Fight the claimer bots

We already have a pretty good Sybil resistance against duplicate accounts with the face verification. But one thing we don’t really have good resistance against: bots that automate the claim every day.

An idea discussed early on in the project was that the daily claim is a form of “proof-of-need”. We want to allow anyone to claim, but with the assumption that the daily claim requirement would discourage people without a need to come back daily. It’s my assumption that anyone who can afford a bot and can spare the time enough to set one up probably don’t have the “need” for UBI. Such bots also do a disproportionate damage to the system, by being way more effective at draining the reserve than any normal human.

My proposal is simple: Add a captcha requirement before claiming. It doesn’t have to be a daily requirements, it could be a requirement that is added every 7 days for example. This way a daily claimer would only have to do the captcha one per week, and an infrequent claimer not often at all.

The problem would be that a captcha requirement can only be enforced in-app. It’s very hard to enforce (I assume) for CLI-based requests (which is what the bots use). But what we could do with those is simply filter them out and apply post-claim rules. For example, if a user makes more than 6 consecutive CLI requests then they get de-whitelisted. Or something else less drastic, perhaps they get put on a gray list which would make them unable to claim again until they’ve done an in-app claim which would whitelist them again.

If we were to hypothetically assume that the bots make up 20% of claims, then if we stopped them it would mean that a daily claim could go from 60 to 75 value for everyone else. (Disclaimer: I have no idea about how many bots there are. But I’m sure you clever guys could analyze and estimate the number.)

Anyways. Just a thought. I’m bored on a long flight home after seeing my fave GoodDollar peeps in person, and so naturally my head start spinning in that direction again.


I should add that it’s long been my personal opinion that the daily claim requirement is a little too frequent. I always thought a week would be more appropriate. So guess what, I’m proposing a week as the captcha requirement.

An added benefit of this proposal is that now devs wouldn’t have to feel bad about building the bots in the first place. They could even offer it as a legitimate service. “Claim on Mondays by yourself and then we can handle the Tue-Sunday claims for you, for a fee”.

Or the core team could offer it as a “premium service“ for anyone who sells stuff on the marketplace. For example.

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I don’t know if there are bots or not in the daily claim of the G$ but to improve the activity and in order to avoid them, it seems to me a very good idea to install a captcha in the claim process.