Decentralized protocol for incentive markets

[Short general description]: The nCent blockchain is an open, distributed, cryptographically secured ledger providing a verifiable record of the execution of an incentive program. It records, in particular, every time an electronic token is created, transferred, redeemed, or expires. What’s more, it records the flow of NCNT through the system (as a fungible representation of incentive) as well as exchanges between NCNT and other currencies.


[Main problems tackled]: Our personal and professional networks contain a treasure trove of information about our capabilities, skills, interests and relationships. The Internet of today has no mechanism to properly attribute this value back to users, and therefore does not provide correct incentives. The result of this is inefficient and broken markets. The dream of unlocking the power of crowdwork and the gig economy at scale remains a dream deferred. Furthermore the trusted institutions that have the eyeballs, data and deep pockets to organize crowd work have missed the mark. In many cases trust in them is rapidly fading, they cannot work together trustlessly for our benefit, and they suffer inherent misalignment of incentives with users. What is missing is a way to do this value attribution in a transparent and auditable way that provides the correct incentives, and allows markets to form.


[Main contribution proposal]: nCent introduces a decentralized protocol for incentive networks. Users of nCent are incentivized to form specialized networks to perform valuable work as a group. This work can take the form of solving problems characteristic of search/matching, crowdwork/funding, and social networking. nCent creates incentive networks through a novel blockchain protocol that offers a decentralized design, and unique transparency and auditability properties to establish integrity of the protocol. They present an initial application with focus on customer acquisition markets for highly viral communities such as sports, viral brands, and influencers. nCent also focuses on a recruiting use case for their own internal purposes. This approach can generalize to many forms of crowd-work, and can eventually be used to deconstruct the corporation around incentives.



A protocol for the value attribution required for incentives is the missing link:

- Value attribution - Everyone will reconstruct the same chain of referrals by querying the smart ledger associated with blockchains, so value attribution is unambiguous, transparent and auditable. This is important because people will participate if they believe they will be rewarded accordingly, and blockchain makes this possible.

- Trustless exchange - Blockchain allows the formation of distributed exchange, where sponsoring organizations can participate in markets driving value to a user, without being in a trust relationship with each other.

- Scalability for network effects - Red Balloon networks and recursive incentives to date have not reached internet scale. Part of nCent thesis is that blockchain properties are unique and facilitate a complex contour of trust forming among a spirited community, that facilitates the scaling of these types of networks. They also address certain problems such a Sybil attacks generally, facilitating creation of ad hoc incentive programs that benefit.


Protocol incentives:

Incentives are a core component of the nCent protocol. Separate from the application incentives designed and implemented by nCent’s users, the nCent protocol distributes several types of incentives to promote and maintain the functionality of the nCent network. These incentives are denominated in NCNT and are important channels to bring NCNT into circulation:

- Progress incentives are rewards given to tokens used to recruit new users to join the network (i.e, tokens that are transferred to create new wallets). Intuitively this type of incentive will make up the majority of protocol incentives and will decrease in importance as the nCent network size increases.

- Consensus incentives are the rewards given to the validators of the network for maintaining the validity and security of the network, similar to the coins and transaction fees awarded to the miners in Bitcoin.


nCent is an ecosystem designed to grow the network, so all sponsors and participants in the network can benefit. There are three core components that determine the value of a network such as nCent:

- Number of users - The number of wallets and participants. This is the main driver of network effect: well studied networks properties such as Metcalfe’s law state the value of an network grows proportionally with the square of the users, so the value added by each additional new member increases as the network size increases.

- Transaction velocity - An important indication of how vibrant the network is, both in terms of engagement and utility consumed on the network. Transaction values are core concepts in some models of networks such as Beckstrom’s law.

- Total stamp token value - The cumulative value sponsors endowed on the network. This represents the base economic value anchor of the network, while disregarding other factors such as social utility.


Team - Founders:
Are the founders known? Do they have relevant experience and connections?
  • 1. Unknown people. No serious background information available.
  • 2. Partial information available, no relevant experience.
  • 3. Background information available, no relevant experience.
  • 4. Solid, relevant background and connections available.
  • 5. Solid, well known, experienced and well connected founders.
Team - Advisors:
What level of commitment, experience and connections do the advisers bring?
  • 1. No reputable advisors with relevant experience.
  • 2. Few advisors with little to no relevant experience.
  • 3. Advisers with relevant experience.
  • 4. Reputable advisors with relevant experience and connections.
  • 5. High profile highly experienced, well connected and committed advisors.
Product - Technology Layer:
Is the product innovative? Does it contribute to the blockchain ecosystem?
  • 1. No, the product is just a clone with no contribution.
  • 2. The product is a dapp with minimal interest and little contribution to the ecosystem.
  • 3. The product is a dapp, exchange or protocol addressing a real problem or need.
  • 4. Innovative product offering a solution to a high interest problem.
  • 5. Innovative protocol tackling critical problems of highest interest.
Product - Proof of concept:
Is the proof of concept comprehensive? Does it address a real problem or need?
  • 1. No, incoherent concept or no need for it.
  • 2. Difficult concept to understand, hardly any need or problem to solve.
  • 3. Clear concept which addresses a real problem.
  • 4. Clear, well thought concept which addresses a real problem of high interest.
  • 5. Exceptional proof of concept addressing a critical problem.
Product - MVP:
Has the concept been tested? Is there an MVP? How far is the launch?
  • 1. Untested concept.
  • 2. Initial tests, no MVP.
  • 3. MVP ready, Alpha launch.
  • 4. MVP ready, Beta launch.
  • 5. Fully working initial product.
Token Economics - Token utility:
Does the token have any utility? Is it a core function to the network?
  • 1. No, the token has no utility.
  • 2. Token has a limited, unclear utility.
  • 3. The token has some added, but not inherent value.
  • 4. The token is embedded in the network and has inherent value.
  • 5. The token has both inherent and added value and is embedded at the core of the network.
Token Economics - Network effect:
Are strong network effects built into the system? Are incentives aligned to encourage the growth of the network?
  • 1. No network effects built in.
  • 2. Minimal network effects, unclear incentives.
  • 3. Network effects and incentives present.
  • 4. Solid network effects with clear incentives due to inherent utility.
  • 5. Strong network effects, aligned incentives and high utility value.
Business Evaluation - Valuation:
Is the valuation reasonable ? Sufficient but not too high for the scope of the project?
  • 1. No, the valuation is ludicrous, the project could do with 1/10 of the sum.
  • 2. Valuation is higher than the project would need. Likely a money grab.
  • 3. Valuation is reasonable for the scope of the project.
  • 4. Valuation is modest for the caliber of the project.
  • 5. Valuation is impressively modest relative to the high caliber of the project.
Business Evaluation - Market potential:
What is the market potential? Does the project look like it could penetrate the market and conquer the world?
  • 1. No clear market potential.
  • 2. Limited market potential.
  • 3. Reasonable market and growth potential.
  • 4. Solid market and growth potential.
  • 5. Exceptional market and growth potential.
Business Evaluation - Competition:
Does the project have competition? How strong does it look relative to its competition?
  • 1. Awful position competing with many strong players.
  • 2. Weak position facing strong competition.
  • 3. Reasonable position facing strong competition.
  • 4. Solid position facing weak competition.
  • 5. Exceptional position, facing almost no competition.
Business Evaluation - Supply sold:
Does the team distribute a reasonable amount of the tokens so as to encourage create strong incentives and network effects?
  • 1. Negligible supply, greedy team.
  • 2. Small supply, poor incentives.
  • 3. Modest supply, weak incentives.
  • 4. Reasonable supply, responsible team.
  • 5. Large supply, solid inventive, committed team.
Business Evaluation - Vesting:
Does the team have a sufficient stake to have aligned incentives? Do they have a vesting schedule implemented?
  • 1. Large stake, no vesting.
  • 2. Small stakes, no vesting.
  • 3. Modest stakes, no vesting.
  • 4. Reasonable stakes, modest vesting.
  • 5. Solid stake, healthy vesting.
Hype and media presence:
Is the project present on social media and chats? Is there interest for it?
  • 1. No presence, negative image.
  • 2. Modest exposure and no interest.
  • 3. Reasonable exposure and modest interest.
  • 4. Solid exposure and high interest.
  • 5. Exceptional exposure, high interest and considerable hype.
Final Score


Kapil K. Jain
Founder / Lead Developer
Rajeev Surati
Partner / Core & Backend Development
Mike Barile
Partner / Partnerships & App Development


Brad Gross
Private investor / Portfolio manager at Critical Trading LLC


Published at
A Founder’s Prayer for his Protocol
1 year ago
10 Lessons I Learned from 10 Red Balloons
1 year ago
nCent Presents: Summer of Incentive Hacking Reading List
1 year ago
What I Learned from 10K Telegrammers in 10 days
1 year ago
Doing God’s Work
1 year ago
Why Not Ethereum for Everything?
1 year ago
Follow the Coin: Who Stands to Gain from Blockchains Today
1 year ago
The Week of 100 Logos: Thank you nCent Nation!!!
1 year ago
The Success of Incentive-Centered Blockchain Markets
1 year ago
Get Paid for the Value You Provide to a Social Network
1 year ago
Introducing nGage: the nCent Labs Worldwide Campus Founder’s Program
1 year ago
How nCent Compares With Other Blockchains
1 year ago
The Psychology of Incentives on Blockchains
1 year ago
Top 10 Bitcoin Maximalism Quotes
1 year ago
Incentives and Our Political Divide
1 year ago
A Truly “Fireside” Chat with Steve Jurvetson
1 year ago
How We Can Find the Needle in a Haystack, Together
1 year ago
Is Swiping Right on a Blockchain the Future of Matchmaking?
1 year ago