Billionaire Frank McCourt’s new initiative Project Liberty teamed up with Gavin Wood’s Polkadot to build a blockchain that is capable of storing social media users’ data so they can own and control it.
McCourt commented on this partnership and said:
“We are excited to work with Gavin and his colleagues to bring our shared vision of a healthier web into reality. Not only are they pioneering innovators, but our values are aligned for how the internet should be restructured in a way that empowers users, benefits society and strengthens democracy.”
The project is created in McCourt’s institution, which works on developing ethical technology. In addition to the institution’s resources, McCourt donated $100 million to the project.
Major players like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram currently store their users’ data and tailor it to match accurate commercials and other content. This generates new likes and comments that can be stored and processed to match content in the future.
McCourt and Wood argue that decentralized blockchains are the key to giving full ownership of data to users. They ensure that no single data store can be controlled by any entity and allow users to take their digital data from one platform to another.
Emphasizing the Project Liberty’s goal, Wood said:
“Web 3.0 needs a universally accessible social graph to be successful, as the Web 2.0 social giants currently have absolute control over what users can say or do on their platforms.”
Challenges to Project Liberty
One of the biggest challenges the project is tackling is scalability. Large data sets slow blockchains down, and no traditional chain can work lucratively as a social network data storage.
Wood’s Polkadot is building a decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) to connect multiple blockchains to maximize speed and scalability to solve the scalability problem.
Another problem is popularity. For users to claim the rights of their data, they’d need to abandon popular social media platforms and migrate to ones that will be built on the Project Liberty. It could be difficult for users to leave the platforms their families and friends are also using.
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