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Whitepaper v1

harmonylion edited this page Jan 10, 2020 · 33 revisions

Ideamarket: A proof-of-credibility consensus mechanism


In the same way that fiat currency is only valuable because governments and banks say they are, mainstream narratives are true only because media corporations say they are.

Ideamarket allows the public to define credibility without relying on media corporations, creating "hard credibility" for the first time.

Read before using

Try it:


  • Requires Portis wallet ( — will accept Metamask and others soon
  • Have both ETH and DAI in your Portis wallet. Payments are made in DAI and need ETH for gas.
  • It's only possible to submit primary domains (, not subdomains or paths.


  • It often takes multiple confirmations to buy tokens.
  • The contracts have not yet been audited.
  • 2% of all purchases goes to the "permafund," which earns interest for users forever. Read more about the permafund below.

How it works

  • Buy publication tokens to increase their visibility and implied credibility. The first 10,000 tokens for any publication cost $1 each. Token price increases by $0.01 for every 100 tokens bought after that.

  • 2% of the USD value of all token purchases stays in the pool permanently.

  • The funds used to buy tokens are deposited into a pool that earns interest. 90% of pooled interest is given to holders of top tokens (by market cap) at the time of distribution. 10% goes into the Ideamarket dev fund.

  • Anyone can trigger the distribution of platform-wide interest at any time.

  • If you don't see your favorite publication listed, add it. It's only possible to submit primary domains (, not subdomains or paths.

How Ideamarket works

Ideamarket is:

Uncensorable — A listed publication can never be removed from the global conversation.

Unpartisan — Ideamarket doesn't care what you believe—only that you believe it enough to risk money.

Unstoppable — Ideamarket makes it more profitable for media to earn public trust than to control public opinion.

How to use it

Venture philosophers

Profit by finding and popularizing important voices.


Monetize your audience without paywalls, ads, or donations. Buy your own tokens on a recurring basis to signal your commitment to earning public trust over the long-term.

Advertisers and "outsider" political candidates

Liberate yourself from dependence on corporate media and ensure your narrative gets a fair comparison with other narratives.


Make public disagreements more productive by demanding all influencers "put money where their mouth is."

Why it works

When seeking narratives, people seek what's overvalued (whatever corporate media says). When seeking investments, people seek what's undervalued ("Shill me x").

Turning narratives into investments changes the way we consume (and produce) information:

Foster ideological unity by making understanding other viewpoints a financial necessity

Undermine propaganda by moving money (and trust) from platforms that imitate insight to those that truly provide it

Solve fake news by making credibility extremely expensive to fake

Defining credibility

Credibility is a relationship between a publisher and its audience.

In a technical sense, credibility is the extent to which a publisher can convince its audience that it’s the most profitable investment of all competing alternatives on ideamarket.

If: Bitcoin mining involves using hashpower to compete over block rewards distributed by a mining algorithm

Then: “Credibility mining” involves using published content to compete over trust distributed by the public.

Like Bitcoin mining, credibility mining requires up-front risk. Users start off 2% down, with a chance of losing capital from loss of token value (if token supply >10,000). However, interest yield to top tokens will be extremely high and those that can maintain a leading position over time will produce income for holders.

Proof-of-credibility says, “If there were a superior alternative to current market winners, someone would have noticed it by now.” The more Ideamarket's capitalization grows, the more its investor base diversifies into new demographics and populations, and the more its results reverberate through browser extensions and other media, the closer and closer this proposition comes to being true.

Why use Ideamarket

Activist investment thesis.

Ideamarket provides a superior platform for activism compared to political campaigns:

Permafund guarantees growth.

A growing permafund provides a growing opportunity to earn interest, which inspires competition and participation. Participation increases the market capitalizations of the top tokens, which in turn increases the amount an attacker would have to spend to take the top spot by force.

Aligns incentives between VCs and the public.

The smart VC play is to understand the needs of the public and make investments in publications that truly deserve long-term relevance. VCs will seek out whistleblowers, breakthrough scientists, and breakers of taboos, and make them the next hot startups. Ideamarket requires activists and investors to think more like one another.

Provides an excellent channel for nonviolent protest.

Ideamarket is a venue for the public to express confidence in publishers, and for publishers to signal confidence in themselves. Demand that media corporations periodically match the purchases their audiences make in order to demonstrate good faith.

Defends well against common attacks.

See next section.

Common attacks

51% attack

A giant corporation makes makes a buy as large as the entire previous market cap, becoming entitled to half the interest generated.

The results of a 51% attack are as follows:

  • Instant 2% loss of capital for the attacker
  • Instant 100%+ increase of platform market cap, increasing competition and interest payouts to other leading publishers
  • Despite increased competition, the attacker must survive as a leading token long enough to profit from interest

A 51% attack is a benefit to the community and a risk to the attacker.

Pile-on attack

All investors pile into the top token in order to benefit from permafund interest. Results:

  • Instant 2% loss of capital for attackers
  • As dominance of the top token increases, yield approaches the normal yield from Meanwhile, risk of losing initial capital quickly increases as token price increases. Eventually, every pile-on will become a pump-and-dump.

Mint P&D

A scammer mints a new publication and buys the first n number of tokens, increasing the buy price and dumping on follow-on investors.

Ideamarket's defense against Mint P&Ds is largely fundamental. In the crypto markets, tokens fundamentals cause price changes based on secret partnerships, announcements, and other information asymmetries. In Ideamarket, fundamentals come exclusively from published content. If people don't expect that content to inspire trust over time when compared with alternatives, they should not invest. There are no secret partnerships or announcements to be duped into buying only for whales to "sell the news."

How to solve fake news

Our approach to solving fake news consists of a browser extension that inserts publication ranking into link metadata and displays it for users.

For example, if The Telegraph is ranked #4:

Anywhere an article from The Telegraph appears on the internet, it will be accompanied by a little green “4”:

This approach has several major advantages:

  • Gives users control. Users can set a “minimum ranking” on their browsers to automatically hide all content that comes from unlisted publications and those below a certain rank. (For example: “show only articles from top 100 publications”)

  • No effort required for platforms. Facebook has no need to monitor fake news, nor crowdsource it, nor build AI to recognize it, nor field complaints from organizations whose content was censored. The market assumes all epistemic responsibility, and users decide how much variability to tolerate.

  • Improved token value proposition. With easy (and perhaps universal) implementation of browser and platform filters, publication rank has a direct correlation to attention received, regardless of whether people visit the website. This reinforces the investment proposition for publication tokens and encourages serious participation by publications and their audiences.

  • Objective. There is no judgment—moral, epistemic, or otherwise—implied by the ranking. Publication ranking is an objective, statistical fact that anyone has the ability to influence. The integrity of rankings can be verified in the code.

  • Inspires investigation. An article with a low ranking indicates high potential for investment upside if its content turns out to be meaningful. This inspires people to investigate articles from low-ranked publications for themselves.

  • Low cost to implement. Browser extensions are easy to develop, and simple “check ranking, display if” APIs are easy for platforms to integrate.

By contrast:


Goals for the near future include:

  • High-quality code audits

  • Open-sourcing Ideamarket to allow anyone to create curation markets with a similar structure, enabling markets for music, people, or anything

  • Creating direct-buy links to make it easy for publishers to invite their audiences to buy tokens for their publication. We own the domain for this purpose (Example:

  • Building a browser extension to show Ideamarket rank alongside any link, obviating the need for centralized control and censorship

  • Releasing an open-source permafund protocol to allow anyone to create permanent interest-earning pools. This will enable anyone to instantly create a trust fund, make a perpetual donation to a charity, establish permanent continuous funding for a DAO, or create recurring rewards for gaming platforms and competitions

Invest and contribute

We're raising $1.5 million on a capped income-sharing agreement to achieve the above.

We also have a Gitcoin grant, where community donations can accelerate short-term development:


Long-term leadership will involve a foundation or a DAO.


v1.0 was built by talented developers:

  • Tommy Cox (front end)
  • Euka Ryote (smart contracts)
  • P Bhanu Teja (smart contracts)
  • Sofiane Akermoun (bonding curve)
  • Shubham Gupta (bonding curve)

Special thanks to you guys—your hard work and faith brought Ideamarket into existence. Would love to have any or all of you stay on this project into the future.

Founder: Mike Elias


Ideamarket aims to change the incentive landscape for creating common knowledge. Success is achieved not when lies disappear forever, but when the trend reverses from a competition to exploit, terrorize, and divide the public to a competition to serve, inspire, and unite it.


Gitcoin grant:

Introduction: Decentralizing the search for truth using idea markets - This article provides a thorough introduction to how idea markets work and why they are needed.

How to code unstoppable nonviolent revolutions - This article shows how Bitcoin is inspired by a philosophy of nonviolence, and how Ideamarket follows in its footsteps.

A Primer on Idea Markets (Venture Stories Podcast) - Erik Torenberg chats with Ideamarket's founder about idea markets and how they work, clearing up some of the finer details.

20-minute overview of Ideamarket - Ideamarket introduced and explained in 20 minutes on the CurationMarkets community call




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