Backfeed protocol: a decentralised governance mechanism to the rescue

Maybe the Backfeed protocol could be implemented as an App on SAFEnetwork - that could be utilised by individuals and groups to support decentralised governance of anything from bitcoin to forum moderation, and SAFEnetwork itself of course :slightly_smiling:

I imagine this could spin off discussions in various directions but we’ll handle that as it happens, so for now it’s a potential App!

@dallyshalla is this what you have planned for SAFEX governance? Feedback on interactions/contributions sounds very similar to what you’ve described - feedback on trades.

Maybe the idea could be incorporated in other apps too - such as @Seneca’s Decorum forum App?

I’m curious to know what @chadrickm of the Builder Hub App idea thinks. You there old friend? :slightly_smiling:

The article concludes with an overview of the idea (quoted below) , after explaining the problem using recent squabbles over bitcoin blockchain and Mike Hearn’s blog resignation (keep those to the other topic please! :slightly_smiling:). If you visit the article you can read more via the two links it includes.

The governance idea seems fairly plausible and easy to understand, so it will be investing to see how it works on practice.

The Bitcoin Debacle - Making the Case for Decentralized Governance

…So it seems that all of these schemes do a very good job in decentralizing the technical contribution needed to keep the network up and running, but have very little to do with making decisions, improvements and progress. However, it should be self evident that every system that involves genuine people, as automated and well designed as it first may appear to be, will at some point require adjustments, all of which will most probably necessitate decisions, have consequences for various interest groups and be subject to criticism. All these decisions and adjustments do not only require means to form an informed conesus, they also require a compensation mechanism that encourages improvement and gains the attention of highly skilled professionals – and above all – a sybil proof scheme to keep the system truly decentralized.

But is that even possible? Could we play the same trick, PoW plays on computing power, on human contributions to an evolving organisation? Including assessment of value, establishment of consensus and compensation via cryptocurrency?

At Backfeed we believe that the answer to this question is yes, and we’ve developed exactly such a mechanism, which not by accident goes under the name Proof of Value, or PoV, about which you can learn here. But in order to implement such a system, especially in an environment like the Bitcoin community, you’ll first have to convince those concerned that humans are capable of achieving consensus just as machines are. Luckily, there’s an algorithm for that too.

The Idea here is not only to promote our own enterprise (which by itself is opensource and forkable), but to get the point across that you apparently can’t have a decentralized entity like Bitcoin, without incorporating in it an equally decentralized and flexible governance system that has the ability to assess the value of contributions to the system and compensate accordingly. But than again, you can of course have whatever you like, but the price, as Hearn stated so adequately, is violent discourse, coercion, and inevitable – an unproductive stagnation, if not much worse than that.

P. S. Interesting logo they’ve chosen :wink:

The following article looks like a quicker route to the meat of the idea:


Backfeed have recently started working with us at Synereo to specify a distributed protocol based on their models using our technology.


Very “idealistic idea”.

The Bitcoin network is now worth a lot, and if this protocol was part of Bitcoin governance from the very beginning it would still not work well because it would only reflect real influence, and not “contributions” or such, that members have made or are making.

It basically attempts to reintroduce democracy, which is a terrible way to govern, back into these distributed virtual organizations (which may or may not be decentralized).

The protocol is confusing (just the way “community organizers” like it) so I had to skim the both articles 3 times to figure out just what the heck is that about.
Then I came across the phrase “divison between capital and labor” (at the end of one of those pages) and that sealed the deal for me: get the heck out of here!

Stay away from that project, folks :sunglasses:

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Backfeed is a protocol to give the members of the community the “choice” to select their own values, and to govern themselves or not govern themselves, according to those values. Democracy is merely one possible value. And even then, there are many different forms of democracy. Some of which you might actually agree with. And so, it’s entirely voluntary.

Your fear stems from being controlled by others. But that wouldn’t need to be the case if you joined an organization with anti-democratic values, as with the Bitcoin community. In that case, you can all do whatever you want. See how that works out. Of course, you could all very well regret regret the decision later, as another community, whose values can differ widely from your own, may be far more resistant to cooperation than you expect.


I think I stated clearly: I don’t like democratic values. See SAFE Network Voting (QuadraticVoting + Bitvote) for related discussion.

Who doesn’t like Bitcoin Core is governed, can fork it. It’s also voluntary and it doesn’t have the complexity and overhead that this mechanism would have.

I said it in many posts here: people who don’t favor capitalism tend to underestimate the concept of property (ownership). If you don’t own something, you should have 0 impact on how it’s governed.

The governance system introduced here doesn’t simplify or improve that.


This might also help to understand it a little:

A self representative government. Representatives were created in the days when it took forever for news to cross the country. Why do we need that anymore? SELF representation! on SAFE


I am on the fence with this technology, the search engine idea is good to avoid bad actor content but also I can see censorship of the network if it becomes centralized and I feel I would be placed into a box a, where I would want to be in all the boxes apart from box z and box t.
My opinions change all the time with my emotions and prefer a broad range of social network.
But the technology does ask questions about humanity which we probably have not thought of before.

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I’m sceptical about the usefulness of their approach but they give too little detail of what it is and how it overcomes the obvious problems for me to evaluate it - how can I rate their contribution except based on emotional response!? :slightly_smiling:

That’s my immediate problem with this: they seem to assume that overall a community is good at evaluating contributions, when we can see how easily groups are manipulated into voting for people who are good at getting votes. We can pretend that there are areas where this doesn’t happen, but it is inevitably what happens over time.

Example: the early internet worked well because almost everyone cooperated. Then moderation was needed. Then governance and policing. And now it’s like every other human system where people need to use it to earn rewards.

Same with open source projects - they work well when everyone’s just happy to give, but things tend to get messy when people want to get rewarded.

I’ve looked around the Backfeed info and they keep any explanation of why these issues are not a problem or how they think they can deal with them well hidden.

@19eddyjohn75 Is there anything in the video on this?

I like the idea, it’s something I’m very interested in helping to solve, I just don’t see any substance here yet.


@happybeing I’ve sent them a link to this discussion. It’s Saturday and they’re Israeli, so they may only see it tomorrow.

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Interesting topic!

You’re not just judged by your actions, but also by your judgment of the actions of others.

This sounds likes it makes groupthink inevitable. Whenever you anticipate the majority will disagree with you, you’re going to keep your mouth shut not to be excluded.

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I am fan of the synereo project, I think if synereo could form a partnership with maidsafe it would be a marriage made in heaven for me!
I think software technology should be universal and compliment each other by stacking onto each other.
My question is does the social operating system that backfeed talk about do something like this?

One day I would like to use the ethereum mist/backfeed search engine on the safe network to find synereo where I could link up with friends and be directed to content.
I want use ethereum for smart contract but use safe coin to pay for the product by linking up with the safex or shape shift like technology.

You can fork the system. And it’s not all that complex. You get yourself a community or individual, people contribute to that cause. Participants perform various actions. Members vote on whether actions are of value or not. If the majority agrees then contributors get rewarded with tokens. This means you ultimately get rewarded more for gravitating towards like minded groups which is kind of what happens anyway in regular social dynamics only normally it’s a case of ego stroking and finding people that agree with you. In this case the ego stroking takes the form of tokens.

Tokens aren’t worth much monetary value at first, much like how safecoin isn’t worth much at first, and is more of a measure of support, or as they put it, equity. Just like how people are buying MAID more to support the project than because it’s hugely valuable or can be traded for anything at the moment. Then later as the project takes off and more people contribute and get more tokens then it starts leveling off and takes the form of a commodity. That’s where I think safecoin and this decentralized governance project will flourish. Because people will able to buy and sell these tokens quickly and easily on SAFEx. And if one can trade your values for a token and tokens for safecoin then values = data.

What pray tell is not being owned? The system is based on voluntary interaction. You own your viewpoint and you have the right to express it. You also are free to associate with whatever community you wish. There is no force being applied here. But even if we simplified things to “An it harm none, do as thou wilt.” Or “You’re free to do whatever, but if you hurt someone they’re free to hurt you back,” or anything along those lines that’s STILL a value system to vote on and reach consensus on within a community. Freedom is a value.

I agree but you’ll notice how people form into communities and groups. Also this kind of project could also be used to fund causes or artists. If there’s a cause one wants to rally behind one could create a community around that or artists and developers could use this for their projects, either individually or as a community. Governance I think was a bad choice of words in this case. As outlined in the project it’s less about force and more grouping people with similar aims and values.

This may or may not be within the perview of the backfeed project itself as not everyone makes decisions about their values based on logic, some preferring to make decisions based on emotional responses and intuition.

That’s part of giving people freedom. They’re free to make good choices and they’re free to be stupid little lemmings. All hail the giant cliff of the infomercials and paid political announcements. Wee! Kersplat! Wee! Kersplat! Wee! Kersplat!

That’s part of the politics of open source. It disincentivizes profit motivated people and rewards and honors people that “just want to give.”

Or you could just go off and form or join another group that agrees with your values.

So actually this system allows you to vote in a couple different ways:

  1. Voluntarily choose or found a group. One can opt in o out at any time. So one can vote using participation and one’s contribution itself.

  2. Tokens. One can contribute and earn them. One can also buy and sell them.

  3. One’s values and voting on various issues of what constitutes a contribution within the group. Again one can withdraw one’s opinion or opt out of the group at any time.

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That’s always an option, also without this Backfeed PoV algorithm. But this algorithm actually pushes you out through marginalisation. Every little thing you say that the majority disagrees with reduces your influence in that project, so if you want to stay because the issues you disagree with are not major enough to warrant a fork, you’ll keep your mouth shut to save your reputation.


True but that’s pretty much what happens in regular society anyway. The majority of people are conformists. It’s those minority of non conformists and innovators that’ll be starting forks and trying new things.

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Ew, this is really bad idea. This is like George Washington led the rebellion against whiskey taxes. Then when he became the first president, he place a 3 percent tax.That’s huge hypocrisy there, GW.

Backfeed is exactly that, appeal to emotions. This is NOT the solution. Governance is NOT the solution to the problems. These guys are whining that it doesn’t go their way so they run to their mommy and daddy. “Mama, my brother won’t share his toy with me!” Well guess what, the majority(2mb camp) disagrees with the minority(core), and who is losing? Majority. How about implement bitcoinXT/BitcoinU, oh that is in minority camp. Majority disagree!

Don’t you see, democracy will never work. This is why bitcoin is design to fail from the start. Well, I’ll take that back. I never knew ASIC would existed. Same with satoshi who thought the same thing. It has given a chance to grow, and emerge to the world market. Now we see the cause and the effect. It is failing because the protocol was designed as a democratic platform, where 51 percent rule over 49 percent. But that isn’t the case at this point. It is designed for miners to rule the bitcoin protocol. Miners is holding the one ring. One ring to rule them all. They are also forgetting that there are 3 biggest miners in the world, one of them is in China. So this brings another issue on the table in democratic platform.

This is why I am looking forward to safenet. It offers freedom, and has almost no democratic protocol system. If a new protocol that needs to be placed, fork it! Have the people decide for themselves – blockchainless bitcoin without a burden of the miners who rule the protocol. Without the burden of the majority who rules the chain. Without the burden of minority who speaks out against the majority.

Protocols should never be ruled by the appeals of emotions. Rather, protocols should be ruled by survival. Forks is part of the evolutionary process. It is like linux kernel. You don’t have to use the latest version. You could keep the older version that works for you, fork it, and go a different direction. Nobody is stopping you! That is exactly what protocol should be all about, forking! It is like animals that has evolved throughout history. Thousands of years of forking. From fish, to lizard. From lizard to bird. From monkey to Human. The natural process of forking.

Fork it, baby.
Fork it or die.
Fork the establishment.
Fork all the things.

Yeah, I’m going with the fork it or die, that’s a good motto for survival of the race. I’m going have to breed with an alien, and if that works, the entire humanity race is saved! /s


Here you go @anon81773980 :smile:


Al Kafir complained (too much) about moderation on this site. He doesn’t own it, so at some point he should have realized it’s time to stop complaining.

I don’t know what you mean by “here”, but as far as Backfeed is concerned I didn’t say there’s force being applied. I said it doesn’t add anything to existing methods of governance, except overhead.

The problem is who’s the issuer. In reality the issuer(s), which is usually the same close group as it is with Bitcoin Core devs, are in control.

Lmao. over 9000x likes. (20 char)

Hmmmm I was listening to it half sleepy, the only thing I remember is Matan saying: Your action = your identity. :sleeping:

Ooh yeah I also remember the magic word was: feedback

the rest I can’t remember

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