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Soulbound token – the future or a tool of totalitarianism?

Vitalik Buterin – Soulbound token. A review by a Bitcoin mixer: mixer.money
Soulbound token – the future or a tool of totalitarianism?

  1. A personal crypto wallet token
  2. How SBTs will end up in the owner’s wallet
  3. The dangers of a decentralized society
  4. Комментарии Бутерина

Vitalik Buterin has once again stirred up society with a new idea. He co-authored an article about a decentralized society where all data is stored in a personal crypto wallet and is a non-tradable asset: Soulbound token.

A personal crypto wallet token

These tokens have been dubbed “Soulbound” (SBT).

“Imagine a world where most participants have Souls [digital wallets] that store SBTs corresponding to a series of affiliations, memberships, and credentials,” the authors write, suggesting that their idea for SBTs might resemble something like a Web3-based summary.

The data would presumably include information about education, accomplishments and awards, employment, etc. Soulbound tokens differ from NFTs in that they are not traded; they are personal tokens.

How Soulbound token will end up in the owner’s wallet

Soulbound must be issued by organizations; for example, the university may record the details of education received. According to Buterin, SBT should serve not as proof of a traded asset, but as “proof of achievement.”

The dangers of a decentralized society

This proposal is fraught with dangers related to the independence of the record from the wallet owner. If someone records data of unreliability, the citizen of an authoritarian state will suffer. A similar idea was voiced in China about creating a “social credit system” that would supposedly punish citizens for demonstrating bad ideological behavior.

Transparent SBT. A review by a Bitcoin mixer: mixer.money

A society built on SBT could even indirectly reinforce discrimination. According to the authors, an SBT database could become a marker to “automate red-lining of disfavored social groups or even target them for cyber or physical attack, enforce restrictive migration policies, or make predatory loans.”

For this reason, Buterin and his co-authors believe that individuals may need the ability to “burn” or hide their Soulbound tokens from the public, choosing to disclose them only when necessary.

Buterin’s comments

Buterin himself said in an interview that there was a lot of discussion on this topic and a lot of people misunderstood the concept. He saw an interesting dynamic: people tend to present the debate as two ready-made solutions. He believes, however, that the idea needs to be looked at from all angles, with attempts to solve problems to be made before the problem as such even materializes.

“I think there’s always many, much more than two options. And in the soulbound tokens discussion, people imagined into existence this thing called soulbound tokens, even though soulbound tokens is not a thing. It’s just a collection of ideas in a PDF document.”


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