[messaging] Anonymity networks and incentives

David Leon Gil coruus at gmail.com
Tue Jul 22 05:57:53 PDT 2014

Brennan: Stack Overflow is incredibly successful at getting very knowledgable people to spend vast amounts of time answering random questions. This is 'real . . . resources'. I don't think it's a particularly good thing that people are irrational, but they are... (And there's a problem with blockchains that monetary rewards worsen: concentration of production. Good economic sense, bad for anonymity.)

Tom: I really like the idea of gamification. I think that something that's key is creating a sufficiently low barrier to entry -- and 'rewards' -- that it's as easy to 'play' as it is to download an iPhone game...

(Part of this is also anticipating what will be done to penalize participants. E.g., the early, well-publicized raids on Tor exit nodes succesfully created the perception that it's dangerous to operate one.)

One interesting 'experiment', kind of in this area, is the RIPEstat internet topology project;  howbeit aimed at a very geeky audience. You earn 'points', there are leaderboards, etc. (The points can be 'spent' on conducting network measurements, but very few people seem to *use* the points they earn.) Here's how it works:

1. Fill out a web form.

2. Get a package with a little TP-LINK router.

(Wait for it to arrive from Amsterdam, get through 'Customs'.)

3. Plug it into your network. 

4. Earn points.

(And people all over the US have these plugged into their home and work networks!)

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On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM, Brennan Mailpile<hi at bnvk.me>, wrote:

I'm a big fan of the *Coin approach. A few blockchain types came to the

Tor developer conference in Iceland back in March preaching about the

DAO (decentralized autonomous organizations) and setting up Tor nodes

for compensation.

While I really like gamification when done tastefully & well, it's

always stretched a bit IMHO when used to reward people spending real

dollars or resources and getting a shiny sticker in return. That's why

these *Coin approaches are interesting as they usually can be traded for

real world dollars once they reach a critical mass.

I would love to see + pay to send my messages through an anonymous

remailer based on a

blockchain reward system! Hopefully someone will build one :)_______________________________________________

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