It's time to break the reputation silos.

It's time to break the reputation silos. Trustful is coming!

Trustful is a cross-community reputation aggregator based on the concepts of Valocracy and Trust Networks. It’s an open-source software that enables users to import reputation badges from other systems or create new ones, allowing those to be used in multiple communities with little to no need for structural adaptation.

Trustful is currently participating in Octanct’s Epoch 4 of Public Goods Funding; you can show your support by voting for us here!

Why build on reputation?

For nearly one year, Blockful contributors have been researching different approaches to reputation, diving into historical developments from word of mouth, through writing and the printing press, and all the way to social media algorithms. We've studied traditional peoples and their social structures, many web3 solutions with their different pros and cons, and we've hacked and won with our initial concept of how to contribute to this space.

Most of the studied solutions either turn communities into popularity contests that disproportionally reward Public Relations over other skills and contributions or completely disregard the contextual nature of how humans attribute trust to each other. Those characteristics differ abruptly from long-evolving human practices, making the user experience uncomfortable and actively disengaging people. This makes it unsafe to use the results from those systems to decentralize power or create trusted environments.

Plutocracy is broadly present in DAOs and is arguably a core element of even their earliest conceptual structures. Over the last couple of cycles, it has caused engagement issues, created governance risks, and attracted criticism from allied and opposing opinions.

In January, our team applied with ZuTrust to the Zuzalu tech round on Gitcoin, taking our first step towards making a public good product that would bring what we learned into a valuable solution for digital communities. With this initial funding, we dedicated efforts towards gathering insights from builders in different communities. We found converging opinions on how this dynamic, where your bag size is the only relevant metric to amplify your voice, limits and frustrates members, trimming their participation and creating mistrust in the voting or funding round results.

The full picture

Gathering those diverse research points allowed us to define some core concepts that Trustful will carry throughout its uses:

  • Reputation is contextual. It is only possible to functionally assign a reputational value to an action if you specify the context in which it will be recognized.

  • Reputation and trust go hand in hand. While the first is one-to-many, the second is one-to-one.

  • Trust allows for reputational bridges. While I might not be able to confirm someone's long-term contributions to a community, I can recognize their reputation there if I trust that community's reputational consensus.

  • Trust works very similarly regarding reputation and expertise. I might not be able to verify someone's knowledge of Particle Physics. Still, I can recognize their expertise if I trust a reputable educational institution like MIT or a group of experts to assert that expertise.

From those concepts, Trustful has derived its core features:

  • Issuance of Statement Badges in the form of EAS Attestations, which serve as statements of something about someone.

  • Creation of Reputational Scorers in the form of lists of "badge:relevance" pairs.

  • Issuance of Reputation Badges, also in the form of EAS Attestations, that are the result of checking an address against a Scorer.

Trustful dApp Homescreen
Trustful dApp Homescreen

Statement Badges are the core of the user experience. Trustful's interface makes it easy for anyone to issue Statement Badges to another address by simply choosing from a list of types or creating their own. It also allows users to connect and import their reputation from various sources, enabling a broader usage of different systems that are already culturally integrated into their communities or offering specific functionalities to meet their needs. For imported badges, the issuance, the verification of values, and the adaptation to a standard data format are done by Trustful's back-end server, allowing off-chain data to be considered for on-chain scenarios.

Reputational Scorers turn Statement Badges into usable scores. Users can create new scorers by defining what badges are relevant to them and specifying their relevance value, which serves as a multiplier. Flexibility on the valuation of a Statement Badge allows for the same contribution to be considered appropriately in different communities or contexts, such as voting proposals of a specific nature, allocating funds from a community treasury, or acknowledging reputable builders of another DAO inside your organization. Users can also select scorers from a list, identifying their creator and choosing to trust their parameters for what defines reputation in their context. We are excited to work with innovative governance systems like JokeRace to allow DAO members to curate their scorer values.

Reputation Badges are generated by scorers and allow their resulting values to be used for on-chain interactions. They are EAS Attestations containing a numerical score value and a Scorer ID. They will be the core piece for using Trustful in your community structure, being easy to use in a governor contract extension for voting, with Passport for funding round matching scores, or with a Hats eligibility module for roles and permissions.

Launching our first versions

Trustful is now under development, with an MVP built on Optimism and one on the Stellar Network. Those two early versions explore different aspects of improving the recognition of effort and expertise inside communities.

ZuGeorgia MVP on Optimism

The first OP version will focus on creating new Statement Badges and will be tested on ZuGeorgia in late July. It will allow organizers and attendants of a Zuzalu pop-up village event to give badges to each other in recognition of their contributions and knowledge. This mobile-first version aims to enable the community to create its first badges, which members will later use to generate Reputation Scores.

Stellar Quests MVP

The Stellar version will focus on importing badges from the current Stellar Quests system and creating Reputational Scorers and Reputation Badges for different contexts inside Stellar's governance ecosystem. It will qualify developers' expertise in certain areas, amplifying their voices on matters in which they have proof of knowledge.

Funding a public good

Trustful is an open-source software that aims to provide communities with a way to value member contributions and have resources for making more informed decisions.

Our initial funding came from the Zuzalu Gitcoin round earlier this year. We have also received a grant from SCF to fund the development of the Stellar MVP and are currently participating in the selection process for Octant's Epoch 4.

If you want to support Trustful to be open and accessible for everyone, please share this post or support us by voting on the Snapshot proposal for Octant.

If you are interested in knowing more, feel free to reach out or follow us here or in social media to get more updates soon!

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