The Godfather Of Crypto, David Chaum, Shares Early Access To His Elixxir Now On iOS And Android
Early Access To David Chaum's Elixxir Now On iOS And Android
The app, called Prelixxir, was quietly released for both iOS and Android on Saturday as the project moves into a public alpha. The Prelixxir app will provide access to the testing network that is planned to be launched in a few more months. Elixxir is a messaging and payments platform based on blockchain technology with the Godfather of Cypherpunk and Crypto as the leader of the project.
Only Limited Testing Available
The preview app that has the apt moniker of Prelixxir will have a very limited testing mode but is sure to be welcomed by anyone who has been following the project since it was announced. The team behind Elixxir has high hopes that this preview will show people that their platform is ready for consumer adoption and that it has the user-friendliness to prove it. The aim of the alpha, preview launch if to get thousands of people on board with the project and slowly collect feedback.
This software is seen as the final hurrah for David Chaum‘s life's work as a cryptographer and paragon of the cypherpunk movement. He invested a variety of cryptographic tools throughout his life but is mainly known in current crypto circles for the company he founded in the 90s called DigiCash. The company was the first to offer complete payment privacy from any governmental organization using cryptographic methods. However, it was too soon, as e-commerce would only truly take off about a decade later, and Paypal would come in later with a more user-friendly method of managing money online. The company folded in 2002 and was sold off for assets.
His 1982 paper on secure digital cash basically invented the idea of a blind signature and allowed the technical roots of the cypherpunk movement to take hold. Privacy is at the core of the values of both Chaum and the Elixxir project. He points to the wild swing in fortunes of social media companies from darlings of the people to enemies of the people. He says this change happened in a very short amount of time
Elixxir Created To Solve “Metadata Problem”
The network itself was created by Chaum and the other leaders of the project to combat the problem of how metadata is handled. In his view, the Internet suffered what he called a fall from grace when it was very young. This was the time when messaging protocols were first being established and the United States government applied pressure so that all routing data was unencrypted and in plain text. That included, among other things, sender, recipient, and timestamp which makes finding anyone in this day and age much easier than it really should be. It also means that companies can track our every move no matter how much we try to hide it.
The hope is that Elixxir will undo all of that by using what is known as “mix networks”, another technology that Chaum managed to pioneer in his early days in the 80s. It is a technology that he has been fine-tuning in the intervening years. Mix networks work by rerouting messaging information while it is in the process of traveling from sender to recipient in a way that makes sure the metadata is unable to be accessed by any party. This, says Chaum, would guarantee the ultimate in privacy.
“Elixxir is the only metadata-protecting platform that’s out there, and certainly the only one based on blockchain. Messaging and metadata need to be protected to take back control over social media from the centralized folks who have been spying on us and making more money than anybody’s made in history in a single company.”
Prelixxir is the aptly named precursor to what will be an Elixxir network dapp once the network itself gets online. The problem is that Elixxir needs to work int he current, real world and the giants that control it. An example of this is the iOS app, whose users have to actually test on a different platform due to the guidelines set out in Apple's App Store.
While Elixxir is working in tandem with the current technical hegemony, it is only doing so with the express intention of being able to set people free in the future. A future where your data and your money are your own, and not at the mercy of Google, Apple, Google or Facebook. It might seem like a pipe-dream to many, but even Google was the underdog once. Lightning could strike a second time.