DAOrayaki Reserach|BrightID: Proof of Digital Uniqueness

Brief Overview About BrightID

BrightID is a social identity network that allows people to prove to applications that they aren’t using multiple accounts. It solves the unique identity problem through the creation and analysis of a social graph. BrightID is a public good that exists for the benefit of humanity. It is a nonintrusive, decentralized, open-source technology seeking to reform identity verification and thus lay the groundwork for a free and democratic society.


Here is a simple, powerful idea: let’s build an open-source identity network, a social graph that does not require any personal information besides your connections to other real people. This network could be the basis for a decentralized system to probabilistically prove whether each member of the network is a real, unique human. Such a feat is possible if we use a graph analysis of our social connections, with the additional input of a limited number of trusted seed identities. The interconnectivity of the graph should reveal which members are real and which are fake (aka “Sybils”), based on their position in relation to the trusted seeds. This is exactly the goal of the project known as BrightID.

Birth of BrightID

Adam was doing research on universal basic income projects that required KYC or AML. They all asked for scanned copies of user documents. And even if they didn’t, it wasn’t so long before they were exploited by spammers and users with duplicate accounts. He wanted to create something new and more fit for the digital world. He wanted to prevent users from creating thousands of accounts and ruining the system for everybody.

A BrightID for Everybody

BrightID is a global identification system very similar to a social security number(SSN). SSN was first instituted in the forties to certify people’s qualification to receive benefits from the US government. However, it is nowadays used for things that have nothing to do with social security just because it has become a defacto unique personal identifier.

  • No one gets to create multiple accounts. All users have their own unique BrightID.


BrightID Machinery

BrightID encourages users to make connections to people they already know well. A graph is constructed of people connecting to each other. It is then analyzed by an algorithm that looks at how users and groups of users are interconnected and assigns scores to demonstrate the probability of uniqueness for each and every user. Simply put, BrightID assigns uniqueness scores to groups of users by checking a social graph.

Bright Future with BrightID

With BrightID, citizens of the world will enjoy all sorts of possibilities. The first thing they will notice is their ability to receive benefits from a lot of different philanthropic organizations in a fair way and with a fair distribution. Think of Bitcoins being fairly distributed to anyone who can prove they are a real person. Further along the way, you’ll see interesting projects that have to do with democracy and decision-making in national and global organizations.

Redeemable BrightID

If someone, by chance or intentionally, steals your BrightID, it is very simple to replace. All you have to do is reconnect with a few people that you connected with in the first place and have them attest to the fact that you are the same person with that BrightID and you can have it back. So, in case you lose your BrightID, you can have it back quickly and invalidate the one you have lost.

BrightID Mechanics

Creating and storing the social graph

The social graph contains cryptographically signed connections between people. Each user manages their own signing keys, so the ability to create connections is independent from any particular service or application. This results in a form of self-sovereign identity, since each user has ownership of their own digital identifier. The social graph itself can be used as a reference for many different services, but none of these services are in charge of the graph, nor be able to control the behavior of individual users. This architecture allows connection data within the graph to be portable and to exist on a decentralized network.

Decentralized Network

Probability of connection data is essential for creating a decentralized network of computer nodes in which each has a complete copy of the graph. Decentralization allows for a wide variety of coexisting analysis methods. It is crucial for multiple independent parties to be able to use their own analysis methods on the same connection data, both to ensure that authority ever verified identities does not fall under the control of any single entity, but also to allow the regular auditing of analysis methods by independent parties. This also fosters open innovation and improvements to existing analysis methods,


In order to make a determination about someone’s uniqueness, the graph is analyzed. There are many possible methods; different methods can be compared or aggregated. Nodes in the network are free to employ whatever analysis methods they wish.


In the methods BrightID team tried, it was found that it is useful to consider additional data in the form of seeds and groups. Seeds are preselected points in the graph from which trust flows. Groups — in the sense we use them — are small, combined efforts by connected users to help someone become verified. Groups provide richer possibilities for interconnectivity than single connections and we analyzed the graph of interconnected groups.


SybilRank, an algorithm on which part of BrightID trial software was based, was tested with the Spanish social network Tuenti. The algorithm was used to rank vertices (users) in the graph according to their likelihood of representing duplicate users (sybils). The ordered list was given to workers who manually checked and removed suspicious accounts. Having such an ordered list resulted in workers finding many more duplicates than through user reporting.

Injecting simulated attacks

One way to automatically find a threshold is to simulate different kinds of sybil attacks and inject them into the graph at various locations before running the ranking analysis. After analysis, the rankings of the simulated sybils can be compared to the new rankings of previously verified users. The threshold is set to an acceptable level of false positives and false negatives.

Combing results

Applications are free to choose the most appropriate algorithms, parameters, and threshold. Verification methods may sample results from several other verification methods (potentially running on several nodes) and combine them however they like.

Verification persistence

A user typically doesn’t lose a verification for falling below a threshold unless an important local change has also occurred — for example, being removed from a primary group or the loss of a nearby seed group.

Connection levels


Each BrightID has a signing key pair associated with it. If a user loses access to the signing private key, or the key is compromised, it can be easily replaced by reconnecting to two members of a set of trusted contacts. Having an easy recovery method makes bribery less effective: a user could simply accept a bribe and then replace their signing key, rendering the previous one useless.

Primary groups

Primary groups are an important part of being verified. A person can only be verified as a unique human if their primary group has been ranked high enough by anti-sybil algorithms. Each person chooses one primary group. Other members are notified when this happens. Over 50% of the members of the group must authorize a person’s choice of primary group. In addition, any member may mark a group as unusable as a primary group and any member may veto another member’s use of a group as a primary group.


Some social graph analysis systems have a notion of seeds, which are people who serve as centers of trust. Seeds are used by the system to differentiate between honest regions of the graph and sybil regions created by attackers to resemble honest regions. Selecting seeds is especially important during the rapid growth phase of the network when subgraphs of users may arise that are not well-connected to the main graph.

Seed Groups

When analysis is done on a graph of groups (as is the case in several of the initial systems), it makes sense for a seed to be a group of people. This allows a seed to have a continuous lifespan.


A seed group must be discoverable for two important reasons:

  • First, a BrightID user must have reliable steps they can take to become verified as a unique person. In the stage of rapid network growth, this will often include finding and making connections with members of a seed group.
  • Second, DAOs given the task to assign and revoke seed status to groups need a way to find a group and ensure that it is operating well.

Seed DAOs

Seed DAOs have the authority to designate seed groups and remove that designation. Algorithms that make use of trusted seeds can use lists of seed users published by DAOs. Multiple seed lists may be combined, it’s up to seed DAOs to prove the trustworthiness of their selection process. Seed DAOs may be eligible to receive grants from BrightID Main DAO.


A seed DAO may choose its membership and operate however it wishes. A seed DAO’s membership may include members of seed groups that it has selected. Some members of the BrightID core team created an Aragon seed DAO (called SeedDAO) on IDChain where each member has one vote on decisions to add and remove seed groups or DAO members.

Use of the graph explorer

BrightID released a tool for exploring the BrightID graph. Users can see the position of their own connections and groups in the graph.

Checking seed groups

A seed dao should periodically send a member to visit each seed group it has designated to make sure it’s still accessible and helping the nearby regions.

BrightID Main DAO

A decentralized autonomous organization (BrightID Main DAO) is used to represent the interests of humanity and the applications they use on the BrightID network. BrightID Main DAO supports BrightID-related open-source software, nodes, seeds, research, and communication.

BrightID Main DAO Budget Categories


Fund the development of:

  • Applications that allow users to make connections, manage cryptographic keys and authorize other applications.
  • The peer-to-peer protocol used by BrightID nodes.
  • Other open-source, general purpose utilities for BrightID.


Fund the research of new techniques for analyzing the social graph and users who wish to run nodes to incorporate these techniques. Award bounties for various general and security activities.

Seed Group Development

Bring remote communities into the BrightID network and fund research on seed selection processes.


Communicate with businesses, offer support, create public-facing documents including user and integration guides, host and attend events, engage in community building.

Team members

BrightID Team

  • Adam stallard — Project Lead: Adam has worked in distributed systems since 2010 and client-server architecture since 2002. BrightID is his passion.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/cadamstallard
  • David Wisner — Mobile Lead: David is a Javascript developer with 6 years of experience building web apps. He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in psychology.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/Rnb_Wd
  • Alireza Paslar — Research, Communications: Paslar does community management, research, and content creation for BrightID
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/alirezapaslar
  • Mahdi Heydari — Research, Mobile, Smart Contracts, Web Apps: Mahdi has over ten years of experience in programming. He also has years of research experience in economics and social criticism on banking and monetary systems.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/AbramSymons
  • Mohsen Khan-mohammad-zadeh — Research, Smart Contracts, Web Apps: Mohsen has years of experience as a programmer. He has been researching blockchain and smart contracts for some time and is a trusted and fluent programmer in the blockchain ecosystem.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/siftal_
  • Michael Bauer — Mobile, Smart Contract, Web Apps: Michael studied Computer Science in Germany and has +20 years of experience as a developer and project manager. He is passionate about blockchain and smart contract technology.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/TripleSpeeder
  • Dama Vara — UI Design: Dama has years of experience as a visual designer specializing in marketing and communication content. She designs BrightID mobile apps, websites, and other communication content.
  • LinkedIn Account: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damavara
  • Carlos Mesa — Research, Communications: Carlos has been working towards cryptocurrencies adoption since 2013. He does community management, research, and content creation for BrightID.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/MonoMesa
  • Mohammad Hossein Ghaznavi — Community Management: Ehsan does community management, content creation and marketing for BrightID.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/rightehsan
  • Bitsikka — Integration, Mobile/Web Apps, Community Facilitator: Bitsikka has been studying Web3 since 2016, has 8+ years of mobile/web frontend development, and has been participating in various Web3 communities actively for years. He helps with App/Community integration, documentation, and community management at BrightID.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/bitsikka
  • Mohammad Reza Yazdani — Community Growth, Content Creation: Yazdani helps the community to grow through creating content and making advertising strategies. He has over four years of experience in business development, economics, and finance.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/yazdaaniam
  • Brandon Venetta — Network Development: Just an ordinary guy trying his best to do good in this world, Father and Husband.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/brandonvenetta

Advisory Team

  • Philip Silva — Strategy, Mission: Philips helped create ZeroPoverty and the non-profit HedgeForHumanity to advance the ideas of universal sharing, crypto-UBI, and paying social dividends for all of humanity.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/UBIpromoter
  • Griff Green — DAO, Commons: Community manager for TheDAO, co-founder of the White Hat Group, Giveth, and the Commons Stack, as well as advising many other core Ethereum community projects.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/thegrifft
  • Like Duncan — DAO, Commons: Luke Duncan is an advocate for open source technologies and decentralized platforms. He co-founded 1Hive and is working to advance DAO usability and adoption on the Aragon One team.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/lkngtn
  • Auryn Macmillan — DAO, Commons: Auryn is a community builder and user researcher with a passion for open technologies. Founder of DAOhub, BD; SM at Colony, former pro basketball player, MSc Psych & Research Methods.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/auryn_macmillan
  • Ross Campbell — Legal, DAO, LAO: Ross is a Brooklyn-based attorney and programmer at OpenLaw with substantial experience developing code-based contracts and companies on Ethereum.
  • Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/r_ross_campbell


Official Website: https://www.brightid.org/

Learn More:

DAOrayaki Reserach |CurveLabs: Architecting Cybernetic Solutions for the Distributed Economy



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


DAOrayaki is a decentralized media and research organization that is autonomous by readers, researchers, and funders.