Economics-in-a-box For Decentralized Protocols

Doug Petkanics
Dec 7, 2016 · 1 min read

The decentralized development world could benefit from an economics-in-a-box library that distributes the economic incentives in your protocol to the users who provide the value, as determined by a combination of curation and reputation. This would be useful to decentralized applications like social content platforms, auditing/bug bounty services, scientific journal type applications, knowledge platforms like Q&A sites, etc.

Steem has built this protocol, and it could be used as a platform in the cases where it’s okay if reputation/influence can be bought, sold, and transferred, and in instances where it’s okay that existing Steemit users start with a lot of influence.

For applications that need to start with a clean slate, it would be helpful to have a set of smart contracts deployable on the Ethereum blockchain that imitate this protocol for only users in your protocol’s network. In many complex protocols with unique incentives, you can’t replace the intricate economic design that will make the protocol tick, but for the above commonly referenced use cases based around curation/voting and reputation, a plug-and-play library would be a big time saver.

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