Why we don't publish articles on-chain

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3 years ago (Last updated: 2 years ago)

The posts of read.cash are stored in a regular database, not in the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Publishing content "on-chain" - i.e. as a transaction to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain sounds like a nice feature, but we won't be doing it. Here's why.

There are 2 main problems:

Reason 1: Pay-to-publish

To be able to publish something on-chain, you'd have to have Bitcoin Cash first.

We want authors to be able to sign up, publish an article, get paid. That's how we can get people using Bitcoin Cash without even knowing what it is. That's how the ecosystem grows.

Having to pay to publish an article means that we'll only get current users of Bitcoin Cash and close to no new users at all.

This goes against what we're trying to achieve (to grow the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem).

Reason 1a: The price itself

At current BCH ($288) prices this article about implementing CashID with a few diagrams, for example, would cost at least (I'm just counting bytes) $0.83 to publish it on-chain.

$288/100 000 000*19000=$0.05 for HTML

$288/100 000 000*273000=$0.78 for images

That means that a new author would have to figure out what Bitcoin Cash is and somehow acquire it before publishing his/her first article.

That's at $288/BCH, imagine if BCH price was $2880 - that'd be $0.83 just to publish the article.

These number also add up if the article requires edits (which people usually do).

That article has been edited about 50 times to get everything right. That'd be $2.50... at current prices. We have also replaced images 3 times.. So, $2.34 more for images.

Another situation: take this image - it's just a small stock image, but we accidentally used .png instead of .jpg. That'd be $0.48 just to publish this one small image on-chain.

Reason 2: What we build and "censorship-resistance"

As we state in our About page: "We strive to build a place with great content to read and watch, where authors can be compensated by their readers, not the place with never-ending fights or spam."

Publishing "on-chain" means "censorship-resistance", i.e. you can't delete anything.

It is only attractive to the content that is being regularly deleted on other platforms... You can imagine the content: hate, extremism, porn, illegal stuff, crazy conspiracy theories..

We'd really like to avoid building place like that. That's why from the beginning we're clearly stating that we're not censorship-resistant and will delete some stuff if it's "bad".

Our current definition of "bad" is stated in the "About":

Don't post anything obviously illegal, especially illegal according to European Union, anything hate-filled. Also, no porn, erotic content or sexuality. We will remove such content.

We strive to build a great place with the interesting reads, not a place with the never-ending fights.

We don't yet have a set of fixed rules, so just keep the site clean. The rule of thumb: if you are uncomfortable printing out your article in big print along with all pictures and hanging it on your front door - don't publish it.

Occasionally, it's perfectly normal, legal content that is being suppressed, because the owners of the site don't share the particular opinion. We would try really hard to avoid removing such content even if we disagree with it.

Side note about "nofollow": That's also why all our external links are "nofollow". ("nofollow" is a term meaning that search engines should ignore these links and not consider this link important). If we were to make all links "dofollow" - we'd attract SEO (search engine optimization) crowds and you'll see tons of articles about "Best birdwatching binoculars" with links to Amazon from the people who never went birdwatching in their lives.

Blockchain size

We also need to be mindful about the blockchain size too. Everything that we put on the blockchain is there forever.

Everyone who wants to validate blockchain in the future would have to download all our articles, including all previous edits and all of the images.

We really don't think it's a good thing to do.

For all those stated reasons our overall opinion is that there is no reason for us to publish the articles "on-chain".

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Avatar for Read.Cash
3 years ago (Last updated: 2 years ago)



$ 0.00
2 years ago

IPFS might be interesting down the road

$ 0.00
3 years ago

I'll direct you to the link if that's ok with you, because I've already talked a bit about IPFS. https://read.cash/@Cain/saturday-november-23-2019-145c9de7#comment-e26ce310

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3 years ago

and anyone can access it thru blockchain.

$ 0.00
2 years ago