In this age of disinformation, misinformation and fake news, information vetting has become a highly anticipated subject and recently, another startup emerged with plans to use a decentralized blockchain system to filter out the noise and get to the truth.
Dirt Raises $3 Million for Blockchain-Based Information Vetting Platform
The team at Dirt Protocol announced today that it has assembled $3 million in seed in money from numerous corporate and private sources in order to launch thier vetting database. When founder Yin Wu, who had previously created two succesful startups, became interested in the cryptocurrency space but was put off by the mass of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) that circulates around initial coin offerings and crypto exchange information.
Wu told TechCrunch,“The market today is still unregulated, with high incentive for people to spread misinformation for personal gain,”
The only solution for filtering out the trolls and huxsters that seemed viable to her when she began to dissassamble the way social media sites, like Reddit for instance, work was to ensure users have “some skin in the game,” By which she means a financial stake in creating positive posts.
The Dirt Protocol aims at being a tool chest for developers to build their own databases which can be focused on speacilized topics. A single token will work across the entire platform and users will need to stake tokens in order to create new posts, dispute someone elses or vote when a dispute has been made.
Wu believes that economic incetive and penalties will eliminate the majority of bad information. On top of that, the more popular a database is, the more expensive it will be to interact in. As wu said:
“The more valuable the network, the more people are contributing information, the more expensive [it becomes to contribute].”
Techcrunch pointed out that the pay to play aspect of the blockchain platform may eliminate trolls from dropping their opinions just for fun but it seems almost tailor made for a concerted marketing or propaganda campaign with funding like the one which allegedly influenced the 2016 US presidential campaign. Since the decentralized vetting system puts the power of establishing veracity into the hands of a majority who can afford to vote, an organized group could control a database.
Like Civil but Free
The platform that Wu and her team developed is very similar to the startup Civil which NewsBTC covered earlier last month. Civil is a “decentralized marketplace for sustainable journalism” which also uses a token curated registry to vet contributing journalist who wish to participate in the service.
Civil though, plans on selling their service to outlets where as Dirt has no plans to monetize access to their platform. As Wu said, “We’re focused on creating this open data set that anyone can use, If we achieve that goal, I’m confident that some monetization will arise.”