viral outbreak on a spaceship like Elysium — the ultra wealthy’s ideal future space home for the world’s 1%. If 95% of that ship are white, and it’s a contagion that affects 65% of white people (not an unreasonable number), how will the remaining 35% of people run the spaceship? If 2 out of 3 engineers on said ship are dead, how will society continue?

Biological diversity is the most valuable thing we as a species possess.  No other species possesses it to our degree, and it’s our one defense against an unknown threat: be it a viral contagion, global warming, or a meteoric invasion. That’s how life survived after dinosaurs, a biologically diverse planet found a way for life to persist. A community of diverse genes is good for everyone because those who have the lucky genes can use their good health to take care of everyone else.

Previous, small scale, studies have suggested that people of mixed race are perceived as being more attractive than non-mixed-race people. Here, it is suggested that the reason for this is the genetic process of heterosis or hybrid vigor (ie cross-bred offspring have greater genetic fitness than pure-bred offspring). A random sample of 1205 black, white, and mixed-race faces was collected. These faces were then rated for their perceived attractiveness. There was a small but highly significant effect, with mixed-race faces, on average, being perceived as more attractive. This result is seen as a perceptual demonstration of heterosis in humans-a biological process that may have implications far beyond just attractiveness.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20301855