A token-curated registry (TCR) is a popular economic incentive model for decentralized blockchain applications. A TCR is basically a list maintained by token holders – they stake tokens to "vote" on what happens to the registry, such as adding or rejecting a listing.
TCRs are (conceptually) in fashion, but there aren't many production-ready deployments. Two major examples are adChain and FOAM, but that's it. The former lists websites without bots (which can sully advertising data), whereas the latter functions as a map with locations verified by token holders. The lack of TCR projects is especially significant because it means there isn't robust data to learn from to build better TCRs.
The crew behind TCR Party wants to change that. TCR Party is a forthcoming registry experiment that will catalog crypto Twitter's top handles. Steve Gattuso, tech lead of the ConsenSys circle Alpine, told ETHNews he and the team are interested in learning about what happens if they "create a TCR with the lowest barrier of entry possible." He elaborated:
"That is, what happens when we entirely abstract away the idea of a blockchain and replace it with an already-familiar UX with (ideally) minimal friction. We're hoping this lets us learn about how this cryptoeconomic primitive works in a somewhat controlled environment. Will users actually participate over a sustained period of time? Will they produce a valuable list or will it explode into a carnival of trolls? Will someone find a way to game the system and hijack the list? We don't know, but we're very excited to find out!"
Indeed, the experiment's TCR model has been retrofitted to work within Twitter, which many individuals in the crypto community – and in general – are familiar with. TCR Party's interface is comprised of two Twitter accounts, @TCRPartyBot and @TCRPartyVIP. The bot account will automatically retweet posts from those listed on the TCR (in essence, this account functions as a display for the registry), whereas the VIP account will allow token holders to interact with the TCR (e.g., voting on whether certain Twitter users should be included and challenging existing listings). TCR Party token holders will primarily communicate with the VIP account via direct message.
A key characteristic of TCR Party is its focus on simplicity. Not only is the TCR built using a familiar social media interface; it also generates wallets for users and handles the partial-lock commit/reveal (PLCR) voting process behind the scenes. PLCR voting, which lies at the core of the registry's incentive model, is known to cause headaches for TCR users, as the process requires multiple steps to commit and reveal votes.
As for the tokens, which are called TCR Party Points, they will be distributed to users upon signup (early users will be rewarded with more tokens than those who sign up later). There will also be a "faucet" that can be drawn from once a day, allowing token holders to restore their ability to participate on the registry should they run out of tokens. However, these tokens will not have any monetary value, Gattuso noted.
Because the experiment uses the Twitter interface, there's the obvious concern of centralization – TCR Party is beholden to Twitter's rules and regulations. The TCR Party team maintains that despite taking place over a popular social media platform, the registry's code will be publicly released to allow individuals to see how the bot works. Plus, users can interact with the registry via third-party interfaces if they so desire (the contract code is on a public testnet, after all).
The TCR experiment is slated to be fully launched around mid-January. Gattuso said the information collected from the experiment may be helpful with future projects and clients.