YouBase, a Decentralized Bitcoin-like Answer to Databases, Social Networks, and More

June 2, 2015

Imagine a future where like buttons are replaced by tip buttons and where a social network user always controls their own data. YouBase says it will have such a solution ready to go, in its flagship product, YouBase, an “individual-centric” decentralized data structure. Social networks are one aspect they cover in their whitepaper, among others, including the healthcare industry.

YouBase enables individuals to create and maintain a personal data store on a distributed public network, allowing the unprecedented ability to easily gather, analyze, and share private data for any purpose imaginable. Data is structured hierarchically so that increasingly identifiable data can be placed at levels closer to the root, allowing arbitrarily anonymized data to be shared with whomever is requesting access to it. The data format is flexible, enabling easy integration with third parties. In addition, read-only or read/write access can be granted at any node in the tree, allowing the user to tightly control access to every subtree in the data store.

Original Content Creators Protected

Another aspect of the YouBase system is that even if a second person uploads a file that has already been uploaded, the first file is the one that ends up being linked to. Such a function would be useful on a site like YouTube, where dozens of secondary-uploaders upload a given file in hopes of garnering likes and views in the wake of a viral video.

Attachments are stored in a content-addressable data store. This means that when someone shares the same content as another person, it points to the file already in the data store instead of uploading a new file. This happens any time the content is the same, even if two people upload the same file separately.

Don’t Like, Tip!

The use of fully functional Bitcoin addresses in the YouBase system means that tipping for good content will become easier, if and when social networks decide to build on the platform, which is still in its early stages. As stated earlier, “like” buttons could be replaced by “tip” buttons with ease, especially within the realm of a single social network.

At the same time, the basic data which makes up a social network profile could become portable, easily moved between social networks. Remember when you finally switched over to Facebook from MySpace? Well, if software like YouBase had been in place, you wouldn’t have had to lose everything from MySpace to do so. You could also have your data shared across multiple networks at once if you preferred.

By using encryption, digital signatures, digital wallets, and distributed data, ownership of digital information can be managed in a decentralized store. Such a store will be simultaneously secure and private, with strong identity services, while also available anywhere. […] Information and rights to that information will ideally follow an individual as she moves through various contexts in her daily life, enabled with the ability to provide trusted, verified identity within those contexts.

YouBase makes use of cryptography to secure data, and the way it does things is somewhat new. Decentralization of data is the realm of companies like Factom, but it’s always good to see new competitors come into the market.

P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.