Lists play a huge role in our lives. The impact they have on what we see and do is incredible and truthfully, pretty scary. When you start to think about it, you’ll see it.
A news website is a centralized list that tells you everything the editors want you to know about. Youtube presents you a list of videos the algorithm thinks you should watch. Instagram is just a list of photos that you might like. Google uses advanced algorithms to present you with a list of search results, but they get paid to put stuff at the top.
You get the point. The problem is that some lists are extremely powerful, such as the ones controlled by tech giants like Facebook and Google. Using these lists the centralized controllers are able to gather enormous amounts of data and modify the lists to influence opinions and decisions. It’s not that all list owners do, it’s the possibility that is dangerous.
List controllers also have the power to censor content. For example, there’s an ongoing battle between cryptocurrency creators and Youtube. Many creators have woken up to find their channel deleted with no reasoning. While you could argue that a small number of the creators deserve it, not all of them do and why should a centralized entity be the judge, jury and executioner in cases like these? It would make a lot more sense if the community could self moderate the content. We need a decentralized solution.
Introducing Token Curated Registries
A Token Curated Registry (TCR) is, in simple terms, a decentralized list. However, they aren’t just controlled by anyone. There are economic incentives in place that encourage the good behaviour and punish the bad. As a result, TCRs aim to be a reliable community represented list.
Kleros will soon launch Curate, a Dapp where TCRs can be constructed and deployed that utilize the decentralized decision making technology and advanced crypto-economics created by Kleros. Curate is designed to allow anyone to create and deploy a curated list that can then be shared and developed by the community. These lists are immutable, making them an extremely powerful way to create lists for any sort of data a community may want to collate.
Why TCRs are important (and how they work with Kleros)
The best way to represent why TCRs are important is to provide you with an example. Imagine I created a list that contained all of the best travel destinations in London. This list would have a number of fields, such as title, address, cost, time requirements and more.
Once the list is created, I would put down a crypto deposit and then the list would be placed in a pending state on the dapp. It is now viewable to anyone. They can check out the list and verify whether the information I’ve provided is reliable and true.
If someone notices that one of the travel destinations is an expensive restaurant my uncle owns in the West End, they can challenge my submission and provide evidence to show why it’s unsuitable to be featured on the list.
This challenge is then ruled upon by jurors using the Kleros dispute arbitration system. If the challenger wins the case then the original list submitter, me in this case, would lose their deposit to the challenger. If however the challenger is proved wrong, the submitter receives the challengers deposit. Either way, the jurors are rewarded for their work with ETH.
As you can see, this process rewards positive behaviour and punishes negative behaviour. All actions must be prefaced with a cryptocurrency deposit into a smart contract, which means it’s impossible to avoid the financial penalty for malicious action.
Of course, other people are able to come in and add their own favourite London travel destinations to the list, which are then vetted by the decentralized community to make sure they fit the bill. As the list grows, what we find ourselves with is a decentralized list that has been vetted by a community of experts with financial incentive to play by the rules. In other words, it’s a reliable list that cannot be removed and can’t be used to fuel an agenda.
It’s possible that a tour company or a tourist destination would have a distaste for a list such as this. In a centralized world they would be able to splash some cash and spin up changes which put them front and center. In our decentralized world, that’s not possible. And that’s the beauty of it.
This entire concept and process can apply to a list of any kind. It’s quick and easy to set up, but the power of a decentralized community can have a powerful impact in this instance. There are already a number of well used lists including Kleros’ own T2CR, which is a verified list of valid tokens, ERC20 compliant projects and was used by Ethfinex exchange to decentralize their listing process.
Curate – where it is and where it’s going
Curate is currently in bug bounty and soon to be launched. Once out, anyone can go and use it any time. Here are some of the features readily available:
- Create and deploy TCRs
- Browse existing TCRs or search for specific ones
- The challenge mechanic, which leverages Kleros’ arbitration system
With these features, Curate is good to go. But there is still more to come to make it even better:
- A notification system that can keep users informed with the latest updates about TCRs they are involved with
- Additional security measures
- More field types, such as image and long text support
How Kleros and the Curate Dapp could legitimize crypto and beyond
It’s clear to see that TCRs have extreme value and it’s likely we will observe an increase in user numbers. Any entity that chooses to use a TCR to represent something is demonstrating a new level of transparency. Imagine a cryptocurrency project team that uses a TCR to drive their product strategy, rather than using their own centralized decision making. That would guarantee they were building what their users want most.
Of course, this concept can move far and wide outside of crypto. The decentralized list isn’t valuable because of crypto – that’s just required to make it work. It’s products like Kleros Curate that could be disrupting the way we consume media in the not so distant future.
The Daily Chain
*Disclaimer – Kleros are our Media Partners and therefore this content is sponsored by them. The fees paid by this project are used to pay for The Daily Chain salaries, dev work, hosting services, travel expenses etc.. that are required to make this company a success and continue to provide the community with great content on a daily basis.