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Trusted Identities for Safe and Secure Payments

As technology and globalization spread, so too does international interdependency. Today we might find ourselves buying food from a stranger, getting a ride from a peer, or even staying in someone else’s home when traveling! This is difficult for our human brains that evolved to understand roughly 150 people. So, technology to the rescue! We have news and review apps that helps us understand everything from foreign governments to celebrities lives to local restaurants.

Unfortunately on many of these sites, fake news, paid-for reviews, and troll accounts have proliferated. This is understandable, as these profit-driven companies have to grow fast. However, it also decreases the long-term usability and value of these identity networks.

At Raha, we believe that every real identity has value. That is why members with a verified identity can mint their own Raha, as they help prevent a Sybil attack from taking over the network. And more members means more value. The total value of a network usually grows in proportion to the square of the number of people connected. This hypothesis is known as Metcalfe’s Law, and has been empirically confirmed at a large scale with the rise of Facebook and Tencent.

At Raha, we are creating an economy that belongs to everyone. We believe decentralized platforms that enable people to connect and help each other directly will create progress, connection, and wealth. Technologies that connect us also pose enormous challenges, such as fraud and identity theft (which cost us $16.8 billion in the US alone in 2017), and accounts spreading misinformation - an estimated 6-10% of all accounts on Facebook are fake!

No system is perfect, but our goal is to make it more time and money intensive to generate a fake Raha identity than a fake US passport, which can be obtained for about $1000. This will be done through a variety of methods, starting with video/voice identification and expanding to other biometrics such as fingerprint and iris, linked and timestamped social network activity such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and traditional identity forms such as drivers license and passports. Through a constellation of identity factors different applications can decide what level of trust is needed. Because Raha is invite-only, a giant tree can be formed where clusters of bad actors can be detected and pruned.

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