Blockchain startup Oyster wants to change advertisement and internet privacy industries.

The internet has matured vastly over the past five years, yet it has retained some of it’s fundamental flaws. One of these flaws is the notorious elephant in the room: web advertisements. It is now commonly accepted that nobody likes adverts, so website visitors suffer from their intrusion and annoyance.

Websites also suffer because of their financial dependence to monolithic advertisement platforms like Google and Facebook, not to mention that their clean and efficient website designs get ruined. Finally, fake robotic clicks and impressions have reached epidemic proportions.

This means that advertisement publishers aren’t having fun either, as they are paying more for less. This means that the internet’s economy has been backed into a corner, and it’s about time that it finds a way out.

A different elephant in a different room is internet privacy. Ever since the Edward Snowden incident in 2013, internet users have become increasingly cautious and skeptical of service providers. This is most particularly relevant with cloud storage, where someone’s sensitive information is retained.

Privacy focused cloud solutions have emerged in response, but are half-baked propositions because they run proprietary closed-source software. Even if privacy solutions were to open-source their code, it is anyone’s guess as to what is actually running on their servers.

A potential solution to the storage privacy problem is a decentralized storage ledger, such as Filecoin and Siacoin. The major issue, however, is that they don’t offer the same accessibility and portability as simply dragging and dropping files into a browser window (like with Dropbox). Heavy custom software must be installed natively in the operating system, which yet again limits the capacity to audit such software.

Oyster is a new type of blockchain technology that makes all of these problems cancel each other out. It’s a decentralized storage ledger that operates on top of the IOTA Tangle. It’s primary interface is web based, operating on a similar concept to myetherwallet.com.

This means that all data is encrypted locally in the browser, security conscious users can audit the source code via their browser developer tools as they upload their sensitive information. The interesting twist is that user uploaded data is committed to the Tangle by the visitors of websites.

A website installs a single line of Oyster code to monetize their traffic revenue. In doing so their visitors are presented with a notice of consent, and thereafter they search for ERC20 tokens by performing light proof of work.

The execution of such proof of work inadvertently commits the data to the tangle, like how a bee tries to get a flower’s nectar so it inadvertently pollinates the flower. The benefits to this system become immediately apparent:

  • Storage is truly anonymous and private. (Oyster uses seed keys and not user information);
  • Website owners can re-monetize their websites with a new stream of traffic revenue;
  • Website visitors don’t need to deal with the many burdens that come with web advertisements.

Oyster doesn’t carry the same controversy as recent experiments such as Coinhive because users consent to proof of work like they do for cookies. Oyster is designed to not interrupt the user’s experience, therefore it becomes seamlessly integrated with the opting website.

Oyster has a specific ERC20 token on the Ethereum Blockchain that contains custom designed properties that enable the functionality of the Oyster Protocol. The token, PRL, is said to become the center of this new kind of internet economy. For every one Ether contributors will receive 5,000 Oyster tokens (PRL). 1 PRL token equals 1 gigabyte of anonymous data retention for 1 year. There are a total of  million PRL tokens created and Oyster makes available 400 million of them and setting a hard cap of 80,000 Ether. Any unsold PRL tokens will be burned.

The team allocates 80% of tokens on crowdsale, while 15% make up developer fund and the rest 5% areleft for marketing purposes.

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