Kusama’s official Twitter handle on Wednesday, December 1st, announced that the proposal to become Encointer a common good parachain on Kusama had been passed by the Kusama Council and now requires a public referendum to achieve this. The announcement reads:
After passing council, the @encointer common good parachain proposal has gone to public referendum! The proposal aims to register @encointer's unique identity system chain as a common good parachain on Kusama. https://t.co/ci51wGOC9x
— kusama (@kusamanetwork) December 1, 2021
What is Encointer?
Encointer is a substrate-based parachain that is working on a unique idea called universal basic income (UBI). While all other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to date are global units of value, Encointer enables local community currencies. The project describes itself as “an ecological, egalitarian, and private cryptocurrency and digital personhood system.”
Encointer is a unique identity system that enables every human to maintain a unique proof of personhood (PoP) through pseudonym key-signing parties or meetups. These PoP identities are given to the attendees of Encointer key signing meetups that require physical presence at meetups. One person can only maintain one PoP identity because meetups are designed to make it impossible to attend two meetups physically as they happen in different places concurrently.
The holders of these PoP identities can create a local community and their own currency. Members of this community can then use this newly created currency among themselves. Watch this video to see how it works.
How is it Good for Kusama?
According to Kusama, “Encointer enables a form of online democracy— on a local to global scale —” as one person can only have one proof-of-personhood (PoP) identity. This means this one person can have only one vote.
Kusama is governed by free-market capitalism where the person holding more coins has more voting power. According to a blog post presenting the case for a common good parachain, this typical governance is a good governance design but some applications require democratic governance, where every human should have one vote.
This is where Encointer’s PoP identities come into play. Furthermore, Encointer also offers a strong defense against Sybil attacks. Once a parachain on Polkadot and Kusama, other parachain can Polkadot’s XCMP to benefit from Encointer Sybil defense and PoP for their token airdrops or faucets.
What are Common Good Parachains?
Common good parachains are parachain slots reserved for functionality that benefits the ecosystem as a whole. They are not allocated via the parachain auction process but by the on-chain governance system. Their lease doesn’t expire as they are only removed via governance.