Well, if SC publishes cred scores, it defacto creates a “reputational currency”, in the loosely defined sense in the article. Similar to an Ebay score, grades, etc. The question is, should it be turned into an actual token. And if so, what type?
The article is good, and I generally agree with the author’s recommendations. It “feels” right that reputation should not be tradable (i.e. fungible). I also like the idea of a mechanism to acknowledge the difference between trading reputation (bad) and lending reputation (good).
If I vouch for someone, it should NOT be like spending reputation like lowering my balance, however, there could be a consequence, whether positive or negative, to my reputation. If they perform well, then my reputation should actually INCREASE for choosing to vouch well. If they perform poorly, my reputation should diminish.
I think SC already does this in a way, no? But one can also imagine an additional mechanism that explicitly gives cred (or grain) to a contributor who helps someone who then becomes a regular contributor. Or likewise, loses cred if the person disappears or does some other bad behavior. Sort of like, you purchase “shares” in another person when you interact with them, which then go up or down based on how much cred they gain (or lose). This could be similar to your ‘resistance’ idea on another thread?
I’m a little uneasy with the clean distinction the author makes between trading and lending though. The lines can blur…Lending reputation already, in day-to-day life, often involves a “prid pro quo”. Unspoken markers. Basically, trading. And that’s with easily verifiable, IRL identities.
There is also, as the author mentions, the problem of consistent identity. How strong is your identity checking? Allow pseudonymous avatars (like me)? Full KYC to make sure it’s a real person? Github allows pseudonymity. So right now, so does SC. There’s nothing stopping someone from selling their GitHub login (and therefore rights to their cred).
I think pseudonymous identities are inevitable (and have desirable properties too; I would not be writing this if I had to use my real name). Therefore, the identities will be fluid. There could be multiple people using one identity, or organizations even (imagine a dev shop in Bangladesh that carefully manages their cred score to win jobs). Identities can be transferred/sold, and SC wouldn’t have any way of knowing.
I think this is OK. One way to tokenize (if desirable), is a non-fungible token (ERC-721). Here’s a nice review of that landscape,
This would allow them to be traded explicitely (same as crypto kitties), which could have benefits. For instance, giving a way for this to be decentralized via smart contracts. People may not trust cred if it’s managed by fallible humans running a centralized server. Selling tokens could also open up positive possibilities. E.g. it gives a hard working OSS contributor a chance to build cred over the years and “sell out” to a responsible buyer, who will continue to work. Similar to how NYC taxi drivers used to retire by selling their medallion (a reputation token essentially). Tokens could also allow cred to interact with other projects on the Ethereum blockchain in interesting ways.
As for the ERC-20 route, an interesting experiment is happening with that currently on r/ethtrader, where they’ve turned their Reddit karma into ERC-20 tokens. Which apparently Reddit is officially supporting now with a dapp!
Interestingly, they turned off the ‘bridge’ that allowed people to trade their karma on DEX’s, not wanting people to be able to buy reputation. Though a vocal minority of the community wanted to try that experiment and saw it as a worthwhile experiment.