WordProof is one of the 23 finalists selected out of the 178 applications received for the 5 x €1.000.000 EIC Horizon Prize on ‘Blockchains for Social Good’. Monday, February 10th, was Finalists’ Day. 23 initiatives gave a pitch and demo. Here’s the full transcript of WordProof’s pitch, presenting the impact of our solutions on social good aspects and the underlying economic model.Continue reading “3-minute WordProof Pitch at European Commission’s ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ 🇪🇺”
Roadmap for The Decade of Open-Source (2020 to 2030):
Let’s Fix the Broken Web, Together!
You made it; welcome to this fresh new decade!
Looking back at 30 years of the internet, we should be proud. Mankind’s achievements are enormous. We have perfectly organized everything in the world, mostly user-friendly at the same time. With Google we find information, we use Facebook and LinkedIn to organize the people in our lives, and we travel with platforms like Uber.
Without the vigorous leadership of giants like these, we would have been nowhere near today’s state.
At the same time, some people feel that the web as we know it is broken. Our devices are optimized to misuse the attention of our beloved ones. Others feel exploited by corporations or affected in our democracies. Recent research by IPSOS learns that people in Europe experience an increasing amount of distrust towards the internet.
However, this will not be a sad story. I’m hopeful and optimistic that 80-90% of all the problems we face with the internet, can be fixed in the coming 10 to 25 years. However, I do believe that the coming decade is a crucial one.
I work full-time with open-source software for over a decade (I co-founded my WordPress agency in 2006), actively contributing (WP GDPR, 1,3M+ downloads & Laraberg, bringing WordPress’ editor to Laravel). From that perspective, I thought it would be valuable to remix powerful insights and quotes of thought leaders in open-source; plotting a roadmap for the new decade.
As the opportunity we have fascinates me, I hereby declare this the Decade of Open-Source. #DecadeofOpenSource
Why should 2020-2030 be the Decade of Open Source?
- The web as we know it is broken (plagiarism, revisionism, click-baiting, exploitation, fake news, mass manipulation, democracy is at risk…), but …
- … at the same time, building blocks, big thinkers and best practices are in place to start decently fixing a lot of these problems in the coming 10 years.
“I believe Open Source to be the only way to build a pro-privacy, anti-monopoly, open web.” stated Dries Buytaert, founder of the Drupal CMS. And I couldn’t agree more.
Last June, I gave a presentation for 2,500 developers called “From WordPress to blockchain, the Future is 100% Open Source” at the world’s largest WordPress conference. This article, published at the dawn of the new decade (2020 to 2030), is a follow-up to this presentation.
Let’s Fix the Broken Web, Together.
- The Urgency for a Decade of Open Source
- Adoption of Alternatives to Society-Critical Platforms
- What we do at WordProof
- Join the Movement! #DecadeofOpenSource
These are crazy times. Yesterday I stumbled upon this motivational speech by Ryan Serhant which resonated a lot with me. He’s a New York-based real estate broker his first day in this business on the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. September 15, 2008. For all entrepreneurs out there; here’s Ryan’s powerful metaphor, on how to swim in the storm like a professional swimmer!
“I know, I am at the office, I’m at work, I’m not supposed to be here. There are executive orders … I am supposed to be at home … quarantine.” says Ryan, “But listen … I’m the captain of a very large ship. People look to me … people depend on me. These are unlike any times out there”.
In this article I transcripted the very powerful metaphor he used in this video. Here you have it.Continue reading “Be Safe, Be Healthy, Stay Happy, Stay Productive”
Stuart Haber, one of the two inventors of the blockchain, tells the story of the technology, explaining how it works and describing applications that decentralize maintenance of the integrity of digital records. What started as a solution for a time-stamping problem developed into something that is already transforming entire industries.
Here’s the Whitepaper he describes in his talk.
The Longest Running Blockchain Started in 1995
Here’s Stuart Haber, showing the backside of the NY Times. On a weekly base, they published the unique fingerprint of the recent state of Surety‘s chain.
About Stuart Haber
Dr. Haber serves as Chief Scientist for Auditchain. As a young cryptographer at Bellcore (Bell Communications Research), in 1990 Dr. Haber co-invented the blockchain technique for ensuring the integrity of digital records. He was cofounder with Scott Stornetta of Surety, which was spun off from Bellcore in 1993. Surety offers digital time-stamping services and is the first commercial deployment of a blockchain. Dr. Haber’s work in cryptographic time-stamping was later adopted by Satoshi Nakamoto as the basic mechanism for data integrity in Bitcoin.
Here you see the last page of Bitcoin’s whitepaper, referring to Stuart Haber’s work:
At the end of February, the WordPress community gathers in Miami for WordCamp Miami. For WordProof, it will be the first time we physically present our solution in the United States, as I’ll be speaking at this wonderful conference. The main topic will be how WordPress and blockchain can lead to a more trustworthy internet.
The event was held at Florida’s International University. Here’s the video of my talk:
Continue reading “Speaking at WordCamp Miami: From WordPress to Blockchain, The Future is 100% Open Source!”
How would you compete with a CMS with tens of millions of users, and tens of thousands of contributors like #WordPress?
You simply CAN’T!Sebastiaan van der Lans, founder WordProof.io
How to fight disinformation? Yesterday, Nieuwsuur broadcasted an item highlighting three initiatives to decrease the impact of fake news. WordProof.io is one of them. Thanks to Rudy Bouma and Fleur Damen for making this important item.
Source: Nieuwsuur, NOS, February 16th, 2020.
Last week’s Sunday episode had 736.000 viewers.
A fragment from Ledger Leopard‘s webinar on Self-Sovereign Identities with Jimmy Snoek from Tykn and Sebastiaan van der Lans, WordProof‘s founder. Olivier Rikken, CEO of Ledger Leopard, hosted the webinar. We discuss Self-Sovereign Identities and Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs) for Content. See it as a certificate of birth for content, respecting its history, authors, and workflow.
- Learn more about Self-Sovereign Identities at SSI Meetup.org. Amazing webinars by Drummond Reed and other thought leaders on decentralized identities.
- Specifications for the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0, the Core Data Model and its Syntaxes.
- Check Ledger Leopard’s work on Healthcare & Identity.
- Check Tykn, venturing in blockchain identity since 2016!
- Here’s the WordProof pitch we gave at the European Commission, where we’re finalists for its ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ contents.
- Here’s a full overview of the WordProof Timestamp Ecosystem.
If you are working on Self-Sovereign Identity for content too, please reach out to us as we’d love to collaborate. Any feedback on current thinking is very very welcome. Let’s fix the broken web, together!
With Self-Sovereign Identities and Decentralized Identifiers for content, a Certificate of Birth for Content can be achieved, respecting its history and workflow. All in a totally Open-Source manner.Sebastiaan van der Lans, Founder WordProof
Here’s a fragment from the Q&A in Europe’s ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ Finalist’s Day. Frank van Dalen, partner in WordProof, answers a question on adoption: “why would tech giants adopt it?”. This post transcribes his answer, including links to relevant sources.
Why would tech giants adopt WordProof’s Timestamp Ecosystem?
Actually, it’s really a challenging question. Why would tech giants take our stuff? And let’s not be naive; they won’t, I mean:
- They make money out of fake news;
- They make money out of fraudulent advertisements.
They want to do it their way because they’re centralized bodies.
The Role of Regulation
We as an open-source community really have to push them into the right direction. Luckily for us, we have a lot of help from the European Union with legislation coming in, directives coming in, but still what we see on a daily basis is that those tech giants are lobbying, saying “what you’re asking is something we cannot do. You ask us to distinguish fake from real news, but how would we know? If someone tells me something about Africa or Asia, how do I know what is real and what is not real?”
This is where at timestamps come in, but timestamps as such will not be a solution either. Because where does it come from? Do we have the right tier level in place to actually know who gave it and that this individual or the organization is legit?
Tier Levels and Social Media
But how do we deal with a legit organization that is still spreading out fake news? We see that in politics happening all day long. This is where the consumer comes in and needs to be able to say like, “listen, I don’t want to see anything from this organization, even though it’s in tier level seven. I know who it is. I don’t want to see it.”
And Facebook, and other tech giants, should be able to say: “Everything below tier level three, it will be published as we are not about censorship. It will be published, but will not get distribution beyond your own list of friends.
Search Engines and Timestamps
And when it comes to Google, the search engines, how does Google know who really owns the stuff? So, what we are working on is [integration in] Schema.org. That we actually provide tools in the [search engine’s] language to fulfill their promises, to create a secure internet. Because that’s also what they promise.
Decrease Advertising Fraud with Blockchain Timestamps and Identity
So, and about fraud. We’ve seen all those advertisements about buying Bitcoins and we are talking to people from [large media companies], where the CEO is constantly showing up in those Bitcoin fraudulent advertisements.
This is where that multi-tier level comes in, where the model in the advertisement, the advertisement agency, and the commercial is timestamped. Because only when we get created triangle, we will have a really sustainable mechanism to say like, “this is legit and this is not”.
So well, they don’t automatically [adopt], probably not. But we’ll provide them the tools to actually do so. And we’ll tell the European union they can just continue with the legislation because there are answers, even though the big [tech giants] are saying there are not.
Here’s a fragment from the Q&A in Europe’s ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ Finalist’s Day. Frank van Dalen, a partner in WordProof, answers a question on WordProof’s business model and the road to adoption. This post transcribes his answer, including links to relevant sources.
How do your business models allow you to build technology so that we can all feel safe?
WordProof’s business model is pretty straight forward. You can do it open source, and you can do a SaaS solution, then it does have lots of features to it. There is a free plan and there’s a paid plan, but the question is why would people actually do it?
Educating the Community
And we need to do a lot of education as a community. There’s one of the reasons why we actually had a legal expert writing a big article, a scientific article about the value of timestamps within the courtroom and that was published in the leading Dutch legal magazine. It’s just been translated to spread it throughout Europe because we have to educate.
Protect Fast and Fluid Content in Online Environments
Secondly, we talked with a really big media developing companies and what they said to us is: “We have [television formats], brands, for which we can hire a whole team of lawyers and notaries to protect our brand. But we are more and more moving towards the online environment. And this is cheap and very fluid content, but we still want to protect it and we cannot have a whole legal team. Let alone that those people are making this content and not willing to write down the concept”.
This is where they recognize the timestamping comes in [as timestamping is an affordable and open solution to achieve protection].
Solve potential Duplicated Content problems upfront
Thirdly, we have a lot of publishers who say like, “We make really great content, but sometimes even with our consent stuff was published on another, media, which is bigger”.
Guess what, Google thinks that they created it. So they are now knocking on our doors like, can you help us? And actually small matters again.
See Case-Study: How indebuurt uses WordProof Timestamp to claim ownership of their content.
WordProof shows Real-life Scalability
It’s those kinds of concepts that are driving scalability. And when it comes to the technical part of scalability, last year we did a real-life test. Can we do 100,000 timestamps within a couple of hours without systems collapsing?
We did not do it in our test environment but we went to a real media publisher and they were like, “you’re not going to ruin our system, are you? Are our readers going to notice?”. We promised them no they won’t, and they didn’t. We timestamped more than 100.000 pieces of content to show it is possible in a real-life environment.
So yeah, let’s see where we are in two years from now.
On January 31st, The Government Blockchain Association organized a summit called The Future of Money, Governance, and the Law. At this event, government leaders from around the world discussed their 2020 plans focusing on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Among Tim Draper and blockchain’s inventor Scott Stornetta, Dan Larimer was a keynote speaker. As always, his keynote was stuffed with insights, analogies, and examples.
Here’s a fully searchable transcript of his keynote and Q&A, enriched with a table of contents:
- Security is fundamentally broken
- Blockchain brings value, even if it’s completely private
- Analogy: The Hacked Exchange
- Authorizing Users and Their Actions
- Achieving Deterministic Results without Blockchain
- Blockchain is about Deterministic Code
- Prove to yourself that you’re doing it right
- Achieving Deterministic Code without a Blockchain
- If you’re dealing with passwords, you’re doing it wrong
- Move to a blockchain, you’ll be in trouble if you don’t
- Blockchain allows Businesses to Communicate more Effectively
Questions and Answers:
- Blockchain for Electronic Healthcare Records
- Blockchain at Universities
- Public Blockchains are Broadcasting like Radio Stations
- Second Layer Solutions and Enterprise Adoption
- Government’s Role in Blockchain Adoption
- Don’t Regulate Blockchain Technology
Right before my talk at WordCamp Europe 2019, I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Sunita Karmacharya from DevotePress. In this article, I share a transcript with a table of contents and some valuable links on the topics we’ve discussed.
- Mass Adoption of WordPress
- WordPress, Open-Source, and Blockchain
- Timestamping WordPress Content with Blockchain
- Trust in Content and Journalism
- Blockchain Timestamps and SEO
- Mindfulness in the WordPress Community
- Inclusive Funding of Open Source Software
- Learning Blockchain Development
- Running a Business versus Organizing a Wedding