Matryx is a blockchain-based decentralized collaboration platform created by Nanome Inc. The platform aims to enable and provide an incentivized innovation through collaborative competition, and consists of a library of digital assets, a marketplace and a bounty system. Matryx’s blockchain-based bounty system provides incentives for collaborative problem solving.
Bounties are descriptions of works for which the bounty-creator, which can be anyone, is willing to pay. The payment is in MTX, which will be available to buy and sell through exchanges.
Matryx is composed of a smart contract system (Running on the Ethereum network, and will require ‘gas’ for transactions) and a supporting framework of applications. The smart contract system provides a public ledger of open projects and their associated payments (Bounties) and proposed solutions (Submissions) by the community.
How does it work
The bounty requirements are posted publicly and indexed in the smart contract system. The bounty-creator determines a reward which is locked in the smart contract system for the bounty’s duration, to incentivize contributors to work on said bounty. Once a bounty is public, users begin creating submissions in an open multi-round contest called a ‘tournament’.
Users create digital assets through applications available in the Matryx system (Nanome software, Calcflow and Nano-One are the only applications currently available, but their are planning on adding more) and submit them for consideration in the open tournament. The asset is then hashed, signed and made publicly available. Then the user submits the asset’s metadata to the smart contract system, where it is permanently indexed. At the end of a tournament, authors of submissions that contributed to the solution are rewarded.
The winning solution of each round is shared publicly so that new contributors can remix into a new iteration, enabling users to reach the goal faster and more effectively. Once a problem is solved, rewards and recognition are given to all winning contributors, not just the last contributor, for fairness and transparency.
Matryx provides a structure that reduces the friction of rewarding collaborators. Rather than simply establishing a goal and rewarding the first past the post, Matryx tracks the provenance of assets, enables low-friction collaboration, and divides rewards amongst all validated participants. In this way, each unit of progress towards the attainment of the goal can be rewarded by the system. Open collaboration, in pursuit of a shared reward as well as attaining the goal, is incentivized, while solitary research and siloed collaborations are dis-incentivized.
To post a bounty, a user creates a set of requirements and registers the requirements and the necessary additional data in a smart contract. Matryx-enabled applications allow creation and registration of bounties and poll this registry of bounties to display open challenges. The user must set bounty rewards and a number of MTX tokens in the smart contract sufficient to pay those rewards. Furthermore, the bounty creator has to determine the challenge start time and duration, the duration of review and winner selection time, the reward per round, number of maximum rounds in the tournament and participation bond to reduce spam submission. This is very important, as incentive-based models are difficult to protect from malicious behavior from all participants. Bounty creators are bonded to prove the ability to pay for work and submitters are bonded to prevent spam. The bonds are held by the smart contract and refunded back to the submitter at the end of the tournament. Thus, contributors are incentivized to make a minimal number of submissions.
Taken from the Matryx whitepaper, “it is expected that there will be more submissions than bounties, and more contributors than bounty creators. Therefore the behavior of bounty creators is easier to regulate with external checks. Submitters, as the recipient of monetary rewards, have more direct incentives to behave poorly. Thus in all cases, we have chose to err towards trusting bounty creators over submitters”.
The primary way a bounty creator can attack the system is by refusing to properly select a winning submission for a given round or tournament. In this way the bounty creator has the privilege of seeing the work, without paying the cost. Initially, the Matryx platform will perform external checks on the identity and reputation of the bounty creator. Future iterations of the platform will attempt to place additional checks on bounty creators by requiring the use of an identity system.
Submitters, too, have a strong incentive to bias the results of a tournament by all means available. One potential attack is entering the same submission multiple times, thus making the submission more likely to be evaluated and selected by the submission creator. The bonding mechanism described above imposes a hard cost on submissions.
Another issue is that contributors may attempt to steal credit for other’s work by creating duplicate submissions. Unaltered duplicates can be spotted and dealt with by hash-based checks, but even the most subtle modification will alter the hash entirely. Bonds act as a mitigation tool against these sorts of attacks, as Matryx attempts to make the expected gain less than the opportunity cost. Moreover, the company is exploring ways to annihilate this issue altogether; an evaluation interface that can be tweaked to prioritize earlier submissions, or a two-phase commit and reveal submission process.
Nanome, is a virtual reality company that seeks to combine virtual reality with the benefits of blockchain technology. The company builds intelligent virtual reality interfaces that allow scientists and engineers to collaborate, design, and simulate with “nanoscale precision”. Among their products are Calcflow, a VR software that offers intuitive ways to learn vector calculus, and Nano One, a VR software that allows users to build molecules from different atoms using Nano One’s molecular visualization and modeling tool.
Nanome was founded by UC San Diego alumni, including co-founders Steven McCloskey and Edgardo Leija.
- Greg Horowitt – Venture Capitalist, Author, Serial Entrepreneur
- Benjamin Bratton – Professor of Visual Arts at UCSD, Author
- Paul Puey – CEO and co-founder at Airbitz
- David Brin – Author, Futurist, Public Speaker
- Geoff Odell – CEO at Trusted-HIT, former Novartis VP of Global Operations
- Daniel Berard – Former lead engineer at Accelrys/Dassault Systemes