Protocol Hosting Google reCAPTCHA Competitor Expands to Polkadot

Human Protocol, home of the anti-bot hCaptcha system, announced it is expanding beyond Ethereum to a future Polkadot parachain, Moonbeam.

AccessTimeIconDec 3, 2020 at 6:01 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:13 a.m. UTC
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Human Protocol, the backbone for anti-bot system hCaptcha, announced Thursday it will be expanding beyond Ethereum to a future Polkadot parachain, Moonbeam

The move also prepares for the addition of a new distributed job marketplace on Intel’s open-source Computer Vision Annotation Tool (CVAT) for data labeling that better serves machine learning.

hCaptcha currently operates on 15% of the internet whereas Google’s reCAPTCHA dominates the majority. 

“With reCAPTCHA, all that data, all that labeling and work flows within the company versus being an open ecosystem,” Human Protocol Head of Operations Lonnie Kurlander told CoinDesk in an interview.

“Look at Cloudflare to see why some customers chose to transition to hCaptcha,” she said, referring to the web-security company’s decision to leave Google’s system earlier this year for better privacy. Cloudflare also cited high costs on Google as a major reason for the move. 

Human Protocol is currently live and active on a private Ethereum network, which Kurlander tells CoinDesk interacts with hundreds of millions of people. Each time anyone solves a hCaptcha on their computer, they are unknowingly interacting with the blockchain. A recent Outlier Ventures podcast dubbed it the most used dapp on the planet.

“The [Ethereum] mainnet simply could not support our customer requirements and the volume of transactions that already take place daily,” Kurlander said.

Coming to Polkadot allows the protocol to break jobs up into smaller tasks and decentralize the labor markets to anyone around the globe, Kurlander said. Moonbeam then becomes a key bridge between two layer 1 blockchains.

“Every base layer in crypto was going after this team,” a source familiar with the deal told CoinDesk.

Human CVAT

The initial infrastructure for the CVAT-based decentralized job marketplace will launch on Moonbase Alpha, the public testnet on Moonbeam, until the Polkadot parachain officially launches on mainnet in early 2021. 

Similar to how freelance platform Upwork operates by posting jobs for freelancers anywhere to apply for, Human Protocol’s job interface is the platform and data-labelers are the freelancers with their own rates. 

An example of a task would be to identify and label the bikes in an image, for hCaptcha or a similar application to later recognize that as an accurate image during its anti-bot process. 

“It allows you to post a job spec, post the required accuracy and as long as someone qualifies they can scan the blockchain and complete the job to get paid,” Kurlander said.

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