Blockchain, the distributed ledger and innovative technology behind the crypto mogul Bitcoin that was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, has been attracting much attention for its growing potential and the wide range of applications. The technology is breaking out of the financial sector and testing its functionality in new markets.
Highlighting the uptick in the space, over $1.4 billion (bn) has been invested in blockchain technology in just three short years according to a report from the World Economic Forum. And, quite incredibly it has been projected that by 2027 around 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP) will be stored on blockchain platforms.
Companies in fields like distributed cloud storage, digital identity security, smart contracts and online voting are clawing at the chance to integrate this technology into their products and services to see just how far the blockchain can take them.
Decentralized and open source core features of the blockchain combined with the highest levels of encryption and security have enthralled businesses in many areas and in so doing are captivating many supporters. Not surprisingly a rising number of innovators are seeking to implement blockchain technology into their products and processes.
(Image credit: Shutterstock).
Digital Content Distribution
Whether it can now also be exercised to wrest full control of digital content and data distribution over the Internet back to the people from the big corporations remains to be seen. But that is what some are attempting with a blockchain-based content distribution platform by tech pioneers dead set on revolutionizing data distribution on the Internet.
The objective is put simply in terms of creating a “user-friendly content sharing network, which enables an effective and hassle-free way to upload, purchase and share content.” Amid all this disruption you might be thinking should you too be joining the blockchain gang?
Digital content distribution is been a sector that has highly favoured large corporations who control the price of media and take their meaty cut. This leaves the content creators with little or no choice in the matter and an inadequate share of the revenue. But moves are afoot to try and change matters, applying blockchain technology and fuelled by cryptocurrency.
Recently I wrote on Forbes about the Hollywood film industryand touched on aspects of giving more back to the artists and creatives through the blockchain and libertarian film making, as espoused by start-up 21Million.
A long overdue correction you would think, giving freedom and power back to the people. And, surely that would strike most folk as fair and equitable, although I would suspect the big boys in the corporate world won’t exactly lie down without a fight.
Zach LeBeau, the CEO of SingularDTV who is involved in the 21Million project and their recently launched initial coin offering (ICO), has high hopes to pave a way for artists to freely display their content. The concept here is an entertainment economy with blockchain technology and decentralized computing.
According to LeBeau the start-up’s goal would “empower artists and creators” with powerful tools to manage projects from development to distribution.
Now Swiss-based tech company DECENT is on a mission and tooled up to do just that. Its technology, for example, has been courted by the porn industry, with Naughty America approaching the firm over technology to protect its intellectual property and stem the piracy of its content.
The start-up company, which is lead by Slovak co-founders Matej Michalko and Matej Boda and had international offices in Bratislava, Slovakia, Shanghai in China and an RD Blockchain hub in Yerevan, Armenia, is aiming to “revolutionize data distribution” on the Internet by integrating blockchain technology into a new and innovative content distribution platform.
Michalko, who has been involved in the bitcoin space since 2011, quickly realized that blockchain technology could have the potential to change the modern world. At that time he met Boda, who was fascinated with new technologies and while doing some bitcoin mining of his own, he began to visualize the use of blockchain technology on a larger scale.
The founders of DECENT understood the unprecedented potential behind blockchain technology and wanted to build something that could be integrated into the everyday life of people – without any limitations.
Shortly after starting their collaboration, the DECENT Network, an open-source, decentralized content distribution platform, was born.
The platform utilizes blockchain technology to ensure trust and security. Since being established in 2015, DECENT has garnered an increasing level of support from the community for their innovative platform, which is touted as being designed for large-scale adoption.
Last September DECENT initiated their initial coin offering (ICO), which lasted for eight weeks and raised 5,881 bitcoin (BTC), which at the time was worth around $4.2 million. The funds raised have been allocated to finance all product development costs, marketing, organizational and legal expenses needed to prepare for the launch of DECENT Network on June 30.
The positive outcome of their ICO supported the team’s view that the community believes in a blockchain content distribution platform. But tackling a massive project with the intention of revolutionizing data distribution on the Internet is no easy endeavour.
In order to fulfil its goal DECENT has assembled a team in software development and architecture together with an extensive community of ambassadors and advisors from across the globe.
DECENT boldly asserted that it wants to “ensure worldwide adoption” of its Network and integration into everyday life. Well, who wouldn’t? But that aside there is still much work that needs to be done before that dream can become a reality.
To meet these requirements, the team has created their own solution. They have built a new platform based on blockchain technology, which permits third-party developers to build their own applications using the DECENT Network as a foundation.
Any industry that holds content can benefit from the use of DECENT Network’s blockchain technology because it supplies a user-friendly, stable and immutable method for storage and distribution, allowing for what is described as “thousands of use cases” that will be built on this technology.
For example, the use of DECENT Network as a distribution platform for academic institutions around the world would provide a safe, secure and accessible way to store and share educational content – including essays, reports, lectures and even whole text books.
Additionally, supply chain and logistic companies could utilize such technology to track product origins and keep an unchangeable record of distribution channels for all merchandise. Charity organizations can be protected against fraudulent donations and increase support by way of a transparent and immutable transaction ledger build into DECENT Network’s blockchain platform.
Michalko, CEO and co-founder, emphasized the impact of the platform that will “liberate everyone from unnecessary middleman controls, fees and manipulation.” By eliminating middleman constraints and censorship, the DECENT Network gives full control of digital content back to the people.
In continuing developments, this Friday (July 14) the company announced that the first third-party application built on top of DECENT Network, PUBLIQ, a free of charge application for digital content specifically news and articles, was being launched.
On this development Michalko contended: “PUBLIQ is a perfect example of a well-designed project using our technology for the purpose in which it is intended, to bring content to the consumer without middleman controls or third party censorship.”
Explained as an “innovative adaptation” of the DECENT Network is the addition of a social aspect where authors (content creators who share their digital work on the platform) will build a lifetime reputation, based on ratings from content consumers (users who purchase content on the platform), and which is stored via the blockchain.
Crypto Token DCT
DCT is the cryptocurrency of DECENT Network and the fuel that makes it run. Determined by the result of the ICO, a total of 73.29 million DCT tokens will be in circulation. And, following DECENT’s official launch, DCT will be obtainable in a number of ways.
One way to receive DCT is by individuals selling their own, authentic digital content to interested consumers directly on the DECENT platform. It can also be given as a reward for miners, creators of blocks in the blockchain, and seeders, distributors of digital content.
Cryptocurrency market exchanges will ultimately decide whether or not to list DCT. However, it understood on that score no official announcement can be made until after DECENT’s launch.
The first application to be built over the top of DECENT Network’s blockchain platform, called DECENT GO, was also recently announced and touted by the firm as demonstrating some of the capabilities the network has to offer.
They boldly described it as a “Google Play-like Digital Marketplace built on top of the DECENT Blockchain Network, which allows content publishing and buying on a peer-to-peer principle.”
According the Slovak founders the premier application behind DECENT GO intends to showcase the advantages of the network’s blockchain-based content distribution platform and its “adaptability to act as the underlying technology supporting a new marketplace application.”
So, can it prove to be the breakthrough technology that it is being hailed as? If anecdotal evidence from the crypto fraternity is anything to go by the upcoming launch of the DECENT Network is eagerly anticipated. But given the record breaking amounts raised with ICOs over recent months the whole area is on a hot streak.
There is worldwide recognition of blockchains and the technology that in effect serves to provide an irrefutable record of transactions – with proof of ownership and provenance – and is increasingly being applied to various cases. This includes privacy of information, digital content storage and distribution, transparency of records and transactions. And, of course utmost security and encryption of data, is happening as we speak.
Michalko and Boda’s vision of integrating blockchain technology into the regular, daily routine of people from around the world could be approaching quicker than one might have anticipated.
As companies from tech giants to start-ups put their manpower and resources towards blockchain technology research, more and more organizations all over the globe are positioning themselves to take advantage of this exceptional technology.
A case in point for example, Samsung SDS, is reportedly seeking blockchain technology to add security to their credit card division while LG, along with GoPro have looked to utilizing the tech’s immutable ledger and time-stamped records to solidify warranty documentation. These major developments and many more in the works could mean blockchain integration will form part of the norm for everyday activities.
While DECENT’s blockchain-based content distribution platform could be paving the way for a new age of technological innovation from a team who assert they are “dead-set” on revolutionizing data distribution on the Internet, the $64bn question remains how long it will take and what challenges it will have along the way. Carpe diem.
Follow Roger, who has penned various investment stories over the years, on Twitter @AitkenRL, LinkedIn,Forbes, Google+. He is involved with the Campaign For Fair Finance in the UK.