Blockchain has the potential to solve many issues in our modern world. As anonymity grows on the web, proof-of-trust systems are needed now, more than ever. What other proof-of-X systems exist and how will they benefit the future? To answer that question, we’ve sat down with Albert Renshaw, founder of FOI token, to discuss FOIChain.com and the growing need for decentralization.
In simple terms, what is FOI?
FOI (Freedom of Information) is a decentralized app for posting information that, technologically speaking, can-not be censored. It is a two part system. The first part, the smart contract, entangles messages published to it into the Ethereum blockchain for all time, making the messages public, anonymous, and permanent. The second part, the web-app, is a public-domain front-end explorer built to allow viewers to easily search message boards, view messages, subscribe to certain anonymous publishers, and more. The web-app shall be open-source and free, so that anyone may host or deploy their own FOI explorer, with ease, for public or private use.
With the age of blockchain technology has come an unprecedented ability to liberate societies from centralized institutions and their interferences in free-exchange. With Bitcoin came liberation from financial institutions, with FOI comes liberation from communications channels.
What was your team’s inspiration behind this project?
In the past year, we have witnessed increasing levels of censorship in media (especially online media). While the intentions are good for such actions (they always are), we believe that it is a dangerous step in the long-term. It is unethical for a few, in power, to be able to choose what messages are deemed acceptable or not—especially since ethics are subjective to those few, not a hard-coded rubric that is known.
A good example of this was the recent mass banning of Info Wars [Alex Jones], regardless on one’s stance on his broadcastings, I’d imagine that most can agree that it can be risky to have a few individuals in a board-room decide who gets suppressed in their speech and who doesn’t. Especially since those individuals do not, themselves, have perfect ethics. Though this alone wasn’t a sole source of inspiration for our project, many have attributed our platform as a solution to this and issues like it.
Noam Chomsky famously said “He who controls the media controls the minds of the public”. Our mission is to make the ‘He who controls’ be the individual. We believe, strongly, that it is up to the individual to decide what they will censor for themselves, and not anyone else whom they have not appointed. Blockchain tech is all about proof-of-trust—there is no proof-of-trust in the current individuals in power who can control the flow of information.
What is FOI’s “proof-of”?
We have created a protocol known as ‘Proof-Of-Collateral’. When it comes to free-use utility applications on blockchain, one of the biggest problems is spamming of the system. We devised a rate-limiting device to prevent this, by including a requirement of the use of an FOI token as temporary collateral to publish a message.
One FOI token allows someone to publish one message, to a message board of their choosing, per month. At the time of publication, an FOI token held by the publisher is transferred to the Smart Contract. After one month’s time the FOI token is returned to the publisher. This makes publishing effectively free, while spamming is made to be momentarily costly—as a bad actor would have to ante up thousands of FOI tokens and revoke access to them for a full month. This is simply too cumbersome a task, in practice, for most intents or purposes of spam, and has a very high success rate of mitigating such attacks.
Where do you see the future of Crypto Currency?
Utility tokens and Utility dApps. Last year, security tokens were all the rage and they absolutely dominated the market—in my opinion, that was a result of money-grabs. Securities have proven to do very little in propelling the future of crypto out to the masses, not to mention where it’s brought crypto’s global market cap.
It is my personal belief that blockchain technologies will have to prove market value (in the form of market utility) before they are taken seriously by the general public. If utility tokens, like FOI, are not soon more prevalent on the blockchain, then we will continue to sit stagnant in the markets, with the only proof-of-concept being that of use in the financial sectors.
Where can our readers go to learn more about FOI?
Thank you for your interest!
You can learn more about our project, read our whitepaper, and, if you’d like, you can even participate in our pre-sale, which is now live, on our official website: https://foichain.com/. Also, feel free to give us a tweet @FOIChain and let us know your thoughts on our project and how we might improve as we continue development!