Keio University, Graduate School of Media and Governance
MAUI Project
Ph.D. Dissertation

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TITLE i-WAT: The Internet WAT System - An Architecture for Maintaining Trust and Facilitating Peer-to-Peer Barter Relationships -

Peer-to-peer complementary currencies can be powerful tools for promoting exchanges and building sustainable relationships among selfish peers on the Internet.

i-WAT is a proposed such currency based on the WAT System, a polycentric, real-life complementary currency using WAT tickets as its media of exchange. Participants spontaneously issue and circulate the tickets as needed, whose values are backed up by chains of trust. i-WAT implements the tickets electronically by exchanging messages signed in OpenPGP.

Contributions of this research include the following:

  1. Design of the total architecture of trust and fair exchange.
  2. Construction, analysis and verification of the trust model of the system.
  3. Construction, analysis and verification of the incentive model of the system, including reduction/multiplicatoin over time features.
  4. Claim that the design of i-WAT is incentive-compatible as to protection against moral hazards, or threats caused by selfish peers because they may take advantage of the rules; such hazards are defused in i-WAT if the participants react against misbehaviors of others by pursuing their own benefits.
  5. A reference implementation of i-WAT has been developed in the form of an XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol instant messaging client.

The author has managed to put the currency system into practical use since June 2004.

CONTACT To obtain the whole paper, please contact;
SAITO, Kenji ( )

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