Brainstorm: Infallible and tamper proof solution for proof of life verification

In 2018 I invested a small amount in an ICO for Tontine based pension product. They didn’t reach the amount they needed (bear market started), but have since found funding outside the crypto space and will be converting from crypto to equity. They now seem to well on track, helped out by new regulations.

Still I believe it could be a very interesting use case for a decentralized solution with funding of pensions looking to become a global disaster due too growing aging population.

Short explanation of a tontine use case: People from a similar age group deposit money in a pool. This money can never be retrieved. The interest generated by this platform will go pro rata to these people. Whenever someone dies, his/her share will pro rata be divided between the survivors. This make it more than inflation proof and lucrative for people with a healthy lifestyle to fund their golden years.

When the last person dies the capital in the pool remains. A smart contract, could have it be burned or sent to DAO style fund like the CPS. The capital pool could be managed by an aggregator like Optimus to generate the required optimal returns.

The most challenging part to me is how to make this product tamper proof.

  • Biometric verification (fingerprint, eye/face scan, …)
  • Link to governmental death registration office (Oracles)

Relatives cannot be allowed to fake the tontiner being alive to continue the pay outs.
Fingerprints can easily be faked. Face scans also don’t seem reliable to me. I assume eye scans could also be faked.

I was wondering whether MyID is something which could be used to serve this purpose. Several partners are active in life insurance.

The second big hurdle is adoption. The less tech savy aging population needs a very user friendly UX/UI. We do have some rockstars in our Icon ecosystem however in this field. Fiat on- and off ramp is of course needed (Bridge).

Any ideas how to make a secure proof of life solution?

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What a fun idea… But a bit creepy too. To me it felt a bit morbid and my solution to your problem also addresses this negative and turns it into a positive.

My idea: Evolve this into a life insurance policy. Make it so that upon death the person who dies passes a % of their original investment to their nominated person/trust. You then have a system that incentivizes reporting of death which helps mitigate faking (still) being alive.

The product then has two selling points, it’s a life insurance policy and an ‘outlive your friends and get rich’ one.

I think the way you link identity to this is via already approved local government (digital) IDs.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts James. I understand your reporting incentive idea, but it might not solve the problem, because the passive income from the total capital should outweigh the benefit of a one time percentage payout.

I get that many will consider it morbid, due too survivors benefiting from fellow pool tontiners dying.
That also brings us to another important part which I haven’t outlined yet. Data security needs to be flawless. We don’t want people finding out who is in their pool for obvious reasons. It becomes a scary thought indeed when you see the many data breaches out there as per recent examples of the Celsius and Ledger mailing lists.

However the pension crisis is a hair on fire problem that might take radically different thinking to solve this problem. You chose your residence wisely with Norway though. Eventhough, being an ICX investor, you will secure your own retirement easily.

I was envisioning that part of the original premium invested would be liquidated and paid upon a life insurance claim, but I see your point about people faking being alive for a long time making more.

Intriguing indeed.