Centralization of data Vs decentralization; Each has its cons and pros. Besides the economic implications, centralization of data leads to privacy concerns and abuse of data. Users create an online identity of themselves which they do not own and have control over and large firms can benefit from it hugely. That leads to use of darknet, by ordinary people, as a way to protect their privacy. On the other hand, decentralization raises security concerns.
BitRump should address both concerns. First of all, BitRump is a lab which aims to develop two primary things: A system to build a reputation for users and secondly a suitable (to our time) and practical structure for BitRump as a firm. They should be developed over time and gradually with experimentations and collective wisdom and dialogue.
This is how it works: BitRump is a layer on top of OpenBazaar. And because we try to develop a mechanism where users can collectively make decisions, we introduced an extra step. For every product to be listed in the BitRump network a random number of users will vote to assign a label to the product. F for illegal, harmful products. D, still quite harmful products but not in the F category. B, normal products (crisp for example) and finally A, socially beneficial products(environment-friendly products for instance). There will be incentives for users to participate in the voting process ( using crypto, reputation, etc). Voting history of all users will be recorded in the blockchain (this is a bird’s eye view of the project and the use of private, public blockchain is not discuesed here). So for example, if a harmful product gets A it’s possible to see who voted for that and ask for a revote. Besides that labels of products a person sells or purchases will also be recorded in the blockchain( note that only labels will be recorded and not the description of the product). All these alongside users’ participation in the discussions, etc will be used to build users’ reputations which can be used in the marketplace and other places. Developing the best process and mechanism to build reputations is one of the primary goals of BitRump (as a side note, it is cool to put social media activities to vote to assign labels to them as well). For example these questions should be answered: should there be different, independent reputations for marketplace and social network, etc? How can users control their reputations? Is it public to all or not? And many other questions.
Our primary mechanism to stop fake accounts is our reputation mechanism. For example, transactions made by new or inactive accounts or accounts which are being used primarily to purchase category F products will be automatically rejected or a random number of “witnesses” should approve that the transaction is made by a real and valid account. Similarly, our reputation mechanism can be used in social networks to check the integrity of contents created by different accounts.
Crypto community is close to the Austrian school of economics and so they tend to avoid regulations, we address the concern with replacing regulations with collective wisdom and the label mechanism and reputations. That is, in fact, making use of the power of informal social control which was discussed here.
The other important thing is our business model. It was discussed in another article that earning a profit (even for charities) is critical in order to expand their services. The example which was discussed was the way charities could help to reduce the negative social impacts of drugs by introducing profit to their business model. Having said that money is not the only capital in capitalism. In blockchain-based projects social capital is in fact the primary capital. BitRump will not store any of users’ data (users will be in control of their data- they can even earn money by that), instead, we will issue our own cryptocurrency which will also be used to pay to users to encourage them to participate in activities that make the platform valuable for the public. Our aim is to keep the core team as small as possible and then pay users to do most of the job. This is an open source project so users can contribute ideas, codes, etc and be paid for that (Please note that other startups can add their own functionalities to the platform and use their own cryptocurrencies, we will be using our cryptocurrency to pay for activities such as voting, other programs connected to BitRump will have their own currencies).
And our next step or middle-term vision; Capitalism tends to divide people into winners and losers. But then the second, forgotten part of capitalism, collaboration, brings them back together. The next extension to BitRump was briefly discussed in another article( find this one yourself!). It aims to connect entrepreneurs from poor regions to investors all around the world in a network. It aims to emphasize the role of collaborations in capitalism. Competition pushes the system forward and collaboration keeps it together, prevents it from falling.
Our other important goal is education( read gaming). As we rely heavily on contributions of the community, education is an important part of the project which should also be addressed. We aim to provide a platform for game developers and educators to share and sell their educational contents in BitRump.