New Open Source Blockchain Project To Challenge Experian And Equifax

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Online reputation start-up, Traity, has just announced the release of its open-source blockchain project “The Reputation Network.” – an initiative which is part of the growing number of fintechs disrupting the monopoly of credit scoring through the use of social data and machine learning.

These new technologies patch the lack of history in the data available to traditional credit scoring. Particularly where there is little other information about a person (young people who have yet to build up a credit history; international students/employees, immigrants and refugees).

Founder, Juan Cartagena, shared:

“A single score is never going to be enough to judge people, because reputation is contextual. No single company or team can fully understand the reputation of humanity. Context is so important that creating a marketplace of personal scoring was the best answer we could give, so that people can create increasingly accurate scores based on traditional and alternative data for different demographics and use cases.”

The Reputation Network aims to be the blockchain infrastructure that pulls together all of these emerging scores. Users can prove that they are trustworthy quickly and more effectively, accessing the most relevant data and scores whilst controlling their personal data and protecting against privacy breaches.  New scores can be also established for many other use cases outside of credit like home rentals, uber driving and selling.

Much has changed in the availability and understanding of credit data since the 1990s, leaving classic FICO in many ways outdated. For many consumers, credit scores are going up, in some cases by more than 40 points, according to a report released by the New York Federal Reserve. This is because credit companies are moving away from just focusing on negative information. But this could just be the starting point. “New scoring technologies go even further to consider ways of living and demographics have changed. It is a fairer, more holistic view, based on behaviors, not just previous debt. They can use predictive metrics to look at everything from social media to shopping history. But always with the permission of the consumer, helping them build, leverage and contribute to their own reputations,” added Juan.  

Higher credit scores can save consumers thousands in interest payments over their lifetimes, when they get better rates on loans. Someone with a fair credit score that falls between 580 and 669 will pay about $45,000 more in interest over their lifetime on loans and credit cards versus a consumer with very good credit score of 740 or higher, according to recent research from LendingTree. Therefore, blockchain platforms like the Reputation Network may be well worth it for those who think they are most Trustworthy than their credit score suggests.    

The reputation network will not use a native coin (or token) and will use Ether ethereum to reward participants who share data and provide scoring, Juan explained. “We are not buying into the hype which has constantly manifested as endless ICOs, speculation and forks. We truly believe in our purpose and  what is needed is an ideal payment method which is recognized by everybody.”

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Traity measures trustworthiness using online data including networks, ratings and reviews from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Airbnb, eBay and Uber to determine a person’s financial TrustScore. The inspiration for Traity came from Traity CEO Juan Cartagena own experience as a new resident of the United States with no local credit rental or employment history, he was a ghost in the system. Traity has since raised over $5 million in funding and worked with some of the biggest insurers and banks in the world.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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