Motivations & Reputations:
Mapping Reputation (Eco)systems in Web3

Reputation systems play a vital role in decentralized technology communities. They serve as proxies for established social relationships in the absence of close connections between individuals online. In Web3, reputation systems seek to enable trust, incentivize participation, and foster community. However, DAO & protocol leaders are often unclear on how to implement reputation systems. In the face of complexity about how to approach reputation, they default to the question, “Which reputation tool should we use?”  This approach prioritizes the most popular tools rather than designing and building systems that address specific community objectives. Consequently, reputation systems are often utilized in a misaligned and ad-hoc manner, failing to adequately meet the needs of DAOs.


To address this challenge, our research provides a framework to help DAO & protocol leaders (1) clarify their core aims and (2) select reputation mechanisms and tools to support their objectives. We derived our conclusions through:


  • Clearly defining reputation systems and how they are different but interplay with the concepts of identity, membership, and governance.
  • Mapping the nine objectives that reputation tools have been developed to address and grouping them into core aims.
  • Correlating the reputation mechanisms and tools that exist today to the objectives they are trying to achieve.  
  • Outlining common barriers to building reputation systems.


You can read our full exploration of reputation systems on Medium – complete with interactive diagrams, informational tables, an extensive suggested reading list, and guiding questions for those interested in reputation systems.