The World Table, a startup company in Orem, Utah, is building a quantified reputation system to aggregate reputation data and report trust scores for individuals and organizations. The system is built upon Open Reputation, an open source decentralized reputation platform under development, sponsored by The World Table, which maps identity and reputation onto the Internet-of-things (IoT).
The Open Reputation concept is open and flexible, able to accommodate diverse applications and usage patterns, from user reputation and “karma” in online discussion spaces to automatic reputation-based agreements between agents in IoT networks of independent connected devices. Open Reputation models a universe of relations between entities and agents, anything in the IoT, each of which has an identity and may have a reputation. The initial Open Reputation source code is expected to be available before the end of 2015.
“Everyone and everything [in the reputation web] will have at least a public pseudonymous identity, created at the moment of interaction with any other part of the web,” states the Open Reputation High Level Whitepaper. “Everyone and everything may also have an encrypted shareable reputation, reflecting each of its transactions with any other part of the web. Some will choose to aggregate and share more reputation. Others will choose less. And our trust will flow accordingly.”
The High Level Whitepaper mentions a wide range of use cases. Software companies could improve virus and spam detection, web content filtering and software updates, as well as Internet commenting, reviewing, sharing and advertising. Electronics companies could make fully autonomous systems that contract for their own maintenance and supplies. Social and financial qualifications could merge into a reputation economy that improves renting, sharing, purchasing, lending, insuring, interviewing and dating. Biotech firms could enhance big data projects with behavioral correlations. Governments could facilitate administration of voting and social services.
Identities, reputations, and relations persist in a decentralized public database anchored to a decentralized public ledger – the Open Reputation blockchain – both of which compensate participants via a cryptocurrency dubbed Cred. The Open Reputation platform uses a Byzantine agreement algorithm, detailed in the Open Reputation Low Level Whitepaper, to maintain consensus across hosts while supporting higher transaction rates than legacy blockchains. Cred tokens, which, according to the World Table team, will be exchangeable like other cryptocurrencies, will be paid by agents who perform transactions and earned by operators of computers that process the transactions and store related data.
The first product built on the Open Reputation platform will be a comment system for major media sites that will increase the quality of online engagement, boost ad revenues, and create brand lift.
“When our reputations are on the line, most of us choose to behave better – and that also happens to translate into more valuable web properties,” said World Table CTO and EVP of products Lincoln Cannon. The company’s pilot programs showed dramatic increases in “good” behavior when people understood that they were being assessed by their peers. The company describes this feedback model as “adding trust to the Internet.”
“With this announcement, we’re making it clear that a whole class of online interactions are due for a major upgrade,” said World Table CEO Bryan Hall. Patheos, one of the 200 largest content sites in the United States, is expected to begin testing the product in July. When fully deployed, The World Table comment system will be embedded in 20 million page views per month at Patheos alone.
“We’re creating an open-source platform so we can all see and understand how reputations are being formed from the data stream, and we’re using a blockchain architecture to ensure that trust is distributed,” added Cannon. “No central authority will have control over the information used to create your reputation.”
The World Table, which has raised approximately $700,000 to date, is about to launch a seed financing offering for an additional $1.3 million on Angel List.