There’s something brewing in communist China, and its known as the” social credit system.” Citizens who engage in a positive activity, determined to be a benefit to the state, are assigned a rating. Some view it as an Orwellian tool of monitoring and even political repression in the worst of cases. But the Chinese government maintains it’s a way of boosting administrative efficiency and encouraging trust and moral behavior by its citizens.
Those who score high and rack up credits are afforded access to certain privileges such as travel or good restaurants. Those who score low, perhaps due to jaywalking, reckless behavior or a rebellious attitude, are regulated to second-class citizens.
Welcome to a new world order, a government model where society is micromanaged, but centralized, and as nearly everything in China – top down.
Massively criticized, some are also calling this system “clever” as people have begun to compete to be abiding little lambs. The bet – people will control and censor themselves to achieve a high score that results in status and opportunity. Or will they?
Doubts are ever-present. What if somebody hacks the system and changes scores? Or leaks information and/or misuses the data like a recent, unnamed social media giant? Imagine if the social credit system is extended to government-controlled “digital currencies.” Now we’re getting into Stephen King territory.
While China’s credit system is based on political action, a geo-location app is working on a model based on socio-community action. Highly decentralized in nature, it’s known to all as Blockchain. Blockchain is a community of participants with a shared cause – to provide transparency, trust, and above all, decentralized to the world. As communities and blockchains grow, more participants arrive devoting time, resources and capital to the network thus making it more valuable as folks sign on.
As human beings we cannot see or perceive whom we trust based on appearance alone. Rather, a personal, historical connection is needed. One’s credibility needs to be built and this takes a lot of effort and time. A true socio-community system is where the users provide other users scores via the rating of user behavior. Good behavior earns more ratings and higher scores. The very act of getting something recorded/rated by thousands of strangers provides the trust and in a local community the visibility that the deed has been completed.
A scoring algorithm and blockchain will also address issues such as cheating, hacking and attacking all the while pressuring the system to be a fairer transaction platform. As a location-based app, Geme.io is working to use blockchain technology to ensure its users and people and their stored likes (proof of deeds per location etc.) are stored in the blockchain so it is “always safe.” A socio-community credit system will also allow people to build social credit over time and engender trust via the use of the blockchain. People will be motivated by others earning community badges for do-gooding.
Trust has been a cornerstone on which billion-dollar businesses are built, and businesses of the future will not only be concerned about providing value through products or services, they will also be about concentrated on providing value through the community. Coupled with products and services, communities powered by blockchain will be the new norm for businesses of the next decade. Communities and organizations will thrive in an environment where power is not simply in the hands of a few.
Social networks will become the destination where fake news cannot survive because the community hunts down said news using a public blockchain. Similar to energy use and distribution, where communities divide themselves into producers and consumers, and trade solar energy using a blockchain where cryptocurrency can be used for exchanging services. The future of location-based apps, communities, blockchain and cryptocurrency look very bright, and we’re excited to see how it evolves.