What is TrustRank?
TrustRank is a personal information platform that leverages blockchain technology to verify the accuracy of user data, while keeping it safe and under user control. In the TrustRank ecosystem, users can choose the data points they wish to reveal, in addition to those that must remain encrypted and confidential at all times. For data owners, this scheme provides them with security that is far superior to existing storage and transmission models. Data consumers also benefit because they receive reliable, higher quality information.
Who are likely to be the first users of TrustRank?
TrustRank's initial business-development efforts have been focused on background checks for hiring, with a particular emphasis on large enterprises that both screen many applicants and have certification-ready credentials for many past employees. Thus, our first users will be those enterprises (over twenty, including eight from the Fortune 500) and the individuals who apply to work for them.
Who controls TrustRank?
The TrustRank Foundation has a few specific levers of control: initial specification of contract parameters, initial selection of auditors, collection of small transaction fees. However, the software be will open source and the smart contracts will be permissionless. Anyone will be able to participate.
Why does it need to be decentralized?
TrustRank needs to be decentralized to enable two kinds of trust. First, owners of personal information must be able to trust that their information will be kept secure, private and under their control. Second, consumers of personal information must be able to trust that the information they receive is unaltered and from credible sources.
Is the TrustRank protocol an open source project?
Where do I learn how to build on TrustRank?
Our source code, smart contracts and developer tools will appear on our GitHub as they become production-ready.
Isn't TrustRank just W3C Verifiable Claims or ERC735 (Ethereum Claim Holder)?
No, TrustRank has stronger accuracy and privacy guarantees than either, thanks to our audit/dispute protocol and zero-knowledge-proof revelation.
Does TrustRank have its own blockchain?
No, TrustRank is being built on top of an existing smart-contract-enabled blockchain. (Our internal prototypes currently run on EOS.)
Why is TrustRank building on an existing blockchain?
Any active blockchain requires a protocol, software that implements that protocol and a set of nodes that use that software to achieve blockchain consensus. While TrustRank could easily use an existing protocol and implementation (e.g., a fork of Ethereum or Hyperledger), effectively incenting strong consensus is still difficult. Building on an existing blockchain allows us to "piggyback" on an already thriving consensus ecosystem.
Will TrustRank ever run on its own blockchain?
Building on an existing blockchain gives us the advantage of using their consensus, but also ties us to their protocol and core software. As TrustRank’s needs diverge, and as the scale of TrustRank becomes large enough to support strong consensus, we anticipate building our own blockchain will become necessary.
Where does my personal information get stored?
In a wallet. Like other blockchain projects, the wallet holds the secret keys that you use to uniquely identify yourself. Unlike most other projects, the wallet also holds small, valuable documents, i.e., your personal information.
What can a wallet do?
Every TrustRank wallet has to offer three functions: 1) storing documents and secret keys, 2) generating selective-revelation proofs from the documents, and 3) signing messages or transactions with the secret keys. For example, your wallet could hold a copy of your university degree and you could share a partial copy of that degree (while “redacting” specific details like graduation year). You could then digitally sign that copy so that no-one who got a copy of that degree could pass it off as their own.
What kinds of wallets are available?
TrustRank initially offers two wallets: an open-source command-line tool and a user-friendly web application (the web wallet).
What is the web wallet?
The web wallet is a cloud/SaaS-style web application, where the end user logs into a website in order to access their data and wallet functionality.
Information flow for the web wallet. Note that this wallet is "non-custodial," meaning that the unsealed (i.e., unencrypted) wallet only ever exists within the user's browser session, never on the server.
If I use the web wallet, where does my personal data get stored?
The web wallet is “non-custodial,” meaning that the server holds the data, but only in encrypted form. The contents of the wallet (personal information and private keys) is only ever decrypted within your current browser session.
Why does TrustRank need a web wallet?
For the TrustRank ecosystem to be successful in the long run, it must be user friendly and accessible. Any form of user-hosted wallet raises a higher barrier to entry, requiring more technical expertise as well as access to suitable hardware. Even if this barrier only excluded a small fraction of the potential user base, that exclusion would be unacceptable for some applications. For example, few employers and insurers would be willing to adopt any mandatory screening process, if that process were inaccessible to some class of users. Regulations might also make that adoption impossible.
Does this mean that the TrustRank protocol is centralized?
Is the TrustRank web wallet service an open source project?