Bootstrap a decentralized professional network like Bitcoin

“man and woman handshaking” by rawpixel on Unsplash


Reading the whitepaper of Bitcoin always makes you contented and joyful. You will learn not only blockchain but the way how to write in such a precise and fat-free style.

Another magic of Bitcoin that has made it so glamorous to me is the way it has bootstrapped its chain together with its community. That is such a perfect application of proof-of-work. It also demonstrates the meaning of trustless.

Implied trust

I am a beneficiary of word-of-mouth referral. At Forbole, we are interested to see whether the trust we implied during the referral process can have more usage: is that some kind of “work” or “stake”?

Trust cannot be revealed by our words. We show that we trust someone or something through our actions. Actions always need us to spend energy (i.e. sacrifice something) to perform.

One of the convincing ways to say we trust some people is by recommending them to someone else. A more convincing way is to refer them to business or career opportunities offered by other people that we trust.

The question we want to answer: is that safe to say Person A trusts Person B as Person A has referred Person B to work for Person C, who has shown mutual trust with Person A as well?

Here’s my favourite part: What if Person A to record this referral together with the relationships among these three people on blockchain? Are the properties such as immutability, verification and governance make the trust implied from this referral more convincing?

If Person B has obtained more and more of this “record”, can you trust Person B even you don’t know Person A and Person C?

Why would Person A need to do it? What the reward and cost for this? Why would Person C want to be mentioned or disclosed?

Bootstrap this network of relationships

So we plan to use our own stories to bootstrap Forbole Referral Network (“FRN”), which is a decentralized professional network with a focus on referral of opportunities. FRN will by the first application on Forbole Blockchain.

Is that possible to start with something like genesis block of Bitcoin? I have tried to review some of the referrals I have received and made, and the networking effect they have caused in my life. This is like a meditation. You should try it, or do it on the upcoming beta of FRN.

Poor drawing by Terence Lam

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Co-founder of Forbole

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Originally posted on Forbole Blog.