Mark Cuban announces new Blockchain project: Mercury Protocol
Mercury Protocol, a new blockchain technology based social media project is anticipated to transform the online interactions.
Mark Cuban and his team has announced a new Blockchain project, Mercury Protocol, to reinvent online interactions. Instead of getting your head around, simply understand that if successful, this project could do wonders for improving privacy and beating back trolls.
Simply put, Mercury Protocol is a unique software designed for messaging app. Built on Blockchain, a distributed ledger to create secure transaction records across a network, the project will enable users to participate without having to reveal personal information about themselves.
The Mercury Protocol crew set out their vision in a white paper posted on Medium, and are optimistic about the adoption of their software by popular messaging services like Signal, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. But as of now, their emphasis is on two of Cuban’s pet apps called Dust and Broadcast.
Dust has been here for quite some time, which came into existence as a result of Cuban’s desire for an alternative to Twitter, a platform that ensures a secure, less troll-like form of messaging and group discussions. Broadcast is yet to come, but reportedly, it lets people pay to engage in discussions with luminaries like Cuban.
The central idea behind everything is blockchain’s ability to generate tokens. These can be a form of digital money and drive the current ICO mania, and useful for participating in various online activities.
Build on Ethereum Blockchain, Mercury Protocol will allow users to earn tokens by reading a certain number of articles. Tokens can also be earned by positive contributions to discussion groups – like reputational credits or so. You can track where it goes in terms of trolls, for instance, if people have to earn tokens through constructive behavior, trolls will automatically down, which is high on Twitter – that doesn’t charge users for harassing people all day long.
The CEO of Dust and a leader of the Mercury Protocol, Ryan Ozonian, has revealed that at the outset, tokens will be earned only through participation. However, later in future, there will be an opportunity to purchase them.
Privacy element comes from the blockchain’s ability to let people join without providing personal information (a feature which also prompted the UN, with the help of Accenture and Microsoft, to see potentials of blockchain as a form of ID).
According to the Mercury Protocol folks:
“While all transactions on the blockchain are public, users are protected through pseudonymity because nothing on the blockchain associates their real identity with their Ethereum account . This contrasts with the current industry norm of aggregating and selling user behavioral data to advertisers, directly tying their identities to their activities.”
If everything goes planned, communication tools will evolve from marketing-driven platforms crowded by trolls to ones where users’ privacy will be protected and a positive behavior will be rewarded.
While this is extremely ambitious, implementation will be harder in the light of that most popular platforms like Facebook Messenger are unlikely to welcome anything that threatens their advertising potentials, which expand their bank balances.
The team behind the Mercury Protocol aspires to bring evolutionary changes to online interactions through blockchain technology, but it will require patience to know whether or not this will start to catch on, or consumers instead chose to settle with traditional services.
On final note, technically, Mercury Protocol is not open-source as of now, means outsiders can’t peep into the underlying source code. However, the team says, this will change once they are confident about the security.
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