Toasted Money

Conclusions from my Burnable Open Payments stunt

Burning Money

The Stunt

  • Spraypaint some grafitti
  • Develop a simple android app
  • Create infographics about these BOPs
  • Solve some technical difficulties involved in verifying the BOP contract source on etherscan.io (I opened this one shortly after the post was written)

Immediate Findings

No “troll burns”

No extortion attempts

No incapable recipients (mostly)

BOPs Feel Magical

  1. I didn’t need to generate a good reputation or spend any effort trying to convince anyone I was honest. As shown in the second infographic, the fact that my ether was placed in the BOP proved my commitment to paying for the service. The fact that I was effectively anonymous was not a barrier to business.
  2. I didn’t need to painstakingly specify in legalese or smart contract code the exact requirements of the services. I only needed to describe my request in human-readable language, and be clear as to my burn/release policies. This completely skips the often-encountered problem of getting a smart contract to judge real-world results, or the alternative problems of legal loopholes or poorly worded contracts.
  3. I didn’t need to understand the steps required in solving the problem, and I didn’t need to know what skills the service provider needed. I only needed to be able to judge the degree of completion of the task.
  4. I didn’t need to find a service marketplace that suited my needs, and didn’t need to worry about whether the requested service passed any third party’s judgement of what is or isn’t allowed.
  5. I didn’t need to search through candidates, judging the ability and trustworthiness of each. In fact, in the case of the infographic BOP, the first version was delivered without any communication at all.
  6. I didn’t need to involve any arbitrator role, such as an escrow third party, a judge, or lawyer — any of which would have their own subjective judgments and introduce their own kind of uncertainty into the transaction for both me and the recipient.

Conclusion

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