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Recap: Decentralized AMA with Democracy Earth

Exploring the intersection of democracy and decentralization

Democracy Earth, with the help of Stealthy recently hosted possibly the first decentralized AMA ever. Participants were able to use Stealthy, a fully decentralized messaging application available on iOS and Android to ask questions of the Democracy Earth team. The conversation was focused on the intersection of democracy and decentralization and questions about Democracy Earth’s groundbreaking platform.

democracy earth, blockstack,
Meet the Democracy Earth team

Q & A

Question from What is Turing impossible proof of identity?

A turing impossible proof is something that cannot be interpreted by a computer (aka turing machines) but it can be easily interpreted by a human. our goal is to formalize humans in decentralized networks and to achieve that, to validate participants in our network we need to make sure they’re effectively human and don’t hold an identity yet. Machines only see patterns, only people can recognize people. And the only relevant frontier to draw in this 21st century is the one between man and machine.. otherwise skynet takes over. –

Question from Is mainnet launching soon?

Our recent launch on testnet is definitely speeding up our mainnet launch. We are fixing bugs in order to have a 1.0 beta version of Sovereign very soon and we expect to have the VOTE token ready on mainnet by no late than January 1 2019. So expect news soon regarding this.. when we launch it will be directly on the domain. –

Santi on Turing impossible POI video

Question from If you could have any one election run on your platform, what would it be?

The Blockstack monthly app mining governance is an ideal use case and partnership for our platform –

We are paying a lot of attention to movements in Venezuela and student activists. In parallel our main focus is the governance of crypto networks since their are decentralized constituencies with active stakes on a common good that can really benefit from governance mechanisms that enable free debate and active signaling of preferences via blockchain networks. –

Question from Assuming you will be able to increase democratic activity in oppressed countries, how are you thinking about getting to the people directly with your platform or alternatively going through more official channels via legislation or others? How do you get countries with a monopoly on force to respect the outcome of something on your platform in the long term?

We are definitely designing around the needs of the citizens, focusing on their needs of privacy, data protection and censorship resistant political signaling. our focus is on enabling a user experience that is simple and accessible as any other social media, which you can see on our free discourse and privacy is in that sense the best protection against authoritarianism. the question of enforcement is one regarding the technology itself – with smart contracts and political-economic signaling we can have enforcement guaranteed by computation. the real challenge lies more on large adoption of cryptographic means of protection then on gaining legitimacy from governments. that said, we are in conversation with legislative bodies and have the congress of Buenos Aires already working with our platform. –

Question from How do we get people excited about this when the vocabulary is so specialized.? A trip supporter or Brexiteer will turn off at the sound of mining governance.

Good question! Both the language and the user experience have to be non specialized… Good civic tech is tech we use every day, right now the best example of that is Facebook, Twitter et al. We are taking what works from those user experiences… threaded conversations are really a deliberative technology… and hopefully using such tactics to ‘de-specialize’ the understanding –

Question from What are the possible futures that radically change democracy? Eg get rid of representatives?!

Since Blockchains are essentially automated bureaucracies probably the most ‘radical probability’ could be no elected representatives at all, a citizenry creating bottoms up self governance. –

One possible outcome: “Representation” only kicks in IF no direct or delegative participation –

Rise in computation, increasing the amount of shared information in and between networks have already fundamentally changed politics and re-framed the role of nation-states. this is something we pay close attention to at democracy earth. –

Question from Your attempt at a Turing impossible proof atm is the PoI video correct? I know algorithmic video creation is advancing and wonder if there are contingency methods for PoI?

We are looking at how consensus via voting and reputational algorithms are a part of the validation protocol of a human. the key is that the protocol is always reliant on human beings and not machines or artificial intelligence precisely to protect the network from this kind of attack. –

Question from The things you are talking about are close to me. I am studying the use of blockchain technology in public administration systems in Ukraine. But you have written the order of participation in the network, the ambassadors of #democracyearth. It implies a Facebook group and more. But if I do this, the government will not work with me, as they will feel threatened. How can we work together with you?

There are many options for ambassadors, reach out to us at [email protected]! –

Question from Could anyone explain to me the vote tokens concept?

The best place to start is –

The idea is to have a governance token that can help us leverage blockchain networks for political transactions, not only financial transactions as it is today. our challenge is to design those networks around humans, formalizing human identities on the blockchain. once we achieve that we can distribute the $VOTE token via a universal basic income mechanism that is dripped through individual time, ensuring the political-economic liquidity of the network. –

Question from I have seen reference to Sovereign being blockchain agnostic. This is currently only available for ERC 20 tokens correct? Do you see expanding that? And to be clear on how this currently works: someone can run a unique instance of Sovereign and set up their network using any ERC20 token in place of a vote token. This is entirely separate from running an organization on sovereign and using vote tokens correct?

Our idea is to enable governance for any crypto network. we started with ERC20 tokens but are definitely looking to expand, especially in networks that have the greatest amount of consensus, so looking closely at projects like the lightning network as well. our software is open source, you can find all the code on GitHub and deploy it freely. we also enable voting with many different tokens, not just the $VOTE token now on and that’s how it will be moving forward. no token-exclusive governance. –

Question from To add to that question. Do you see a way for this system to work on an asynchronous network like Holochain?

Holochain is very promising! We recently spent 3 days with Holochain team. Short answer: yes, we anticipate working on such. –

Question from Will you be able to write smat contracts into Sovereign so that they execute once voting is complete? Obviously not useful for all cases but I could see them used around organizational funding and even some sort of decentralized court system. (Like EOS is attempting)

Yes. this is a fundamental part of our vision, hence the name of our paper, the social smart contract –

Thanks for participating! Find Democracy Earth on Twitter.

Mitchell Cuevas

Mitchell Cuevas

Mitchell is Blockstack PBC’s Head of Growth. He previously led Marketing at UP Global (Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Week) before joining the Product team at Techstars. He curates the Martech Digest, advises at Cove Group, and runs ScreenChecker.