A new decentralized social network, Memo, built on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain has made its first public debut following the announcement on April 15, 2018. Memo, which can also be seen as a decentralized version of Twitter, allows users to post a ‘memo’ which other users can like, share or comment on.
Decentralized Social Network: Buzzword of the Year
Ever since the Cambridge Analytica study highlighted how Facebook users were risking their personal data, discussions on how to safeguard user data in the highly connected and technological world became more and more prevalent. It was also alleged that Facebook amassed a wealth of user data to deliver targeted advertisements to its users.
Facebook has followed a free subscription model ever since its inception and always primarily relied on revenue from advertising to keep the company profitable.
Following the data breach, cybersecurity experts began to audit more secure alternatives to handling user data. The cryptocurrency community was quick to point out that blockchain technology could be the best solution to this problem.
Several attempts at decentralized social networks have emerged in recent times with Memo based on bitcoin cash, and Leeroy and Peepeth, which are both based on Ethereum.
Safeguarding User Data with Blockchain Technology
A major characteristic of blockchain technology is that it is secure, robust and that no data is stored on an easily exploitable server. Instead, it is distributed to a number of ‘nodes’ in an encrypted cryptographic format.
Memo makes the use of this same principle with all relevant data being stored directly on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain instead of dedicated Memo-owned data servers.
The developer announced, “Memo is both a protocol and a front-end application. The protocol works by writing transactions to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Client applications can read these transactions to see the activity on the network.”
Known bitcoin cash proponent Bitcoin.com reported Memo’s launch with a statement that read, “With current social networks, users do not control their data and can have their accounts removed without reason. The blockchain is more than an uncensorable way to send money; it’s an uncensorable way to store data. Memo is an experiment leveraging the blockchain’s data storing capabilities.”
How Memo Works
New users looking to join Memo can create a new profile which is then automatically linked to an address on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Like any other wallet address, it has a private and a public key. Each action that takes place on Memo is stored on the blockchain using an OP_RETURN transaction. Whenever the user shares, likes or comments on another user’s memo, a non-modifiable record is made on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
Users can also tip other users for their content using bitcoin cash, which is the native cryptocurrency of the decentralized platform, similar to how Steemit uses Steem tokens.
The platform requires users to top-up their wallet with BCH to interact with the platform or other users on Memo. A small amount, equivalent to $1, is usually sufficient to trial the social platform and follow other users.
The interface of Memo is pretty simple and clutter free at this time. To some extent, it is reminiscent of web pages in the early internet days. The developer of Memo has stated that while not all features are active yet, they will be launched once thoroughly tested in the coming months.