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Author Topic: "Voting with your dollars" - Ways to add reputation/feedback into Bitcoin  (Read 445 times)
nekodojo
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November 01, 2013, 06:08:28 AM
 #1

I read the wiki entry on "Intrinsic worth brainstorming" (quoted below) and it made me think of a related idea.  Perhaps this has been thought of before but I would love to get some feedback or pointers to other folks interested in the same thing.

What if we could "Rate" transactions--and the people we are paying--by adding a follow-up transaction with some "extra reputation info" that could be extracted and summarized?

Here's some possible situations that could fall into this scheme:

 - Vote up a vendor by tipping a micro amount, while adding a satisfaction rating after the fact.  The initial transaction could be anonymous, but I could later "tag" that transaction to show that I was satisfied with the service.  My "tip" transaction makes a claim like "I paid 0.5 BTC to X and was very happy with the service, thank you". I don't have to reveal my identity, but I would need to prove that I'm the person who paid in order to tag/rate the transaction.  The "tip" amount could go to the vendor or to a charity.

 - Vote down a vendor by tipping the competition or a charity, while adding a rating.  The "protest" transaction makes a claim like "I paid 0.5 BTC to X but received a broken item, and vendor refused to refund/replace the item".  Again I am not revealing my own identity but I have to prove that I am the owner of the address in the initial transaction. 

 - Collect a good or bad reputation by reusing the same payment address and "publishing" the address as mine.  Most addresses should only be used once and kept private to the payer/payee, but sometimes vendors will want to reuse the same address so they can claim ownership and "officiate" the address as theirs.  They would receive the benefit of any positive reputation, and accept responsibility for down-votes as well.  I can create a new address (just like I can create a new eBay account) but I would be starting my reputation over from scratch.

 - Officiate and publish my identity so I can accept "official" payments.  Similar to SSL certs, this would require a signing authority to validate my claim.  So my "identity claim" transaction would make a claim like "I am an official address for Amazon.com, doing business in Seattle, WA, US" and would be paid to a cert signer/identity issuer.  Then the "validation" transaction pays back a fraction of the identity payment, from the cert signer back to the business, and attaches a message like "We have validated that this address is really associated with the named company and they are licensed to do business in the named jurisdiction".    But this also means that the total amount flowing into that account is visible to all, which is great for public companies and government accounts.  (Private companies could elect to use the identity service or not, and can accept some payments through an "official" address and accept other payments using a private or single-use address.)

 - Make official payments in a way that is transparent and visible to all.  For example, accepting campaign contributions may require certain disclosures to comply with local laws.  If I want to show that all my received donations are legal by local laws, I can publish my address and require that donors publish theirs, and I can immediately refund any payment made to me from an unsigned address.  This requires both parties to identify themselves to some third party. 

 - Make donations to a charity and "vote up an idea" at the same time.  Similar to writing "Free Tibet" on a dollar bill and donating it to ACLU - only now there is an official record of how many people wrote that message on their dollars before sending them in.  Or, sign a petition by "tipping" a small amount to NRA and attaching a message like "I support freedom to own firearms" - or tipping a small amount to Brady Foundation and attaching a message like "I support universal background checks".

Basically the point is that you are paying/tipping to get your opinion/vote/short message "published" and part of an official record.  This doesn't automatically give consensus to your message, but if each message is formatted in a predictable way, it could be collected and summarized later to see what people are saying with their money.


> https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Intrinsic_worth_brainstorming
> Publishing
> Bitcoin is fundamentally a global censorship-resistant memory system, similar to FreeNet. It just happens that what it is remembering is the log of Bitcoin transactions.
> Publishing services could be setup which encode information into the blockchain (that is, to perpetually, globally publish, in a censorship-resistant way), and read out encoded information, for a price. Like FreeNet, for pay. This sort of service is more valuable if it is done on top of something like Bitcoin (because the network effects of Bitcoin provide stronger incorruptibility). This inherent value provides backing.
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Unluckyduck
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November 01, 2013, 11:36:40 AM
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No no no no. We don't need that stupid tipping culture in bitcoin.
Birdy
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November 01, 2013, 11:43:12 AM
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No, this system would be very easy to abuse to create fake ratings.
nekodojo
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November 02, 2013, 02:44:27 AM
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Aw shucks, I thought it was pretty clever, but I readily admit I'm a total newbie in the Bitcoin world.

If you have a minute or two, could you educate me?  Do you really think it is easy to fake a message, if attached to a payment transaction, to make it look like it came from a different address?  I would have thought that the To address and the From address were the most secure things.  If someone could fake a reputation comment from my address, could they also fake a payment from my address?

As for the tipping part, well, it doesn't have to be a tip to the vendor, I could pay a micro amount to a charity, or even to myself, correct?

I also notice that the wiki I quoted > https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Intrinsic_worth_brainstorming  has a reference to "voting systems" but it is not explained in the article.  Does anyone have further references to Bitcoin or its algorithm being used for voting systems, or how that would work?

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Brandon Stuvick
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November 02, 2013, 03:26:48 AM
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Just curious, but what would stop the owner of the payment address from forging his own positive feed-backs?

Sure, a reputable certificate authority can provide confidence that the vendor is who in fact they say they are, but what stops that vendor from using their other addresses to simply 'pay' themself and artificially create positive reviews?

On a side note, to be completely politically neutral, I think it would be better that these review transactions simply go to miners as fees.

My PGP key: gpg --keyserver hkp://keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 29FE7755
Birdy
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November 02, 2013, 08:41:34 AM
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Quote
Do you really think it is easy to fake a message, if attached to a payment transaction, to make it look like it came from a different address?
Nope, I didn't say that. See below.

Just curious, but what would stop the owner of the payment address from forging his own positive feed-backs?

Sure, a reputable certificate authority can provide confidence that the vendor is who in fact they say they are, but what stops that vendor from using their other addresses to simply 'pay' themself and artificially create positive reviews?

Nothing, actually that's what I meant with "fake ratings".
Everybody can make as much addresses as he want, so it would be trivial to give yourself fake positive ratings.

But I could imagine a voting system that gives user access to an address with a low Bitcoin amount and they can use only that address as a vote.
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