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When I first started TruStory, my original vision was to build a tool we could use to crowd-source the verification of claims people make. Basically, we wanted to use the collective knowledge of the crowd to validate claims. I spent countless sleepless nights designing the product and protocol to make this vision a reality. The protocol relied on a novel use of Schelling points combined with the right incentives and disincentives to collectively confirm or refute the validity of a claim. “A Schelling point is a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication because it seems natural, special, or relevant to them.” Schelling points are incredibly useful in coordination games where a group of people is trying to achieve a common goal. A perfect example is the coordination game that Bitcoin miners play in mining new blocks on the longest chain. Miners are incentivized to produce blocks on the longest chain (that’s how they earn potential rewards) and are disincentivized from trying to create their own minority chain (it’s a waste of hash power and potential rewards). Therefore, the profitable-truth-seeking majority of miners will mine on the longest chain, which is the natural Schelling point. Similarly, my idea was to use “skin in the game” to incentivize people to vote on the veracity of claims and not deviate from the profitable-truth-seeking majority. By no means was this an easy system to design. Researchers have spent decades investigating and understanding Schelling points. Along the way, they’ve come up with various reasons for why they do or don’t work well in practice. It’s still an ongoing debate. But after spending several months designing TruStory’s protocol, I genuinely felt like I had something with potential to work. So I went out and raised a seed round to build it.