Tue 30 Jan 2018 2:23PM

Consensus Model: Validating unwitnessed transactions and proof of work

IE Ibby EL-Serafy Public Seen by 313

This is specifically discussing a consensus model in the context of a time-based currency however I imagine some of the discussion points will also be relevant in the context decentralised systems of governance.

When work is witnessed by other community members in person the issue of validation becomes relatively trivial. However not all work is witnessed. Using foodhall projects as examples:
1. Research on the garden project is done at home
2. A lot of cafe and foodhall admin is done at home
3. Most work on the time-based currency project is done independently.

One way of validating work like this would be putting proof of work on the blockchain (or at least a checksum of the proof of work) and having this validated by X amount of community members, where X might be dependent on transaction size.

In a transaction where a time-based token is generated for goods, rather than services, information on what goods were transacted and the amount of them could be submitted, and the transaction could be validated when, essentially, enough people agree that those goods are worth that amount of hours.

Within this system this might lead to community consensus on the value of goods in terms of labour hours.


Louise Delmege Tue 30 Jan 2018 3:14PM

If the value of goods is decided by democracy this would be:

Good: because it would remove the ability for sellers to artificially rise prices more than their value to consumers.

Bad: because consumers might attach more value to objects that are, for example, fashionable, despite them taking few hours to produce. This would also mean that well advertised objects would be more valuable, regardless of how much time was spent producing them.
It might then become reasonable to spend more time on the advertising for a product than the product itself.


Ibby EL-Serafy Tue 30 Jan 2018 3:58PM

Do you think this would still be a concern in the context of a system where most transactions are done peer to peer, in the absence of monolithic organisations?

I think in a system like this organisations should be:
1. voluntary
2. functional
3. temporary
4. small

During one of our brain storming sessions me and @louiskoseda discussed a potential model for organisations in a system like this, a "stake system". So say me, you and luke wanted to start a garden project, we would stake a number of our own hours and submit a proposal that outlines, explicitly, the parameters of the system. For example "the garden project will: research gardening; build growboxes; manage the growboxes" (simplified). Other members of the community could then stake the organisation if they believe in it. The more stake an organisation has the more ability it has to generate and tokens. Once the organisation has served it's purpose we can withdraw the stake and the organisation would cease to exist.


Louise Delmege Tue 30 Jan 2018 11:29PM

Yes, I think there's much less risk of value being separated from time if hours can't buy goods.

I think there is still a risk that more fashionable projects will get more investment than other, just as great but less "cool" projects. That being said, I can't think of any examples of projects people would have the enthusiasm to do that no one else would want to happen.


Ibby EL-Serafy Wed 31 Jan 2018 12:37AM

But if hours can't buy goods how would goods be exchanged post money? Ideally once a system like this is fully developed a person could choose to opt out of using money to a large extent.

I'm also curious what the difference between a good and a service is? What's the difference between buying a table someone has spent 10 hours to build and hiring someone for 10 hours to build a table? If someone tends to a giant garden with lots of food and veg they're providing the service of gardening to the community, you could pay them to tend the garden, or you could pay them for the produce but a fair price for the produce would be one which compensated them for their time, so both those methods should result in the gardener receiving the same amount of hours.


Louise Delmege Wed 31 Jan 2018 8:26AM

If you can buy goods many more problems would come up, because many goods take little or no time to obtain, others, made in community projects, will already have generated hours, and others won't sell, or will decrease in value as future versions take less time to make, then hours spent making them won't be paid.

So, if you want to buy something from me that I bought with money, say, my coat, then I'll be paid hours I didn't work, and I'll end up with more hours than I've worked.
This could be worse if things that take me little or no hours end up being more valuable, like a printed Journal. It's valuable, but printing took no time at all, and the journalists will already have been paid their hours.

Say I did make that coat, but as part of a community project, like running a coat making workshop, I'll already have been paid hours for my work. So if I sell it I'll be getting the same hours again, so I'll have double hours for the time spent coat making.

Say we solve that by saying that time spent making coats you plan to sell isn't paid, except by the sale.
This might be ok for coats, but for things like vegetables it wouldn't be. Vegetables take lots of hours at the start, but aren't sellable until months later. Hours for the sale of vegetables wouldn't be gained until much later.
Plus, not all the veg will be of equal quality, and some won't grow. So either the gardener will maker less hours back than the time they put in. Or, the good veg will cost more in hours than they took to make, to make up for the other veg.
Then, what if not all the veg is sold? Then the gardener won't be paid all their hours at all.
And what about things you don't intend to sell when you make them but do later. Or what about something you bought you want to resell but the value has changed because now everyone's a coat making expert they're made in half the time.

The only way I can see it, is hours can't be exchanged for anything made outside of the community. Things inside the community are owned by the community so need not be bought. The people who made them have already been compensated when they made them.