Martti ‘Sirius' Malmi, the first coder to work alongside bitcoin's pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto is joining a team of developers launching a new cryptocurrency called AXE.
The project is said to be a combination of a decentralized database system named GUN, and Malmi’s very own online reputation system called Identifi. With both of these combined, AXE coin is all ready to be backed by a strong product that is looking to decentralize the web.
The intriguing story of Sirius And AXE coin
An amateur college developer in 2009, Malmi played a crucial role in bitcoin's early days as the only active developer working alongside Satoshi – and even striking up a bit of a friendship. He earned Satoshi's trust enough to be given admin access to the website Bitcoin.org, and most of the changes in bitcoin's second code release are attributed to him. But a couple years in, Malmi followed Satoshi's lead and left the project, thinking bitcoin didn't really need him anymore.
“I felt like bitcoin had already gone from zero to one, so to say. It was already up and running with a growing community and had lots of great developers working on it.”
In 2014, then, he started Identifi, with a decentralized architecture that didn't include a cryptocurrency at first. But as he built – with his eyes on reducing the control web companies like Google and Facebook have – he decided something else was needed that hadn't been tried before and that a crypto token could incentivize its use.
Two birds with one stone
GUN, which is known for using simple stick-figure comics to explain how its tech works, scored a $1.5 million round led by Draper Associates earlier this year and has already built a decentralized Reddit and YouTube.
This is what Sirius wants to use to disrupt giants like Google and Amazon. “Martti and I were discussing how governments can still blacklist bitcoin miners' IP addresses. Telecom companies, Google, Amazon or others can throttle or reroute our traffic without net neutrality,” said ERA CEO Mark Nadal (also the CEO of GUN).
While digital reputation systems can conjure up images from the “Black Mirror” episode “Nosedive,” whereby a mobile reputation system goes awry, Malmi says he's been careful to improve on older attempts and keep these unintended consequences in mind.
This is where Identifi provides a crucial role. “You could have users digitally sign all their posts and use Identifi to fetch the identity profile (name, avatar, feedback etc.) that corresponds to the public key,” Malmi said. “You could use your Identifi web of trust to filter out spam, trolls and other kinds of unwanted content without resorting to centralized censorship. That is useful for decentralized social media.”
However, to be fully centralized, ERA needs people from around the world running the database systems – which is where the new crypto token comes in.
The Real Decentralization
Malmi is skeptical of the promise of Blockchain as it's been advertised recently. “Blockchain technology is overhyped and pushed for applications where it is not useful,” he said. “If you don't need a distributed ledger with no trusted parties, you don't need a blockchain.”
“The missing piece [to a decentralized web] was a decentralized database that could handle CryptoKitties scale traffic,” Nadal said, pointing to the blockchain-based cat app that earlier this year clogged the ethereum network to the point users were having trouble using other decentralized apps on the network.
He thinks ERA is going about incorporating cryptocurrency into a decentralized web in the “right” way. “Crypto should be given credit for incentivizing the decentralization of infrastructure,” Malmi continued.