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A Summary of

Token curated registries that don’t work

Aleksandr Bulkin
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Token curated registries (TCRs) are an economically incentivized mechanism that provide a reliable signal of quality on something you can't directly observe.

TCRs originate from thinking on oracles

  • Oracles are mechanisms that record publicly observable data on the blockchain
  • Oracles work because they make it hard to rally around a false answer
  • Oracles provide a true answer
  • For an oracle to work you must assume:
    • The objective answer exists
    • It is publicly observable
    • It is very cheap to observe it
  • Non-public information, like expensive information, makes the information exclusive and the truth non-observable
  • TCRs are just oracles in a different context
  • TCRs purpose is to collect and curate information that is otherwise hard to ascertain for the benefit of the people

Problems with TCRs

  • Designs are applied too broadly
  • Must meet the three assumptions of an oracle to work
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