In today’s digital ecosystem, few topics are as prescient as privacy. Not only are data breaches at an all-time high – making front-page headlines as they occur with dizzying speed and ferocity – but they are compromising people’s most sensitive information along the way.
From the intensely private information conveyed through IoT devices to the caustic amount of personal data shared on the internet, popular sentiment is rapidly shifting in support of protecting this information.
Even governments are beginning to take action, placing regulatory teeth in the priority of data privacy. Broad efforts like Europe’s GDPR or California’s Consumer Privacy Act underscore the importance of privacy in 2019.
While the internet relies on personal data to feed the targeted advertising campaigns and other initiatives that finance its operations, blockchain technology, and the platforms that are developing on top of it, are ready to take the torch, creating privacy-first platforms that rely on different economics to support their operations.
One of the first platforms to embrace this methodology, Brave, created an internet browser that automatically blocks trackers, ads, and other privacy-violating aspects that are prevalent on traditional websites.
Using a native digital currency, the Basic Attention Token, users get to directly contribute to their favorite platforms while eschewing the marketing strategies that typically provide this funding.
With 5.5 million monthly users The company’s mantra, “You are not a product,” is catching on.
Of course, the digital age is defined by much more than just web browsing, and more blockchain-based products and services are necessary to meet the growing demand for a privacy-first digital experience, something that another platform, the Ki Foundation, is pushing hard to proliferate.
What’s more, they are doing it with the help of Dr. Ben Livshits, chief data scientist of Brave software and an associate professor at Imperial College London.
Better Privacy, Better Products
The Ki Foundation is committed to using blockchain technology to build a decentralized ecosystem with compelling products and services that prioritize privacy without sacrificing usability.
For instance, the Ki Devices, a decentralized smart Homepod, uses a blockchain-based operating system and a dApp store that provides users with applications and services that don’t force users to trade their personal data for functionality. The Homepod provides a privacy-minded product to compete with products like Amazon’s Alexa, a favorite in-home device that collects copious amounts of personal information while it works.
During his time at Brave, Dr. Livshits oversaw the company’s research and development efforts, a forte that can help the Ki Foundation ensure the privacy components of their products while also developing more services for their users.
Commenting on the move, Ki Foundation CEO and founder, Réda Berrehili says,
“I am excited to welcome Dr. Livshits into the Ki Foundation. His knowledge and proven expertise garnered through his academic experience and work with Brave will allow us to fulfill the Ki vision and safeguard our users’ privacy.”
Indeed, Ki Foundation is building more than just a blockchain-based Homepod. The company’s Ki Blockchain is aspiring to provide an open development ecosystem propelled by a decentralized marketplace for privacy-minded dApps.
Dr. Livshits work both in the blockchain sector and in academia will help provide the expertise to make these projects a flourishing reality. As the author of more than 100 published academic papers and the holder of dozens of patents, Dr. Livshits reflects the company’s commitment to acquiring the best talent to create some of the most important products of the digital age.
For many, their development can’t come soon enough. To date, pro-privacy movements like the #DeleteFacebook campaign lack a credible alternative to the products and services that are ubiquitous today.
Transitioning the notion of blockchain-based privacy to tangible reality is an integral part of any solution, and it’s one that can’t come soon enough.