What Are Soulbound Tokens (SBT)?

What Are Soulbound Tokens (SBT)?


Soulbound Tokens (SBTs) are digital id tokens that symbolize the traits, options, and achievements that make up an individual or entity. SBTs are issued by “Souls,” which symbolize blockchain accounts or wallets, and can’t be transferred. 


Soulbound Tokens (SBT) is an idea proposed in May 2022 by Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin, lawyer Puja Ohlhaver, and E. Glen Weyl, an economist and social technologist.

The whitepaper, entitled “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul,” lays out the muse of a fully-decentralized society (DeSoc) ruled by its customers and the way Soulbound tokens (SBTs) can operate because the credentials we use in on a regular basis life. 

What are SBTs?

Soulbound tokens (SBTs) are non-transferable tokens representing an individual’s id utilizing blockchain expertise. This might embody medical information, work historical past, and any kind of data that makes up an individual or entity. The wallets that maintain or subject these information are known as “Souls.”

People might have a number of wallets (or Souls) representing totally different components of their lives. For instance, somebody might have a “Credentials Soul” for his or her work historical past and a “Medical Soul” for his or her well being information. Souls and SBTs would enable folks to construct a verifiable, digital Web3 repute based mostly on their previous actions and experiences.

On the opposite hand, Souls can symbolize an entity that allocates SBTs. For instance, firms might be Souls, issuing SBTs to every worker. A digital nation membership might subject SBTs to confirm membership standing.

The logic behind soulbound originates from the favored on-line recreation World of Warcraft. 

Players can not promote or switch soulbound gadgets. Once picked up, soulbound gadgets are eternally “bound” to the participant’s “soul.”

Now, think about this concept however utilized to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Today, most NFTs are possession certificates for digital artwork or collectibles, similar to Bored Ape Yacht Club. People will purchase, commerce, or showcase NFTs as an emblem of standing and wealth.

SBTs goal to show the NFT idea into one thing past cash and bragging rights, a token that’s each one-of-a-kind and non-transferable. While NFTs symbolize belongings and property, an SBT represents an individual or entity’s repute. And in contrast to an NFT, SBTs maintain zero financial worth and can’t be traded as soon as issued to somebody’s pockets. 

How can SBTs be used?

SBTs have a variety of potential use instances. Here are some examples that might doubtlessly discover use in on a regular basis life.

1. Education historical past – When folks graduate from college, they obtain a certificates proving completion of the required programs. The college may very well be a Soul issuing the SBTs, and the scholars can be Souls on the receiving finish. The SBT would retailer the coed’s credentials, proving they maintain the related {qualifications} and are a member of the college. Simply put, the SBT would operate as proof of attendance.

2. Job purposes – In concept, job candidates might submit all their prior work historical past {and professional} certificates utilizing official SBTs issued by earlier firms and establishments. The SBTs would operate as proof of ability certificates.

3. Health information – Switching docs or healthcare suppliers may very well be accelerated utilizing an SBT that holds an individual’s medical information. Hypothetically, the SBT would change the usually gradual technique of filling out paperwork, verifying your medical historical past, and going backwards and forwards with somebody on the telephone.

How do SBTs work in Web3?

Trust is likely one of the most important challenges affecting the Web3 business. How are you able to belief an individual’s repute in a system designed to be trustless? Let’s use lending cash for instance. Similar to conventional financial institution credit score scores, SBTs might observe a consumer’s DeFi borrowing historical past in addition to different metrics that decide their danger profile.

SBTs are additionally a proposed various for decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) voting. Instead of the present governance mannequin, which relies on what number of tokens a member holds, DAOs might subject SBTs that assign voting energy based mostly on customers’ interactions with the neighborhood. This mannequin would prioritize voting energy for probably the most devoted customers with a robust repute.

Besides making a reputation-based voting system, SBTs might doubtlessly enhance the integrity of DAO voting — particularly, defending towards Sybil attacks — one of many largest threats to the present DAO governance mannequin.

During a Sybil assault, a person or a bunch of unhealthy actors overthrow a DAO by buying the vast majority of governance tokens. Those with majority voting energy can manipulate voting proposals and steer the venture’s course of their favor. The public and verifiable nature of SBTs might assist detect and forestall unhealthy actors from getting into the DAO and, in flip, deter corruption and Sybil assaults from occurring. 

What are examples of SBTs in motion?

As of August 2022, SBTs solely exist on paper. Glen Weyl, one of many co-authors who contributed to the unique SBT whitepaper, believes there shall be early SBT use instances by the top of 2022.

Binance additionally just lately introduced its personal SBT known as Binance Account Bound (BAB). The BAB token is non-transferable, has no financial worth, and is the first-ever SBT issued on the BNB Chain. BAB goals to sort out id verification points in Web3, serving as a digital verification instrument for Binance customers who’ve accomplished KYC.

In addition to the Binance ecosystem, third-party protocols will be capable of use BAB tokens to airdrop NFTs, forestall bot exercise, and facilitate DAO governance voting, amongst different use instances.

Closing ideas

SBTs have develop into a scorching matter in Web3. In concept, SBTs might enable folks to determine their very own digital repute and assess another person’s on the blockchain. It stays to be seen if an SBT can operate as Web3’s model of the “identity card.”

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