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‘Doges on Trial’: Kleros Makes Virtual Jury Duty Fun with Dogecoin and CryptoKitties


Kleros, a dispute resolution platform, is popularizing its potential uses with a blockchain game called Doges on Trial. The game is simple: participants determine which images contain Shiba inu dogs, and which images contain cats. The cost to submit an image is a small amount of ETH, and participants who submit genuine Doges will be rewarded with Dogecoin.

This sounds straightforward, but there is a catch. To make the game competitive, Kleros is trying to incentivize bad actors. Those who manage to sneak a cat past the jurors will get CryptoKitties and ETH as rewards. (Holders of Kleros’ PNK tokens serve as the jury.)

“Give[n] these incentives, we expect that users will self-organize in order to create a large list of Doges and only Doges [and no duplicate Doges]. Economic incentives will make users submit images, challenge them and participate in dispute resolution.”

Kleros is essentially a virtual jury. Real-life use cases could be any conflict that people are willing to put money at stake to resolve, from dividing finances to deciding whether a terms-of-service agreement was violated. Of course, juries are only human and can be interfered with. The game is a toy model of the blockchain attacks and jury tampering that Kleros is trying to make itself immune to:

“Our goal is to understand user behavior and to test the system defenses against a number of hostile actions such as bribes and p+epsilon attacks.”

Kleros uses a PNK token that allows PNK holders to serve as jurors in the event of a blockchain dispute or attack. These aren’t meant for trading, but are meant for staking, similar to Augur’s REP token. PNK’s distribution and value model is meant to discourage attacks—if someone who was using Kleros to resolve a conflict tried to attack it, at best they would fail, and at worst they would undermine any chance of a payout.

It is interesting to see a blockchain project like this go live in a system that is deliberately intended to put it under stress, and refreshing to see existing cryptocurrencies used as incentives. And undoubtedly the memetic status of Doges will help Kleros make its case to the crypto community.

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