Introducing InterRep

A reputation service linking Twitter and web3, version 0.0.1

by Raphael Roullet and Jay Graber, funded by the Ethereum Foundation

NFT badges attest that a user owns reputable accounts

Reputation is the key to trust. People spend years building up their reputation on centralized social platforms, but they have to start from nothing whenever they start using a new app. Making reputation portable would expand the compounding benefits of trusted human interactions across the web.

Portable reputation can help prevent sybil attacks, where a user creates many fake accounts to take advantage of a system. If an address is linked 1:1 with a reputable Twitter account, it is most likely not a sybil. Many apps where sybil protection is important, like new social networks and airdrops, are currently using a tweet posted to a user’s timeline to confirm identity and key ownership. This kind of public attestation helps a project with marketing, but does not protect user privacy, and is not a long-term scalable solution because too many cryptographic attestation tweets will clutter the timeline beyond what a reasonable user will subject their followers to.

InterRep started from the high level goal of making reputations on centralized social platforms more accessible to web3 apps, while preserving privacy more than public attestations, and executed on a simple solution: use a centralized server to act as a bridge. Our MVP priorities: Link a reputable Twitter account to a single Ethereum address, keep the association private, make it easy to check reputation on-chain, and make a simple http API to check a Twitter account’s reputation. Our approach sacrifices some decentralization to gain more privacy, though we have some ideas for how to improve both decentralization and privacy down the road.

This initial version of InterRep lets a user link a reputable Twitter account to an Ethereum address, without retaining a readable record of that association. It then mints a “badge” on Ethereum as a NFT. Owning a NFT reputation badge means InterRep attests that this user linked a Twitter account they put a lot of work into to an address they own at some point — or they bought this reputation, or it could have been loaned to them as collateral. However they got it, only one unique badge can be issued per Twitter account, per reputation service.

A person’s reputation is a valuable thing. If a reputation service like InterRep becomes widely used, we imagine people would be thoughtful about how they use their badge. New use cases could emerge, like loaning a badge to a DeFi smart contract as collateral, or using it to gain access to a new social network, or getting airdrops to the address that holds it. InterRep is just an implementation of an idea anyone could approach from another angle. Other reputation services could start issuing NFT reputation badges for other platforms, or for a different set of Twitter reputability criteria. This would create an ecosystem of reputation attestation services, with applications choosing which ones they trust.

Try it out at interrep.link!

For a more in-depth explanation of how InterRep works, including how we determine “reputability”, here’s a link to the technical description on the wiki and the badge contracts. InterRep is live on Ropsten, at the following address: 0x2F4d1333337b5C4C47Db5DB3A36eD547a549BC11. If you want to start using InterRep, you can check if a user’s account holds a badge issued by the InterRep smart contract, or simply query the InterRep server about a Twitter account’s reputation through the http API.

Future plans include: Adding Github support, improving how we determine the reputability of Twitter accounts, adding support for more wallets, and improving decentralization and privacy. Semaphore, a zero-knowledge proving library, could be used to add a user’s keys to a “has a reputable Twitter account” group, which the user could then use to make proofs.

If you want to use InterRep but want other features, or if you’re interested in contributing to the project, get in touch! Any kind of feedback or constructive criticism is welcome. Raphael Roullet built InterRep and can be contacted on Twitter. Jay Graber is an advisor to the project.