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Peace & Stability Through The Blockchain: Information Sharing

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM

This is part 5 of CCN.com’s series, “Peace & Stability Through The Blockchain.”

For part 1, click here.

For part 2, click here.

For part 3, click here.

For part 4, click here.

In part 5, we look at how information might be shared on a blockchain system.

Journalism and Information Sharing

The WikiLeaks example demonstrates the issues facing sources for information. When major payment providers blocked WikiLeaks’ accounts, the site adopted Bitcoin. Could an information provider such as a news journal, website, newsletter or whistleblowing be distributed?

In such an example, suppose that people are incentivized to subscribe and host a node for the information source – say, The New York Times. It’s unclear how to incentivize individuals to do this.

Twister might give thought experimenters a way forward on the topic. So far, Twister is a free software for peer-to-peer microblogging. As blockchainers contend, “Being completely decentralized means that no one is able to shut it down.” The project is based on both BitTorrent and Bitcoin-like protocols. It’s possibly most accurately describes as a distributed Twitter. The project is very crude to date. It was developed under the Linux Environment but has since integrated Android and OSX.

In the instance this was applied to a news journal, I assume a “subscriber” or node would constantly be connected to the distributed application.  The app could feature any variety of long form journalism, op-eds, breaking news, microblogging and so on. Ensuring quality content is of the utmost importance to such an operation. In order to govern content, a distributed news and information application could enforce a fee to upload content. Content creators will have to invest in themselves to write for the distributed application.

A fee market will quickly develop where content creators will charge others to create content on the application. In order to temper this, high-level participants in the distributed information community might fulfill traditional editor duties. Or press releases can be created for additional fees.

Users can gain temporary access to this encrypted network, possibly with temporary keys. If they wish to read one article, the content can be made accessible and participants on the network can make the article available for some incentive.

An encryption communications medium might be useful on such an app so that journalists and potential sources can communicate in confidence, thereby avoiding any El Chapo-Sean Penn situations.

A melange of Medium and Vice, on the blockchain, this model might ensure data to be 100% correct. Payments can be made and received by the network to content creators and readers based on certain parameters. The native currency of such a system could be Bitcoin itself.

Medium offers a good example about how content could be uploaded. By offering payments for content or content success, a distributed application could promote the best writers to publish on the application. Ensuring quality content is an undeveloped as yet mechanism, and they’d function as Proof-of-Accuracy delegate-participants in exchange for shared revenue on the work to which they contribute.

Featured image from Shutterstock.