Connor Murray has spent hours thinking and talking about Bitcoin as the co-host of the podcast Bitcoin and Beyond, and before that too. But now he’s turning theory into practice, as he launches his own Bitcoin SV enterprise, TrueReviews.io, which he hopes will become a kind of BSV-powered TripAdvisor. It was hailed as one of the standout projects at the Bitcoin Association’s Pitch Day at the CoinGeek Conference in Seoul.
TrueReviews describes itself as “an online review platform that enables businesses to incentivize more reviews for their businesses and for users to earn Bitcoin and tokenized rewards for good reviews.” In other words, it turns today’s ‘free’ review sites into a real economy, with incentives and accountability for reviewers, readers and those being reviewed.
Connor says he got the idea when he was on holiday with his mother-in-law, who enjoys posting reviews on TripAdvisor. She’s “a great person” who writes positive reviews, but most people, Connor believes, only write unsolicited reviews when they’ve got a complaint. To get a more representative range of genuine responses, a new system is needed: if “they’re spending time on this—they should get paid for it.”
“In Bitcoin we talk about ‘how do we tie value to data?’ Well, that’s just what we’re hoping to do with reviews.” So if the reviewers are going to get paid, where is that money coming from? Connor says the businesses that are getting reviewed will pay. That will be better than businesses creating fake positive reviews, which is “very common” today, Connor says.
The reviews will be demonstrably more trustworthy by including details such as, in a restaurant, the time of the visit or what was ordered, all uploaded to the blockchain to prove that this wasn’t a fake review.
Connor sees TrueReviews as a new kind of service, valuable in its own right whether or not its users are interested in BSV: “I don’t want to build a Bitcoin app. I want to build an app that enables you to do something you couldn’t do before without Bitcoin.”
In his capacity as a podcast host, Connor has had several interviews with Craig Wright, the Chief Scientist of nChain and, as Satoshi Nakamoto, the originator of Bitcoin. He says that Craig “gets a very bad rap from people who have never even tried to communicate with him.”
But Connor says Craig is a great teacher: “He wants you to learn—and that’s what’s very misunderstood about him …I’ve never found someone more willing to go out of their way to help you understand something. But he doesn’t do it in an ‘hand-heldy’ way: it’s a very Socratic method which is very frustrating sometimes, because he will say things that you don’t think are relevant or he’ll ask you questions where you don’t even know what he’s getting at.”
But Craig’s insights into economic systems through the design of Bitcoin are “profound,” Connor says: Bitcoin is “a system that disincentivizes attacking it through economic means …And that means we can build incredibly complex systems that have security rooted in economics.”
Hear more from Connor Murray in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:
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