To Eliminate Bots and AIs, New Ethereum-Based Solution Introduced – “Bot or Not Protocol”
Anyone that has ever logged into a secure website has probably come across a bot or AI in the form of a CAPTCHA. A CAPTCHA is a “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,” but some of these protocols make the sign in process impossible for human user. There is so much time spent for people that want to prove that they are the human signing into a website, whether it includes checking a box, sifting through blurry images, or deciphering a mixed group of letters.
Most users find the CAPTCHA irritating and bothersome, to say the least. However, these protocols are cumbersome for the companies as well, considering that it is difficult for them to figure out how many of their advertisements are actually seen by human users. Datawallet’s CEO, Serafin Lion Engel, said that,
“37 percent of all the impressions that companies pay for on advertising networks are fraudulent impressions.”
Datawallet is one of the creators of the new “Bot or Not protocol,” helping to reduce the number of bots on ad networks. The other participating company is Enigma, which is a startup that primarily works to keep privacy for users with blockchain smart contracts. The partnership started in August, which was meant to coincide with the launch of the smart contract protocol on Enigma. However, the launch has been moved back.
So far, Datawallet has not actually launched their own platform, but Engel said that their goal is to set it up in the fourth quarter. While they wait for the launch, the Bot or Not service enters the testing phase. Engel commented that they would pilot this as a “sandbox” over the next few months, while the full version could be ready by the spring.
Once launched, Datawallet’s new “self-sovereign wallet” provides multiple ways to own and monetize data. The current plan involves the use of Ethereum as users sell various forms of data to advertisers. The key to security on this exchange is the use of public-private keys, which is a well-known cryptographic technique. The hashes of the data will go through the blockchain, and payment will be issued to the corresponding wallets in the form of Datawallet’s crypto tokens. These tokens already were sold originally in an ICO in February that accrued $40 million.
The big issue that Datawallet and Engel seemed to have with the bot nets is how they tend to produce “very un-human data creation patterns.” Further explaining, he said,
“The only thing which you cannot fake is the person’s historic and real-time data creation… they will go and like 200 soccer player pics.”
Enigma also held their ICO last year, bringing in $45 million that will be supporting the privacy protocols to eliminate CAPTCHAs. Co-founder and CPO Can Kisagun commented,
“Bot or Not is a major step towards preventing ad fraud and Sybil attacks, both of which are important and complex problems plaguing our online world. A Sybil attack typically uses bot nets that will destroy websites, halt services, and overwhelm the servers they run on.”
Kisagun continued, saying,
“Decentralized technologies can be an answer for identity, but only if data privacy can be maintained. This is where we believe Enigma’s protocol can be the difference-maker.”
Still, according to Engel, there is still a concern about how scalable this protocol is.
While speaking with CoinDesk, Engel noted,
“By the end of Q1, we’re looking to have roughly half a million monthly active users in the U.S.”
When the topic of adoption came up, he noted that the companies would prefer to be “chain-agnostic.” In an effort to wrap up the conversation, he summarized,
“We’re building the initial version on Ethereum. Let’s just leave it at that.”