Using FOAM for Proof of Delivery mining


#1

We’re currently working on a social delivery service where people can deliver packages for each other on their everyday commutes.

The delivery will be backed by a cryptocurrency that can only be mined by delivering packages, and the amount mined will be based on the pick-up and drop-off coordinates (Proof of Delivery, PoD). The basic idea is to earn delivery privileges for yourself by delivering for others on a quid-pro-quo basis.

One of the challenges we currently have is that GPS coordinates can be easily spoofed, thus allowing an attacker to illegitimately mine the PoD cryptocurrency and unfairly earn delivery privileges. How can we use FOAM to mitigate this?


#2

I like the concept and it demonstrates an ability to deliver value in a market that already has some tough competition. You are correct that GPS and other satellite location services are highly spoofable. One of the reasons for the FOAM protocol is to bring the reliability and trust of blockchain transactions to locational transactions. As such it is a fine match for what you described.

The current status of FOAM Protocol is we have POI (points of interest) that can be geospatial located these are static only and are intended to be locations such as businesses or other geographical features. The next phase will include the installation of Zone Anchors that will form a terrestrial mesh enabling the dPOL (Dynamic Proof of Location), this would be where your application would be able to leverage Provable locations for pickup and delivery.

I would suggest that you consider using FOAM for your geospatial blockchain verification. This will mean that you will have to have a familiarity with the FOAM api, and at least in some portion of your delivery transaction, (possibly pickup and delivery) a USER will have to have FOAM to interact with the protocol. One aspect of the Zone Anchors is that they will run a Plasma type Ethereum side chain for faster and lower cost transactions, how that impacts the amount of FOAM users have to have or hold remains to be codified.

I think there is a lot of opportunity here being a first mover in the FOAM space. Focusing your effort on front end UI and interacting with the FOAM backend would allow you to differentiate your service based on getting the things right that the customer cares about. I don’t know how much runway you expect to have and if you need to perhaps you could integrate the FOAM POI’s as Delivery and Pickup spots, and use GPS to launch and then tighten down to dPOL as FOAM’s Zone Anchor’s are installed and meshed.


#3

Thank you @yinzeus for the detailed reply.

When do you think Zone Anchors will start to be available? We actually did think of first starting out by feeding GPS data to our smart contract until we find an alternative. Obviously something like FOAM that is native to Ethereum and hard to spoof would be much better.

Also, could you kindly explain how can a smart contract (for instance) obtain a user’s location? Can any smartphone be used as the device that connects to the Zone Anchors? Why do users need FOAM tokens?


#4

As a utility token, FOAM only can provide locational data with Blockchain security for those that use the FOAM token. As the architecture being evaluated currently includes Zone Anchors’ running a Side Chain with either Plasma type, or a hybrid (ZKsnark + Ethereum). The interaction and settlement on mainchain from the sidechain will be with FOAM.

As FOAM is being built from a community governance perspective, your thoughts on using mobile devices to interact with the Protocol would be useful to the overall effort.

I can speculate that we will see details on the Zone Anchor’s design in another month or two. The mechanics of the intra-Zone communication is where the current focus is. The actual requirements for the commodity hardware shortly after. Since all work to this point has focused on established and pre-existing radio and device specifications, I do not foresee there will be a delay in building the first prototypes. I would expect that the initial nodes for the mesh will begin in NYC, with such a densely populated metro area, there will be a huge opportunity to gauge real world results based on those deployed Zone Anchors.

With LoRa frequencies, they are already freely allocated for this type of application, and while not identical worldwide, they are close enough that antennas and IC’s can and have been built to provide overlapping coverage.

In closing, please communicate your End User Mobility requirement to the Community. If you have not already, try gaming (LARPing) out the use cases. I’m wondering if your application can lean more towards end user trust at least to get off the ground… Please look at Crypto-Spatial Coordinates — the open location standard on Ethereum it should give you some insight on what FOAM is building.