Humanode, the startup behind an eponymous blockchain platform based on ‘proof of existence’ staking, has closed a $2 million seed funding round led by Republic Capital.
The project first came to light last summer, when it was revealed that FaceTec, one of the biggest names in face-based identity verification, would play a critical role in the unique blockchain platform.
Because blockchain platforms are essentially decentralized databases of information, they are supported by numerous nodes, each of which contains a copy of the full database that can be corroborated against the others. Some, like Bitcoin, entice end users to participate in the network through a ‘proof of work’ model in which a user’s computer helps to process algorithms that unlock cryptocurrency as a kind of reward for supporting the network. Others use a ‘proof of stake’ model in which they invest their own cryptocurrency and essentially receive a kind of interest payment for helping to validate blockchain transactions.
One problem with both of these approaches is that they open the door to large-scale mining and staking efforts that can become outsized players in a given network. Humanode is seeking to resolve this issue with a ‘Proof of Existence’ and ‘Proof of Uniqueness’ model in which each node is verified to belong to a single user using biometric technology – a system that can help to ensure democratic governance on the blockchain while preventing ‘sybil attacks’ in which a single entity uses multiple accounts to manipulate blockchain transactions.
FaceTec’s technology is essential to this approach. Using three-dimensional face mapping and biometric matching, the company’s solution allows end users on the Humanode blockchain to confirm their unique identities, without the need to share personal information.
Humanode says it received 11,000 applications to participate in its first testnet, which got 500 validator nodes up and running last year. A public beta was launched in late December, bringing the total number of unique blockchain validators to 1,650 as of February 10, 2022.
Going forward, the $2 million in seed funding will help Humanode to prepare for the launch of its mainnet in mid-2022.
In addition to Republic Capital’s investment, the funding round featured contributions from other notable names, including Blizzard’s Avalanche ecosystem fund, Tribe Capital, GravityX Capital, Wintermute, Shima Capital, Genblock, AU21, StaFi, and Polygon co-founders Jaynti Kanani and Sandeep Nailwal.
February 11, 2022 – by Alex Perala