Proof of Hodl Login - Attempt at a Definition

Continuing the discussion of Proof of Hodl Login

After discussions yesterday about Proof of Hodl Login (“PHL” for short), I feel that I have to share my attempt to give a definition of PHL:

PHL is an access control model (ACM for short) that controls access to certain features (or resources, data, …) within an application. There are plenty of ACMs listed on Wikipedia/Access_control. It feels like all of them could be applied to certain apps. So, it is still for the application owner to figure out which model to apply, it is not defined by PHL.

PHL requires that the access control model is expressed through an on-chain token (Wikipedia/Cryptocurrency#Crypto_token). This brings two aspects into the ACM:

  1. an on-chain statement that a user has access to certain feature.
  2. a monetization tool for the creator of the token

As the token lives on the chain, many applications can use the token for access control as long as these application owners are prepared to obey to the rules of the token creator (token governance). Therefore, the token creator has more power than the application owner. For now, let’s assume that the token creator and the application owner are the same person/entity and there is only one application. This person can be seen as the community builder for the application/brand.

Let’s look at two possible fundamental use cases for the token:

  1. using an anonymous token for ACM, i.e. it is not possible for the application owner or other users to determine the balance for an individual user. This means that it is possible to get a feeling about how much value the group of users (could be a single whale, or 1 million individual) are prepared to lock up for this application.
  2. using a user-identifying token for ACM, i.e. everybody can see publicly how much value a single user (=human) is prepared to lock up for this application. This public statement can be seen as a representation of values that users want to share publicly. For example, I as a user want everybody to know that I have access to the $VEGAN chat app (a communication application that is made for users who are vegan). This is similar to an upvote on a social media post of the $VEGAN chat app account. The ACM could be called “Value-based Access Control”. As a user, I would not like this feature as in my daily life I only want to reveal my values that are relevant for the situation. (Revealing that I am $vegan while I am using a virtual dancing app could create unnecessary conflicts by highlighting the difference pro-vegan vs. con-vegan instead of highlighting the common values, i.e. pro-dance). Therefore, PHL with a user-identifying token must not be used by application owners that care about the users’ privacy.

Both token types gives the token creator a tool to evaluate the value of their application(s) if the token is exchanged for money or services. This connects capital with ethical values (like pro-vegan). This implies that it is now possible for capital to create ethical values in a directly linked manner (and vice versa of course). The impact of such a mechanism for the society in general should be explained here, please! If I understand correctly, the users are incentivized to express a certain ethical value publicly in exchange for a functionality of an application. Is that the next level of social media abuse where the beneficiary is the community builder who can proof success of his community building skills?

Does PHL help to build a user-owned internet? PHL gives community builders a new possibility to better own their community because they create the token. However, communities in general do not like to be owned. Maybe the token would be more accepted if the token is created in a way that everybody can mine the token.

Access control in general creates barriers. This could be harmful if applied to values that usually unites a society or communities. Hierarchies within a community (orbit model) are rarely productive (requires references!). If the PHL token is exchanged for money this could increase privileges of the rich.

Long post… and still plenty more to say. Let’s continue the discussion!


A possible business model of PHL that gives user ownership of their in-app purchases:

A token is minted whenever a token is bought for a fixed amount of stx. The amount is transferred to an account controlled by the application owner. The token gives access to some premium feature of the application. Now, when the user does not want to use the app anymore, the user can sell (for an amount less than the initial price) to another user. The application owner does not interfere in that deal.

This could be a premium member type utility where owning tokens gives you an equivalent discount on a product or service. You also have the opportunity to weigh your opinions as a vested stake holder.

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PHL token used for ACM makes me think “token enabled service” (TES). A storage or database TES app, for example, would allow other apps to be able to store some quantity of data or for some period of time. Eg. a database TES app only needs to see the other apps have a Mongo token to use it.


This is exactly what I think many founders will do. Try to make it as fair as possible.

Unclear to me that this applies only to the rich, would assume anyone can benefit in various communities, whether they are early adopters or even latecomers.

There are two ways to receive the token, either through contributing to the community/app or to give money. People who can afford to spend their money on acquiring access to communities/apps can receive this access to much more communities/apps and much easier (even without caring about the values of the community) than those people that have to spend most of their money on food, rent, …

So we should provide tools that help users to evaluate the fairness.

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A hard working, well networked, wealthy, knowledgeable person would certainly have the most optionality by the nature of their advantages. On a relative basis they can purchase more tokens, which is arguably a positive sum activity. However a hard working, well networked, nonwealthy, knowledgeable person could be quite poor but have an information asymmetry that leads them to accumulate wealth as a function of their effort and skill. I don’t expect this model to exist for only a limited time, so one could expect people of all backgrounds to be able to take advantage of this new model over the course of many years. I think this model is far from a caste system, this may even be a more equitable and universal model for capital formation. Have an information asymmetry (whether its the knowledge of the idea or the fact that you’ll work hard)? Great you may be able to leverage that with this model.

I don’t think an underlying protocol should try to solve fairness. Fairness is going to be different to different communities in different contexts.

Case in point, $sushi. Everyone was screaming “Yay fair distribution, no VCs!” early on, but a week later, “Exit scam!” … Nothing changed but the exercise of the existing “rules”.

I agree with @friedger that providing tools to understanding community economic models is key, however I do not think its a fix for human nature. Establishing and maintaining trust off chain is the only way for Community Founders to grow everyone’s wealth, long term.

BTW, great explanation @friedger


Sushi tokens are not timelocked in contrast to e.g. Stacks.

Another case of PHL that we have already are Blockstack names:
If you don’t own a name you might not have access to certain Blockstack apps. In Stacks 2.0 this will be even more true as BNS will be probably a NFT contract.

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@friedger Maybe free logins on Stack2 can be used for following approach to PHL???

(PoA)Login System(s) Design

Proof of Access
(Bottom up systems design iteration of PHL) combination of following different approaches:

  1. App Stacking
  2. BTC lock up
  3. Dada’s Invisible Economy - part 2
  4. App chain use cases

Stacks Ecosystem Platform Model -

This oversimplified systems model is one of many variations possible. The broader design encourages self similar system(s) design in the ecosystem via CBE oriented incentives for generators of value. The broader design also aims to suss out means for long term combo of on/off chain enabled self sufficiency.

(PoH)odl vs (PoA)ccess Systems Design

  • PoA aims to transfer proof of burden from users of web3-- to designers & engineers of web3— proving access has been engineered into systems built for all generators of value in web3 apps/systems.
  • Rather than conventional glass ceiling(s) after early hodl periods or slippery slopes of dangerous incentives →PoA incentivizes systems design & engineering innovation(s) to increase sustainable long term ecosystem building.
  • Access in this context is reference to built in contribution(s) spaces, in designs of the system(s) in which apps live. See this example documentation on PROsumption R+D models --This same model can also work for specific disciplines, markets or conventional niches in consumer facing apps & services.
  • Moving away from hyper user-centric product design & individual rewards → toward systems design, systems contribution incentives & CBE focused commons distribution.
  • With added advantage of new web3 freedom to create new ethical markets of unalienated value flows for web3 generators of value w/in stacks ecosystem platform.
  • Additional focus on bottom up power distribution for long term dynamics in inter-ecosystem economy building efforts.

Stacks Ecosystem PoA Login

  • This ecosystem model pictured above focuses on a proof of access (PoA) login or PHL enabled opt-in to a high value data community commons contribution.
  • Different tools already made or being made can be packaged as important nodes of value generation & circulation in a broader systems design model.
  • PoA & Collections allowing for autonomy & portability for unalienated value(s) generated by Users, Devs, & Investors alike in the ecosystem.

Appchain Toolkit

  • In this HV data model–the Stacks appchain toolkit can serve as the basic materials for generators of value. Enabling unique CBE App creation & participation. Resources growing indefinitely w/ecosystem growth & input from other nodes of Stacks ecosystem design.
  • This systems design encourages self similar systems development, highlighting unique Stacks2 qualities through designing incentives into Stacks ecosystem tools.
  • This ecosystem design can also display how to close loops of unalienated value creation for long term sustainability.
  • App chain Tools of PoX powered DAOs & MIDs (Mediators of Individual Data) can leverage decoupling strengths of bottom up organization & rate of innovation(RoI).
  • Ensuring autonomous collaboration for both users & devs when opting in to a Stacks High Value data commons.

High Value Data

  • Collections is among the first tools that when leveraged w/ CBE based HV data creation-- can provide important incentives that can amount to new CBE data economy for web3.
  • There are both conventional & innovative incentives for both inter-ecosystem coordination for system design & collaboration in the HV data commons-- HV data is worth more when collectively bargained-- and the more robust systems innovations in devs & user generators-- the more new forms of CBE HV data is created.

Public Utility Models

  • Public Utility systems templates as a Stacks ecosystem tool-- can set an important precedent for app chain models leveraging CBE data commons in the ecosystem.
  • Decision making tools being made by the stacks foundation & even moderation tools by Jenny & Russ for the ecosystem-- can aid much needed governance/management development for respective projects & systems using MIDs & DAOs.
  • Metagov/PolicyKit make for nice flexibility for decision making processes & on/off chain combos for gov’t options.

Services Creation

  • One variation of models for such public utilities approaches-- are services that leverage the newly created CBE data via modest machine learning services specializing in ethical web3 data-sets applications for further web3 app/system creation.
  • Innovations & partnerships in app systems design efforts will be key for web3/CBE data implementations-- so the usually arduous manual loop closing or pairing for sustainable app/system design becoming automated via said services-- can act as important multiplier in this ecosystem model, as this loop of circulating unalienated value(s) feeds the app/system designs loop.

Intrinsic Vs Extrinsic Value(s) Creation

DaDa Whitepaper

  • Ecosystem morphology & state can be tracked via Intrinsic value(s) contributions; abstracting away extrinsically motivated contributions from ecosystem incentives while keeping the innovative potential of local intrinsic CBE contributions.
  • Abstracting away the extrinsic incentives while still being connected to conventional markets can offer a unique autonomy & (de)speculation network effect to the Stacks CBE data inter-ecosystem dynamics.
  • This autonomy is important for long term transformative potential from the web2 to web3 data ecosystem.
  • Protecting against basins of attraction to network effects of extrinsic incentives while establishing new forms of high value CBE data
  • PoX powered quadratic funding tools for respective DAOs can amount to ecosystem consensus on priority & weight of commons distribution based on Intrinsic contribution for ecosystem state guidance; alongside respective decision making processes. (A MIDs tool tweaking PoX reward set VRF for consensus QF reward distribution for DAOs can enable flexible combination of on/off chain decision making.)
  • The broader design encourages bottom up, organic growth of small systems prototypes into autonomous self sufficient Public Utility chain systems-- sussing out paths for overall ecosystem self sufficiency along the way.
  • Early generators of value whether investors, users, devs or data engineers who opt into Stacks HV data commons will have first movers advantage for new (RoI) via Stacks HV data innovations —an early web3 ethical data ecosystem.

What is similar from App Stacking?

  • PoX Stacking as transparent means to Fund Dev Teams
  • Investors incentivized by aligned values of Stacks app ecosystem growth
    • CBE
    • Inter-ecosystem Economy building

What is Distinct from App Stacking?

  • No centralized bounty creation
  • No incentives for gaming
  • No direct relationship between investors & ecosystem
  • Rather than individual teams & individual investment →Commons for collective Ecosystem Dev Fund Investment
  • Rather than bounties → Current CBE Value(s) contribution guided Consensus for quadratic funding priorities/weight.
  • On & off chain gov’t management w/decision making tools

What is similar from BTC lock up?

  • Specific objective Clarity metric for tracking value(s)
  • Healthy ecosystem economy building

What is distinct from BTC lock up?

  • Moving away from hyper user-centric product design & individual rewards → toward systems design, collective contribution incentives & commons distribution.
  • Additional focus on bottom up power distribution for long term dynamics in economy building efforts.
  • Rather than glass ceiling(s) after early hodl periods →PoA incentivizes systems design & engineering innovation(s) to increase long term ecosystem economy building. Transferring proof of burden from users of web3-- to designers & engineers of web3—proving access has been engineered into systems built for all generators of value in web3 systems
  • Access in this context is reference to built in contribution(s) spaces, in designs of the system(s) in which apps live. See this documentation on PROsumption R+D models. This same model can also work for specific disciplines, markets or conventional niches in consumer facing apps & services.
  • With added advantage of new web3 freedom to create new ethical markets of unalienated value flows for web3 generators of value w/ stacks ecosystem platform.

What is Similar from DADA?

  • Making conventional Extrinsic value(s) invisible
  • Making Intrinsic value(s) visible
  • Social Networking for collaborative state maintenance — Management tools from Jenny & Russ ,Policykit, Metagov etc…
  • Value(s) depiction via Visual representations of intrinsic trends of ecosystem i.g. proven design & engineering for CBE based economy building.

What is Distinct from DADA?

  • Designing & engineering the CBE & Inter-ecosystem economy building can serve as an overall Stacks ecosystem’s Intrinsic Value goal of CBE.
  • Many other intrinsic value(s) fall under this umbrella & can even be expressed in labeling or tags in ecosystem state.
  • Stacks ecosystem rather than the art ecosystem example, has unique scalable internet & consensus protocols w/transformative potential across important continuums of: Private/Public; Virtual/Material; High/Low social status. Maximizing (de)coupled power, w/ breadth & depth in ecosystem innovations. In other words, an adequate PoA ecosystem design can facilitate Stacks use cases across many fields & markets of world impact.

What is Similar from App Chain model?

  • Appchain Toolkit

What is Distinct from App Chain model?

Dev toolkit for different PoX implementations –

  • Decentralized Radiks via Clarity
  • MIDs via Clarity
  • DAOs via Clarity
  • Public Utility Chain models via PoX

What are PoA Ecosystem design Blockers?

  • Collections MIDs schemas development
  • Appchain Toolkit WIPs
  • Stacks mainnet WIPs
  • Stacks Foundation WIPs
  • Public Utility Models