WOT for WAT: Spinning the web of trust for peer-to-peer barter relationships

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Peer-to-peer complementary currencies can be powerful tools for promoting collaborations and building relationships on the Internet. i-WAT [1] is a proposed such currency based on WAT System [2], a polycentric complementary currency using WAT tickets as its medium of exchange. Participants spontaneously issue and circulate the tickets as needed, whose values are backed up by chains of trust. i-WAT implements the tickets electronically by exchanges of messages signed in OpenPGP [3]. This paper clarifies the trust model of i-WAT, and investigates how it is related with that of PGP [4]. To implement the model by dynamically building an appropriate web of trust (WOT), we claim that it would suffice if the behaviors of participants satisfy the following three properties: 1. mutual signing by knowing, or any two mutual acquaintances sign the public keys of each other, 2. mutual signing by participation, or the drawer and a user of an i-WAT ticket sign the public keys of each other, and 3. mutual full trust by participation, or the drawer and a user of an i-WAT ticket fully trust each other, and a recipient fully trust the corresponding user of a ticket, in the context of PGP public key signing. Likelihood of satisfaction of these properties is supported by the (dis)incentives imposed by the semantics of i-WAT. A reference implementation of i-WAT has been developed in the form of a Jabber [5] instant messaging client. We are beginning to put the currency system into practical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1510
Number of pages8
JournalIEICE Transactions on Communications
VolumeE88-B
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Club formation
  • Currency
  • P2P
  • PGP
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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