Does a need for a decentralized reputation-based research platform exist?
Conglomerates like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Yelp and other platforms have built platforms that capture reputation. Yet, nobody has created a truly Sybil-attack resistant reputation engine that cannot be corrupted, regardless of the economics at stake.
Smart contracts create new solutions and have multiple core benefits. The merciless mathematical logic of computerized code that makes up a smart contract is extremely valuable for clarifying intent, as well as making business transactions more efficient and certain.
Yet, smart contracting has several significant downsides:
Bugs: Newly-coded programs, alas, always have the potential for bugs
Human business interactions require a flexibility that is at odds with the merciless mathematical logic of smart contracts. Business interactions require:
○ Flexibility in interpreting intent
○ Ability to continue collaboration when unanticipated eventualities arise
○ Possibility that each party may fulfill only a portion of any intended collaboration
Business degenerates with smart contracting if left to its own devices:
The original vision for smart contracts is between businesses and clients following a “code is law” concept that self-executes and self-regulates, with often anonymous parties. This creates a zero-sum scenario where both parties are entirely incentivized to provide the minimum possible to fulfill the perfectly rigid self-executing contract. This type of business ultimately degenerates as people will spend extra effort to deliver the minimum acceptable products. In other words, both parties are bound by common sense to push the contract as far as possible in their own favor. The parties no longer create a harmonious long-term business relationship.
This effect changes if reputation of the counterparties is at stake. With the opportunity to create new valuable reputation tokens, members strive to act in ways which improve the platform for the long term instead of exploiting short-term arbitrage opportunities.