What does Free Riding mean?
As used in economics: the strategy of contributing effort or resources in a less than socially optimal way, while simultaneously deriving benefit from others’ contributions.
The concept of free riding arises most often when discussing production of public goods (e.g. public safety or internet service) which frequently leads to debates about how to fund such public goods (e.g. taxation). When people do not contribute effort or resources to a project that could benefit everyone, we typically conclude the benefits or services from that project are under-produced relative to some ideal.
Real Life Examples
Free riding is highly intuitive. When you are doing a group project and one of the group is not contributing, that is an example of free riding. Those who refuse to pay any taxes while using publicly funded infrastructure such as roads and clean water are free-riding with respect to those projects (assuming they do not make contributions in some other way, such as in-kind donations).
Blockchain Infrastructure and Security
Blockchain infrastructure and security is an enabling technology for services with far-reaching social benefits. It is a decentralized technology whose value depends on contributions from honest participants.
Free riding may occur when network participants do not pay enough attention to validate blockchain transactions properly, yet still are able to benefit in some way. In such cases, networks may underproduce dependable blockchain data or provide too little capacity to service transactions demanded.
Free riding is not easy to track or solve in complex systems. Like most phenomena that require measurement, it is better to set up systems to observe them ahead of time.
Geeq’s blockchain architecture is explicitly designed to track and automate rewards for network participants when they provide proof of their independently executed and honest work. Nodes that do nothing receive nothing; nodes that are dishonest are penalized and removed.
Throughout Geeq’s ecosystem and by design, incentives are aligned to produce and scale blockchain services efficiently to accommodate demand.
Used in a Sentence:
Systems that allow free riding under-produce public goods; Geeq’s public blockchain explicitly addresses these problems by introducing automated and scalable market mechanics for provably honest work.
Last Updated: February 25, 2023
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