GettyImages-155602728-300x200Earlier this year, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, in cooperation with economist Glen Meyl and researcher Puja Ohlhaver, published a research paper on soulbound tokens (SBTs). SBTs are publicly visible, non-transferrable (but possibly revocable by the issuer) digital assets representing “commitments, credentials, and affiliations.” Buterin et al. have said that such tokens would be like an “extended résumé” while others have said SBTs will enable protocols such as Ethereum to “encode social relationships of trust.” The ultimate use of SBTs would be to allow Ethereum to create a Decentralized Society (DeSoc), a concept that the authors define in their paper through the exploration of use cases and how those would enable a digital social ecosystem. At highest level, the DeSoc described in this paper is a bottom-up coordination between participants to build, participate and govern plural network goods. (An example of a plural network good is access to property that would otherwise be private.)

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