In this paper, we propose a simple, distributed, but highly efficient fairness-enforcing incentive mechanism for cooperative computing. The proposed mechanism, called triangle chaining (T-Chain), enforces reciprocity to avoid the exploitable aspects of the schemes that allow free-riding. In T-Chain, symmetric key cryptography provides the basis for a lightweight, almost-fair exchange protocol, which is coupled with a pay-it-forward mechanism. This combination increases the opportunity for multi-lateral exchanges and further maximizes the resource utilization of participants, each of whom is assumed to operate solely for his or her own benefit. T-Chain also provides barrier-free entry to newcomers with flexible resource allocation, allowing them to immediately benefit, and, therefore, is suitable for dynamic environments with high churn (i.e., turnover). T-Chain is distributed and simple to implement, as no trusted third party is required to monitor or enforce the scheme, nor is there any reliance on reputation information or tokens.