How do you prevent merchants from just creating a thousand fake transactions to make them look reputable?
You give the greatest trust to reviews provided by the anonymous identities you have transacted with.
You give progressively less trust to reviews by identities 1, 2, ..., n hops away from those you have transacted with.
If a merchant creates 1000 sock-puppet consumers, they won't be reachable from your trust network, so you'll give them little if any weight.
I don’t quite follow. Consumers deal with merchants. Consumers give reviews to merchants. So the anonymous identities you mention will be customers that I don’t know. Merchants won’t review each other, I presume.
In other words, as I understand it, the “anonymous identities I’ve transacted with” will be merchants, who don’t review other merchants.
> If a merchant creates 1000 sock-puppet consumers, they won't be reachable from your trust network, so you'll give them little if any weight.
What if do a successful deal with this merchant? Will I then trust that all those 1000 fake transactions took place? And will the people who trust me also believe that?