Reputation Currency

General Introduction

Reputation currencies are units that express the degree of satisfaction or esteem users have in dealing with a given person/user.  More often referred to as user “ratings” or as their units (e.g. “stars”), these ratings provide a display of the community’s trust of the individual account in question.

Usage in CCs

User ratings are an important part of building a community that knows who it can rely on and who is not taking the community and its functions as seriously.  Popular commercial websites like eBay and Amazon have established strong reputation currency systems, and regularly ban users who fail to maintain a high degree of integrity in their network.

CCs are still catching up to the more commercially oriented space and adopting the use of reputation currencies in their electronic platforms. Timebanks, Community Exchange Systems, and LETS networks are localized networks that rely on the trustworthiness of their user base to function properly, and so often have in-built reputation currencies as a way to credit users with quality interactions.

Increasing Importance

Reputation and currencies that represent trust are becoming more popular and important as the world becomes ever more globalized and digitized.  Some, such as Rachel Botsman in her TED talk, are beginning to forecast that reputation and trust-based currencies are going to play a more permanent and crucial role in defining how we interact on ever more everyday levels, such as choosing which “TaskRabbit” to trust to bring home the dry cleaning.

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