I signed up for the bitcoin forum (https://bitcointalk.org) in order to participate in the debates there about the status and future of our beloved peer-to-peer currency.
However, they have a newbie policy which restricts the ability to post until you have been logged in for 4 hours and made 5 posts to the newbie section.
No criticism against the managers of the forum for having such a policy, their motivation is clear and it may be effective in limiting spam, trolling and other noise..
I guess one can safely regard sitting by ones computer for 4 hours and posting 5 newbie-posts as “proof-of-work”?
However, isn’t it ironic that a forum dedicated to a currency which is designed with proof-of-work at its core does not have access to an ID and credential-forming mechanism which uses proof-or-work in a more sophisticated way to filter out noise?
There are at least two immediately apparent ways more sophisticated proof of work could be implemented to filter noise:
(A) every newbie could be forced to make a quasi-anonymous bitcoin donation to the forum, which is confiscated in case a user is banned, or redeemed to the user once a probationary period is over and he/she has established a valuable profile;
(B) a more sophisticated and universal ID mechanism using public-key cryptography, a-la the BTC network but with ID as its fundamental “currency unit”, could be developed to allow for access to the BTC forum and other similar forums, in this case when the user presents an “anonymous” credential their proof of work would be the value ascribed to the ID based on their behavior and access privileges across different sites and services – such a network does not exist yet, to my knowledge, but is an extremely interesting proposition..?