Hoping to entice users to enroll in a palm-scanning, proof-of-personhood program, biometrics developer HumanCode AI and The Open Network (TON) Society—the community of developers building the TON ecosystem—are launching a one million Toncoin incentive program worth around $5 million, the groups said during the Hong Kong Web3 Festival on Monday.

Focused on hand scans rather than the eye scans preferred by WorldCoin, the HumanCode project promises reliable identity verification while maintaining user privacy, combatting bots via a blockchain-enabled identification and authentication system.

“In just a few seconds, the technology can prove that a user is a human with a quick scan of their palm while fully maintaining the individual’s physical anonymity,” TON Society said.


The scanner, HumanCode said, can be used with any browser, camera, and skin tone.

According to TON Society, community members who connect their TON wallet and complete the palm scan using a smartphone to verify their personhood on the TON Society website are eligible for the incentive program.

Co-founded by Dr. Dong Zhang in October 2022, Singapore-based HumanCode AI claims to have over 900 million monthly active users.

“I spent many years working with the leading technology companies in the world, creating bots for search engines and social platforms,” Zhang said in a statement. “Now, we have reached a stage where bots present a significant risk to the web.


Solutions are in great demand for proof-of-human [tools].” he continued. “While other proof-of-human solutions exist, HumanCode’s palm system offers greater user privacy protection and does not require specific hardware.”

HumanCode and TON Society did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

Identify verification has become a cottage industry, thanks in part to a proliferation of AI-generated deepfakes in the last year. But while scams using generative AI have taken the spotlight in recent years, online scams using bots and social engineering have long been a top concern for cybersecurity experts.

Others in the blockchain industry working on biometric identification tools include Sam Altman’s Worldcoin and its controversial eye-scanning orbs. In May, Worldcoin announced the raise of $115 million in series C funding. In March, in a bid to be more transparent, Worldcoin said that it is open-sourcing “core components” of its Orb technology.

Originally developed by the team behind the Telegram messaging app, The Open Network project was abandoned in 2020. However, a group of developers who remained active in the community revived the project in May 2021, with the TON Foundation taking over the project.

In March, the Telegram game Notcoin announced it would give out $400,000 in Toncoin ahead of this upcoming April 20th airdrop. That same month, Toncoin hit a two-year high on news that Telegram may go public.

Currently, the Open Network native token, Toncoin, is $6.26 per coin, up more than 18% for the week, according to Coingecko, as the rest of the crypto market surges ahead of the Bitcoin halving later this month.

“A scalable, private, and decentralized identity will help to onboard the first one billion users to the Web3 ecosystem in Telegram," TON Foundation Director of Growth, Ekin Tuna, said in a statement. "We look forward to going further and seeing what exciting use cases it will unlock for the community and TON developers alike.”


Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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