Liquid reputation system for governance


  • Anthill is a governance framework for Daos.
  • It provides a reputation system, a representation system, and will provide basic subdao management. The core of the system is a novel liquid reputation system.
  • It is compatible with external voting systems, and when coupled with one, will be a self-governed system.

Core Research Question

The main motivation was creating a legitimate, democratic governance mechanism that can assign roles and responsibilities to individuals. For this goal, I devised a novel liquid reputation system, which creates a bottom-up hierarchy, which can then further assign roles to subgroups and participants.

To read more about it, please read this attached link:

Thank you,
Kalman L.


Thanks for sharing this and I hope that perhaps you’ll be willing to dig into some of the details here a little more. I would appreciate some help understanding what reputation is in this system. From my reading, I’m seeing it as only being hierarchical position, is that correct? So my reputation goes up/down as people are aligned below/above me on the tree?


Of course, with pleasure!

Reputation is not determined by hierarchical position, although it is constructed on top of it. We have a hierarchical tree, with every person having a position in the tree. At this point, every person has 1 reputation. Then reputation delegation comes on top of this already existing tree, going ONLY UPWARD in the hierarchy (they go upward only so that we do not have loops, more on why we can’t have loops a bit later).

Then once reputation delegation is added onto the tree, the system works like voting in liquid democracy. We calculate reputation from the bottom to the top of the tree. If A has reputation 5, and delegates all of their reputation to B, who has 10 reputation from elsewhere, then B at the end has 10+5= 15 reputation. Similar to liquid democracy, reputation can be split, i.e. A could send 2 to B, and 3 to C instead. Also similarly, B can redelegate their own reputation further to C (if B has 15 reputation counting A’s 5 delegated reputation, then C has 15+something).

The main difference with liquid democracy is that this is not a voting system. If it were a voting system with A->B->C delegation then A’s single vote would have to be cast by either B, or C, so it is only counted once. This is a reputation system, and if we have A->B->C delegation, then A’s delegated reputation increases both B’s and C’s reputation.

And this is why we have to have the hierarchy, as reputation is counted in multiple places, so we need to eliminate loops. If we had A->B->C->A loop, that would mean infinite reputation. The simplest way to rule it out is to say that we have a tree=hierarchy, and reputation flows only upward.

Although the reputation system is constructed on top of the hierarchy, the hierarchy is not really important, as if a person has a higher reputation than their direct parent, then they have the power to switch positions with them. This way the hierarchy is competitive, and not eternally fixed.

So this is basically an updated version of liquid democracy, which captures the flow through nodes. This has some nice properties: e.g. the relationship between delegator-delegate is not zero-sum.

The hierarchy is also good when it comes to governance, as most institutions need a clear direction they can change in, so having a hierarchy is useful.

This was the core mechanism. Once we have the reputation we can use it to vote on different topics. We can also use the tree for subdao management, utilising the shape of the tree.

I could continue, but I hope this is enough at first.

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Maybe that was a bit theoretical, so I will describe a few more practical scenarios:

  1. A has direct parent B. A does not like B. Then A can delegate their reputation to B’s parent instead of B, and B gets none of A’s reputation. Alternatively, A could delegate it to B’s “brother”, i.e. the receiver does not have to be directly above A. A further restriction is that the delegation has to be locally close (e.g. there can 127 potential receivers. This parameter is tunable).

  2. A makes a new friend and receives new reputation from underneath. Now A has higher reputation than B. Then A can force a position change with B. Now B is below A.

  3. B does something bad. People lose trust in him. They take their delegated reputation back from B, so B’s reputation decreases. Now A has higher rep than B, so A can force a position switch.

  4. A moves somewhere else in the tree, but relatively close to his original position. Then A retains most of the received reputation, but only from people who are still deeper than him in the tree (does not have to be directly below). Similarly, A’s delegated votes are maintained.

  5. However if A moves somewhere very far, all sent and received votes are removed (this is part of the local property, and is needed for a scalable system).

These were all about individuals, groups of people can also move in the tree, but that is a bit more complicated.

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Even more visually, you can play around with a basic version of it here:
(I was updating it in the past few days, but now it should be ok)

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