Civilization started with human beings organizing themselves into tribes, and later, kingdoms. The position of the tribe chief then evolved to that of a monarch or a king.
Value-exchange initially took place with the barter system. As society progressed, precious metals with the stamp of the king became common currency — enabling the economy to grow as more goods were bought and sold.
The kings and rulers aggressively retained the authority to issue new currency, as they understood that power belonged to the one who controlled the flow of value and the currency.
As kingdoms faded away and the modern nation-state arose, the above fact remained evident. Except this time, the power was wielded by governments. The postmodern era has seen the institution of government evolve beyond its basic functions, into a meta-entity. Governments not only control the flow of value, but also every other aspect of human life and the collective thought process of a nation. They have changed currency from that which had intrinsic value, to representational currency; IOUs which they issue through a central bank.
The later part of the 20th century has seen rapid rise in computational science, human connectivity (the internet) and the coming together of a global economy. This has also given birth to super-corporations, which are now as capable as certain governments. These corporations are massively benefited by the internet, and hence data — which they, inconspicuously (or seldom with user permission), gather from all the participants of online services and platforms.
The mined data guides AI models and optimization schemes, which corporations heavily monetize to their own benefit. Social media revolutionized the way information is dissipated on the internet. But currently, it exists in a very shaky state, as we have seen with the recent developments in various privacy crises and the stonewalling of power figures in taking action.
As the next billion human beings populate the internet, problems will only be aggravated in this broken model.
As you may understand, the problem we are trying to solve is that of data control and exploitation. Murmur is a decentralised micro-blogging platform, built on top of a blockchain.
Blockchains are distributed ledgers, maintained by large groups of network nodes on the internet. Due to its very construction, the blockchain enables decentralised economies — where all participants have the right to create new value, while being able to transact freely and anonymously.
Murmur turns a new chapter in how we interact and govern ourselves as communities, by keeping the mechanics of the platform transparent. All transactions taking place on the blockchain are visible to everyone, and can be traced back to their origin.
The user facing, browser side of Murmur is reassuringly familiar to users of social networks today. But the smart contract that lies underneath and lives on the blockchain, is where all the interactions happen. This contract takes in user input data and stores it directly on the blockchain, also retrieving it in a similar fashion when necessary. The point being that the contract is a publicly visible piece of software which handles data flow to and from a decentralised public database; in contrast to an opaque and generally unaccountable central authority.
Going forward, Murmur will act as a platform which will host overlying applications such as payment channels and ad networks. In such a decentralised context, all of this value will be directed back to the user. This incentivizes individuals to create and promote more valuable and selected content — making Murmur a better place for everyone.
The vision of Murmur is to allow all individuals to openly express themselves on the web as who they are, and connect with their peers and the rest of the world in a truly social way — pushing the boundaries of the human experience. All of this, while still being able to own and control one’s data.