My idea is to be able to build "credit" for an individual. Lenders of BTC could just use a service to check the "credit score" of a certain address of a borrower. The borrower would have to spend a year(s) using one address like a checking account, and by meeting certain criteria over time, they'd earn a higher credit rating. But this doesn't limit them to one address, only to one public address.

You'd have to data mine transactions to and from known/published public addresses of public companies or employers/employees, etc. All of this data about an address could be pulled off of the blockchain and calculated with certain weights, which means no reliance on a P2P rating system. An applicant for a loan could even provide their daily use address (like a checking account) and their offline address (like a savings account). Lenders would rely on the ADDRESS's credit rating, not the individuals.

Is it possible? Am I oversimplifying?

3 Answers 3


Trying to build a centralized credit system would require a mint, which is why this protocol was build in the first place. We don't want mints and on top of that we don't actually need mints for most functions. I would suggest you take a look at those whole new possibilities that come along with this protocol, such as coloring, escrow services, etc and forget all about the old-fashioned and in many cases incapable credit scoring system. Or, if you insist, try to make use of the all-public transaction log after you have associated an entity with a public address, maybe with a micro-payment or the such.


Seems like you are off to a good start. Credit scores work through a history of transactions, so if you tracked and traced the transactions of a particular Bitcoin account, you should be able to build a reliable "credit" score, as you already pointed out.So that part seems on track.

What I like about your system is the reliance on an address, so you should be able to maintain a degree of confidentiality.

It could also be possible to develop software to track transactions if users signed up. A bitcoin wallet service, for example, should be able to use your software (or a similar software) to plug into their own program and provide a rating service.

The one downside I see to any of these tracking/rating services, is that they could create long-term pressure to reduce the anonymity of the Bitcoin Community as a whole. Relying on an address, instead of name, like your system does could reduce these pressures.

Anyways, to answer your question, it does seem possible. Obviously developing the program itself is easier said than done. Anyways, interesting idea!


I'm running on a generally voluntaryist track here, so I'm not convinced that people should make efforts to unmask "identities" (whatever those might be, whether they are given at birth or something else adopted thereafter). In fact, there is some evidence that decentralization of identity is already well underway and that such decentralization has been expanding for some time. However, to address your question which is, essentially, "What if you wanted to decrease anonymity?" ~ I submit that the simplest answer to that question is this:

Provide people with a means to disclose their identity (whatever they claim it to be), and people will do so - irrespective of whether or not the technology (client, wallet technology, bitcoin service, etc.) readily reveals an individual's identity (as established from birth record or subsequent legal name change). (Note: In the United States, at least, the legal system does not currently recognize an IP address as equivalent to personal identity.)

The progress of decentralization of systems of trust, example(s) of which can be found in proposals similar to the bitcoin-otc concept, I submit here that credit scores as we understand them today is increasingly irrelevant, and even if developed using data freely available off the blockchain, such "credit scoring" systems will be generally disregarded in favor of decentralized reputation systems. Note that recent proposals from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, and other core developers, in a recent CoinDesk article covering Merge Avoidance, Address Reuse, and other concepts, suggest that multiple addresses will be the norm, further complicating this issue. This does not preclude or eliminate the possibility that addresses could individually or collectively develop "reputations" (in whatever context one imagines the term) over time. Hearn's recent statements indicate his aversion to CoinJoin, which has already been implemented by blockchain.info and is likely to grow in use. It should be understood while examining these discussions that "privacy" in the bitcoin space is currently marginal at best and is in a dynamic process of development, with certain wallets and various proposals changing 'privacy potential' over time, depending on what is developed or adopted. However, part of the power of bitcoin (and decentralization generally) is that a central authority will not be able to be relied upon for such determinations (whether these be privacy-oriented, credit-oriented, or focused on anything else at all relative to bitcoin). The notion of "choice" (and the extent to which various systems enable the process of choice as we understand it in transactional contexts) is critical to an understanding of how to approach these issues.

The ABIS protocol contains, in part, a proposal that people should be able to decide whether or not they disclose an identity (indicating that people should be able to decide what, if any, identity they wish to disclose) in connection with any particular transaction.

You can link to the ABIS protocol (currently in a "pre-release" alpha stage here: https://github.com/ABISprotocol/ABIS

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