Identity proof in six handshakes — proving the solution (non-technical)

Hey, everyone! As I already mentioned I'm developing a new blockchain project. It is an identity proof system based on the idea of six degrees of separation. I'm writing a series of posts, which I'll then transform into whitepaper.

This is the second post. It proves the six degrees of separation idea. It turns out Microsoft, Facebook and Neil deGrasse Tyson all agree that the world is connected in less than 7 handshakes. There is also some simple math, confirming that the idea works, and my further plan.

The article is available on Medium. The full copy is below. Will be happy to hear your thoughts and critique!


Identity proof in six handshakes — proving the solution

If you missed the previous post. I’m developing a new identity proof system. It is based on the idea that the whole world knows each other in just six handshakes. I want to put these connections on blockchain. It is a huge goal. To get there I decided to start a series of posts, showing my development process. The first post was about my personal mission. Which is “to move the world towards peace”.

The solution

This is the second post in the series. Embarrassingly enough it is about solution. I’m embarrassed because the platform description, the goal and use cases are yet to be discovered. For now I only have this intuitive vision of how it should work. Is it the right way to start a project? I don’t know.

Anyway the solution is to bring six degrees of separation to blockchain and connect the whole world. Here I prove that the solution is right and outline my further plan.

Subjective proof

Let’s try to count handshakes between me and you.

  1. In 2014 I went to entrepreneurs camp Seliger in Russia. I presented my project (not this one) to Russian Minister of Education and shook his hand.
  2. He definitely knows Putin. Hopefully they shake hands too.
  3. P̶u̶t̶i̶n̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶s̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶b̶o̶d̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶!̶ Putin presumably knows every other world leader.

It means that there are just 3 handshakes from me to any country in the world. And to prove that you and me are connected in 6 degrees of separation there are 3 handshakes left for you to be “connected” to your president (king or queen or other leader type).

If you haven’t had a chance to meet a minister it may seems unrealistic at first. But remember you can choose anybody you have ever met in your life.

You probably know entrepreneurs, social activists, politicians. Try to search among your friends, your parents, your employers. If you think hard enough, I’m sure you can find a 3 handshakes link to the president of your country.

And now we proved that you know me in just 6 handshakes. Nice to meet you!

By the way Putin knows Vitalik Buterin. If you are Vitalik, mind that we know each other in just 3 handshakes! Do hope to reduce it to 1, man!

Mathematical proof

Now let’s unite the world with some simple math.

In 2019 there are 7,53 bln people in the world. Six handshakes means 7 people. How many contacts should everyone have to cover the whole world? We need to raise 7,53 bln in power of 1/7 (for non-technical users — remember square root is the power of 1/2):

In order to unite the world in 6 handshakes everyone needs just 25,76 friends.

It means that to unite the world in 6 handshakes everyone needs just 25,76 friends. Have you met more than 25,76 different people in your life? I bet you did.

We can also experiment a bit with a number of handshakes.

To unite 7,53 bln people in 8 handshakes each person needs 12,5 unique friends.

This table looks reassuring too.

Of course this math is oversimplified. It is very easy to be mislead when dealing with big numbers. But still 26 seems to me a very very small number.

Social proof

While editing this article I stumbled upon some other facts on six degrees of separation. In this article Microsoft confirms that the idea works with 6.6 handshakes. In this video Facebook is said to confirm it is just 5 handshakes and Neil deGrasse Tyson says it is only 4.

Photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU


It all seems to me doable. Especially if we can figure out the right incentives. The rest is just what the blockchain technology is good for.

The plan now is to do a lot of brainstorming and sort out the best ideas. The next posts will be devoted to one of these themes:

  • Existing identity systems.
  • The perfect picture. The six handshakes project is a success, the world is connected. What it will look like? What kind of information can be pulled out of it? What’s the use of knowing connections of all people in the world?
  • The perfect way to build the perfect picture. What are the incentives? How to make it viral enough to make people participate?
  • A roadmap. Can a roadmap be split into stages? Is there a MVP (Minimal Viable Product)?

Clap and support

If you would like to see things moving, please visit my advertising page. This is how I make my own funding and help charity. You can benefit too by investing early. And have a look at my first post on motivation!


The article is available on Medium. Will be happy to hear your thoughts and critique!

Submitted February 06, 2019 at 03:38AM }
via reddit