Trustlines Network

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= "In the Trustlines Network every user is acting as a bank by granting credit lines to friends they trust".


"the original Ripple idea built on Ethereum"



"In the Trustlines Network every user is acting as a bank by granting credit lines to friends they trust. This allows to issue people powered money between friends and facilitate secure payments between strangers, by sending payments along a chain of trusting friends."


"The Trustlines Network targets the problem of fair access to money by implementing money as bilateral peer-to-peer issued blockchain-based credit. We are developing an open source protocol, including a mobile app empowering end-users to make global payments based on their existing trusted social network."


Tomi Kalmi:

"Trustlines Network is an Ethereum-based P2P platform for creating IOU networks. Based on the original idea of Ripple as presented by Ryan Fugger in 2004, Trustlines Network would enable users to create money and make safe payments between each other. The high-level idea is that individuals provide credit for the people they trust, and only for an amount they deem fair. This provided credit is money that is valid for anyone who trusts the creditor. Thus, Trustlines Network is like the current credit-based monetary system, in a sense, but instead of just banks, anyone can become a creditor.

Even though credit provided by user A is directly valid money only for users who trust user A, it can become valid for any third party by finding someone who trusts both user A and the third party in question, as is illustrated in Figure 2. This simple concept ideally eliminates the need for trust between parties who do not know each other, and the created money becomes universal. It is also scalable, as per the popular "Six-degree Theorem", everyone on the Earth is connected to each other on average by six links at most – therefore it is enough to establish connections with only a handful of people to have a sufficiently large network. Although there is no definite proof that the six-degree theorem holds, empirical studies and popular social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook suggest it has merit.

Connecting users using these intermediary links is called multi-hopping or rippling. ... In the case two users are not connected via a chain of nodes, they can be connected using ETH. This is more expensive for the user, but ensures the possibility of transactions in all cases.

Since the scaling of the system depends on well-connected users, users are incited to establish as many connections as possible. This is implemented by including a small capacity fee in every transaction, which is paid to users/nodes that work as middlemen connecting two end nodes. In addition to the capacity fee, there is a relay fee (more on relays below), an imbalance fee (a fee for adding imbalance to a used trustline), and the Ethereum transaction fee. Optionally, users can also add an interest rate to any of their debtors.

All fees, except the Ethereum transaction fee, are paid using Trustlines Money and they are aggregated for the user to confirm. The ETH that is required to pay the Ethereum transaction fee is acquired automatically by the frontend by exchanging it for Trustlines Money. An important part of the system is that users are not willing to credit others any more than they are comfortable to. In case a user is unable to pay back their debt, the dispute must be settled privately between the involved parties.

There can be an arbitrary number of currency networks within the Trustlines Network ecosystem, using a related Currency Network Token Factory smart contract. Thus, there is no single "Trustlines token", but instead an arbitrary number of coexisting currencies that share only the Trustlines Network platform, which are called Trustlines Money. From the point of view of Helsinki, this type of dynamic IOU network would essentially mean that the city should act as a central bank of sorts.


Evaluation by Tomi Kalmi based on a interview in 2018:

"The interview regarding the Trustlines Network was conducted on 9th of May, 2018 with Gustav Friis, who is a project lead at Trustlines Network. The objective of the interview was to validate that the author had understood the Trustlines Network whitepaper correctly, and to learn more about the platform’s roadmap and current state.

Based on the interview it became clear that the whitepaper used as the basis of the evaluation of Trustlines Network is partly outdated. The main finding was that there is drastically less decentralization in the current and envisioned versions of the platform than what the whitepaper implies. According to the whitepaper, Trustlines Network is built on top of the Ethereum main chain and is heavily entwined with it, whereas the platform depicted by the interview is an off-chain technology by default, with the chance to connect it to Ethereum through extra configuration. How the operating costs resulting from Ethereum connection would be handled was left unclear.

According to the interview, the funding for the Trustlines Network and the company behind it, brainbot technologies AG, is sufficient to ensure development and operations for the foreseeable future. However, as this claim was made without giving any further access to the related financial information, it should be accepted with reservations. Nevertheless, the interview gave a sense of a positive confidence regarding the Trustlines Network and its future.


Trustlines Network was founded and is being developed by brainbot technologies AG, a German company that was founded over 15 years ago. In addition to the Trustlines Network, they are active in developing the Ethereum Core and the Raiden network.

Trustlines Network codebase is open source, licensed under the permissive ISC and MIT licenses as of May 2018. It has fairly active development, with 132 commits on three repositories (contracts, clientlib, and relay) between 7th of April and 7th of May in 2018 by four different authors.

As of 9th of May 2018, there have been two test launches, with an MVP launch on its way" (

More information