Adding to the growing list of innovative applications using the Ethereum world computer platform, Mihai Alisie has founded the Akasha Project, a censorship resistant blogging and social media platform that will allow users to publish content in an immutable format using the Ethereum’s smart-contract system and the IPFS protocol. One of the first exciting concepts that was easy to grasp about Ethereum was the idea that websites and apps could be built on it and not have a centralized point of attack for hackers.
Being a co-founder of both Ethereum and Bitcoin Magazine, Alisie has an excellent vantage point about how internet publishing can be positively affected by an innovation such as the Akasha Project.
The list of blog platforms that have existed since the inception of the internet is too long to name. From Geocities, LiveJournal, MySpace, Typepad, WordPress, Tumblr, to Medium and many more, any person with a computer and an internet connection has been able to publish their thoughts online for all the world to see.
However, the concept of censorship has always been a question of legal, geographical and technological circumstances for the people using online publishing technology. Even if a publication or social network is setup to be transparent and open, there’s little guarantee that those terms will exist in perpetuity.
This is where the Akasha Project comes in.
Regarding the functionality of the website, Alisie commented via the Akasha Project slack on what the platform will look like from the user’s perspective:
“In the beginning it will resemble Twitter and Medium with a minimal wallet and basic blogging functionality. This means you’ll have a way to write and post things over the Ethereum chain and IPFS from a user friendly interface.After things settle down a bit I plan on writing a blogpost where we will dive into the design of the application and the logic and UX behind it.”
There has been a variety of interesting user interfaces on blogging and social platforms over the years ranging from ultra-minimalist to full-on word processor style. Where much of the utility and interest lies for users of the Akasha Platform will be how the content produced by users will live in perpetuity and interact with others.
Alisie explained, “the articles are not hosted on the blockchain, but on IPFS. We keep records of the IPFS hashes in a contract running on the Ethereum chain. The updates are broadcasted via the Ethereum network through a smart contract that records and dispatches events associated with profiles such as new entries. This way, the people that follow you on AKASHA will receive in their stream a notification letting them know that a new entry has been published and can be accessed via IPFS at hash “
While the content is censor resistant, it also does have some level of immortality as well as whatever content gets posted will remain accessible through the IPFS to those who have the correct hash associated with the entry. Hence, we have the beauty of blockchain technology that people can post whatever they want and they won’t have to worry about their content being taken down, for better or for worse.
Akasha Project is currently accepting signups for early access to the first public version of the platform. With Alpha tester signups being close to 1,000 according to a recent email blast, Akasha Project states they’re working to release something for users to test within the coming weeks.