Corruption and oppression go hand in hand. Nothing exemplifies this more than the recent news from China that their corrupt and oppressive government has recently shut down several online news operations. These include political and social news sites together with social network accounts. The harsh rhetoric used by the Department of Mind Control shows how much the Chinese government despises those entities and individuals whose only goal is to distribute news and information and give all people a voice. State controlled media is the name of the game in China and the single-party state is not content to just ban Facebook and Twitter but it is going after homegrown networks also.
We see this trend worldwide where governments want to stifle dissent in order to stay in power and, in the worst of cases, wanting to cover up human rights abuses.
Earlier this year the Brazilian government used the courts to block WhatsApp for 72 hours as it seems they did not like being unable to peer into the private communications of their citizens. This happened again just a couple of weeks ago and it seems what the government cannot control should be blocked or even banned.
In Germany and France there is talk of blocking encryption all together, banning VPNs and making sure they can read everything which goes over the so called clear net. The war on encryption is actually going on worldwide, with some companies being forced to give master keys to governments. What many call the war on terror, is actually a war on privacy and freedom. This is very dangerous as software with government backdoors also gives hackers and crackers an opportunity get access to those keys. Let's face it, bad guys will always find a way to use encrypted communications but the rest of the world won't. So their war is hurting everyone else and gives more opportunities to the actual enemy.
In Venezuela, the failing Socialist regime tries to maintain its legitimacy by closing down radio and TV stations. However, for a representative democracy to work, there needs to be some form of political opposition in order to maintain checks and balances.
But the peaceful opposition which exposes the truth in Venezuela is quickly portrayed as being the enemy.
Also in Venezuela, they have launched TV campaigns against Bitcoin, blaming the "dangerous" cryptocurrency for being responsible for their inflation. It has nothing to do with printing money like there is no tomorrow so it must be bitcoin to blame!
Governments and banks are in partnership trying to push the world into being an entirely cashless and controlled society with the banks, Visa and MasterCard being the masters of the universe. We have seen Cyprus and Greece limiting the money supply to ATMs and this is becoming a worldwide problem.
Privacy and control need to be put back into the hands of the individual. Gold is of course a great tool to safely store your assets but can you travel with it? Moreover, governments would love to get their hands on your gold and perhaps make it illegal to own. We have seen this in the past and it is not unlikely that it could happen again.
At Decentralize Today we have mentioned before that when something can be decentralized, people will decentralize it. Crypto currency is a chance for people to get their hands on an asset which can be used for all types of payments and yet be hidden from government snooping. Whilst bitcoin is such a crypto currency and the most accepted, the downside is that it can be traced. It is psuedo-anonymous.
Many great crypto currency projects have been launched and many of those look interesting. But the one which has fascinated us for a while is taking center stage with a release which will bring privacy, money and communication to an entirely new level. Unlike other crypto currencies, it does not focus just on the payment part alone.
The Shadow Project has been mentioning Aphrodite for a while now and talk about a marketplace has been going on for even longer. We have had a long talk with the developers behind the project and understanding what has been done behind the scenes is just mind-blowing.
Code, who is one of the developers, has added some more features which improve security, and takes the chat to a new level, aiming to be the Slack of decentralization. The entire chat system has been re-vamped from the ground up. There are features like group chats, invites, address books, link sharing, emojis and picture sharing. There is also message verification and signing transactions on the blockchain. Together with many other useful tools this makes the new GUI outstanding when compared to other wallets out there. CRZ and Ryno have had plenty of headaches changing things in the source code, fixing and improving to make the release speedier and way more secure.
The new GUI will be the backbone of a number of software releases all of which will be blended into one privacy ecosystem.
The pinnacle of decentralization and freedom of communication will soon be attained. The Shadowchat and Groupchat are the cornerstone for the Marketplace release, with communication being an important tool when you want to stay private on the platform. It would be pointless to sell goods privately but communicate with an app which leaks metadata or worst of all the date of the transaction. Furthermore, the chat is also the perfect tool for whistle-blowers, journalists and basically anyone who wants to freely express themselves. This can be done privately within a group by invitation only, or in a public group where all you need is the public key to access. There are no limitations on the number of people and users can post as much as they want for as long as they want.
The most important aspect is that it cannot be shut down. There is no middleman who will object and take control, no DNS to be switched off or a domain to block. The users themselves are the nodes and they create and maintain the ever expanding decentralized ecosystem over which the system runs. Unlike most other encrypted messengers out there, Shadowchat neither keeps logs nor collects metadata. The latter is particularly intrusive and dangerous as it can be tracked by three letter agencies and governments. But with Shadowchat your profile is a big zero and you leave nothing but a shadow.
There is also the option for developers to build other software features into the open source release and many other features are already being worked on. There is a "butler" which assists in the buying of Shadowcash from other crypto currencies and even directly via fiat. With more features to come, such as improvements to the chat and group chat functions, there will be a rolling release distribution, receiving updates as soon they are ready. Most importantly, the release will be the backbone of the long awaited Marketplace. The GUI was needed to implement the Marketplace and with it, Ryno and his team finally have the tool they need. Ryno has now moved on from the GUI development and concentrates on finalizing the Marketplace.
This will be the first step into a totally decentralized privacy tool which gives you the freedom to express yourself, to communicate with others, to buy and sell goods, and to be part of a fully privacy orientated future. Paying, chatting, communicating and starting e-commerce out of a single application.
Whilst Aphrodite is the version name, it seems that something bigger is really going on:... (project name changed to particl.io)