Mercury Protocol is a blockchain project led by Mark Cuban. Find out everything you need to know about “the future of social media and messaging” today in our review.
What Is Mercury Protocol?
In late August, a team backed by Mark Cuban unveiled a project called the Mercury Protocol. The project aims to reinvent how people interact online. Some are calling it the future of social media and messaging.
Essentially, Mercury Protocol is a new type of software designed for messaging apps. It’s built using blockchain technology. Users can interact on the platform without giving away personal information about themselves.
Mercury Protocol isn’t designed to replace traditional messaging software and social networks – like Facebook and WhatsApp. Instead, it’s designed to complement their services. The goal of Mercury Protocol is that messengers like Signal, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger will eventually adopt the Mercury Protocol.
The short-term goal of Mercury Protocol, however, is to focus on releasing two apps called Dust and Broadcast – two Mark Cuban-backed apps.
Dust is basically a more secure, less scam-filled version of Twitter or Facebook Messenger. It’s been available for several years. Broadcast is still in development, and it hasn’t been shown to the general public. The main goal of Broadcast, however is to let people pay to talk to people like Mark Cuban and other important figures.
How Does Mercury Protocol Work?
Mercury Protocol, like many other blockchain platforms, revolves around the blockchain’s ability to generate tokens. Mercury Protocol is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Under the Mercury Protocol, users will be able to earn tokens in exchange for reading a certain number of articles. Users can also gain tokens through positive contributions to discussion groups. This helps them earn a reputation score.
One of the key goals of the Mercury Protocol is to combat trolls. You can see how this would work: if people have to earn tokens through constructive behavior, then it discourages trolls and scammers. On today’s social networks, it costs nothing to harass people all day long.
When the Mercury Protocol launches on Dust, the only way for people to earn tokens will be through participation. In the future, however, users will have the opportunity to purchase tokens.
Another key goal of the Mercury Protocol is to implement better privacy. This privacy comes from the blockchain’s ability to let people sign on without turning over personal information. Nothing on the blockchain is associated with someone’s real identity. Your blockchain “profile” isn’t tied to personal information.
The end result of the Mercury Protocol, if the project is successful, is to create an internet that rewards positive, constructive behavior, where users’ privacy is better protected, and where modern communication tools aren’t driven by marketing and advertising revenue. That’s why people are getting excited about the Mercury Protocol.
Technically speaking, the Mercury Protocol is a suite of smart contracts and recommended best practices that enable a more secure, private social network built on decentralized blockchain technology instead of centralized servers.
The Mercury Protocol Token
The Mercury Protocol is based on a token called the Global Messaging Token, or GMT.
As mentioned above, users can earn GMT by performing various platform-specific incentivized actions. A user might earn tokens for reading a certain number of posts, for example.
Users can then spend those tokens on premium services on any platform that’s integrated with the Mercury Protocol. As the number of Mercury Protocol-linked services grows, the more incentives users will have to gain tokens.
The GMT is an ERC20-compliant token.
How Does Dust Work?
The Mercury Protocol is a blockchain-based technology that will be implemented on Dust before other platforms. Dust is a messaging app with two distinguishing features:
1) It’s a private messenger where content is ephemeral and unrecoverable (just like apps like Snapchat and Instagram delete certain data after a certain period of time, so will Dust).
2) The app lets users send out public “Blasts”, which will broadcast a message to some or all of their contacts simultaneously.
Mark Cuban and his team see Dust “as more than just an app”, explains a Medium post discussing the Mercury Protocol. “We see it as the future standard of private communication. Because we believe sacrificing personal privacy shouldn’t be mandatory to communicate with someone digitally, we built Dust to take content ownership from the server providers and give it back to the user.”
Behind the scenes, Dust uses an encrypted, all in memory storage system that makes user data “forensically-unrecoverable” once it’s been deleted. Users can say anything through the messaging app without the fear of prying eyes.
Dust was originally launched in March of 2014. Today, the app has tens of thousands of daily active users. By the end of Q3 2017, the company will update the app with the Mercury Protocol.
Meanwhile, Mercury Protocol’s integration with Broadcast will occur before the end of Q4 2017.
Who’s Behind Mercury Protocol?
Mark Cuban is frequently mentioned in discussions about Dust and the Mercury Protocol. However, he’s not a member of the core development team: he’s listed as an advisor to the Mercury Protocol project and as a “Dust Investor” in the Mercury Protocol whitepaper.
Key members of the Core Team for the Mercury Protocol include Ryan Ozonian (CEO) and Rohit Kotian (CTO).
Mercury Protocol Conclusion
Mercury Protocol aims to change the way humans communicate with one another in a digital environment. The Mercury Protocol uses the blockchain to provide better security, a trustless system, and a decentralized P2P messaging platform. It takes data ownership away from centralized corporations and puts it back in the hands of users.
In the future, the Mercury Protocol aims to integrate with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other major tech products. In the near-term, however, the company will implement the Mercury Protocol onto its two apps, Dust and Broadcast, before the end of the year. Dust is a secure messaging app while Broadcast is a more secure version of Twitter.
Ultimately, the Mercury Protocol could change the future of digital communication. You can learn more about the project online today at MercuryProtocol.com.