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A manifesto for the memo protocol

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Written by   41
1 year ago
Topics: Bitcoin Cash

Tldr; this article is an attempt to convince you of the importance of https://flipstarter.member.cash/ and similar projects.

When Mark Zuckerberg announced Libra, politicians were thrown into a panic.  It was truly wonderful to watch. They knew that a cryptocurrency tied to a well-used social media platform would cripple their control of money.  It would accomplish in a year what Bitcoin failed to accomplish in 10.

But it too failed.  The politicians won.  Libra is alive, but neutered.  The reason?  Zuckerberg tried to do it backwards.  Censorship resistance must precede the activity that you know is going to be censored. 

Thankfully, BCH has got the censorship resistance part nailed.  Now it’s time for phase 2. 

The killer app

Money is not the killer app. ‘Money’ is the thing that is most useful as money. Ergo, the killer app for X must precede the monetary use case for X. 

330 million users on Twitter, 330 million users on Reddit, 516 million users on Weibo, 2.7 billion users on Facebook. For every 1 person remotely interested in crypto trading, defi, ICOs and yield farming there are perhaps thousands on social media… and not everyone’s happy. 

Despite around half the humans on earth using some form of social media, an increasing number of people are increasingly dissatisfied with the main platforms.

Bots, spam, censorship, cancel culture, data harvesting, rage baiting algos, de-platforming, trolling. The list of problems is goes on, but they all have a singular cause – broken incentives.  I suspect I may be preaching to the choir but if you need persuading, Joel Valenzuela’s gives a compelling summary of both the problem and the solution @ https://lbry.tv/@DigitalCashNetwork:c/Social-Media:9

This dissatisfaction has not gone uncapitalised.  Parlor and Flote are 2 recent attempts to muscle in on Twitters territory.  At the end of the day, these are not categorically different from Twitter.  They are still private platforms ultimately subject to all the same pressures as Twitter.

Others platforms using other structures are popping up in the wake of this great resentment.  Some blockchain based, some not. They include:

https://hoot.goldandblack.xyz/ (a reaction to Reddit’s banhammer)

http://jembe.dashevo.io/#/ (a DASH based platform)

https://twetch.app/welcome (a BSV based platform)

Any one of these could grow it’s ecosystem to eventually compete with the giants. If it is built around a scalable cryptocurrency then adoption of that coin proportional to the adoption of that platform will follow.

Bitcoin cash’s time to shine?

BCH is currently well place to lead the way, but there seems to be a reluctance within the community to run with this use case.  Make no mistake, this is the silver bullet, this is the missile down the exhaust vent of the Death Star. Not trying to play catch-up with BTC fomo or ETH defi, but building a strong uncensorable social media ecosystem around BCH.

Currently around 5-10% of all BCHs onchain activity pertains to the memo protocol.  Another 5-10% pertain to the SLP market on memo.cash.

The most interesting thing about blockchain platforms is that none of them control the data.  They simply read it off a public blockchain.  As individual platforms they are censorable, but the data posted on them is not.

Meet the Memo family:

https://memo.cash/ (The original. Jason Chavannes, who wrote the memo protocol, runs this. Memo recently added an ios app)

https://member.cash/ (Current flipstarter @ https://flipstarter.member.cash/)

https://member.electroncash.de/

http://member.bchd.cash

https://validator.freemarkets.cash/ (a feed of memo protocol activity)

I think PFS is also working to provide some token specific memo feed. Have i missed any others?

Objections

There is some resistance to the idea of using the BCH blockchain for social media data within the BCH community itself.  Aside from a few purists, the objections focus on scalability.  The traditional calculations are that BCH can scale as cash but not as social media.  This is technically correct (the best kind of correct!).  But it also is something of a straw man argument.

·        Building a social media ecosystem around BCH does not require all data to be onchain (BSV style). A detailed proposal how to build a social network around BCH was Stackk, but the project did not get the attention it deserved.

·        Currently, onchain memo activity could increase 100 fold before we had to even think about scaling.

·        Issues of blockchain bloat can best be tackled by adding new incentives to maintain an archival node proportional to the increased cost of running one (as opposed to only focusing on minimising blockchain bloat, BTC style).  An active social media ecosystem would accomplish this.

So what do we do?

I think too many of you focus on fighting trolls on r/btc when you should be focused on building the next Reddit.  Show some love to https://flipstarter.member.cash/.  Let’s grow and develop BCHs native social network.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Freetrade beyond being a user on member.  I have not pledged yet to the flipstarter as I am waiting for the price to come down.

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Written by   41
1 year ago
Topics: Bitcoin Cash
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Comments

To me this project is new,I never heard about flipstarter but I will check out.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I would really like to see an easier way to upload images etc. UX wise it should be a push of a button, technically it should be something that can automatically upload it to a chain that is built for big data - Filecoin, IPFS...?

$ 0.00
1 year ago

So much logic in one article! I can't handle it!

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I have been considering how, and whether,
to grow the Memo size on my effort at https://validator.freemarkets.cash/
Your argument nudges my decision over the line in favor of doing so.
I shall move on that.
Thanks

$ 0.10
1 year ago