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Serial entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, long a Bitcoin skeptic, has increased some of his cryptocurrency and technology investments recently.
Cuban’s latest backed venture, Mercury Protocol, has just released a white paper detailing how it plans to use Ethereum blockchain technology to disrupt the global communications industry.
According to Mercury, modern communication is outdated. Centralized communication platforms built on private servers are only as secure as their weakest defense, while user privacy is habitually violated as service providers sell behavioral data to advertisers, and content is restricted to a single platform.
Cuban’s new venture aims to fix these issues in the communication industry with the Mercury Protocol, an open source project for communication platforms to reap the benefits of decentralized blockchain technology at minimal cost.
Any existing or future communication platform that integrates the Mercury Protocol will theoretically be able to exchange content across previously isolated privatized applications, increase user privacy by creating monetization strategies that do not depend upon their behavioral data, leverage tokens to encourage user participation, and provide stronger network security than a private system that has a single point of failure.
The first application to implement this protocol is the Dust messaging app, soon to be followed by Broadcast. The company believes that the Mercury Protocol can solve the pervasive issues of the current communication industry, and will be the future standard of communication platforms.
The Mercury Protocol technology stack:
Any communication platform that integrates the Mercury Protocol will be able to exchange messages and content across an application agnostic blockchain, increase user privacy by disassociating their identities from their behavioral data, provide stronger network security than any private system that has a single point of failure, and leverage tokens to encourage positive user participation.
Why Ethereum blockchain?
Ethereum, one instance of blockchain technology, allows developers to write code on the blockchain that allows for the automation of complex exchanges. For example, if Alice wants to buy Bob’s car, the blockchain can not only transfer Alice’s funds to Bob, it could also do just about anything a normal program can do; like keep track of how much Alice owes Bob, store the interest rate on the loan Bob afforded Alice, or even manage a governance policy where ownership is automatically transferred back to Bob if Alice doesn’t make her payments on time. How these complex exchanges are configured is completely customizable by application use case.
Because Ethereum allows platforms to deploy custom code by use case, it is a good fit for the Mercury Protocol, which addresses a variety of social media use cases. The protocol will bring the security, privacy, and trustless benefits of blockchain technology to everything from one-to-one private conversations, to publicly viewable announcements, to group discussions.
The Mercury Protocol white paper can be seen here (pdf).