The credibility layer of the internet

Ideamarket is a provably fair system for managing public narratives, a new income stream for creators, and a fake news elimination protocol for social media platforms.

Table of contents:

  1. Problem: Media corporations are central banks of narrative

  2. Solution: Ideological risk management

  3. How Ideamarket works (3 steps)

  4. Making credibility expensive

  5. Second-order effects

1. Problem: Media corporations are central banks of narrative

In the same way that fiat currencies are valuable only because governments say they are, fiat narratives are true only because media corporations say they are.

2. Solution: Ideological risk management

Pascal’s Wager popularized the metaphor of beliefs-as-bets. Pascal argues people should believe in God because, as a bet, it's high-reward and low-risk — and to disbelieve is a high-risk, low-reward bet.

All beliefs work this way — no matter what we believe, we expect to be rewarded more for betting on that belief than we would for betting on an alternative.

But there's a twist: Research on numeracy, cult behavior, science denial, and scientific suppression shows we're most attuned to risks/rewards involving social status and sense of identity — not the satisfaction of genuine understanding, or the consequences of being mistaken.

This is natural, but it makes humans lousy belief-investors. We do not manage “ideological risk” well.

Rationality is risk management; nothing more. — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

To achieve collective “rationality," we need a mechanism for ideological risk management — an idea market that rewards people for popularizing ideas that "outcompete" alternatives and withstand the scrutiny of due diligence (and of history).

Introducing financial markets to “belief betting” alters the risk management landscape for our decision-making about beliefs. They shift our priorities away from social status and tribal affiliation, and toward the common goal of profit.

Not only do markets accurately reflect how beliefs work (making a bet), they non-coercively reward better thinking and punish worse thinking — regardless of status or tribe.

3. How Ideamarket works (3 steps)


Buy account tokens to vote on the attention-worthiness of that account, and sell to revoke your vote. Buying votes says "I think others will want to see this," just like a reddit upvote.

The first 1,000 tokens for each listing cost $0.10 each. Token price automatically increases by $0.01 for each 100 tokens bought afterward, managed by a bonding curve algorithm.

You can list anyone's account (even @elonmusk) as long as it's not already listed. If you add an account owned by someone else, interest will accrue to their wallet after a purchase, and they can claim it anytime.

3.2. Money spent on account tokens is held in, a decentralized lending protocol. Compound lends these deposits to borrowers, who pay interest on these loans (usually 1-10% annually).

3.3. All interest generated by account token deposits is paid to the owner of the associated account.

4. Credibility without corporations

Ideamarket is a new income stream for trusted voices, and a new expense for propagandists.

This dichotomy makes credibility prohibitively expensive to fake.

Trusted voices crowdsource a high rank "for free," as their audience buys upvotes out of self-interest and genuine belief. Private interests must pay out-of-pocket for a high rank, while competing against the buying power of entire populations.

Over time, market cycles shake out both the deceivers, and the deceived.

5. Second-order effects

5.1 Freeing journalism from paywalls

Journalists want to provide a) the best possible information, b) to the largest possible audience. When their livelihood depends on paywalls, they are incentivized to betray their own goals, and the best interests of their audience.

Ideamarket creates an income stream based on audience trust. Since the only limit to this income stream is the size and confidence of their audience, journalists are incentivized to publish their best work for free, and to earn trust across demographics.

Ideamarket also pays a trading fee to platforms like Substack, to free them from dependence on medieval business models.

5.2 Making fake news expensive

By measuring credibility in dollars, Ideamarket makes fake news prohibitively expensive to spread. In addition to creating a newsy-looking website, perpetrators must now purchase an Ideamarket rank commensurate with that of the trusted publishers they wish to mimic.

As Ideamarket matures, the cost of "minimum viable credibility" will increase. This obsolesces the vast majority of anti-fake-news expenditures — identification, tracking, and moderation algorithms, as well as research and personnel.

Our free browser extension (in development) displays Ideamarket rankings across the internet, relieving social media companies of the impossible burden of making epistemic judgments on the public's behalf.

5.3 Capturing the value of obscure genius

Ideamarket rewards anyone for discovering and popularizing the world’s best knowledge.

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