Blockchain

Jack Dorsey Donates 14 BTC Toward Building Decentralized Social Media

With funds going to the open protocol nostr, and additional annual grants of $1 million USD planned and deployed to platforms like Tor and Signal.

Blockchain

Jack Dorsey Donates 14 BTC Toward Building Decentralized Social Media

With funds going to the open protocol nostr, and additional annual grants of $1 million USD planned and deployed to platforms like Tor and Signal.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former lead of Twitter announced that he had donated 14 BTC, or roughly $245,000 USD to the open protocol nostr in an effort to aid the development of a decentralized social media.

Before the Bitcoin donation, Dorsey shared that he has plans to donate $1 million USD a year to encrypted messaging app Signal, to aid in the further development of its platform.

Open Internet Development 

On Monday, December 13, Dorsey shared in a blog post that he would be donating $1 million USD a year to help fund encrypted messaging app Signal, to “accelerate open internet and protocol work,” as first reported by Reuters.

In the same blog post, Dorsey outlined three main reasons or principles that this can be achieved by, stating that “social media must be resilient to corporate and government control,” that “only the original author may remove content they produce,” and lastly that “moderation is best implemented by algorithmic choice.”

Dorsey shared that he would be adding the category of “open internet development,” to his “starsmall” fund, which was originally launched and funded with $1 billion USD in 2020 for Covid-19 relief efforts.

Also set to receive $1 million USD a year in funding is The Tor Project, which acts as a decentralized web browser aimed at protecting users from surveillance and censorship.

At the time of writing, it is unclear whether or not the donation to nostr is part of the startsmall project or from Dorsey personally, though currently it can be assumed it is a personal donation, as the fund’s spreadsheet doesn’t reflect any record of it.

Nostr, which stands for Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays, is described as the “simplest open protocol that is able to create a censorship-resistant global ‘social’ network once and for all,” according to its GitHub page.

It does this by not relying on any trusted centralized servers and is, as a result, resilient to counter-party risk. The protocol is also based on cryptographic keys and signatures, meaning it is tamperproof and also does not rely on any peer-to-peer techniques.

Problems found in centralized social media that the nostr protocol aims to correct include users getting banned, servers being closed, censorship, spam, data storage, content quality, and more.

Nothing New

Dorsey’s interest in decentralized social media is nothing new, in early 2019, while still leading Twitter, announced the launch and funding of the Bluesky protocol, stating “Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard.”

Since then, the team has taken Bluesky from an experiment to in late October, announcing the waitlist for its first application “Bluesky Social,” built on its AT protocol.

The AT Protocol or “Authenticated Transport Protocol,” acts as a federated social network, which by its simplest explanation means it operates similarly to how an email network would. Allowing large numbers of sites or servers to communicate with each other versus just one site running the entire network. With the embodiment and integration of decentralized aspects at its core.

Bluesky’s announcement garnered quite the buzz on Twitter and plenty of media coverage, although, since then, public-facing announcements have been few and far between.

With Dorsey donating to other related protocols and platforms, one Twitter user asked for a timeline progress update on Bluesky, to which Dorsey replied “it’s moving fast.”

While it is currently impossible to tell which platform, protocol, or team will produce the leading decentralized social media platform, it is almost inevitable that these systems and types of applications will become the standard in the very near future.

In other news, PayPal partners with MetaMask for Crypto integrations.

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