Interesting interview with David Chaum, the “Godfather of Privacy What is your background briefly? Pioneering cryptographer, computer scientist, and inventor focused on preserving consumer privacy online since the 1980s. Invented mix networks, blind signatures, the first cryptocurrency with DigiCash, to enable consumer privacy across messaging and payments. Credited with developing the first concept of a
Interesting interview with David Chaum, the “Godfather of Privacy
What is your background briefly?
Pioneering cryptographer, computer scientist, and inventor focused on preserving consumer privacy online since the 1980s. Invented mix networks, blind signatures, the first cryptocurrency with DigiCash, to enable consumer privacy across messaging and payments. Credited with developing the first concept of a blockchain through my 1979 work on “vault systems” which proposed all elements of blockchain we now see in Bitcoin except proof of work. Academic article can be found here.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
Elixxir is a direct extension of my life’s work to provide user’s with privacy in an increasingly digital world. The platform deploys my previous cryptography, as well as updated breakthroughs to that cryptography, to make the privacy I have been working toward since 1979 an accessible reality for consumers globally.
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
The Elixxir platform is a highly scalable, metadata resistant blockchain for messaging, payments, and dApp data transfer built with a novel, quantum secure, consensus mechanism. It has been built from the ground up to support real, functional, consumer activity, and can support over 100k transactions per second to allow for the scale required for mainstream use.
Are we at the point where crypto currencies will become established as a viable, decentralized alternative to fiat currencies?
I believe we are close. The ecosystem for supporting cryptocurrencies is beginning to build up around the technology. Easier to use wallets, social plug-ins like Tippin, etc are bringing consumers and cryptocurrencies closer together. There are still some needs unaddressed by current blockchain platforms that must to be met in order to fully break into mainstream (like significantly faster transaction speeds) that Elixxir helps fulfill.
BUT how do we deal with the ongoing volatility & price manipulation by whales?
The key is utility. Currently the bulk of cryptocurrencies provide very little actual functionality outside of speculative trading. Transaction speeds are too slow to support the use cases required by mainstream consumers. If the bulk of liquidity in the market is used for actual payments and utilization of the underlying networks, instead of just functioning as a store of value, then we will see less speculation and more general adoption. Elixxir has been built specifically for this reason – to facilitate payments and messaging at rapid speed to provide a platform that creates actual utility.
How can people find out more about you & your work?
We have just released a comprehensive keynote video detailing the Elixxir platform, the needs it addresses, and how the platform itself works. You can also follow the progress of our platform on our website, elixxir.io, and across our social (Twitter, Telegram, Discord, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn)
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
The need for privacy online is becoming more and more important as we realize the implications of allowing platforms like Facebook to build billion dollar businesses exploiting our metadata. The implications of allowing that to continue are becoming a clear threat to our right to personal privacy in what has become a digital-first world. As our payments move to cashless, and our messaging is all online, there are only two ways to go – you can go the way of China where they’re taking the extreme in some regions, or you can go the way of personal liberty with the kind of metadata protection where the consumer has sovereignty over their information & controls their own keys. There is no effective way to have a middle ground, it’s all about information. So it is either, everything about you is available to governments and companies, or its not. And theres only one way to make it not be available and that is to protect it.
Also we are accepting applications to run a betanode which ends Friday, April 19th. More information can be found here.