Notes on The Pseudonymous Economy – Balaji Srinivasan

  • Overview: [[Balaji Srinivasan]] looks at [[pseudonymity]], why have a pseudonymous economy, how might it work, and how could we build it.
  • [[pseudonymity]] is not [[anonymity]]. pseudonymity is not giving your real name, but you maintain it over time and develop a reputation on it. It provides [[accountability]], but it’s also a shield against character assassination. #[[To Ankify]]
  • [[pseudonymity]] is a continuum, not binary. They are widely used today, including by people high up in government.
  • 4:00 The big next step is not just pseudononymous communication, but pseudonomyous transaction.
    • Drivers of increased use of pseudonyms: technological support, employment law (don’t want to be discriminated against), social media mobs.
  • 5:30 Pseudonymity provides not just freedom of speech, but freedom after speech. Opponents have to attack your idea, they can’t attack you.
    • Negative press is an attack on your social network.
    • Your bank account is your stored wealth, your real name is your stored reputation. Only you can debit your bank account, but anyone can debit your reputation.
  • 9:20 A possibility is separating your earning, speaking, and real names. Use your real name on official forums like social security numbers. When speaking use a pseudonym. To earn (this is the new part) – earn under a pseudonym, with a professional identity and you speak about things relevant to that identity.
    • You might have many different speaking names, many different earning names.
  • 10:20 **We can already move wealth to a pseudonym, can we move reputation too? **Right now, you can only have 100% of followers and write under your existing name, or 0% of followers starting completely fresh with a new pseudonym. #Ideas #[[startup ideas]]
    • What if we transfer attestations rather than everything (i.e. the entire list of followers)? For example, build a new pseudonym platform that confirms that you’re verified (blue check) but nothing else. You can have multiple attestations (e.g. followed by @jack).
    • 17:00 But how do you ensure people will follow? [[Balaji Srinivasan]] calls this “[[autofollow]]”. People would be on a network like this to follow pseudonymous accounts – they will autofollow anyone with over 100k followers, anyone followed by @jack, etc. You then automatically get followers.
    • An application like this would essentially allow you to move along a reputation-anonymity continuum, trading off a small amount of anonymity for higher reputation.

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