Short Story

from:

Ideascale link

Problem statement :

Many secrets & information asymmetries are unnecessary & hinder society. Transactions to erase them are difficult to organize & execute.

Describe your solution to the problem

A decentralized marketplace that brokers secrets between Bounty Makers, Intel Sources, & Curators.

Relevant experience

Two giant Cardano fans (a tech company V.P./Attorney & a Fortune 500 Procurement Specialist) dabbling in Marlowe/Plutus for around 2 years.

Website/GitHub repository (not required) https://github.com/BlocksandBlocks/AOS
Detailed plan (not required) – Fill in here any additional details

“…but at the length truth will out.”
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
tl;dr
Army of Spies is a Cardano based non-fungible native token product that creates a compensated “Curator” role in a smart contract powered marketplace that brokers obscure, or difficult to acquire, information. Blockchain derived finality and permanence of Curator role ownership will drive decentralized market growth via the efforts of each newly minted Curator. Army of Spies ultimately serves a public good as a decentralized public blockchain-based approach to the efficient allocation of information resources and erasure of non-mandatory information asymmetries powered by crowdsourced and bounty-based information discovery. The obscure, or difficult to acquire, information addressed by Army of Spies typically falls outside the reach of traditional blockchain oracle providers.
Table of Contents
Philosophy & Use Case
The Army of Spies Experience
Basic Adoption Strategy
The Army of Spies Smart Contract
A Potential Army of Spies 2.0
Roadmap
Philosophy & Use Case
Our modern world, albeit drastically transformed by the internet over the last decades, is still a world of secrets and information asymmetry. Some secrets are necessary. Some are not. Among the unnecessary secrets are three broad categories of obscure or difficult to acquire information (“ODAI”): 1) information that someone doesn’t want revealed but has no legal or ethical right to protect, 2) mundane information that has value but is difficult to acquire, and 3) information that may hold an idiosyncratic value to one person but may still be inconvenient to acquire. These types of ODAI typically fall outside the grasp of traditional blockchain oracle providers. Let’s first describe these three categories of ODAI.
1) Information Someone Doesn’t Want Revealed
You don’t need to know the launch codes to the nuclear weapon arsenal of your favorite superpower. But, you do need to know if your elected officials are taking bribes from foreign corporate interests. It’s probably not okay for you to have the gate code to Taylor Swift’s estate. But, it’s probably okay for you to know the real identity of the land developer secretly buying up all the parcels of land on the same block as the corner store owned by your family. Some secrets are necessary. But, information is a valuable resource and its efficient allocation is generally a net positive for the progress of a technologically based society. In the case of those bits of information that are not mandatory secrets, the hidden hand of the market should guide disclosure. The whistleblower should be rewarded for telling the world that the politician is corrupt, and watchdog groups will gladly raise funds to secure the disclosure of that information. Someone who sees Kit Harington with long hair on the streets of London should be able to accept a reward for that information from a Game of Thrones superfan on the other side of the world. The shop owner should be able to ask if anyone can identify the looter on his security cameras who stole the inventory that cost his or her life savings. The peaceful side lines protester should be able to ask if anyone can identify the person who permanently blinded her with a traffic cone recklessly thrown at her head. A small time merchant should have a means to discover if the real buyer behind the strawman offer they just received was actually from their biggest competitor or from a random individual.
2) Mundane Information that is Difficult to Acquire
There are also less sensational more day-to-day categories of mundane information that might be valuable but difficult, costly, or inconvenient to acquire in isolation: you might want to know how long the line is at your favorite bar on Friday night at 10pm, but it might not be convenient to drive all the way downtown to find out. You might want to know if there are a lot of girls or guys at the bar, but you might know that you can’t trust the hostess on the other end of the phone line when you call the bar. You might be willing to pay a small fee to know exactly what size fly professional fishing guides are using on a trout stream near your hotel, but you might be unwilling to pay for a day of guiding that would normally be the entry point for that disclosure. The purchaser of a vintage motorcycle should be able to find out the old-timer secrets about what brand and type of modern oil contains the right additives for his engine without spending days combing through old Reddit posts. You might really need to know how much it costs to hire an experienced cardano smart contract developer. But, you might realize that you can’t trust the answers you get on Reddit.
3) Information that holds Ideosyncratic Value and is Simultaneously Inconvenient to Acquire
There might also be information that is only valuable to you but still inconvenient to acquire. You might want to know if your significant other is really at the gym with his friends or at the bar by his office with that one woman he works with. It might be valuable to understand if the cute barista who works at your local Starbucks on Monday mornings flirts with everyone to feed the tip jar or if she is actually just after you.
For a small reward, any intrepid bar goer will gladly shoot you a pic or video of the line out front, the crowd inside, or of your significant other in the corner with his beautiful coworker. The college student who lives a block away will gladly go see if your significant other’s car is parked in front of the apartment of a female “friend” for a small bounty. The trout guide can make a few quick bucks by disclosing what size of fly to use, and you can get that isolated bit of information without buying a whole day of guiding. Someone who has owned your make and model of vintage motorcycle for decades will gladly give up their favorite oil for a few bucks. Someone who recently had their family’s property purchased by a certain land developer will happily tell you how much the land developer paid per acre if there is compensation for that information.
Would this level of availability of information be a tidal shift for modern society? Maybe. Is it probably inevitable over a long enough timeline given that there is a hi def video camera in every pocket? Yes. In the future, there will be no more secrets. You WON’T be able to park in front of your mistress’s house anymore. But, you WILL be able to get verifiable insider information on how much that land developer is really willing to pay your family. We’ll all just have to adjust our behavior to conform to a world with greater transparency. The only question is how we manage and allocate that information discovery and transparency. Army of Spies is a project aimed squarely at efficient market based allocation of information resources via the creation of a decentralized public blockchain-based global marketplace for information transactions. Army of Spies will not aim to facilitate any information transactions that might constitute, encourage, or aid criminal activity, illegal political espionage, illegal corporate espionage, or any other information transaction deemed illegal by U.S or European authorities. But, Army of Spies does aim to facilitate the erasure of non-mandatory information asymmetries.
Why Can’t Traditional Blockchain Oracles Provide ODAI Efficiently?
Oracle providers in the blockchain space have created wonderful projects like Chainlink and Ergo to provide a bridge between real world data and the blockchain world. However, these Oracle solutions are more appropriate for reaching readily available public information such as crypto prices, the weather, and who won the latest sporting event. When it comes to ODAI, there may only be a handful of people in the world with access to the ODAI. How many people have caught fish on your favorite stretch of your favorite river in the last few weeks since the temperature changed and know exactly what fly to use? How many people are in that club right now where you think your significant other is hanging out with their ex? How many people hold information about exactly which modern oil will not hurt the engine of your particular make and model of vintage motorcycle over the course of 100k miles? It also isn’t predictable who will hold ODAI and be able to provide it at the right time and how long it will take to identify someone who does have the ODAI.
Oracles and oracle pools can be easily constructed and operate efficiently where it is predictable where information will reside. An oracle who will provide data about who won the MMA fight on Saturday night can be easily identified ahead of time and incentivized to provide that answer. However, the ultimate best provider of ODAI is often comparatively unpredictable and is best identified through a highly decentralized bounty and curation model as used in Army of Spies. Being a traditional blockchain Oracle is a job undertaken as a routinized future information processing task. The provider of ODAI just happens to already have that information or just happens to be in a position to acquire it more easily than others. The magic of Army of Spies lies in efficiently creating an exchange of value between that person and someone willing to pay for the ODAI and curating possible multiple competing sources of that ODAI.
Why does Army of Spies Require Crypto?
Army of Spies is a crypto-mandatory project in that erasure of information asymmetry can only be carried out via a broadly decentralized system. This manifests itself in three broad themes.
Lack of centralized data storage is vital to avoidance of death by regulation. Parties seeking erasure of information asymmetry of any kind may easily find themselves in an adversarial relationship with state actors wielding the regulatory hammer. Such parties ultimately live under threat of seizure and shut down of their centralized data storage and processing. Just as cryptocurrency has only survived regulatory fatality via decentralization, so shall Army of Spies.
User confidence in Army of Spies is only be possible where there is no centralized data to be discovered by adverse parties. Private entities holding user data are regularly subpoened for such data by state actors. Centralized user data storage is also subject to the illicit acquisition of user data by bad actors through security exploits. In our modern litigious society, users also face completely legal discovery of their data via litigation by other private parties. Centralized servers are especially vulnerable to all three of these threats to user data. These combined weaknesses of centralized data storage mean that a system for transactions in obscure information can only operate efficiently on a decentralized basis.
Finally, adoption of the platform will not take hold if there is a chance the financial side of the information transaction could be reversed once the info is already conveyed. You can’t take back info you have already delivered to someone’s brain if they cancel their payment for that info after delivery. Immutability is king in transactions that remove information asymmetries. There needs to be a guarantee that the compensation will be delivered once the information is revealed.
The Army of Spies Experience
Let’s get into the gritty details of how Army of Spies will actually work.
The Intel
As a user, you will decide that you want to know a secret (the “Intel”). This secret might be what size caddis fly you should use to catch brown trout on the Weber River this weekend, if your significant other is working or with his or her ex, or what type of modern oil you should really use in your vintage motorcycle.
The Intel Bounty
You will also decide how much that secret is worth to you. This amount (the “Intel Bounty”) is the sum that will go to the person providing you with the answer to your question. You will go to the Army of Spies website (www.armyofspies.net) which will list all the different topical categories under which your secret might fall (the “Intel Categories”). You will select the most appropriate Intel Category for seeking the Intel.
In eventual iterations of the website there may also be information listed about the particular curator (the “Curator”) of that Intel Category. There could be ratings and reviews of that Curator along with the number of successful Intel Bounties the Curator has completed, how quickly they are completed on average, and the average size in USD or ADA of the Intel Bounties completed by that Curator.
Once you have selected your preference as to a particular Intel Category, you will click on a link to navigate to the forum set up by the Curator for that Intel Category. You will be the person creating this particular Intel Bounty (the “Bounty Maker”). The forum setup by the Curator of the chosen Intel Category (the “Curation Forum”) will display the address of the smart contract (the “Smart Contract”) related to that Intel Category and Curator. You will send your Intel Bounty there in the chosen amount of ADA. You will then post your description of the Intel you are seeking (the “Intel Request”), the amount of the Intel Bounty you sent to the Smart Contract, and the ADA address from which you sent the Intel Bounty (for matching purposes). The Curator of that Intel Category will then confirm (using the ADA address you posted) that the stated Intel Bounty has actually been sent to the Smart Contract. This is where the Intel Source begins their work.
The Intel Source
Someone who knows the secret you are trying to uncover (an “Intel Source”) will then see your Intel Request and the Intel Bounty offered in the Curator’s Forum. The Intel Source will then post their proposed response to the Intel (the “Proposed Intel Response”) along with their ADA address. Their Proposed Intel Response and your Intel Request, will always be visible to everyone. There might also be other Proposed Intel Responses provided by other Intel Sources and they will also be visible to everyone. Not creating an “only the Bounty Maker can see the answers” architecture is intentional and probably key to adoption. New users will want to see the quality of Intel being provided before committing to pay a bounty for Intel in the same Intel Category.
The Curation Bounty
The Curator will be the ultimate judge and jury of which Intel Source wins the Intel Bounty (the “Winning Intel Source”). The Curator will also receive a share of the Intel Bounty (the “Curation Bounty”) equal to 10% of the Intel Bounty. The Curator will also act as moderator of the Curation Forum. The Curator will decide how long the Intel Bounty remains open and how many Intel Sources will be allowed to provide Proposed Intel Responses. The Curator will be able to promote his or her particular Curation Forum in whatever manner they wish. The Curator will also be strongly incentivized to provide a good experience to both Bounty Makers and Intel Sources alike since both will, in eventual iterations of the Army of Spies website, be able to review and rate the Curator for other Bounty Makers and Intel Sources to see. This same rating and review system will create a large disincentive for Curators to wrongly award Intel Bounties to undeserving Intel Sources or strawman sock puppet Intel Sources. This will discourage both dishonest curation and negligent curation by Curators. If either is happening, reviews and ratings will be negative and Bounty Makers and Intel Sources will just go to similar topical categories with better curation.
How Does One Become a Curator?
The Army of Spies website will sell non-fungible Cardano based tokens (“Curator NFTs”) corresponding to each Intel Category. The holder of the Curator NFT for each Intel Category will officially be the Curator of that Intel Category. The Smart Contract for each Intel Category will reference the Curator as whoever controls the address currently holding the relevant Curator NFT. So, the Curator position for each Intel Category will be easily transferable with the disposition of the relevant Curator NFT. Anyone seeking to buy a Curator NFT will simply search the Intel Category catalogue on the Army of Spies website. If the proposed Intel Category is not already taken or filtered as illegal by Army of Spies, the prospective Curator will be able to buy the desired Curator NFT. In the minimum viable product version of Army of Spies this will likely be done by contacting Army of Spies through the Army of Spies website and sending the prescribed amount of ADA for that Intel Category. In later iterations of Army of Spies, it is hoped that a more decentralized Smart Contract based purchase method will be developed.
The Intel Category corresponding to the Curator NFT will be strictly defined by the exact letters and numbers chosen by the prospective Curator as the name for the Intel Category. One person might choose to establish an Intel Category for “Tamarindo, Costa Rica Land Developers” while another might choose to establish an Intel Category for “Land Developers in Tamarindo, Costa Rica”. Both Intel Categories will be allowed and will correspond to different Curator NFTs that may be held by entirely different Curators. Both Intel Categories will appear in the list of topical categories on the Army of Spies website.
Upon purchase, the holder of the newly minted Curator NFT will be able to direct the link for that Intel Category to the Curation Forum setup by that particular Curator. Curators may choose to setup any type of forum they choose. This may be their own Subreddit, a self-hosted forum on a stand-alone website, or any other forum of their choice. It would be easy enough for Army of Spies to run centralized forums hosted on a controlled server. But, this would create a single centralized choke point that could be shut off by regulators and destroy the decentralized resilience of Army of Spies. Curators will also be able to promote their Curation Forum in any manner they want.
The Bounty to the Winning Intel Source
The Winning Intel Source would, of course, receive the remainder of the Intel Bounty which would be the Intel Bounty minus the Curation Bounty (i.e. 90% of the Intel Bounty).
Credentials and Evidence
Intel Sources may choose to bolster the strength of their Proposed Intel Response by providing evidence of credentials that would establish the veracity of their Proposed Intel Response. These credentials could be proof of education (e.g. here’s my diploma supporting that I’m an entomologist who knows what size flies are actually on the river right now), proof of expertise (e.g. here’s my Facebook account proving I’m a fishing guide who works on the Weber River every summer), or proof of experience (e.g. I’m not an expert on fishing but here’s a VLOG I did yesterday while catching a fish on the Weber River) .
In some cases, it may be more appropriate for Intel Sources to provide direct evidence of the Proposed Intel Response instead of credential based support for their answer. For example, the Bounty Maker who wants to know if her significant other is hanging out with his ex in a certain bar would probably happily accept a photo or video of her significant other furnished by an Intel Source. Likewise, the Bounty Maker who wants to know the length of the line in front of Bar X right now would probably prefer a video of the Intel Source in front of that line providing some proof of date and time as opposed to any Intel Source’s credentials as a bar line expert.
Credential and Evidence Challenges
In some cases, Curators may also wish to challenge the validity of any credentials offered by Intel Sources (e.g. that is not really your facebook account because I know of that guy) or any evidence furnished by the Intel Source (e.g. that wasn’t the line in front of Bar X tonight…that was Tuesday night…I know because the sign says 99 cent tacos and their website says that only happens on Tuesdays. Eventual iterations of Army of Spies, could even allow for Bounty Makers to offer an additional bounty (a “Credential Challenge Bounty”) for a Curator to disprove the credentials of an Intel Source.
Blacklisted Bounties
Army of Spies will not aim to facilitate any information transactions that might constitute, encourage, or aid criminal activity, terrorism, human rights violations, political espionage, or corporate espionage. To moderate these types of transactions in a decentralized system like Army of Spies, the Curator will have the ability to designate any Intel Bounty as a “Blacklisted Intel Bounty”. In such a case, the Intel Bounty will be returned to the Bounty Maker and the Intel Bounty and Bounty Maker will be moderated out of the Intel Category forum. If any Curator is refusing to designate illegal bounties as Blacklisted Intel Bounties, those elections will be reflected in the eventual ratings and reviews on the Army of Spies website and law abiding users will be able to avoid the topical categories controlled by such Curators.
Smart Contract & Curator NFT Architecture Considerations
At its core, Army of Spies will be run via Smart Contracts corresponding to each Intel Category. The initial intellectually tidy impulse would be to make every Intel Bounty its own smart contract. However, the rigor of constant automated Smart Contract generation for each new Intel Bounty in a distributed computing environment probably precludes such a scenario. Current thoughts revolve around a strategy of a single Smart Contract with inputs for each Intel Bounty creation and outputs for each Winning Intel Source and relevant Curator. Of course, this could create a significant “involuntary bug bounty” equivalent to the value of all Intel Bounties currently offered and residing in the smart contract. Initially, this risk can be mitigated by limiting the amount of any Intel Bounty to an amount of ADA equivalent to a low value such as $20. The Curator NFTs are planned to be created via the minting policy instructions laid out at:

https://developers.cardano.org/en/development-environments/native-tokens/working-with-multi-asset-tokens/.

Basic Adoption Strategy
The Army of Spies adoption strategy will be akin to that used by other NFT projects such as Unstoppable Domains and Decentraland. The buyers of the NFTs providing access to build on the ecosystem will also be the initial users of the assets built on the ecosystem. For example, a quick web search for news regarding Unstoppable Domains shows it has sold hundreds of thousands of NFTs corresponding to blockchain based domains in the last few years of its operations. Thousands of actual websites have been built on these domains. However, actual user demand to peruse these websites would probably be extremely scant if you didn’t count users who came into the ecosystem because they bought one of the NFTs corresponding to a domain or were considering it. People buy access to build on the ecosystem or at least to speculate on the NFT granting that right. Those same people then become the initial users of the things built on the ecosystem.
This could be seen of Decentraland on its initial launch as well. How many users were wondering around the Decentraland map on launch day who didn’t own some kind of NFT related to the project or weren’t at least taking a peek to decide if they should speculate on a LAND or an NFT based username or etc? We can only guess. But, probably not a gigantic percentage. The initial users were largely NFT owners or people deciding if they should buy an NFT related to the project. This usage of the project then drives more purchases of the various NFTs in the project (from hats, to usernames, to LANDS, to Estates) which then drives more usage which then drives more NFT purchases in a beautiful self-reinforcing cycle.
Army of Spies will be the same. Purchases of the Curator NFTs will be the spark that ignites the combustion that initially pushes the pistons. Whether purchasers are planning to build out an actual Curation Forum or just speculating on the NFT to sell it at a higher price down the road, those purchasers will likely also be the initial Bounty Makers and Intel Sources using Army of Spies.
To kick off this self-reinforcing cycle, Army of Spies could be marketed on an incremental grass roots basis by making simple organic explainer posts, one Subreddit at a time, in all types of topical Subreddits. These explainer posts would be tailored to each subreddit and describe how, for example, anyone in the “r/Porsche 911” subreddit could simply purchase the Curator NFT for “Porsche 911” and turn their interest and knowledge of the topic into a possible money making venture. Someone in the “r/Denver” subreddit might want to purchase the “LoDo Denver Bars” Curator NFT and curate bounties related to things happening in those bars.
Initial purchasers of the Curator NFTs will be making the acquisition as an investment in future access to the ecosystem. This future access characteristic of the purchase along with the decentralized ethos of the crypto space is likely to weigh in favor of an acceptance of the premise that Curators should host their own Curation Forums instead of some more centralized architecture.
Acceptance of this “do-it-yourself” approach is already exhibited by buyers of Decentraland Lands who would possibly have to build something on their lands and by Unstoppable Domains customers who would have to build out websites on top of their decentralized URLs. These purchasers are buying a piece of finite access to the ecosystem on a bet that the ecosystem will develop into something more or that someone will use that finite access to build something on that purchaser’s piece of the ecosystem. In the crypto/blockchain space these types of NFT products are actually a very attractive value proposition in that they present an already functioning consumer crypto product in an endless sea of thousands of blockchain coin products that only purport to one day serve as the rails on which functioning products would operate. Army of Spies will present the same value proposition in that a purchaser of a Curator NFT will be able to immediately set up their own forum and start trying to drive traffic there (in addition to whatever traffic they receive from the Army of Spies website) or they can simply hodl the Curator NFT until the ecosystem develops. You see many examples of both strategies with Decentraland “LANDS” NFT holders and Unstoppable Domain URL holders today.
The Army of Spies Smart Contract
Here is the Marlowe code for the current draft of the Army of Spies Smart Contract. This code can be viewed in a very visual Blockly format if dropped into the Marlowe Playground at https://alpha.marlowe.iohkdev.io/#/simulation.
When
[Case
(Choice
(ChoiceId
“Intel Bounty”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
)
[Bound 0 1]
)
(When
[Case
(Choice
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
)
[Bound 1 1000]
)
(When
[Case
(Deposit
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
)
(When
[Case
(Choice
(ChoiceId
“Curator Intel Source Selection”
(Role “Curator”)
)
[Bound 0 1]
)
(If
(ValueEQ
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Curator Intel Source Selection”
(Role “Curator”)
))
(Constant 1)
)
(When
[Case
(Choice
(ChoiceId
“Intel Source Claims Intel Bounty”
(Role “Intel Source”)
)
[Bound 0 1]
)
(If
(ValueEQ
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Intel Source Claims Intel Bounty”
(Role “Intel Source”)
))
(Constant 1)
)
(When
[Case
(Choice
(ChoiceId
“Confirm Intel Source Won”
(Role “Curator”)
)
[Bound 0 1]
)
(If
(ValueEQ
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Confirm Intel Source Won”
(Role “Curator”)
))
(Constant 1)
)
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Account (Role “Intel Source”))
(Token “” “”)
(Scale
(9%10)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
)
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Party (Role “Curator”))
(Token “” “”)
(Scale
(1%10)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
)
Close
)
)
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Account (Role “Bounty Maker”))
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
Close
)
)]
3500
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Party (Role “Bounty Maker”))
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
Close
)
)
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Party (Role “Bounty Maker”))
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
Close
)
)]
3000
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Party (Role “Bounty Maker”))
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
Close
)
)
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Party (Role “Bounty Maker”))
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
Close
)
)]
2500
(Pay
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
(Party (Role “Bounty Maker”))
(Token “” “”)
(ChoiceValue
(ChoiceId
“Bounty Amount”
(Role “Bounty Maker”)
))
Close
)
)]
2000 Close
)]
1500 Close
)]
1000 Close
A Potential Future Army of Spies 2.0 with More Decentralized Curation within Topical Categories
The original vision for Army of Spies involved curation voting and curation staking by multiple curators even within a single Intel Category. Attempts were even made to model out this architecture in Marlowe. Eventually, the vision of the NFT Curator as detailed above won the day for Army of Spies 1.0. However, the original vision of curation voting and curation staking will be excerpted here for conceptual background on possible future deployment in an Army of Spies 2.0 evolution.
The Potential Army of Spies 2.0 Decentralized Curation Bounty & Curation Staking
In this model, there will be no NFT based curator, and other regular users perusing the forums (the “Curators”) will be allowed to vote on whether or not the intel provided is sufficient. Only an Intel Source receiving enough votes (a “Winning Intel Source”) will win his share of the Intel Bounty. The Curators will also receive a share of the Intel Bounty (the “Curation Bounty”) equal to 10% of the Intel Bounty for voting for the correct answer. To avoid the problem of straw man curators (i.e. an Intel Source creating a second, or third, or nth account to vote for his own intel even when it is obviously not sufficient to be the bounty winning intel), each Curator will be required to stake 1% of the Intel Bounty in order to vote (the “Curation Stake”). Curators who vote for an answer that does not get sufficient votes (the “Losing Curators”) will have their Curation Stake slashed. Curation Stake slashing will involve forfeiture of the Curation Stake and transfer of such stake to the Bounty Maker in majority with a small sliver going to AOS. Each Winning Curator will receive a share of the Curation Bounty equal to the Curation Bounty divided by the number of Winning Curators plus a return of their Curation Stake. In other words a Winning Curator can expect to receive a sum equal to the Intel Bounty divided by the number that is equal to the product of 10 multiplied by the number of Winning Curators. Such Winning Curator will also see a redemption of their Curation stake (which we have already defined above as 1% of the Intel Bounty). Let’s go back to our example of the fishing question and the 100 unit Intel Bounty. If there were five Winning Curators, the sum due to each Curator would be:
10 units/ 5 Winning Curators
= 2 units reward per Winning Curator
+ 1 unit as the return of their Curation Stake
= 3 units.
In order to further mitigate strawman curation, there will also be a second round of curation voting where no stake will be required. This second round will only happen when an Intel Source has already passed the first round. This round of curation voting will subject any strawman curators to the tyranny of the crowd. Here we will be leveraging outrage culture. If anything is true of the online landscape today, it is that people love to call other people out for breaking the rules. So, we will allow a larger number of people to vote in this second round and they will not be required to put up a stake to do so. In this “tyranny of the crowd round”, the voters will only be allowed to vote against the result obtained in the first round. Since the second round only happens if an Intel source passes the first round, this means that in the second round, votes can only be cast against the particular Intel Source.
If dishonest curation is still occuring under this system, the Curation Stake could also always be increased until an optimum balance is struck between deterrence of dishonest curation and participation in curation.
So, in summary, curation voting will look like this:
a first round of staked curation voting;
if the Intel Source doesn’t receive sufficient votes in the first round, that Intel Source has lost and is out;
if the Intel Source does receive sufficient votes in the first round, he or she progresses to the second round;
this second “tyranny of the crowd” round will be unstaked and votes can only be cast AGAINST the particular Intel Source; and
the Intel Source has reached the finish line and will collect the Intel Bounty if there are not sufficient votes against the Intel Source in the second round.
Army of Spies 2.0 Curation and Intel Provision Rankings
In order to further incentivise honest curation, the AOS platform could eventually also display the number of times any given Curator has been a Winning Curator along with the number of times that Curator has been a Losing Curator. Likewise, all Intel Sources will have a ranking showing how many times they have been a Winning Intel Source and the number of times they have been an Intel Source who did not get the highest number of curation votes (a “Losing Intel Source”). These rankings will be shown to other users giving curation votes so that they can take into account the credibility of the Intel Source and the other Curators voting for a particular Intel Source.
Army of Spies 2.0 Blacklisted Transactions Bounties
Army of Spies will not facilitate any information transactions that might constitute, encourage, or aid criminal activity, terrorism, human rights violations, political espionage, or corporate espionage. To moderate these types of transactions in a decentralized system like Army of Spies, there will have to be a bounty for identification of any “Blacklisted Intel Bounty” to incentivise Curators to flag such Intel Bounties. To avoid the strawman curator issue with such Blacklisted Intel Bounties (i.e. the Bounty Maker creating sock puppets to get an illegitimate Intel Bounty past the Blacklist Curation), the Curator who wins the bounty for flagging a Blacklisted Intel Bounty (a “Successful Blacklister”) will be randomly selected from the whole cohort of Curators who vote for the flagging of any particular Intel Bounty. The Blacklist Voting will also involve a “tyranny of the crowd” vote where an Intel Bounty that has passed the first round of BlackList voting can still be blacklisted by non-staking voters who can only vote against the Intel Bounty but not in favor of it passing. The Blacklisted Intel Bounty will be equivalent to a percentage of the Intel Bounty posted by the Bounty Maker. Another sliver of the Intel Bounty will also be forfeited to AOS. This will mean that the Bounty Maker would forfeit some or all of the offered bounty with no info in return. Flagging of Blacklisted Intel Bounties will require the normal Curation Stake of 1% of the Intel Bounty. The Curation Stake of Curators who attempt to dishonestly or inaccurately identify a Blacklisted Intel Bounty (i.e they voted to Blacklist but the group decided otherwise) would then go to the Bounty Maker with a sliver going to Army of Spies.
Proposed Utilization of Funds
Any funds awarded to Army of Spies in Project Catalyst Fund 3 will be used to procure the services of technical experts who can assist with smart contract development, the NFT minting policy, web development, and the overarching architecture connecting all the pieces. While the current team has been dabbling in Marlowe (and a tiny bit in Plutus) for the last few years, they would like to benefit from the expertise of someone close to IOHK or Emurgo or otherwise qualified to tell them what they are missing and help solve the inevitable problems that will be discovered. The Fortune 500 procurement experience of one of the current team members is expected to be very valuable in obtaining these services in a timely fashion and at prudent costs.
Roadmap
Milestone 1
-Procure services of developers to fill any missing gaps between NFT minting policy, smart contract, and website.
-Refine Curator NFT Concept and Marlowe smart contract.
-Refine architecture for the interaction of the various roles with the Marlowe contract.
Milestone 2
-Buildout AOS website with: 1) functionality for NFT Sales; 2) catalogue of topical categories; and 3) explainer and other marketing content.
-Begin Curator recruitment by using organic Subreddit by Subreddit posts.
Milestone 3
-Slowly bootstrap adoption by focusing on Curator recruitment, one subreddit at a time.
-Market directly in any and all suitable subreddits for potential Curators matching a relevant topical interest category.

Requested funds in USD. Only use numbers! No symbols, letters, fractions. Payment will be in ada. 25000

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Army of Spies-A Market for Secrets

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