Could proof of space and time work as a reputation currency?

I’m not a huge crypto fan, but tried out Chia because the “proof of space and time” portion of it really piqued my interest. I say this because it has a unique quality that I don’t think I’ve seen in tech before.

  • The cost for a normal user to farm 1-10 Chia plots is a very small one time cost for plotting plus $0 of ongoing costs if it’s done alongside normal computing activity. As long as you’re not leaving your computer on overnight to farm, the incremental cost is basically $0.
  • The cost to farm at-scale is higher. Industrial scale farmers are paying $0.02 USD per plot for storage plus compute costs to create plots plus ongoing electricity costs plus any other costs associated with scaling like rack mountable storage, etc… It’s not an incremental cost either since they don’t have any of those resource hanging around idle to begin with.

Is the disparity enough that it would make sense as a reputation system where normal users could participate for (essentially) free while being expensive enough to act as a disincentive for bots and bad actors?

Think of a forum like this or a voting based system like Stack Exchange / Reddit.

  • Provable time spent farming, which I think is a requirement for pools to be fair, could be an earned currency that’s associated with your account. You could earn 10 “plot hours” by farming 1 plot for 10 hours or 10 plots for 1 hour. Think of it as an anti-bot / account age / enthusiasm indicator. The more you have, the less likely you’re a bot. Core community members might allocate a lot of farm time to prove they’re a good actor that’s enthusiastic about the community.
  • Coins (ie: XCH) that are won could be an awarded currency that can be given away for participation that’s valuable. Think of it like upvotes, but they’re not unlimited. It could also be used for bounties similar to Stack Exchange.

Founding members and early participants would end up with a lot of coins and that would let them reward desirable behavior as the community grows. Both currencies (plot hours and coins) could be used in combination to grant privileges similar to how this forum does it based on replies, likes, etc… By the time a community would be large enough to attract bots, the cost of obtaining the earned currency would be high compared to the reward (for the bot).

If you take the money out of it because the only real value is to the people running the community, they could just host the blockchain as a centralized service IMO. They could also run the whole thing like a pool to smooth out rewards and you don’t have to worry about an industrial scale farmer taking over your blockchain.

If you had compatible blockchains across communities you could move your plots between communities while bots and bad actors could be identified by their keys. An invalidated key would mean re-plotting which adds cost for bad actors.

I think if you re-branded all the terminology to make it more friendly to the average user you might be able to build a really cool reputation system. I also think there might be more value in “proof of farming” than in the actual XCH rewards.

Does Chia work if you take the real world money out of it and use it for online reputation instead? Is the proof of space and time part of Chia worth more than just XCH generation?


This is really compelling to me, and I agree will need to be a part of pools to make them fair.

I’m not too well versed on the chialisp and coloured coins parts of the project, but I think those could be leveraged for what you’re describing. Have you studied those yet at all?

Also just in general, I’m pretty sure we are going to see community rewards for participation via crypto blow up in the next few years. And proof of reputation is a whole deep topic too, that Balaji guy talks about it a lot, his recent podcast on My First Million is really good.