Mark Cuban-backed blockchain platform could transform secure messaging
A communications tool based on the blockchain technology behind Ethereum cryptocurrency is getting big backing from billionaire Mark Cuban.
Cuban is an investor in Radical App, whose Mercury Protocol will soon launch a tool that aims to change the way messages are exchanged, especially on social media, based on a platform that has the inherent security of blockchain.
The decentralized technology offers much more robust privacy protections than existing platforms, given that its multiple servers are less vulnerable to attack than a single access point.
There are no current healthcare use cases for the platform, but in an industry that has been exploring myriad blockchain-based projects – and has big challenges with message security – it seems possible that some could soon emerge.
In the meantime, it could reshape the privacy landscape for social media communication, which currently depends on mining behavioral data for advertising revenue.
Instead, the Mercury Protocol uses a "global messaging token," based on Ethereum's ERC20 standard, to incentivize participation. GMTs might be awarded to users for accomplishing certain tasks, such as creating content, inviting friends or achieving certain milestones. The open source project is also platform agnostic, which could help spread its uptake going forward.
"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," according to a white paper explaining the technology.
The Mercury Protocol "allows any application or network, social or otherwise with the opportunity to generate revenue from participation rather than making its users the product," Cuban told TechCrunch. "It also provides mechanisms to reward positive contributions and interactions, which in turn should change the interpersonal dynamics of the network for the better."