Why use a Reputation Score?
Jeff is very active on LinkedIn. He uses it to contact new business associates all the time, often using the suggestion feature on LinkedIn to find new networks. However, Jeff isn’t able to know too much about his potential business contacts, beyond what they post on their profiles. Though he has used many websites with reputation scoring built into user profiles, he wonders why LinkedIn doesn’t have this feature. He feels it would be very useful.
While LinkedIn hasn’t valued the development of a reputation-scoring system, companies like Upwork and Fiverr have pioneered the way in creating digital reputation scores when doing business online. Even with these reputation scores in place, it remains a challenge to figure out the level of trustworthiness of potential business contacts, considering standardized assessments for business integrity haven’t yet been developed on a worldwide scale. Many business dealings encounter fraud, failure to perform, and theft. PAID intends to transform the way we trust one another, by implementing a trustless, immutable, blockchain-based reputation-scoring system, giving us peace of mind when initiating new business connections across international borders.
PAID Network aims to create one of the most comprehensive reputation-scoring systems ever developed, rivaling the likes of bank credit scores, or even the social-credit scoring systems currently being developed by many national governments today.
PAID isn’t reinventing the wheel by implementing reputation scoring, but rather is taking the race to a new level. Centralized business ecosystems can be altered and tampered with, as many websites which feature ratings systems have been exposed in their inconsistent application of ratings standards. Preventing the adulteration of rating systems with centralized governance models is and will continue to remain a constant challenge. Perhaps this is a reason why LinkedIn hasn’t attempted to publish a reputation-scoring system for its users.
PAID’s ability to track, review, analyze and record a highly comprehensive set of reputation metrics on the blockchain will empower the network’s users to make data-based business decisions. Having a reputation score on the blockchain, with an inherently immutable record of activity, PAID Network will prevent the falsification of reviews, transactions, and other metrics commonly used to calculate reputation scores. Users who faithfully and consistently adhere to terms in their business agreements will accrue a positive reputation over time, gained by the positive feedback from their business transactions. This allows other users to clearly evaluate their prospective business contacts.
In addition, PAID’s Decentralized Digital Identity (DID) structure, supported with the use of biometrics such as fingerprint and retinal scans, prevent unethical actors from starting a new user account in the event that their previous reputation score has suffered due to their unsavory behavior. By ensuring users cannot simply create a new profile if they receive negative feedback, PAID profiles maintain the integrity of the reputation system. Duplicate biometric signatures will be identified, and blocked from creating new profiles. If LinkedIn were to do the same, it would require massive levels of trust in the security of their central servers, something that consumers would almost certainly be uncomfortable with.
Once a user creates a PAID Network profile and the system verifies their identity, they will be assigned a reputation score starting at zero. This reputation score will increase or decrease based on feedback from the users with whom they do business. This DID is the primary mechanism PAID uses to effectively track, gamify and prevent unethical business dealings.
What Factors will Comprise My Score?
There are a number of factors which will be implemented in the determination of a final reputation score for each user. Below are some objective measures which will be factored in:
- Volume of Successfully Completed Agreements – More completed transactions indicate the consistency and stability of a user.
- Completing High Accumulative Dollar-Value Agreements– Demonstrating a large cumulative transaction volume on a user’s account signals that the user has acted for the benefit of the PAID ecosystem by having significant platform adoption.
- Account Duration/Date of Opening – Activity on an account for a longer time period will reflect positively in the user’s reputation score. The longer a user has been active on the network, the more that user has demonstrated their historical behavior, thereby increasing reputation score.
In addition to these quantitative metrics, qualitative metrics, based on interactions with other users, will also be used:
- Reviews From Completed Agreements – Users will be able to rate the communication skills of other users, when collaborating on projects. The higher a user’s communication score is ranked, the greater the increase in their reputation.
- Following and Delivering on Agreement Terms – Following and delivering on agreement terms will be composed of several factors. Timely submission of deliverables which adhere to the agreed-upon SMART Agreement guidelines will be reflected in reputation score.The ability to demonstrate effective control of budgetary constraints during the fulfillment of SMART agreements will elevate a user’s reputation score. In addition to the above qualitative metrics cited above, an overall reputation score will be given to users upon completion of SMART Agreements, weighing significantly in their reputation score.
The above factors are the primary reputation calculation attributes, with many more factors also taken into consideration for determination of a final score. PAID will also leverage the reputation metrics used by Localbitcoins.com, to effectively assess the trustworthiness of individuals. Some of those factors include:
- Email Verification
- Phone Number verification
- Number of Unique User IDs Interacted with
- Last Seen time/date
Using the metrics cited above, PAID Network will be empowered to accurately determine reputation scores for each user on the network.
The Power of Reputation
PAID’s reputation-scoring system empowers good actors to reap substantial benefits from acting in the best interests of their business relationships. By focusing on ethical business behavior, good actors with high reputation scores can enjoy numerous benefits on the platform. As a result, the entire PAID ecosystem will run on a basis of ethical and transparent behavior, reducing the costs of doing business for each and every user. With the sheer volume of data stored on LinkedIn’s servers, they still haven’t realized the impact this feature would have on their community. Below are some of the benefits of having high reputation scores, and applying reputation scoring in general:
- Increased Exposure to New Clients – As a user’s reputation score increases, their ranking among users shall also increase. PAID’s Marketplace, launching in Q2 2021, will feature a merit-based search result structure. Those users who have acted ethically and fairly will be among the top search results for users searching for specific goods and services. When users act in the best interests of their clients, they get more client opportunities.
- Decreased Insurance Premiums – PAID Network’s platform features insurance for business transactions, allowing users to insure their transactions when entering into SMART Agreements with new counterparties they are unfamiliar with. The higher their reputation score, the lower their premiums will be since their high reputation score demonstrates they have a lower risk of defaulting on an agreement or triggering a dispute. The lower the risk, the lower the premium, and the more likely other users are to engage in business with those possessing higher reputation scores.
- Decreased Borrowing Rates – PAID’s Defi features will allow users to borrow money through the platform, via a decentralized pool of capital supplied by network users. A higher reputation score denotes a lower risk of loan default, and hence borrowing interest rates will be reduced for those with high scores.
- Increased Transparency and Peace of Mind – With a highly reliable way to assess a potential contact’s trustability, business will operate with increased transparency and confidence. As positive reputations and fulfillment of SMART Agreements continue to scale on PAID Network’s platform in a conscious and ethical way; a new standard of ethics and integrity will be established for international business.
Nothing is Bulletproof
Though the forethought and preparation of a reliable reputation system can yield amazing results, no system operates perfectly 100% of the time. In the event that a user strongly feels his or her reputation score was penalized inaccurately, they can call for a reputation audit. Arbitrators with the highest arbitrator scores (a topic for another article) will be drawn at random to review all available evidence and reach a consensus about whether or not to modify the score to reflect a more accurate account of past behaviors. With this decentralized, fail-safe mechanism in place, PAID is confident that it’s reputation scoring will be a model for other centralized and decentralized projects in the future.
Increasing accountability, increasing prosperity
By taking a modern, decentralized approach to a proven method for assessing accountability and trustworthiness, PAID Network’s reputation-scoring system will serve as a guiding moral framework for doing business online as it will be transparent, and immutably recorded on the blockchain. PAID will give the highest level of consumer trust, satisfaction and efficiency for all its users, large and small. Too bad LinkedIn hasn’t figured it out yet.
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