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MarkPfennig edited this page Sep 13, 2014 · 12 revisions


This document describes all aspects of Marking, the usage of Marks, and impact of such a system.

Marks as Reputation

Reputation systems such as scores, karma, and likes are now common, Marking is the next evolutionary step of the reputation system.

'Marking' defines the process of giving reputation, giving someone a mark for something they have created, offered, or shared.

Marking is simple process which any person can easily do, no harder than clicking a like button.

Anybody can mark any other person for any purpose, both on the internet and in everyday life.

Marks are a limited resource, the process of marking transfers ownership of the marks from one user to another.

Marks are not only reputation but also a measurement of value, they are earned by every day actions and creations.

Every Mark has an equal value wherever it is used, Marks are also divisible units, the mark given may be 1 Mark, 3 Marks, 0.025 Marks, or any amount wished.

They can be stored, retrieved, and exchanged without any impact on the value of each mark.

As the marking system is used, Marks become more distributed and scarce.

If a user runs out of Marks, they may earn more by sharing something, creating something, offering a service, or anything which may reasonably be seen as having value to some other person.

Each mark earned by an individual adds value to all.

Marks as Currency

Marks have a quantifiable earned value and all the properties of a currency, they may be bought, sold, or exchanged for other currencies.

Consider marks to be spendable karma, an amusing post on a social network could pay for your coffee, marking a video of the crisis in syria could pay for aid on the ground, marking an article about a mistreated animal could pay for it's shelter, and marking this proposal could pay for it's creation.

The more the Marking system is used, the more distributed the supply of marks becomes, which in turn makes marks more scarce and more valuable.

The marking system is built on top of a cryptographic currency called Bitmark which uses technologies proven by Bitcoin. As such each mark is also literal unit of currency.

Marks therefore have all the utility and value proposition of Bitcoins, and also an earned value on which to establish their price tag, both adoption and value are magnified by a massively scalable global adoption program which starts with people first and grows to incorporate businesses.

Community Adoptions

A community adoption is the term given to any community which agrees to use Marking as their reputation system.

To begin, each adoption will have a quantity of marks to distribute to their users. Users may then give the marks to each other as reputation.

A user's reputation within an adopting community is the measurement of all marks accrued by the user within that community.

Each user has a balance of available marks, they can give marks to other users who have earned them, transfer them to their accounts on other mark adoptions, send them to their friends, or store them on their computer and later retrieving them for usage.

Marks can also be used as a measurement of each adopting community, by looking at the number of marks within a community, and the number used each day in the adoption, you can gain a reasonable measurement of the community's activity and value.

A benefit of the marking system is that users can transfer marks between communities, if a user finds they have changed interests or have begun to use a new more active community then they can take their available marks with them.

Communities may also be marked by their users providing an easy to use donation system. Since marks are divisible, small fees can optionally be collected and used by adoptions as a revenue stream to pay for servers and resources.

Adoptions may also compete for users, the flow of marks in and out of a community in relation to it's peers is a fair measurement of how that adoption is performing.

The marking system naturally compensates and rewards adopting communities who tend to their users needs, and offer a valuable service.

The principle of earned value is at the core of the Marking system.

Public Integrations

A public integration is any open source software which supports Marking.

Any software may integrate Marking for any purpose, some common examples may include

  • Blogging software offering support for the marking of articles, comments or content offered by users.
  • Games may accept marks as currency in return for in game content, or distribute fractional amounts of marks as rewards for achievements, or allow users to mark each others efforts.
  • Community software can provide ready to use adoptions
  • File or image sharing which allow users to mark things which are offered
  • Version control systems like git may support the marking of commits, resolved issues or releases.
  • Project management software can allow the marking of achieved milestones.

The possibilities are limitless, any integration makes the process of marking and using marks easier for users, and also enables the distribution of marks to yet more people.

Adopting Services

An adopting service is any service which offers their goods or services in return for marks.

New businesses can be established easily by using any public integration, creating a business with a ready to use revenue stream is therefore as simple as setting up some software.

There are early bird incentives to any start up which accepts marks early on, as the value of marks increase over time, the profit margin on a downloadable item or a service offered such as hosting may be enough to pay for considerable resources in the future.

Anybody can create a service where items are markable and receive revenue from it, as Marks are divisible small fees can be taken by service providers and websites to cover their costs. This may also reduce the need for adverts on websites as a source of revenue.

The flow of marks is such that anybody who shares a useful link on the internet may receive marks for doing so, this naturally turns every web citizen into an ethically remunerated promoter.

Content promoters can receive marks via an article they publish, whilst the thing being promoted such as a song may also be marked providing revenue to the musician, and anybody else who may subsequently share either will receive marks too.

Each person can therefore earn and spend marks when relaxing, when working, and by doing anything they enjoy, at home and at work.

The marking system is by nature a massively scalable viral system in which all fair participants earn marks.

As services and providers acquire more marks, they may wish to use them to pay for services they require, and encourage their associated businesses to accept marks as payment.

Private Integrations

A private integration is any proprietary software, website, or online business which offers the process of marking or exchanging marks to their users.

The marking process may be integrated as a review system, or applied to anything offered by the software including products and services.

Marks may also be accepted in return for goods or services offered, for example a website offering micro digital goods such as templates, stock art, resources, or media, may first accept Marking as a review system, and later as payment for the digital goods offered.

Marking enables greater fluidity of money between services.

For service providers the ability for users to send money from competitors, from disused or redundant account balances, to use their "spare change" is of benefit, and provides a potentially significant increase in revenue.

Accepting Marks for goods and services can greatly reduce the overheads involved in traditional payment processing, leading to greater profit or more competitive pricing.

Early bird incentives exist for any business which accepts Marks as payment before their competitors.

Web Wide Marking

The first public integration is, a viral by nature implementation of Marking which supports the marking of anything on any web address.

When a user Marks something on the web, they are not only giving the sharer or creator reputation and a small amount of money, but also bookmarking the web address associated with the marking.

Each user then has a store of all the things they have marked on

When users mark something on the web they can choose whether it is to be saved as a public or private marking, public is the default for anything which is not considered payment.

If the marking is public then it is published on and the user becomes it's marker.

Each thing listed on can be marked by other users.

Curators and sharers are rewarded for sharing things which other people enjoy or find useful, as they receive the marks given to them for sharing the link. Anybody who further shares a marking elsewhere will receive a portion of the Marks it receives via their marking.

A measure of marks received over a period of time gives each marked thing a rank, the most marked things for a given time period are the most popular and the most viral.

Consider to be have all the properties of any implementation of Marking, all of the properties of the major social networks combined, as a vector by which any user may reward and encourage anybody on the internet to become a marker, and as a massive distribution system which apportions marks between users. is the flagship integration of Marking.

Simple Adoption

A simple adoption refers to any page on the web which supports simple marking.

Simple marking is enabled by a getMarked button, similar to the facebook 'Like' button, which can be added to any web page.

When something is marked through the getMarked button it may also be listed publicly on

Any page with a getMarked button is considered to be claimed by the content creator, the owner of the button. When this is the case any marks given to the page address on are split between the marker and the creator.

This encourages content creators to join to ensure they receive the marks for anything new they create.

The simple adoption pattern serves as a viral promotion and adoption program which rewards all who join, and also as an easy way for small businesses and individuals to monetize anything and gain reputation without having to take any time consuming technical steps.

Simple adoption is an easy way for companies to integrate basic marking and see the virtues of the system.

Consider a music store where every song can be marked by users of Each user that marks a song provides a small amount of revenue, if a song is good it can go viral and receive a large amount of marks.

This model can be applied to anybody who makes anything, they simply share and if it is good they get marked.

Charity and Crowd Funding

The combination of Marking and provides instant one click viral crowd funding for everybody in the world at web scale.

A self publishing music artist can share a markable song for free, his friends mark it, their friends see it, potentially all of's user base sees it, and if it is good the artist receives many marks. This pays for the song and lets everybody hear it for 'free'.

This funding model can be applied to anything anywhere which anybody allows to be marked. Eventually it can empower individuals to work on anything they want to and receive fair earned marks for their efforts.

Charities can also benefit greatly by integrating Marking or by Simple Marking. Consider a small organization which rescues children from streets and gives them shelter, a short video created by them or anybody can be published with a button. The good cause alone will often generate many marks, and pay for the organization to continue their work.

Marks are divisible to 5 units of precision, any business, service, or community can then apply a small charity tax to their integrations and provide a simple revenue stream for charities which crucially has no management overhead.

Imagine if 0.25% of all marks ever given were sent to charities and good causes, it would have a significant impact on the world.


Each whole mark is designed to earn value over time by both usage and adoption, since every time a mark is transferred from one person to another it is given as a measurement of value earned or a measurement of the worth of the goods or service received.

Marks are divisible to 5 units of precision. Initially somebody may give a whole mark to another person for writing something interesting, as marks become more distributed they become more scarce, fractional amounts of marks will begin to be used for smaller worth actions and whole marks given for more valuable things.

Over time each action, creation, good, or service will naturally acquire a standard value measured in Marks as users of the distributed marking system commonly agree on how many marks they want to give in relation in relation to the thing offered.

To begin markings will typically have a value in the common form of "0.01 Marks", as the value of a single Mark grows more units of precision will become common, "0.025 Marks".

When 0.01 Mark reaches parity with the cent through its wide spread adoption and earned value, simple reputation based actions such as marking an amusing image will likely warrant smaller marks. The term markbit has been given to 0.001 marks.

For a time 1 markbit can become a default value given to a social marking, as Mark adoption grows further this can move to 0.50 markbits, and then finally the smallest unit of precision 0.01 markbits, which is equal to 0.00001 Marks.

The creation of marks reduces over time, every 18 months the number of marks produced per day reduces by a quarter, with a halving every 3 years. We can expect new value measurements to adjust over time in correlation with this process, something which had a base mark value of 1 Mark will move to 0.75 then 0.5.

All aspects of Marking combined with the reduced creation will allow for adoption growth of any magnitude, with the base value associated with one complete mark rising over time.


Reputation based marking enables the automation and decentralization of many aspects of life.

Beginning with simple approaches many common problems can be addressed.

The issue of moderation within community adoptions can be solved by enabling users to stake marks on actions and posts. Consider a forum where each post costs an amount of marks, community members can then stake some of their marks against a specific action, such as marking the post as spam. If enough of the community agree that the post is spam the post is removed and the marks returned to the staking users, with the post cost distributed between them as a reward. Which users to trust to do this action becomes a redundant issue since every action taken involves the staking or accruing of reputation.

Open source software projects can be community can be crowd funded by the projects communities and anybody who develops the software can be remunerated with marks automatically. This is a form of decentralized autonomous corporation. Consider this project, it can be marked by anybody and the marks earned can be held in an automated foundation account. When bugs or improvements are requested a number of marks can be staked against the action of completing the required actions. Any programmer can then fix the bug or create the improvement and submit it for approval by the community, if accepted the stake is released and the marks given to the programmer, increasing his reputation in the community and giving him valuable earned marks to use elsewhere.

Marking can simply allow anybody to earn marks for anything they do which has value to others.

Grassroots Adoption and Service Ideas

Marking begins with people measuring the value of things other people do, and passing some of the Marks they have earned to other people, further associating value with the Marks.

People must come first, fun and practical services which can be gained in return for Marks are important.

Some novel ideas which put people first are being catalogued, a small selection follows.

Anonymous Publishing

Services where people can write anonymous articles.

A paid publishing service where users draft an article and then publish it by marking it, subsequent marks on the article get split between author and the publishing service provider, it's a revenue stream for both, where spam and bad articles cost money, and writers gain reputation if successful, reputation which is also money.

Marking gives people the option to post controversial articles without necessarily using their name. Authors can claim an article later if they want by proving they held the marks used to publish the article.

Common uses can include somebody who has a problem that they want to make public but can't be personally be associated with the article.

Another important use case is to provide secure blogging for whistleblowers and people reporting in disrupted regions, whilst providing a revenue flow for them since readers would support them by marking their efforts. Even if they couldn't spend the marks on the ground, they could at least pay for more secure reports and services like anonymous email/servers and gain reputation.


When you find a geocache you scan a QR code contained within it, the QR code is a Mark request with the amount left empty. The finder would then give the placer a quantity of Marks, to say they had found it, and also to act as an instant review.

The review is reputation and also a small payment, which reimburses the geocacher and encourages his actions, to place another geocache and fill it again.

Reviewing and Tipping

You could mark a restaurant that you enjoy by scanning their QR code when you pay your bill.

Additional services such as a site that has trending places in your area based on the amount or frequency of marks given can be created.

People get to find out where the good places to eat are, and business owners have an incentive to add marking as it's free promotion and a revenue stream. Which could lead to them accepting marks as full payment for meals or whatever they sell.

This adoption pattern starts out as participating in a system that promotes their business fairly and where they can earn reputation.

Consider a restaurant bill being paid by marking, with a fixed amount going to the company and a variable amount to the server, the tips to the server are also then their review and increase their reputation.

To start this could just be a printable badge for servers, "Mark My Service" with a QR code, that is very simple, as companies see their staff getting tips, they may consider taking payment with Marks too.

Privacy Services

Micro services for people can be created which accept marks as payment.

  • Anonymous email providers, with a modified send button which says "Mark and Send"
  • Secure file uploading, or image hosting
  • Private server instances to be used on demand Many services like this can be created and are valuable to people.

Corporate Gifts and Customer Loyalty / Rewards

Corporations often offer loyalty rewards to customers, rewards could take the form of Marks, which give the customer both Reputation and Money. Marks may also be used as a form of cashback.

Physical Marks or Mark Gift Cards may need to be created, a redeemable card (plastic wallet) preloaded with a quantity of Marks, perhaps refillable as a loyalty card.

Cards such as these, or physical objects which have been markified, armed with an amount of marks in some way, may be given as corporate gifts.

Corporate Prizes for Customers

Often confectionery producers run competitions, where you find a code inside the wrapper and log on to the website to find out if you had one.

These codes could be swapped for private keys, where each one can be added by the customer to claim a number of Marks which have been allocated to that key.

Alternatively the existing model could be kept which has branding benefits for the company, but instead of giving away a free candy bar they give away marks to the value of the prize.

Giving Beer

Within technical communities Beer has long been synonymous with reputation, to give someone a beer, or owe them a beer, is to give them reputation and promise to give them a small financial reward in the future, often in the form of a beer.

A Marking integration may be branded alternatively to look like a small beer icon, users could give each other reputation + beer money with a single click.

Still Reading?

The Marking initiative and are under development by the author of this document with valuable contributions from the ever growing Project Bitmark community. Bitmark is the stable cryptographic currency on which Marking is being built.

From July 2015 work on both the Marking initiative and Bitmark will be funded entirely by the Bitmark Foundation.

Until that time all work and progress relies on donations, the project is entirely unfunded.

You can contact Mark Pfennig by email or visit the community in their temporary home to discuss the project.

Donations to current development can be made in BTC:


Donations to future development can be made in BTM:

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