Blockchain in Journalism: Promise and Practice - Tow Center

Blockchain in Journalism: Promise and Practice – Tow Center

you good afternoon everyone my name is Emily Bell I'm director of the town center here at Columbia we're thrilled to welcome so many of you into this beautiful space which is the Brown Institute for Media innovation which is run by my co-conspirator mark Hansen who you'll be meeting later so thank him and the brown crew for hosting us here welcome to our afternoon discussing blockchain my Jake my Jake for the afternoon is if you'd all bought civil tokens we wouldn't have to come out and discuss this yes Vivien's laughing that's fine yes but we're really delighted you're here because one things that we do at Columbia Journalism school is work in the intersection between technology and journalism and we've never had as it was so much interest in I would say one subject which is blockchain both from students from faculty from the people who participating here saying what is it please explain it to me how is this going to work etc so thanks very much indeed for your attention and your attendance just a couple of housekeeping points for those of you who don't know the restrooms are in the basement or as we call them here the first floor it's not really the first floor it's in the basement and they're out that door and to the right we will be having a break after the second panel at 3:20 if you need to get up and go at some point before then just do it as quietly as you possibly can kind of the acoustics in here are terrific be you can hear absolutely everything on stage etc and as we have a live stream it would be good to keep the kind of noise at the back down to minimum so without more ado I want to introduce not really our first panel they will be coming up in a minute but when we were planning this we said what we what we felt people would she ate it somebody who really knows what blockchain is and what its applications might be it could come and give us an overview and an explanation and immediately mark Hanson said we need Natalia Stinnett tsuki and she said yes rather foolishly so Natalia is the founder of an organizer of women in blockchain and she's now with Google so she'll also be your moderator for the first panel but I want to hand over to her so that she can give you a guide to blockchain Thank You first of all thank you so much for having me here today I'm very happy to share my excitement for the blockchain technology as I was mentioned a program manager at Google so for the record I'm not representing Google today or Google's opinion on blockchain today I'm representing woman and blockchain group we are a team of six organizers and we lead the New York chapters so the New York chapter was actually started in 2016 by my colleague and at that point there was just 30 members and now we're at over 2,400 we're also building a global community of women of la chaîne groups to bring diversity and inclusion and to increase awareness about blockchain technology and just technology of innovative technologies in general women have been historically sign lined in the definition of systems and products so it's imperative and it's important to participate to be recognized as leaders and to drive the definition of the digital future using the innovative technologies for a more equitable society so blockchain black chain is a transformational technology it has been the buzzword for the past year but generally even longer than that for but particularly for the past year how many of you are familiar with blockchain how many of you know what blockchain is how many of you can explain what blockchain is to others all right so before I dive into the actual explanation of what blockchain is why don't we recall how we transact today and Alex exclude cash transactions so in order for person to send money from person a to person B we normally go through intermediaries we go through middlemen that always capture value that capture our data and may or may not be secure so why do we care about blockchain in 20 I'm sorry in 2008 so called Satoshi Nakamoto right after the financial crisis published the white paper peer-to-peer electronic electronic cash system this is one the Bitcoin and blockchain was born so what is blockchain sorry that was my introductory slide so this is actually a good definition of blockchain blockchain is an open distributed ledger that records transactions between two parties confirm and verify by consensus mechanism in an efficient and permanent way so why don't we decipher each part of this definition what do we mean by open and distributed open that means that anyone can participate and distribute it that everyone always has a copy of the same blockchain ledger is essentially a record of transactions it could be transaction money transactions it could be exchange of value acids or anything you name it and it's always between two parties peer to peer individual to individual blockchain address to blockchain address verified by consensus mechanism that means that there is no single third party verification is distributed by it's verified by a consensus mechanisms there is a group of verifies that verify that the transaction had happened records are immutable and once recorded cannot be changed maliciously or on purpose so why is it called blockchain blockchain essentially is a list of Records called blocks there are linked and secured using cryptography each block typically contains a hash pointer to the previous block it always contains that timestamp and it contains the transaction data so what I'm going to use a more of a simpler example to explain what blockchain is let's say we're all participants of in a blockchain we all have a copy of this blockchain we all have unique addresses on this blockchain let's say some of us are very fires and some of us urges active participants let's say Mike and Nancy are unique addresses Mike wants to give an apple to Nancy we as verifiers confirmed that Mike and Nancy our unique addresses we verified that this transaction happened that my gave Nancy an apple we timestamp this transaction because we we do want to record when this transaction happened we as verifiers encrypt and secure this transaction and put it in the first block so one once the first block is created we sent the copy of this blockchain to everybody so everybody has the same copy of the blockchain everyone knows that Mike gave Nancy that Apple in order to create the second block let's say Nancy decides to get an Apple to somebody else we as very far as again confirmed that Nancy has this Apple it's no longer in in Mike's hands we verified that the other person's address is unique and we record this transaction that Nancy sent an apple or gave an apple to to somebody else we times the timestamp this transaction in our second block we reference the previous blog and we'll put all the information about this transaction so this is why blockchain is a blockchain it's a it's chain of transaction it's a linear record of transactions there are different types of block chains we have public block chains and we have private blockchains the difference essentially is is pretty is pretty easy participants in the public blockchain sits public machine is open to everybody and private blockchain is open to a set of participants as many of you have heard of Bitcoin aetherium these are the most popular examples of public blockchain Bitcoin blockchain is the one that was created by Satoshi Nakamoto and it's a pure peer-to-peer transaction type of blockchain ethereum blockchain was created by vitaly butyrin and joseph Lubin and that one specifically is a little bit more interesting it supports complex artifacts such as smart contracts smart contracts are as recently was described by vitalii guttering or persistent scripts there are stored procedures essentially it's bits of code that executes a transaction once a certain criteria is met as you can see that little code on on the screen I'll give you another example more simpler example to explain what smart contract is let's say I set a stipulation that if + 1 my child turns 18 I want to send a certain amount of money from my account to my child's account when he or she turns 18 so if in the one that happens my child gets the money the contract automatically executes this transaction and sends the money from my account to my child's account that was the simple explanation smart contracts are probably a little bit more complex in the real world but this is essentially what blockchain is in a nutshell what it benefits a blockchain oops can we fix that I'm not sure what's happening so blockchains i'll go see the actual benefits of blockchain so blockchains are distributed it's a distributed architecture so there is no fear of central point of failure that we always everybody always has a copy so if somebody is somebody's computer this truck gets disrupted somebody else has the copy of the same of the same contract block chains are a record of transactions they are a listing listing of transactions in the linear sequence and there is always that traceability and Trust aspect the what some people like to describe Lockean is that's a peer-to-peer trust list system by trustless what we mean is that Trust is distributed about among the participants and its trust with everyone in aggregate and I believe the lust yeah well the last one is secure consensus mechanism provides that fourth prevention because essentially you would need more than 50% of the canoe will need to convince more than 50% of the people to change the record of the transactions so with this the last point is that if you if anybody has any questions for for me or in general for woman a blockchain feel free to reach out to me at this email feel free to follow us on Twitter and if anybody wants to join our LinkedIn group it's called woman and blockchain global with this I would like to transition into our first panel blockchain do we need it and what do we do with this and I like to n divide Vivian from civil Valley from new york times and earn from Columbia I hope I pronounce everybody's names right why don't we do run of introductions if you can introduce yourself tell us where you work what do you do and how you got into blockchain yeah my name is Nellie Bowles I'm a reporter for the New York Times I cover technology and culture and the I got into blockchain because I cover kind of like cultural trends in the city and I noticed a bunch of kids were making a ton of money and this thing called like Bitcoin in the area and so I started following them around I'm Vivian Schiller I run something called the civil foundation my whole career has been in journalism I've been a a journalist in it and a news executive at a whole bunch of different news organizations over my career including the New York Times and I am I've my relationship with blockchain began exactly three and a half months ago so and I'm interested in it because blockchain is here it is with us it's only going to get bigger there's going to be an intersection with journalism and I want to make sure that we harness it for the interests of journalism and that we set ourselves up to protect and support journalism and not the other way around I'm Aaron Romer I am the professor of computer science at tel aviv university and research associate here at computer science and my research area is cryptography and information security but otherwise how can we take broken systems and make them trustworthy by using mathematics and algorithms and we've been studying this for many years looking at all the ways that algorithms can be proven secure and how the computers that use the algorithms can be made resilient we've been breaking codes by pointing microphones and antennas at computers and extracting their secret keys and then working to fix that and looking at all of these scenarios where there's someone out there that might probably be untrusted leave that thank you and the emergence of blockchain for us was an amazing opportunity because suddenly it's not just that someone somewhere might be compromised it's everybody's compromised anyone who's trying to communicate over the blockchain might for all we know will be trying to steal the money of anyone else and not for us creates amazing opportunities for creating new algorithms and modeling the security reactions and conditions under which people operate and to protect their integrity and privacy in ways that we'll probably discuss later thank you why don't we do like a little introduction or cover the basics everybody hear me if you ever bring it up anyway do you consider journalism and the word this is started and where does it end what's journey where our reporter meets a newspaper and oh sorry you know I I was prepared for this question and I'm still don't have a great answer for it one of my favorite definitions I mean the journalism is the stuff that people that need to know in order to be full and this is not don't tweet this is not like a stuff it's not great so I'm just speaking informally it's what the public needs to know in order to be informed and active members of their community and to live their lives fully I mean again that is not I'm sure if I were writing this in a book I would come up with much flowery language there's many definitions out there but for the purposes of this conversation and for the purposes what we're talking about at least what we're doing at civil it's making sure that that people in communities that as everybody in this room no doubt knows who are getting who are not necessarily getting the information they need about what is what are happening in their communities what's happening in certain parts of the world what's happening in certain industries we are there to make sure that that information that that we can support journalism and journalists to make sure that the public has the information that they need that is our reason for being blockchain is simply a way to get us there now our definition would you like to add anything else to this question if you don't mind covering how has the state of journalism has changed over the past five to ten years I'll take that one there are you know we could spend and in fact there there have been many many symposia hosted in this very room over the years about all of the dramatic changes and the and the impact of what's happening in journalism and meeting information needs of the public I would in short since this is not that seminar I would ensure categorize what we're facing in the world into two two buckets each of these represents a crisis together they're pretty cataclysmic the first bucket is that is trust and and that and the trust crisis and the declining trust that the public has in journalism and in news organizations and or the information they get they're getting which is not necessarily for news organizations more and more as we as I'm sure everybody knows it's from Facebook or whatsapp or WeChat or what have you so the trust crisis is real and it is it is profound and it is critical that alone would be bad the second bucket of crises has to do with and it's not unrelated it has to do with financial sustainability of news organizations if news organizations cannot if journalists cannot pay their rent and put food on the table they can't be in journalism which means that they can't do the vital reporting that the public needs business models again this is a seminar for another day but business models have pretty much collapsed for a whole bunch of reasons we could spend a lot of time talking about but this is a big problem and there's no obvious solution there's no gold silver bullet that's going to solve the problems of journalism but what's changed in the last you know 10 years is the declining trust the collapsing business models together you know we have tremendous amount of news deserts misinformation all the things that that we're dealing with today I would add the I feel like the actual work of journalism like what I actually do day to day hasn't changed that much in the last 10 20 100 years like I still just wander around with a notebook and and maybe we tweet now and more Instagrammers anybody there's still the foundation is a same as its the way that it is perfect so I think that kind of covered I would see the risks in the drama is the journalism industry yeah why don't we dive into the actual opportunities what are the opportunities in the journalism industry what do we face today this is very told you that I'd have my ranch which is I think that there's tremendous opportunity in business journalism and and specifically in business journalism outside of New York I have been a reporter in San Francisco for I guess eight years now and there just aren't a lot of writers out there there's a ton of low-hanging fruit I think one thing that we've seen in the last ten years is the increasing consolidation of the media industry in New York and in some certain pockets within New York even and I just I have found personally and I think as I see some of my friends become editors and bosses and try to start recruiting I see how few people there are so I think if you're willing to live outside of New York City and report on these industries there's huge opportunity and there's huge demand for readership like I just do like a basic story about blockchain can like the numbers are I mean there's just a lot of demand for on-the-ground reporting these communities in greater Himalayan technology it's underreported story of you know the universe as Emily has been preaching for quite a long time it's the biggest story I mean other than trunk-like it is the by far biggest story of the last decade and it is so under covered it's amazing like it's it's astonishing we have a journalist meetup like the whole media world of San Francisco gets together and we fit in the back of a single bar yeah I feel like I'm one of those people who's like come West let me tell you there's just gold flying everywhere if you have a pen you'll get a job but it's true I think that in the context of blockchain there are some interesting challenges and opportunities for journalism on the challenges side there is a matter of conveying this often non-trivial technology in the face of very significant information from some of the purveyors of the technology and this is especially problematic because a lot of this technology is very effectively monetized in the form of tokens that are traded on exchanges and there's the question of how much are they worth now the question of how reporting affects valuation of assets of course arises elsewhere but whilst a traditional stock they're always fundamentals to fall back to and even if there is some hype or misinformation eventually there are earnings and growth and assets that keep things in check ideally with blockchain assets we don't really know how to value them from the main tiles are an open problem to understand and a lot of devaluation of this of this token some of which are worth billions of dollars in terms of market capitalization it's crazy how much I get the ripple valuation what it well that got to the many billions and the ones who determined that is before most of the public are essentially the reporters who need to somehow distill these very aggressive marketing and convey it in a way that will guide the latest it's all you yeah so that's a challenge but there's also a great opportunity because in this age where the notion of facts and alternative facts is apparently under negotiation and when we are well destabilizing basic norms of evaluating what's reality and now in judging it and also when emerging technologies like so-called deep fake very sophisticated fake videos and audios and pictures threaten our ability to intuitively grasp what's true and what's not even given a recording blockchains give us an opportunity because once we really do have a reliable blockchain that can start tanks type events in an irrevocable way and if that lock chain is widely available and can be investigated then we can establish what is truth it's based for the parts of truth that are recorded there and may be proper investigated investigative journalism can use that as a new resource and in terms of covering it like when you read about something like the ripple valuation or one of what are one of these tokens and the insane billion dollar valuations it it's really confusing and kind of hard to get your mind around but when you actually go and spend some time with the person who created it all of a sudden it becomes a little bit more clear like when you're on the ground with them and kind of this gaminess of certain ones becomes a lot more clear and a lot easier to see up close and it's really easy for the industry to obsolete from far away you know this was something that we really struggled with and have been facing at civil because we are a blockade based company who is as issuing and we'll use a crypto and etherion based cryptocurrency called a civil to operate the network and in trying to communicate to the public about buying these tokens and using these tokens what if there are many obstacles to communicating that to the public a lot of them including the fact that we are the first consumer consumer based blockchain company offering that I think ever that's not I can tell at least in this country but part of the challenge is there is that reputation when people hear about cryptocurrency they think scams they think currency speculation they think you know get-rich-quick schemes you know we're the opposite of that there's also was a lot of challenges about it purchase secrets are crazies Oh which anybody the SRAM try yeah it's it's very very difficult but but that reputation at cryptocurrency has is really a problem to overcome I mean I think one of the one of the things that were well I I mean I'm not I am I'm not here to to save or you know try to hold up the value of the blockchain industry but I am but I am interested in what we're doing at civil around journalism and to that extent I think once we launch and people get into it and use these tokens they will hopefully understand the value and how that works in a way that feels very germane to their lives instead of this kind of abstract you know Bitcoin buying and selling yeah so can we actually does a little bit more into why blockchain why why do we need it now is it really a scalable solution do we need it nice actually it's like what's the difference between a like with civil why do blockchain rather than just money like the just American fiat currency why I'm token well yes again got their question a lot because in fact what we're building and I you know you know what civil is what we're trying to create is a network of a global network of trustworthy manner musicians that's it I mean I we are trying to build you know to help get at you know some of these trust issues that we talked about and so that people understand when they go to a news organization that they can that they can reasonably we have to verify every fact but we really expect that what they're getting there is quality journalism done by journalists ethical journalists so why do we need blockchain and why do we need cryptocurrency to do that we're talk about equipment in terms of blockchain and we kind of have to separate these two things and you will quickly learn and see that I am NOT a technologist so I can't really even explain chalk chain both sides it's a it's a distributed ledger but but what but I can tell you what what's important to civil about blockchain and cryptocurrency from from a blockchain perspective being able to preserve content because there are multiple at multiple instances in the past and there will be multiple more particularly outside this country where content can be taken down and we're seeing as journalism is under threat more and more in the world and certain regimes are emboldened to crack down on journalism we're seeing that all over the world there's a greater risk to preserving and making sure that what journalists are reporting can be preserved even if their servers are taken down or destroyed so on one level that's where blockchain is very helpful but where I think it gets really interesting is in the crypto economics so a civil token when you when you have a token it's to think first of all is you know so token just a piece of software obviously but it serves it civil it starts two purposes one is it's it's it is literally a piece of currency that you can use by the smart truck contracts that we were talking about that that a member of the public can exchange a civil token in frictionless way with no no middleman no transaction costs in a way that they can reward newsrooms they can pay newsrooms they can you know something that people have talked about forever and and it's just not been possible in a fiat currency world is you know micro tipping and micro payments is sort of enabling a way for that that that relations to deepen the direct relationship between the public and and news and news organizations but it's but the token is also a governance mechanism so it took it as a vote and on that on this civil tour so I talked about it's a network of trustworthy news organizations well how do you keep it trustworthy and make sure that it's not infested with you know the Infowars of the world and and that is where these these tokens come in they are a way for people to challenge and vote to make sure that good news organizations are on and bad new components organizations stay off that's at a minimum what we'll have for launch and then as the platform develops ways to sort of reward and up rank news organizations that follow you know that are doing great work so again that token is both a voting mechanism and a ended and currency of our smart contracts that without any you know intermediary and in those those are advantages it has over over over fiat currency and also it's it's a platform to create this network I mean I've had a lot of car change people said well yes yes yes but you could do all that with fiat currency but guess what nobody had us nobody has and in order to do that you would have to build a platform to be able to create it and this is if nothing else this is a platform to build it I know maybe you want to switch gears I don't know Aaron if you want to cover a little bit more from a columbia some point of view I'll speak more about it but a little bit more about the projects um certainly but he cannot resist making one more comment on the issue of low friction payments and monetization this is not just about costs it's also about controlling privacy one of the big problems in they attempt so far to make these micro payments work is that there is always someone centralized who's trusted with managing them and has full full visibility and that someone maybe Facebook or maybe Equifax or any of the other companies that we seem to be completely trusting with our personal financial information without much choice and despite the utter failure to protect that information and in fact their business models that are based on violating it and cryptocurrencies give us an opportunity to fight back and to be able to for example read a newspaper with and this is one of the challenges that we and our Columbia for example this the matter of a enabling a privacy preserving transactions and exchanges privacy preserving smart contract is a topic of very active research in the school of computer science it builds on cryptographic mechanisms that we've been developing for many years for other applications where integrity is paramount and here we have the ultimate one everybody needs to be convinced that the transaction is legit in fact this recently in formalized as a very large university-wide effort to the Columbia IBM Center for blockchain and data transparency research and it's a mouthful because it does encompass a lot it's an it builds on the strengths of Columbia University includes the all the pertinent school including engineering computer science data science as well as Business School the law school in the international public affairs all of which will be building to be together a new applications identifying needs and constructing the systems that answer them as well as pioneering ways to balance the needs of regulation of law enforcement and public policy in this technical context there's all the already courses taught at Columbia University and several more that we are constructing as part of this new center and it's not just about educational research the third leg of this newly established Center is enabling innovation and techno tech transfer by creating accelerators for the startups that will take these academic innovations to practice it's also very exciting to see grassroots operations in here at Columbia University there is a block chain at Columbia and also the Columbia University block chain Alliance completely different of course shades of Monty Python here I wonder whether they're mining I assume some are and they are teaching each other about these opportunities and technology for me it's really exciting to see things that we used to see in academia as very a technically advanced topic in some graduate level in cryptography course toward computer science certainly be the bread and butter that's being discussed in the hallways and thrown around by MDAs because these are the right tools and Columbia is apparently the right place to exercise these tools I'm not sure we have time for any more questions or arguments and now it has New York Times considered getting involved the blockchain or if they were they wouldn't tell me any of their business strategy I mean first of all because I would tell everyone and second of all because I'd have terrible advice on what um I'm not sure if they've if they're interested in getting involved in Bachchan we're not allowed to invest in bhakti and obviously nathaniel popper who covers it for the times and their daily basis breaking news on it um has always asked this question of like are you a blockchain millionaire now too oh no we are not watching millionaires um but I think we're gonna keep covering it a lot i mean i covering it's been tricky because it was so exciting when the bubble of it was so hot and it's hard not to like start to believe it and and to it's hard to figure out where your belief should end and where your skepticism should start and i think i kind of thought that like maybe this would just be my beat now maybe i was just gonna be like covering blockchain and then the last few months have been hard to figure out where it's going and what's happening and why the price it fluctuates so intensely and whether it is all scammers and i mean when you said when it was so hot that prices were hot but they were i mean how much of that I mean how tied was that to the actual value of blockchain versus people speculating but then how tied is naturally well yeah that's all I was all speculation and and it's then how do I know now it's not by God said I it's it feels like standing I'm like sand you're like any insect you that well what is the what do you concern well now are we is the bubble done yeah right now like is this now when the real work begins and back then no yeah like the scammers for your work the scammers are a nightmare because because it it makes it so when you're trying to do something serious like Sybil it's really hard to figure out what's real easy right now are we in the moment when like the bubbles done and now it's like okay now the real work begins I think there's a complete disconnect between the markets and the actual technology and engineering the the the hype does its thing there are the natural cycles there are many elements here affecting the market behavior that have nothing to do with the actual progress of the projects with the actual scientific innovation and if you put the markets inside and look at what's being built nowadays then things become really exciting because we see a lot of fundamental tools emerging for example approaches to succinct your knowledge proofs of knowledge that enable you to just throw away most of the chain for most purposes and reason just about the parts that you care about put otherwise achieve scalability which is one of the great challenges now we have plausible approaches for solving it we used to have the matters of privacy as we saw in the introduction you post all transactions on the blockchain for anyone to see so how can you achieve your privacy how can you prevent your competitors and colleagues from seeing every transaction that you do in a street corner using Bitcoin and now we have ways to achieve that as well I happen to have co-founded one of these the cash cryptocurrency there are several others and they are becoming practical and achieve better scalability as well despite the fluctuations in market prices and likewise in the enterprise realm you see ways to integrate blockchain technology in its variants nuances in two important business applications in banking in asset tracking in aerospace and we've been fortunate to have found this monetization model that allows all of these refreshed technology and whiteboard science to actually transfer to the next stage of having engineers spend their time doing it properly and even at the current valuation it's enabling that and we will see these come to fruition in upcoming years in terms of in terms of education about blockchain and cryptocurrency what would you suggest to the audience what to concentrate on and where to get that knowledge from but what's the difference between cryptocurrency and blockchain what to concentrate on always no reason is in your pocket the best read mind if you want to read what people are doing with the money it's an issue I mean education around around blockchain and cryptocurrency is is definitely an issue it's it's just it's a little it's a little abstract for people to understand I mean that's why I think the more you know as we and and others go into create blockchain cryptocurrency based businesses that are for consumers that are not sort of around banking or supply chain or other b2b I think it will become more accessible so people need to see it touch it feel it you know in the same way of you know in the 80s or early 90s like internet was you know a very confusing thing I think it just that we people need to see how it touches their lives personally so this is indeed a challenge and I could mention specific books like one out of Princeton on more technical vibe Chris Byrne is key crypto assets book on less technical vibe they are becoming lis rapidly outdated and I think part of it is trying to grasp blockchain I mean this is like going to Home Depot and trying to grasp Hardware there's just too much of it and you need to think by primarily about the applications that you need focus to focus on the problems that you have that needs solving and try to see what particular areas within this large landscape are relevant in what particular projects answer your needs sorry oh one more thing I wanted to mention is a great way to understand you want to understand blockchain is to listen to the zig zag podcast so my news is I'm rowdy was on the next panel is sitting here she and her producing partners have created an amazing podcast called zigzag which tracks their journey with civil but also sort of explains blockchain in a way where they are learning it and sharing that experience of learning it as they go along so highly recommend and then I'm just realizing most of the people I've profiled in the space learned by going to meetups and got into it by going to meetups so didn't learn by reading and didn't learn by like following the news cycle on it which as we've talked about it it's by going and talking to other people who are in the space and who are deep you know building endstop so so there's tongue so blockchain meetup to New York and anywhere so if you go to a few of those then you start to go down the rabbit hole you go to meet up and then you go down the rabbit hole right yeah yeah that's essentially what happened to me with the woman watching all right why don't we transition into audience Q&A and I started the first hand know that you know what would have a tell we had the technology was not adequate for us to do that at the time you mentioned verification right now we're on the edge of computer-generated video of audio and still images that are indistinguishable from the original I could easily see blockchain with the chain starting with a code on the sensor for instance of a camera and then moving forward but I could still see a lot of ways to disrupt it you mentioned verification and are you working on it are you thinking this way definitely and the matter of authenticity and provenance of media is of course all importance to many areas ours being one of them and there are several components here that a modern cryptography enables one is the time stamping the irrevocable commitment to the source raw material that you can post on the blockchain without revealing that material but still being able to connect to it a complementary technology that's required is being able to edit that media and to convert safe raw footage into the final result that will be broadcast while maintaining some notion of provenance and connecting it to whatever was originally recorded and that is actually the topic of a paper that we published a couple of years ago showing a prototype for how this can be done for steel pictures in extending this to full-fledged medium high bandwidth video is one of those open research problems that I hope that you can make the transfer to commercialization bring it closer one of the challenges today in journalism was that content could be taken down and at the blockchain can help by preserving content so is it that that the content itself will actually be stored in the transaction or or are we storing some hash of it such that you know the large content is kept outside of it and you can represent it and verify it it's kind of a question yeah yeah and I'm not really answer it from a technology point of view perhaps my colleague on that on the panel here can you know it really both is possible but most of the news organizations will be storing the hash because it's you know less gas so that is which means it's just cheaper but less computing power but but but so but but either is possible and if you ask me a follow-up question to get into any level of detail beyond that I'm going to be unfortunately capable of doing it but I don't know you need more I want to follow up on another crisis that we imagine is about the economic okay a journalist needs a livelihood to pay the bill is there any successful cases that bloc share has been already used to deliver economic livelihood or prosperity to journalists and how does the blockchain solution compare or relate to other existing 20th century solutions such as using taxpayers money public the public knowledge of a republic or about I just came from Montreal last week they are hearing there are still very strong unionization among the newsroom so how do you how does production the technological solution you know form a relationship with other so let me answer the second question first you know business models and sources of revenue for journalism could be the subject of a weekend long week-long mud flock seminary here at Columbia the one thing I will say at least about and I can't what what we're doing is that any revenue or cost savings or incremental revenue that can be derived from what we're doing is in addition to whatever news organizations will continue to do so we're not saying only operate through civil and you know don't take people's credit cards for membership you know don't do Kickstarter's they work in tandem this is you know that this is just another revenue stream maybe over time it will be so meaningful that you know news organizations can move away from say advertise you know certain kinds of advertising but for the moment the last thing that we want to do is try to cut off anybody's existing revenue streams we just want to add to it the first question was just say the first two words and I'll remember sorry I just oh yeah well well we haven't launched yet we will be launching before the end of the year so I can't we don't I mean we have what we're calling the first fleet in fact there's at least four newsrooms from our first fleet of news organizations represented in this room well I thought you were gone for a second so I at least four there may be more so they are we have in full candle we've given them grants you know fiat currency grants but we will when they're you know they're with us as part of our launch and when they launch we are will be working closely with them to hope that to figure out ways that they can derive additional revenue we're gonna experiment around tipping other there's a whole bunch of other economic opportunities that unlock that will be but we haven't launched yet so I am not aware if there's a successful other ways that news organizations are making money look last question lady right I have to ask about the token sale and Vivian you refer to the obstacles around communicating to the public what do you do differently next time we are going to if anybody has read and I highly recommend if you if you if you did and it's painful to read John Keefe with courts wrote a blog post about the 44 steps it took him to get from from zero to buying civil tokens that's about forty three steps too many so we're working to greatly simplify it is a whole it's not worth going into all of the the reasons that it was too difficult but it was too difficult so we're working to make it simpler that's obstacle number one and you know and then the other thing just in general about you know we're also working to communicate we have been from the beginning a very clearly so people understand why they should be part of civil and that it's not about the tokens the tokens or a means to an end it's about the journalism it's about the incredible work that you know these news organizations these first set of news organizations that I mentioned that are represented in this room who are doing such incredible reporting already and and and the hundreds more and hopefully thousands more that will be joining when we go live that's what this is about and then last question current forms of verification such as identification cards street addresses are actually being used against citizens so my question is how does blockchain verification dissipated it's very very fun foundation at which you're you're trying to build can be used to compromise citizen rights yeah it is a great question there's there are various outcomes virus way this can play out one is we're increasing reliance on a blockchain that is visible to all or to a misguided regimes may result in these kind of pathological outcomes and we are seeing extreme visibility leading to oppression in some countries worldwide the other end of the spectrum is using block chains as a way to give people ownership over their own data we have that means with the technical means to have the blockchain consists of a sequence of encrypted records attesting to people's citizenship financial history biometrics anything that can be connected to the real world and it tasted by someone and have people prove that they are indeed eligible to vote or are eligible for a credit score or whatever other property logically follows from the content of the blockchain without revealing those records while fully preserving their privacy and protecting their financial and personal history in all regards that do not pertain to the thing that matters like their eligibility for voting and there are actually several a effort several companies are trying to build and commercialize these frameworks these technologies there's a lot there's a lot of research that's happening in my lab and others on building direct with its tools to make nice efficient but at the end of the day it's a decision that will be made by society whether explicitly or implicitly in an emergent way or just imposed by the very regimes on where on longer this spectrum we end up by the way if I could just add one thing to that not not about the voting but when you're talking about the ability for someone to have a verifiable identity but not actually have that identity connected to be known who they are is very important to what we're doing in terms of being able to support journalism journalists who are working in parts of the world where their identity we need to know who they are they need to be verified so to speak but their identity cannot be revealed so it's very that's very important great I think we're done with the first panel Aaron Vivian Ellie thank you so much for joining yeah we're on a panel dedication music to get you in the right we can't go now great alright so I i'll start introducing myself so that you haven't the people who come in late haven't lost anything because i am a minor player and it's affair my name is mark Hansen I am the director of the Brown Institute here welcome to the house that Helen Gurley Brown built we're very excited to to to help co-host events like this oh the bearer of water look at you would you like a third maybe one more look at that well now you have to drink it better take it alright so we are the the panel is is the blockchain and journalism and I'm gonna try to make this as concrete as we possibly can because we have people with concrete experience people have built Seminole Seminole structures in in the blockchain and what we're gonna see I think from this series of speakers is the blockchain being used as a way of coordinating around the tasks of journalism so in addition to recording transactions we're gonna see the blockchain uses a tool for arriving at consensus in a kind of distributed way so if and it's going to be in support of all the functions that Vivian said we're journalism thank you for that I tweeted that out and like the world now knows what journalism is and and that means everything from reporting and assigning provenance to interviews or images to fact-checking to to the business of journalism and who gets to serve ads and who's a good actor and who's not so we're very pleased to have with us three panelists who have who have built built aspects of this ecosystem and have made use of aspects of this ecosystem we have mike golden we have jared dicker and we have manoosh zoom arathi Sam arathi like if I get enough of a running start that's me great so what I thought we would do are actually what I was told to do is have you each give they said seven to eight minutes and I don't know anyone who thinks in seven to eight minutes but you get 17 minutes introduce yourselves that where you've come from and your your persona – Jared's thinking I'm never fitting into seven or eight minutes but will somehow keep him in the box seven eight minutes describe you know the organization you're with what you've been working on how you see blockchain intersecting whether that's through crypto currency or these other sort of transactional methods intersecting with journalism and and the the acts of journalism so would you like to go first yeah I want to start and I think I need to start with a clarification I have built nothing you know I said okay I said or is it or been a creative creative force in one of these systems yeah picking up the baton here from Vivian in that my background is I'm a journalist I've been with the BBC with Reuters for a long time and then most recently with WNY Sainte mère Public Radio and what happened was there was a moment where my executive producer and I we made a show called note to self and we were kind of ready to do our own thing to move on and we serendipitously met Josh Benson who I saw hanging out in the back there who said I'm doing this weirdo project called civil and I think you guys might actually be great he was recruiting people to newsrooms people who wanted to become sort of many publishers part of this first fleet that Vivian was describing and as we learned more about what civil was and realized we really didn't understand what the hell they were talking about but it was super intriguing and they were giving us money and tokens we didn't care about the tokens because we didn't know what they were we were like oh well that's the story because if this is gonna be as big as they say it's gonna big be somebody needs to document this because this is kind of an as Nellie was saying like this is the other story that's happening and it really kind of blew our minds so what I wanted to put up was my first slide if you would so we made a podcast it's called zig zag and it is a we call it a podcast about changing the course of capitalism journalism and women's lives so not very big goals at all really and what we're doing is we're telling our story to women who quit their stable jobs in journalism to go into the far less stable world of black chain journalism and our document documenting it along the way in terms of us as mothers which is a key component of our lives we are not gonna pretend that we are like working like that's part of it the balance thing the other part is being able to pay the bills we talk a lot about that as entrepreneurs which is kind of new for both of us and then of course for me as a tech journalist I wrote a book about the attention economy my bag is explaining technology to people and very easy digestible even fun ways so that they care and feel empowered as consumers to respond to the technologists making this stuff so that it works in their favor and so I want to play just a very brief clip which watch-chain is complicated there is no denying it but we can do better breaking down big ideas is what we do so you ready here are three things that you need to know about blockchain we're gonna build on them but let's just start with these three things and actually let's hold some music to get you in the right mode I like that guitar alright this is good okay here we go number one something you need to know about blockchain blockchain is related to something you probably have heard of number one ready for number two I got a lot of tweets being like oh my god you all I'm doing is walking around singing bitcoins black team's baby we got the point across right we are at this point like we're talking on I think an extremely high level here but the majority of the public either their eyes glaze over when they hear the words blockchain I know minded or they think it's Bitcoin and they think it's scammers and some of the things that I had learned about etherium and the idea is that civil had really like got me very excited as a tech journalist that this was a something really was worth exploring I haven't seen the proof yet so I'm a boot like suspension of disbelief part in the story waiting to see it happen but I'm not there yet which is why I'm super psyched that you guys are here cuz they're the people who are actually using it so that's me thank you everyone I'm Jared dicker I'm the CEO of poet that's not me up there but I appreciate the background anyway so I'll give a quick background as a how I ended up here because I used to do what everyone in this audience likely does I was in charge of innovation which is a great fluffy title at the Washington Post for the past three years prior I was at Time Inc and also at The Huffington Post and much of my career was always framed around how we could actually start to create the environment that we want to live in as creators I loved that notion because apparently no one ever wanted to work on that tech or on subscriptions or business growth and me being a former journalist I was like wow I could get paid double and have some sort of creative flexibility to try to solve these problems in interesting ways and what I realized where you're like very very early on is that no one knows anything and if you could tell a good story and you could build within that story then you could kind of crap the results that you want to be being able to work within so when I was at the huffington post that was native advertising when I was at Time Inc that was brief and when I was at the Washington Post we've built a a part of our company called red and ork which I'm sure everyone is familiar here where we actually built an entirely new software as-a-service arm that drives a ton of revenue for the Washington Post so towards the end of my tenure at the post though I really started trying to wrap my head around what's the real problem right we're really good at kind of like masking symptoms and figuring out well how can we make up for ad dollars or subscription dollars and how can we survive from Facebook and Google but not really kind of honing in on the bigger issues that are going to continue to cause us pain and that to me what I was able to pinpoint is that we actually as a business do not convey our value very lot of the consumers we talk about premium right we talk about value we say you should subscribe because journalism cost money and you know turn off your ad blocker because premium journalism cost money and no one has a general definition as to what premium means so in fact it actually turns people off and they go elsewhere so what I was able to again identify is that we have no way to quantify premium right we don't know how to quantify hours that a journalist puts into their work or the verifiability of their sources or the reputation of their authorship not just is this an author but this author has won three bludgers and that's written for you know other Pulitzer Prize winning institutions and that's actually like the real value right so I don't subscribe to The Washington Post because they were first on Facebook insane right or because they have a million digital subscribers I subscribed because Marty Baron curates the news that my trust my Marty Baron so that is something I'm willing to pay for that was actually something I was extremely interesting at the post but I realized that it kind of had to happen outside the post because it was something that would benefit everyone right everyone in this room I'm sure believes that journalism and media is extremely undervalued and we want to provide more value and think of more ways to value that higher but none of us really know how so what attracted me to this space and you know to be completely transparent I was approached to be CEO poet back in November and I've never said no fast enough I was like I'm not getting into the Boche and I think Paul back there was like published his article I think Paul published his McCoy no stupid blockchain is dangerous article the day I signed to go to poet but I think I remember you said you wrote the same thing about Facebook and Google so that there's some hope but I really just wanted to identify the why and and again going back to kind of what interests me and going back in my career there was a story to be told here if blockchain falls flat on its face at least it's made all of us question everything that we do whether we hate it or we love it for the first time we're non complacent because we're fighting a battle and what is extremely interesting this has been mentioned and I don't want to continuously reiterate it but the idea of immutability right the idea of verifiability and how you could best take the way that information is stored on blockchain and pair with incentive mechanisms is interesting it was interesting at the huffington post ten years ago when we did self moderation comment badging and did intrinsic incentives to get community members within the huffington post to actually aggregate and curate our comments by earning rewards we went from five to ten to fifteen I think to 20,000 comments per article in a year which helped us grow traffic which helped to sell right for 320 million dollars so there is value in incentive mechanisms there's value in being able to identify right something being real or something not being real whether that is the future of IP rights management the future of news curation advertising targeting and ad tech is a huge thing that I'm sure might go deeper into but that's how we ended up here and you know poet in itself as a protocol is really trying to figure out how we could build a bunch of entry points and accessibility layers that can help with ownership and attribution and IP rights and you know a new way to transact so that we could build some new applications on top of it to really try to see is there a better way for us to manage writes and syndicate our content and uncover information not necessarily saying this is right and this is wrong but we're all playing on a similar field that is exposing certain claims and people could make a choice one thing that we'll get into further and I'll just end with this is that the one thing that I don't want to happen with blockchain which we're already kind of seeing is that we're squeezing them and squeezing it the public notions and a lot of the kind of ideologies around it too becoming similar to what we have now and I think what we should be thinking about especially as it comes to curation and delivering information is that this is meant to expose right like even though it's not apples to apples comparison people are free to smoke cigarettes right like because we put a label on these cigarettes it could better influence their decision and I think that information is a similar thing I think with misinformation we're battling it by trying to continue to separate people but by doing that we're not actually reaching the people that we want to bring over so this is a very interesting technology and hopefully an interesting conversation about how to expose that information and how we could build products that could best take advantage of it hi I'm Mike I'm a programmer at a company called consensus and I'm a blockchain kid I had a aetherium mining farm in my mom's basement in 2015 well I was a student here at Columbia in retrospect every time one of my mining rigs went offline I should have like ran home fixed it I could have like retired but instead I thought that getting a Columbia degree would be useful I'm the most well known for writing a paper called token curated registries 1.0 and then I led the engineering team that implemented what is today like the most widely used production version of that idea so ad Jane launched with that code foam which launched recently is a fork of that code and civil is actually a fork of that code base as well a little like trivia that like not not many people know about me which just like speaks to how weird the spaces in like 2017 I wrote some open-source token sale code for like doing token sales and as far as I know that code was used by various other people to do at least 40 million dollars of like sales in 2017 and that's just like something this is like a random thing that happened in 2017 and yeah so at consensus these days I work on a team of engineers and designers that tries to take like kind of interesting ideas in crypto systems put them into production observe them and then use that learning to improve them using further design and engineering alright well so I thought what we would try to do is is dig a little bit into some of the some of the technologies that you've alluded to and the ways in which they can actually start to support or the ways in which they're supporting sort of the processes of journalism and we're going to start with with Jared I think you know on the the the poet boilerplate you talk about providing a new way for consumers to find content to transmit transparent means of tracking who's viewing which stories where and when a platform for verifying information and that verifiability even go so far as to provide you a kind of nutrition label I've seen mocked up for for a source on the web and you've just described you know wanting to to sort of pair people's incentives and I think a lot of what goes on especially your work is is a is an exercise in in game theory almost about trying to figure out how to get people's incentives aligned so you can sit can you say something Jared about the design of poet like underneath it and and maybe where some of those incentive structures are organized you can get people to do perform some of the functions that you're talking about yeah I think that the hardest part right is getting people to be excited and being able to take advantage this technology in order for us to build a better overall ecosystem for what we're looking to do those tactics are the same tactics that we've always used like especially you know we're speaking to journalists when you try to implement new technology in a newsroom if it's not baked within the CMS and something within the existing workflow it'll never get done right we've seen that things as simple as tagging right when journalists will not tag their content and thus the content lives you know elsewhere and we can never find it and you know so forth so a huge part of this focus is really figuring out like what is that identifiable hook that brings value and then how can we best build a mechanism that gives incentives for people to take advantage of what they could do here so poet is a claims structure and what claims basically means are statements or signals or appointments on something that could be validated so you know an author is a claim or if something as sources a claim or who funded something is a claim and you could go down the entire list now there's kind of two tiers to how that protocol works you know one of which is how do we get the most content and most information and ideas whether that's content from Adobe Creative Cloud products or Microsoft Paint to things in WordPress on to poet right so that people could just have their information there it could live immutably and there's a hash track record that's persisted to you know the file that currently exists that is an open kind of chaotic farm for people to just put things up there because as you can imagine I could put up Mike's TCR article and say that I'm the author and Mike could put up the same article and then who's really there to dictate whether or not I'm right or wrong and then when I want to go license it and take advantage of it right we're back in kind of similar situations as we were before so the first here is the hook right how can we get everyone to put information on here why is that valuable I think you've seen like a lot of arguments in the blockchain space be similar of like immutability and ownership and tracking attribution but the next phase is really where the incentives come in like why would that information be valuable and what could it bring and that really boils down to like how could I do things around making money or getting discovery or value out of this information that I created so like a direct example is like if you talk to maybe like the AP whose talk later or BBC which I know for a fact when they create their video licensing and when they distribute it they don't have any smart sophisticated way to track that to set those rights those rights are often written and from an employer that no longer works there and how can you hook those things down so if all of this information is going within you know a storage capacity and then there's an incentive mechanism to say well if you do make verifiable claims or validate these things which often involves a stake and you know an opportunity to make some sort of incentive that these things are true then you could earn right the opportunity to license this content farther or you know you have the opportunity for this to be discoverable at first one amazing day Google and Facebook and other discovery engines choose to pull of its frost api and have you know reputational algorithms within there but those are kind of the mechanics behind the why is is it actually a tool that is valuable right and what makes it valuable and if so how can you make sure to use incentive mechanisms to then get a better kind of query of that information so that it's kind of the best of the best rather than just kind of the way the web works now where it's just open information that's on you to search and find and then the incentive the incentives here the being able to use the the content or someone it a lot of the systems that we were talking about whether it's ad chain or or civil have underneath them cryptocurrency right is that the same for poet or yes so poet is driven by a currency p OE that is used for staking against the claim structure so every time a claim is made if you want to make that claim verifiable you put a state behind it so if I am taking Mike's article and if I say hey the writer of this article and I put it up there there is a community of validators that go in there and they will say this is not Jared's article journal this is a stake that's what goes back in the pool and there's a much different game theory that works on within there but that's kind of the trust system where I need to have some sort of stake in the game in order to make these sort of claims that I am willing to lose or be rewarded based on that so how can we make it really cheap to tell the truth right and really expensive to lie and how could we technically make that happen in a very seamless way that doesn't go outside of workflow so not a hard task at all right how many people do you have actually using that system yes so poet is 18,000 individual token holders um mind you you know there are speculators for sure in this space um you know we we as an open system and a protocol we have a lot of developers that are building their own applications on top of poet as well that are thinking about how best to use that token inceptive I mean poet launched its token last August so it's old old in terms of blockchain but it's been out there for a while so there's 18,000 individual folders um there's about 50,000 individuals that are using poet in general yeah you do not need tokens it just put information on the chain if you want to we have a bunch of WordPress blogs we have a screenwriter in like New Zealand that stamps all of his screenplays onto poet before he sends it out to like the agencies like the old way that used to mail the script to yourself via snail mail save the postage stamp and then I send it back out so like there's different mechanisms and that that people are taking advantage of but actual holders which is public is a 2000 and so Mike sort of building off of of the sort of the incentive structure and the currency that's wedge within it ad chain or token curated registries more broadly have have that have that sort of incentive structure and actually in reading some of your and seeing some of your your interviews it looks to me as though being involved in some of these token curated registries have given you a kind of new interest in economics I the I you were quoted at some point is saying the block chains have pushed you more toward hyper capitalism the but but I'm interested in and and I suppose the higher level quote here is that is that that block chains for you are incredible tools for coordinating people and we have a lot of sort of big coordination problems so maybe you can say something a little bit about about how add chain actually functions and how these token curated registries work yeah like how we used to use them to maintain lists yeah yeah so I mean first I'll just say my involvement in block chains has driven me towards like surrendering to hyper capitalism it's not that it's re now that I necessarily you know desire to for us to go there and but so yeah I'll explain like a simple version of how TC RS work and then I can answer the question why why can't you use the US dollars to do this so TC RS I used for curating lists so let's imagine that all of us in this room let's imagine that we want to get together and we want to curate a list of the best restaurants in New York City how could we do this like how can we coordinate you know all of ourselves to do this there's a lot of us here you know it'd be a lot of communication over overhead so what we do is we create our own currency called like food coin or whatever we all get some food coin ourselves then the way this list works is so if you're someone who goes to restaurants you want to like spend your time at good restaurants so maybe you go on Yelp see what's at the top of the page right and if you're a restaurant you want to be on on lists of good restaurants you want to be towards the top of Yelp because you get more customers right so what we do with our token as we say hey restaurants if you want to be on this list of the best restaurants you have to buy some of our token on the open market put down put it down as a stake to make an application and then we the token holders we're going to check this restaurant out and we're going to decide for ourselves is this restaurant good or is it bad and we can all just do this separately you know individually we don't really have to coordinate well I'll make an assessment and then if I go and I think the restaurant is good you know consumers will like going to this restaurant I'm like cool this restaurant can be in if we go and a lot of us think that it are bad that the restaurant is bad what we can do is we can put down a matching deposit in the tokens you know there's two deposits at stake this is a challenge now so it's two deposits at stake of equal size and then we go to a token weighted vote of all the token holders so we just we vote with our money people who have more exposure to the tokens financial upside or downside have more say so it's not like Democratic it's kind of plutocratic but hopefully productive and the reason we do this is because if we let a bad restaurant onto the list consumers are going to stop looking at our list if consumers aren't looking at the list there's less demand to be on the list and it's the restaurants the applicants who are driving fundamental demand for the token so depending on how that vote goes one of the deposits is going to get forfeited and the people on the winning side of the vote are going to get some of those tokens as rewards why can't you do this with US dollars two reasons one is that you can't program US Dollars they're not they're not programmable and we have just like a noncustodial you know software program running on a blockchain like facilitates all of this there's no you know counterparty risk you know you don't even have to have a company that organizes this as long as we have the code and the second reason is and like a big thing that's interesting about block chains is that so like the reason one reason like US Dollars have value is that they're backed by like proof of force you know if you like defy the laws of the US they have you know burly people who will come get you and you know do bad things to you but when we write applications on block chains we can just rely on the underlying you know cryptographic proof of work algorithm it's like implausibly difficult to like break any of the rules as stated in this you know smart contract or persistent script and so this like opens up the whole field of like designing economies which was previously the domain of governments who could like you know have a proof of force going on opens it up to like any programmer so that's like you know I don't think we've fully figured out what we're gonna do with this yet but you it lets us do things like TC ours for example which is just you know one experiment of what will probably be many that that follow and it seems to me that that so that creating economy is that experimenting with economies at least from what I've been able to read that that involves a fair bit of appealing to things like game theory and so on it so-so and some of these systems are open to attack and you sort of lay out sort of what those attacks might be and what the you know how one could could deal with them how did you know whether it's whether it's these these these TC RS or other other kinds of sort of experimental economies that you're creating how does the game theory fit in like how do you do yeah how is that yeah I'm some of I found some of the results quite interesting yeah so I mean I would say I said this to you before we started I'm really not a theoretician I'm like a practitioner like I don't know people liked that paper but that was lucky so but what was cool was that once we put add change production which was the first TCR we learned more about TC RS and six weeks than we had in nine months of theoretical discussion just about the paper all the theoretical discussion about the paper was about like bribing attacks and you know all sorts of stuff what we observed in production which never really came up in the theoretical conversation is that people just don't participate like voting participation and add chain as like under 1% very very consistently now it's good that we discovered that so like the way that I described you know TCR is to earlier you know based on the observations that we've made and you know some of the experiments that we've run numbers do hoping to fix this probably not how they'll work in the future so I'm like I'm more like an experimentalist you have to I mean TCR is even play them as a board game and I've done this to like teach people how to see ARS work you can literally like have a board game that's that's TC RS you know I think calling it like game theory at least like that's like maybe over credential izing you know it though certainly a lot of people do do more you know complex work in blockchains than that but yeah you just have to have you know tuitions around assuming that people like money which is itself like not exactly a perfect assumption because people have lives outside of money if you just assume that people like money you can design games where you know money changes hands and use a blockchain as like the custodian to programmatically move that money around when certain conditions are met and if I if I have it right that TCR is that token curated registries the consumers of that restaurant list get it for free yep right and it's the people the restaurants who are applying to get on the list who pay and put up right yeah and I think that's a so-so TC ours then are in effect kind of business-to-business is the right framing but there's there's sort of a the people who want to get on the list or the it's not a consumer facing yeah the businesses in that example are they like customers of the token right yeah which which minutiae is is a little bit different than the token that civil was launching which is a definitely a consumer facing token could you maybe say something about about about that experience of trying to sell a consumer facing token or what that felt like for you good so those are you aren't up-to-date symbols token sale failed at midnight on Monday there's a lot of journalists in the room who were maybe even wrote all the articles that came out the next day and I think you know to be clear like we are episode this week was an interview with civil media CEO and there's a there's a regrouping happening so I think this is like this is not the end there's another it's all gonna go back around largely thanks in part to consensus which means that civil is still centralized and not decentralized but the concept was can we get regular people I'm sort of a very small little sliver of a Venn diagram right like people who are interested in being experimental a new tack with people who really care a hell of a lot about journalism to put down some real money to be part of this go system and I think the majority I believe it was six thousand people who signed up to take part in some fashion and most of them were zigzag listeners because I think it's really hard to understand and it's really nuanced and and it was 44 steps until two weeks into the sale when it became easier but still not that easy and so I really think of what we do at zigzag and are what our company was built to do is to be a lab for a lot of these bigger consumer facing ideas I think podcasts are kind of perfect for new ideas like this because you have we're telling stories and I have really worked very hard over the last few years to create a feedback loop between me and my listeners where they are testing out technology reporting back on what works or why they weren't interested or or and people are an extraordinary generous with their time and in terms of responding even when they're responding like I think this is I can't stand it suppose I love you but Sybil's dumb or other people who are like I don't get this whole thing but I love journalism and I really believe in it so I'm gonna do it just because I like hanging out with you every week and you think it's worth trying or well there's not as many who are saying I don't like you but okay good they wouldn't listen but in any case there's a real relationship there and I think that speaks to where the tech is right that there's nothing to see or touch or feel or prove that this is gonna work and so right now it's based on this idea like well we're in this together and I mean we've seen that time and time again right that's what first adopters do they sort of are willing to be a little risky I'm not a first adopter so if we hadn't gotten a grant I definitely would not have done this full but I'm glad I'm doing it as a journalist I actually think I'm Nellie was saying that that what she does hasn't changed in the last 10 years what I have done has changed and I think it has to change for the majority of journalists who no longer work for legacy institutions you can no longer show up get your assignment do your work and go home you are an entrepreneur if you are journalist you are fighting every day to get paid and we all have to be switching to that mindset of testing new things and being ok if they don't fail are you you know I used to work for the BBC I would do a live shot there'd be millions of people watching doesn't matter that we know that doesn't happen anymore but I've you know several thousand tens of thousands of listeners who are willing to respond to me and I have a deep deep deep relationship with them and we are doing research together and that is is I think very valuable and very exciting and just just on top of that because I think you highlight a key thing which is we like the Royal we but a lot of people who see encroaching technologies the first thing is well how could this solve a problem that exists today and if it cannot do that then it's a solution in search of a problem and like that's something that I'm actually proud that boxing is because blotching in itself and you kind of hear what everyone's saying up here is changing behaviors right so we we have this new technology and these new mechanisms and we shut them down because they're not able to solve problems that were created before these technologies even existed and that's just the wrong way to think about it right I think what we're able to say is that certain behaviors that we're doing today aren't necessarily the best and they're not driving the best results and they could also be driving different problems so an interesting way to think about blockchain and I think you saw this in the token sale and I think you see this when in every pocket of industry that this is looking to influence is everyone so quick to say well this isn't gonna hit my q3 goal right or this isn't going to help me do a B and C existing problem today they're not thinking about what these mechanisms and different ways of thinking are actually going to change the way that they do things in the first place and that's what's awesome right about this which will likely create brand new problems that we could then figure out how to solve later but we're constantly trying to figure out how we could shove this blockchain into these problems and if they don't fix them then it's broken like that is not the case so in our first two episodes of season 2 we partnered with the knight foundation to talk about this new research that they have done into how misinformation spread on Twitter before the 2016 election and then after and one of the you know key conclusions not just from this report is this idea of having technologists with lawmakers who can say to them you know common sense doesn't apply like it used to when you're working on a scale of millions hundreds of millions of people networking together there has to be an anticipatory nature to some of the problems that could come up and and it's a different way of thinking and I I i appreciate that with blockchain that it is but that's what makes me wonder are we talking five years from now are we talking ten like when are we talking guys like him I will admit I think I read this in the awesome New Yorker article about etherium if you haven't read it it's great it's really good COI coin is his example but he says something like he was hoping he could get to his grave without having to try and understand much that that's not possible you it is here but like that's what I'm curious to know like in terms of how far into the future are we how far are we yeah so I don't know I I so like a weakness of mine is that I I I say that I have liked blockchain blindness like I've been involved in it for long enough like I'm a power user you know like it doesn't I don't even notice how complicated it all is you know when I like kind of stop and say like oh if I wasn't myself you know what the hell is going on here like what am I actually doing so this okay so there are some like fundamental improvements that we need to make in like the underlying technology undoubtedly but we also like industry-wide if we're going to eventually succeed need to bring in more design professionals and this has been like a really like deeply techie nerdy Enterprise for you know most of its life and I think as it that's becoming more mainstream we are attracting more designers you know like my team is engineer designers you know very deliberately with that and but uh so I don't know I am hopeful because I think that if I think back to like someone in the 90s who's getting an email address for the very first time that like mental jump of like what like okay what's this like at like what's this weird extension at the end and like is this gonna get fax to them like I feel like that's a larger mental jump than like being someone who lives in 2018 and using the internet and being like okay and money but on my computer so I'm optimistic that we'll get there it's a little late I'm living like one year into the future you're like maybe five years and then maybe your tenth that does that seem about right it could be right like whenever like Nellie was talking about it going like hang with the black chain kids I really feel it's little more like going through a poor roll and I owe and then we get there and there's all these people speaking like it's like a different language and living a different reality and and like some of them only eat meat which is a weird subsection and I just find the whole thing fascinating but it really you have to it's like normal people probably have to like smoke a little weed to get to where they do you know what I'm saying like it's a very different mindset and I am I think that that that actually is a bigger consumer challenge than we think because there is money involved Gmail's free I screw it up it's not good we know but like what that's what I had people being like what the heck I bought ether and then I like it took eight days to clear in my in my coinbase account and then by the time I went to to exchange it in my meta mask what the hell is that I've lost three hundred dollars because the price of eath had dropped so fast and then I needed the gas to purchase the civil coins which then went into my hot wallet but should I put them in my cold wallet I don't know like the fact that I just said that sentence ago like I wouldn't have known what I was saying so like it's it's a it's a leap and I have been immersed you know it is haven't seen it work that's the other thing I know so they've not seen somebody that could next question doesn't make it doesn't doesn't have an answer but like having having hung out with the civil kids and and going through the process and being one of their one of their their their their startups if you will did that change your journal I mean it changed the subject of your journalism for sure but did that change the way you perform journals I mean you have tokens now your participate like did you did any of the activities don't you have not been issued I see I have a promise of tokens depending on what I don't I mean that was like one of the arcs of this first season was like oh my god are we gonna be like rich by accident and then the answer was no journalist ever gets rich by accident um actually they only get rich by accident right here that is true actually if they work for the power million is like 900 million decisions I'm saying like ethically I mean and I think that's another conversation like we definitely had people who were like how the hell can you cover this company when they're giving you a grant but I mean just like like I remember when you're talking about getting the first email address and I don't you I don't think you were born maybe so they're just like I remember and I think for us like it really was not a conflict we couldn't help ourselves but be journalists cuz it's who we are to the core so no it seems like a good perspective you're in a good place a good time exactly great front row to history is what it feels like and and I think it it like requires this jump into the deep end type approach like going back to how we could change behaviors and also recognize problems like again same thing I said earlier there's no one in this room that is comfortable with the way that the media model works today and believes that this is going to be the future right of of how we are going to best set up the journalists and the creators you know across a bunch of different sorts of businesses and what is interesting about these approaches to is this idea of like interoperability so right now like a lot of writers reputation is based on the domain level platform that they write for so you write for The Washington Post because the Washington Post has all this reputation and the New York Times because of all this reputation even though you as the writer may have a hundred fifty thousand followers on Twitter and individual subscribers to your newsletter and all these different things that don't aggregate together so what I love about these conversations and kind of what we're looking to do it poet via an identity for creator type tool is on how can we start to take reputation away from the domain and put it directly on the creator themselves and if you have a world like that what is the role of a company like the Washington Post or a media company is it to be the reputation or is it to be the manager and the operator for that creator and attract them to come and work for you and and work directly with you and you've kind of seen this with advertising and subscription like you've seen Ben Thompson's very successfully did this on his own but do advertisers in the future right want to advertise with the Washington Post or do they want to advertise with you no matter where you are because you have a great reputation and subscribers want to subscribe to you and because of that NPR says okay we want to sign you and that's where I really love how we're kind of blowing up this whole idea in this whole model because the model is not sufficient unless everyone wants to consolidate and put less and less value on the work that you're doing as an individual the Facebook and Google encroachment isn't just like a 90% plus ad encroachment it's actually creators could go there and create audience and interoperate their audience and make money without having to work for a media brand so I'm not necessarily going anti media here again I've worked at three great media companies but I think that that's something that we have to kind of start to talk about and think about what that looks like and does that help raise the value of everything that we're doing which at the end I think is the core objective for everyone in this room yeah I think that that brings up a question that I have not seen which I would like to see is the discovery issue because what you're talking about it's still really tough like to find your audience and on that note that's part of the reason why Jen and I joined radio topia which is a curated collection of podcasts Roman Mars the host of 9910 visible created it about four years ago and and this collective element I think is what I really have loved most about a civil my my first fleet errs in the room like we are family if you look I think we're on slack all day long also with radio topia you know there's this group of us and so this ability to be small yet deep with your reporting still requires you know creating an ecosystem so people can find you because there is so much out there so you know radio topia is a is a mark of quality for podcasts the hope is that Sybil is a market quality for good journalism and I I think you know that has nothing to do with blockchain right right alright so we should open this up to questions whether you want to ask some questions for the one year out five years out or ten years I headed a b2b magazine and I'm on the board of the American Society of business publication editors there are more journalists today working in b2b and professional magazines than there are in all other journalism combined we all have found our audiences we all make money because by definition if we don't were dead I do a magazine for broadband deployers the people that make the digital age possible we still actually do it in print although we have a big online contingency we only make 30% of our revenue from advertising we make the rest from consulting data generation all this sort of thing we do a fair amount of stuff on blockchain because it's very important for our readers to do that so we have an audience and I kind of weirded out somewhat even though I taught here for 20 years full time I'm kind of weirded out by this idea of well finding your audience making money monetizing it so with its own more than half the journalists in the country are doing fine and they're totally ignored by the other half which is going down the tubes so you're on the vijnana imeem I think that's fine there's also like the very thorough investigative work that needs to be done that no one wants to pay for which is an absolute pillar of our democracy so you're talking about two very different types of information that there can be I think and so I will pay for my subscription to whatever it might be but I also you know like to cruise around on Google News and just see what else there is but I don't think that Google shouldn't have to give money to the people whose content they are taking and discovery is left up to them essentially when we know that 2/3 of Americans get their news from Facebook that for free as curated by Facebook who does not pay for it that's a problem so if there's a way to show people that if this is something that you you know I used to work for public radio at 188 three seven six nine six ninety two right like call the number make your pledge it works right but you it's very it's a very specific audience and you have to remind them and you have to explain to them why it matters to them there's some people who will do that and other people will not so Justin I think I understand your question we make money yeah we make money because we produce stuff a very great value yes we're no longer making money mainly from advertising by the way that's very typical for p2p publications if you want sophisticated news on marijuana there's a dozen magazines in the field one was the magazine of the year last year yet much more sophisticated than anything you're going to read in the New York Times or here on on NPR and millions of people are interested so well I mean that's an objective but it seems objective that this magazine would be better than anything you read in your publications in order so that they can do their business better in order to make more money but what if I want to know about voting in this country and it's nothing that's ever gonna make me money but I'm a citizen and therefore I want to be in there are a dozen magazines published today on voting technology none of which are ever referenced by the popular media but there's different levels right there's I am NOT an expert in voting technology but I would like to read the New York Times or Nellie it's writing about blockchain that and I pay for that but the level of sophistication on a very very wide variety of things that for instance public officials need to know that sort of stuff is not there I could just off the top of my head give you a hundred local major news topics here in New York City that the New York Times doesn't cover correct because the New York Times doesn't have the resources that's right it's not all that interested in it elites and that sort of best yet my neighbors up in Harlem care a great deal about something called HR 2 it's the farm bill yeah it's going through right now they here because food stamps are in there I hear because there's funding for rural broadband in there so I've been following it so my neighbors asked me the local newspapers in Harlem asked me they don't go to the New York Times thousands of names of communities across the United States and as a former professor I'm sure you know this have lost their ability to get local news so for example the Denver Post the group of 10 journalists there who the company was bought by in equity partners who want ok so maybe not everybody does so they have left right to form their own company called the Colorado Sun they are members of civil they have grant from there but they are also finding different ways of finding business models in order to sustain the work that they are doing one of those is subscription models they certainly hope to get enough people to pay for that but the key thing is right not everyone can pay for information the advertising dollars are not there anymore the work that you're talking about is extremely expensive which is why people in business can afford to pay for them I think I'm not sure I think we're actually saying the same actually I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna execute or insert moderator privilege here and maybe we'll take this offline afterwards what one thing I should say is that I remember one of our civils early presentations really emphasizing local local newsrooms and supporting local newsrooms through the civil effort and I thought that was quite quite powerful as a framing device lock Club Chicago is a great that was DNA info that was based in Chicago which was of course shut down that's another group of them who have formed their own organization that is providing local news down to like the block literally in Chicago and they are using various not only their grant but subscription models all right next question Marc Marc keep your hands up by the way if you have because we'll okay so I think it's very clear how blockchain could be applied to hyper capitalism like I get that house and block can be applied to radical democracy and is there actually a future on that or should folks interested in radical democracy be organizing against the adoption of watching technology the distribution of wealth like increasing inequality increasing democratic participation it's just a capitalist thing in a lot of place in there he's gonna ten years out he's got it okay I mean I think that a like no technology will save you no democracy if people don't you know work for democracy and there is some like interesting mmm well approaching like production work concepts called like liquid democracy and also a few tarkie and so in liquid democracy basically it's like if I want as an individual citizen or as an entity with voting rights I can like vote on you know anything that moves through a legislative process or I can delegate my vote to someone else some representative they may choose to delegate you know their vote as well but it's just like responsive and like adaptive means of allowing people to engage with democracy at you know any level that that they might enjoy and then few tarkie is all about just like having people vet the outcomes of proposals and so we have a proposal for like you know make New York City use a land tax as opposed to a property tax and then our metric is going to be is the average happiness of New Yorkers you know greater you know in whatever timeframe and if you can resolve that like vetting market so I would just bet like yeah I really believe that's going to work I'll put I'll put $50 on that then like depending on how that betting market gets resolved that is like or depending on how the betting market looks that's like what gets implemented as the law I but like you know I'm not necessarily super optimistic on blockchains like saving democracy other people might have yeah I think people have to want it yes here hey Mike so you noted that like the issue is people have to want to make money or value money in order to participate but in this case of journalism there are all these people out there with lots of money who are very interested in seeing journalism fail so how does the blockchain protect itself from people with a lot of money who don't care about losing it to crash the system I offer you no defense no I mean I would never tell anyone that there aren't histo piant outcomes you know in in a future with blockchains yeah I mean that that's like a 51% attack and you know in TC RS for example there's no defense against that that problem is being addressed by creating a council of sorts with Gemelli is also part of so the idea of being that you're right people do horrible things to each other therefore there has to be like a thing that if things go off the rails there's a Council of people who actually know what they're doing to reset it bring I like that because it brings the human back into well thank you very much I came in here knowing very little about this my mind is more befuddled now I'm coming at this with 30 years of experience in public broadcasting and radio and how I'm processing what you're presenting to me the lady on the left sort of mentioned us when she's talking about listener sponsorship you know this is something one involved in public broadcasting is intimately aware of that is public support for broadcasting in this case you know through a your you know bitcoins or cyber coins whatever but to me that's money supporting a broadcast whether you like it or not and so what are you learning from best practices about that in in terms of your own experiences who's doing the best in terms of getting more bitcoins and cyber money than others and what are you learning from those I could actually speak to this based on the experience of putting the ad chain TCR into production so again we like went into this with the assumption that because financial incentives exist for people to you know like take certain actions you know they're going to just behave that way people do not necessarily you know do this in practice and so one of the learnings that we took out of a bad chain or something we would do differently you know for a TCR in the future I'd chain did like a very traditional you know token sale where we just you know sold tokens to whoever you know might have liked to buy them in retrospect that was probably a mistake because the people who bought the tokens were like speculators there are people who wanted to go on the Yolo rocket to the moon what might be more intelligent in the future for people trying to build like viable crypto Unity's that can actually do productive work towards some shared goal is like over time identify who those people are and you know probably just give them tokens I mean like selling tokens is only going to be accidentally aligned with like producing a valuable result most of the time so I think like over time you want to identify who are the useful people to have in your crypto community you know bring them in just by giving to them and then you know over time you'll hopefully have built up a you know the viable and vibrant and self-sustaining community so I do think it's a mistake to just like sell tokens into the broad market it's kind of an evidence that that doesn't work super well all right Oh is there one last question honey yeah but he's pointing in a different direction at someone speak yeah yeah so we've we've had some talk so far about funding models and then minutiae also mentioned something about discoverability and something I really wanted to hear people talk about is the impact that existing social media platforms have on that because clearly one of the big problems with digital media ad revenue is that it used to be going directly to the site and now so much of it is absorbed by Facebook and Google and things like that so I I wondered whether you you see the type of platforms that you are building as offering a route around that or how you think that they will interact with the existing Giants of social media so one thing I would say is that the a big indicator for Facebook and Google is that they don't necessarily want to be the arbiters of truth and light like segmentation of information and you've kind of seen that in the example of when you search for some sort of Google result and there is you know a blatant lie in the third result but you know that is the most clicked on URL or when Facebook was labeling everything political ads even if it's a New York Times cooking thing so I think these sort of efforts are interesting because again if we're looking at exposing claims and information then this is something that Facebook can Google who don't necessarily want to be you know the traffic cop of what is good and what is bad can start taking more information and help influence those algorithms so that's something why what Sybil is looking to do an ad chain and you know poet on a kind of like broader scale of information can we start signaling write better values right how is this the author who created this original piece of content like going back in the old like when I was at the the old post at The Huffington Post we we would take like a Paul Krugman article publish it three minutes later to a credit link back but beat him and SEO and beat him and social so that we would just always that was our model I mean like it was an aggregation model like the day that Michael Jackson passed away right the headline was at the optimum post the headline was Michael Jackson passed away due to drug overdose we changed it to Michael Jackson dead because we knew that that's what people would be looking for so I think the way that those models that you're mentioning like not just from a financial issue but from a clickbait discovery issue has actually changed the way that the creative process works and I think these sort of efforts are interesting because we're saying how can we better reward how the creative process should be and how can we then apply that and make that influential on places that people may be discovering so when Google is surfacing content maybe it is important to get the attributed writer that created that original piece rather than the aggregator or others who have sourced it or how do we know things are sourced correctly and so forth so that's where I think it's interesting if you think of it as a new set of like data and information that could then be applied on top of it of how best to make these platforms Mort more died and I would just add I think that's applicable to more than just journalism I think you know one of the things that I do a lot of work on as a society of ethical technology and that maybe we will get to a place where you know a product that has privacy real privacy protection built into it has some sort of seal that would be amazing I know there that there's a way to see like which technology is taking your data and profiling you versus ones that you have the option even of paying and retaining some sort of autonomy like I think that conversation is starting to happen and and it's a it's a you know a mark of quality and it shouldn't just be people who can afford to pay for it that's the key thing that worries me and I think speaks to what you were saying about hyper capitalism that question so yeah yeah no I so I think we're out of time but I hope with what we saw through this session was applications of blocking blockchain to journalism that allowed for coordination that allowed us to rethink some of the creative practices we rely on some of the some of the basics and how to how to get readers and and the audience involved so let's thank our speakers all right thank you very much Dean mark and panelists and hyper capitalism radical democracy is something we will probably get to in the final panel um but we're having a short break now so we'll resume at 3:30 just a kind of housekeeping note this is an open campus people wander in and out quickly when we have events on just keep an eye on your stuff okay and we'll see you at 3:30 you you you hello hi we're we're gonna get started in about ten minutes so grab some grab some tea and coffee in the back thank you hi can you um can you find your way to a seat we have many many seats in the first two rows we want you to be comfortable you you you we caused the break so we're going to go we're gonna go right back into it so the final panel of the afternoon is entitled blockchain governance sustainability and risks and I think we've kind of like touched on some of these but I don't know that we've actually kind of gone deeply enough into any of them we have a brilliant panel here to introduce that topic and as before I'll go to the audience so have your questions ready and then after that you can all have a lovely rest so I'm going to let the pal introduce themselves not because I don't know who they are so names here and just do a couple of minutes on if you like a sort of an opening statement of what they do or they think about this and then we'll sort of talk through not just kind of you know how we assess the risks sustainability and governance issues but I think also have some kind of practical examples about what does it really mean to operate blockchain technologies and how should you start to think about kind of setting up those systems if you are for instance a publisher so sorry I thought with you absolutely thank you very much heavily and thank you all for having me my name is Sal masala timo I'm the head of product and technology at Forbes media we just recently announced a partnership with civil to start experimenting on their blockchain I have been following in and kind of trying to learn and understand the blockchain for some time now it actually led to a the creation of a task force internally at Forbes and culminated in in this partnership and I am very bullish on the blockchain technology but still very curious to see how it actually plays out we do the advice journalists who are getting their content out there on how to protect it how to defend themselves and really how to make the most of their content and other content providers as well I first started getting into long chains about a year ago when people in this room and shared this great idea about journalism on this thing called the blockchain and for a long time than thinking about it and still feel very much Ronnie James is a great comedian asked Joe Rubin at a conference recently can you explain blockchain with words that were not created in the past year hi there everybody looked up good to see you it's that third panel on Friday feeling it's really exciting glad that I get your attention coffee that's right there's coffee in the back you won't be offended if you if you get up and get coffee my name is Paul Ford I am the co-founder and CEO of a software company called post light before that I was among many things a editor at harper's magazine which is great preparation for being a software CEO and also a writer about technology including blockchains so i've been following this technology for a long time I actually still don't understand it in any meaningful way and I think that the value I might be able to bring here is is talking to lots of blockchain companies and trying to understand it and and working in a software firm where people come to us with blockchain related ideas and asked us to build things one of them is standing in the back of the room at a green shirt and we've had lots of conversations with people and trying to understand how this world's going to fit into the world of like giant consumer software that people actually use instead of talking about so poor I'm going to start with you because you've society undersold yourself I feel on being you're kind of like a latter-day prophet to those of us who don't quite understand what is going on in this world or we think we understand it and then somebody who is smarter and more eloquent comes and points out all of the things that we might have overlooked and in reading your writing about blockchain that's very much the feeling I got you've done a couple of kind of terrific curry critiques of it just one if you'd lay out some of the challenges and problems that you identified in your writing sure I mean I'll stick with the perspective I will we've talked a lot about journalism I'll just talk about as a as a I work at a company and run a company that builds and ship software to the wider market and some of the things we build have millions of users and one of the examples that got brought up and I it's it's it was a little painful to see was the the civil token sale and I think everyone including the leadership of civil was like oh boy that didn't go well and I people use that to beat up on journalism in the blockchain but what I saw was just a problematic product launch of which I've been part of many right like it it's it's an idea and it was something that went out into the market and it wasn't quite ready and some things went wrong and that happens all the time and it's kind of how you react to it right so we're in this zone where we are launching these very early-stage very somewhat confusing not quite consumer facing products and there as to the blockchain technology itself right I'm looking for simple abstractions that I can put programmers against and count on getting some kind of reaction so like if I wanted to do something with Gmail if you know let's say I wanted to make like a new gmail search engine or a Gmail virtual visualizer I would take a programmer and I would say go to Google get a developer key go get the access to the API so the service the web like service that lets you download information from Google and the from the API and do something with it in a program against it and so when the blockchain technology doesn't quite work at the API level yet it's not simple enough to grab on and there and it it pretends to but then they'll be like but it's slow but it's complicated so we're just in this weird zone and as someone who builds more traditional software I don't I have the the luxury of being kind of blessedly unconcerned like this might take 10 years to work it might take 10 years to be fast enough it might take a long time I I was there for the whole internet wave and I remember being incredibly eager for the future that I saw to show up and it took 15 years for that future and we had to get through and we had to get through all kinds of I mean I'm literally in 2001 I thought my god the bottom has dropped out of the internet I need to do something safe like publishing that's a real thought because I'm a dumb like 18 grand that year from my software and web development work and and I was like well you know I'm doing better as a freelance writer like I don't think I don't know if that will ever happen again that will never happen again so to wrap it up I just think like we've got a lot of abstractions we've got working technologies like that's never the question we have a certain amount of humanity that is willing to believe that tokens can be that is really mr2 financialized abstractions in their brains and then say sure if this feels like money to me the vast majority of humanity is not interested in that unless it's worth twenty thousand dollars and you can get in early right so just like what you mean by financial abstractions well that's what I'm still trying to figure it out all right because this is the big puzzle to this as people show up and they're like I have this amazing new thing and it functions as money and then you have to kind of go through the whole like well fiat currency and it's not gold anymore and it's just there's all these assumptions and culture that this blows up that that block James blow up with especially when they become financialized as forms of currency and start to trade against you know stable coins and and and Bitcoin and sort of all the various things that happen to make these things feel and act like money and that just gets really confusing money's confusing it's emotional and it it doesn't you know the web used to be like and the the internet used to be like hey no more scarcity have a bunch of digital assets enjoy yourselves feel free pirate and now it's like we have introduced it's now impossible to get access to anything and incredibly slow check out the future and also that's money now so that's it's just puzzling like it's just it doesn't feel right after 20 years of internet or you know 30 years of Internet so and there are people who get it you get it like you feel it in your heart right but I just have never been able to feel it in my heart and so I've never bought any blocks I've never bought any Bitcoin or anything like that okay well let's hope that that's a decision that's as good as your decision about freelance writing unfair Alexia so bad news is often good news for two categories of people journalists and lawyers so when you kids like we talk us through what you see as being and when you're advising users or civil newsrooms you're advising journalist how are you kind of approaching first of all this new technology and secondly if you like a liability and risk questions you we all have people producing agentive how can I protect my content how can i monetize it and how can I be safe how can I defend and goes wrong and what's interesting with blockchain and this a little bit a double-edged sword for each of those categories how do you protect it there are a lot of opportunities to protect it because there's a record of it there's a record that had happened we were discussing this a bit earlier like what is there actually a record of is it and there's a lot of confusion and demystifying that i think has to go on about this about what is actually on a chain when they're journalists is it their story is that record that the story was written what do we mean when we say that you can never take it off so there's this notion that it's protected because it's always fair and maybe the technicalities of that I interview or Better Place's YouTube but there's definitely this idea which is interesting for journalists is that it's always there and that can be a bit a double-edged sword because it's great if it's always there but what if suddenly you need it not to be there anymore what if her security reasons you're writing from somewhere where it's not good for your story to be associated to you anymore it's not good to be even associated that you've written about this topic or that you've written on this platform depending on exactly which information and then the chain that's always going to be there there's also protecting your content especially for photographers on the chain or as a journalist no pictures you can use how to know there's a lot more opportunity to know about copyright infringement to know by hashing a picture whether that picture actually has been created before so that's for protecting monetizing I mean we spoke about it before being a journalist today if you're not writing this was the point that the earlier panel made I mean if you're not writing for a legacy paper and you're much more of an entrepreneur there are very interesting tools now for payment with the blockchain with – to pay for your story so that also potentially solves for that and then for the lawyers really interestingly the liability question right and here I think you have to think about it differently and we certainly think about it differently between the journalists liabilities for the platform and in terms of being a journalist on the blockchain the process that you're going through to make sure you're not liable is the same as if you were publishing anywhere you know you're a lawyer is betting your story they're looking for issues if you're just naming someone are you in for dealing a private fact that process is the same whether there's blockchain behind it or not where it gets interesting for liability is the platform because for example taking YouTube the reason YouTube can do what it does is because YouTube is not liable for any copyright infringement of its users right because it's this thing called the DMCA which means that if you're a platform and users submit content onto your platform you're not liable for user-generated content so long as if you get notice of it if YouTube finds out you tell you – hey you've got my content take it down and YouTube takes it down they're you know they're in this state Harper how does that translate so the blockchain because with the bility if you can't take it down but what are we taking them are we talking about taking down 4d publishing are we just saying that sure the record of the story will always be there the record that it was done this transaction will be there in the blockchain but you can eat publish the story right so if somebody publishes something uncivil civil when you log on and a website and you're looking at it the story can be the front user what you're looking at can be different but that would be more deep publication than a takedown and so it remains to be seen if the courts are gonna by this notion that with blockchain D publishing is the same as taking something down and that you avail yourself as the platform of the defense so that'll be really interesting we think that it should you know when the New York Times take something down somewhere in the archives of the New York Times the story's still there they've essentially also D published it so by analogy we think watching should be the same but right so you think you know smart contracts so what what is so smart about them which is the frequent question right okay good so I saw this just me this entire contract is all self executing it's smart it somehow has a life of its own I mean that would be awesome that's not what a smart contract is a smart contract what you're really saying is there are parts of this contract that can be reduced to self executing code so for example well for an example that'll speak to the people in this room licensing right every time somebody accesses my photograph online I get paid next sense which is a really attractive proposition because it's very hard to monitor right now and if you can do that with blockchain that's a really attractive way for content creators to be paid so it's really it's that little piece of the contract which is smart that's not necessarily the entire contract itself so it's a little bit of a misnomer but I think it really needs self executing piece of code that unlocks somebody else's teeth so father you're and the sharp end of this if you like so you're actually a publisher who is you've joined civil your thinking about what it means to be a publisher on the blockchain and what those risks are to talk us through why you took the decision to join civil and also kind of how you assess the participle of it for you as a publisher but also what the risks might be figured out for sure so a couple weeks ago we announced our partnership with civil and how it's same this process started almost a year ago we started trying to you know I'm my background I'm an entrepreneur and I you know I see blockchain coming on the scene just like the internet didn't no one and it's something that piques our interest is so I started looking into it on a on my on my own time and I started quickly realizing that this is gonna really hit our business at some point maybe not immediately maybe not in the next couple years but at some point in the next five years and so the conversation and as you can imagine I'm sure everyone here can relate to the in our organization it just kept popping up in different places at different times you know somebody on the sales team would say or one of our clients is asking us about what our blockchain strategy is some of the newsroom is saying you know I heard about the Colorado Sun just open and it's fully on the blockchain why don't we do that you know somebody someone on the legal team gets really concerned about what happens if things are permanently attached to it and we have a lot of content we want to take down and we're not sure if it should be published or stay out or edited and so we decided to create a task force internally which was myself the CEO our corporate development team our editorial team and that the purpose of that task force was to meet once a week and bring in experts or just active active players in the blockchain space to actually come in and do a little bit of a discussion and show-and-tell with us and what we quickly realized was that this is this is not getting easier like it's not like after it's not like after five meetings oh got it blockchain makes sense now it was not the case everyone excited for our next conference exactly so and I mean it I mean still we were we would at the end of every meeting they would walk out and would kind of scratch our heads back so I don't get it what's the point why I don't understand what we can do with that that we're not doing today and the answer honestly is nothing right now there is nothing that the blockchain will enable that you can't already do and so that's actually why we decided to join civil because we realized that if we just sit here and keep trying to like watch from the sidelines and try to understand this and try to predict it and see what's gonna happen it's never gonna go anywhere and you know there's lots of analogies like this but I think Warren Buffett was famous for saying selwyn cell when people are by when people are afraid and sell when they're greedy it was kind of a similar mine so which is like people run when they're afraid but maybe this is our time to move into it because it's so amorphous and it still needs to take shape and Forbes from you know a little bit self-serving standpoint we have a pretty unique this model and that 80 90 percent of our journalists are freelance they're contributors and so that makes our business a little bit unique and the way that we manage and edit and over an oversea content and so we felt you know if all other publishers seem to be afraid of this maybe this is a good opportunity for us to step into it and see if we can just learn directly from it and get some experience lesson developers on my team touch it and feel it unless some let some staff journalist I should start writing on it and then actually maybe we can you know lean this in a direction that's really beneficial to us and we can create our own blockchain one day and really unlock the power of it in a kind of very specific way to our business model so pull your comes the unconvinced person well I'm not direct I'm not unconvinced or convinced I don't like I said I just have the luxury of not having to decide it's it's software like it's it's software that's functional and if you can use it to create better experiences or give people a sense of control over their environment that's great and a lot of the you know the problem I see is a lot of the blockchain related software is just a very low quality like the distributed apps around you know various tokens are kind of messy and feel old-school but then again if you look at the web of 1994 it really looked ridiculous and so I wanted you to draw that analogy out a little bit because as you say kind of you know we all remember sort of you know the the thrill of the idea of open source and then kind of actually sort of it was great for certain things but it just wasn't very useful but and it wasn't very well supported I ran Linux on my desktop in the 90s and it was a mistake right like it was actually terrible for my career I couldn't exchange Word documents you get but I believed and I really I loved it it was fun up to that point it's true the whole damn thing is one giant animated under-construction gif you know that's that's right and that those were very meaningful because you're like oh my god I have to make something and then you're like I need to communicate to people that I'm claiming this little bit of territory I'm gonna put up an under-construction gif and then I I'll come back most people didn't but some did and that that is the scene like if you didn't have that other construction gift I don't know if people would have gotten as connected to the web as they did they you need that vacuum that humans are hungry to fill and so right now there's a lot of vacuum there's some interesting stuff and there's a there are millions of people who are kind of connected or engaged in different ways which is a hell of a seed to build from it's just that like so where I am is just like sure great like I mean if if a token sale is like civil and very connected to I know Maria Bastille is very well from from popular yeah she's great and it's like I'm sorry to harp on it like Vivian said earlier like if it had been one it should be one click if it was one click I would have thrown a couple hundred bucks in because I believe in what Maria's doing and when it is one click I will write or ten clicks I'm cool I'm still I'm still 44 sort of like we're all we're in that zone and I have been responsible for 44 step processes in my own life and so I've empathy that way it's just gonna take a minute right or or five to 10 years right and so but on this of grammar I mean only this governance point I guess so when I'm looking at all thinking about some really concrete examples and might gave a great example about you know the rest that the restaurant review metaphor in the last panel I guess we had a kind of a very concrete example in something like this sort of the the battle over all the closure of Gorka you know when we start to see a sort of a publishing horizon and I think it's probably going to be I hope pretty rare in America but it's actually very common in other parts of the world where organizations are array news organizations are raised from you know the face of the record one way or another um can actually blockchain really deliver on that promise I mean it seems to me that there's always a governance structure which is stronger than technology and that's you know a government or very powerful rich individuals is this any different anyone in those days I don't think that this will be I don't think this is impervious to manipulation so the individual coin transactions seem to be impervious it is a very complex algorithm and large large hash but everything to your point everything has a vulnerability and has a weakness and there are choke points and gateways and things can happen this is 30 years ago you know the internet sounded the same way it was a great democratizer and it will free everything and everyone no one no one no one thought that ISPs would consolidate and now Verizon can do can look at all the data coming out of your device you've you know forget about the actual browser one you know I think to that point decentralization is robust encryption is robust like you could but you've also got the Verizon's of the world who are going to be beholden to you know various kinds of FISA requests and all the things that come their way and so if you have a giant distributed encrypted file system where nobody knows quite what's on at any given time but you can retrieve assets like that's now conceivable you could also just flip the internet like they'd you know flip off the switch like they've done in various countries during protest movement so it's it's all possible you know what you'd need what's going to change and what could change is you could have an environment where there's lots of people with really cheap computers that are federated with each other without the the giant company in the middle we're not there yet but the technology's certainly showing up if that happens and there are good actors on the network something like a blockchain is great right it's a because you've got the decentralized hardware as well and so there's ways this could happen but there'd have to be that demand there'd have to be that desire for humans and and it's hard and there is no UX that really meets the promise yeah so I had to say the the demand for creating it needs to exist and there needs to be a lack of demand for undermining it as well because that's actually the you know I mean we're here well there will never be a lack of demand for undermining it will I mean this is kind of like this is we are enter I don't know whether it's just because I spent too much time working in the journalism school and talking to other apocalyptically minded individuals but you know kind of like it's sort of everywhere I go you people reiterate the Marshall McLuhan quote about the next World War is in cyberspace and there's no division between civilians and the military sorry I know it's Friday afternoon that's not very upbeat but that kind of that you know I mean am I being taught to just opine about this or is that I'm look at you poor when I say the word dystopian that or it could you know how could this get and how much might we need never go wrong assuming that the worst thing you know look if you look at it mud one of my rules about the internet is when you want to know what the next big thing is like look for the thing we're like that's absolutely horrible and everyone is terrible like I just I remember I said those words about Twitter I'm like that what I never that's the no one will ever want that it's awful right and now now it runs our industry I don't know we're also backed into a corner here because journalism is in a pickle and so we're this this piano could also be called like you know journalism what's the cure and so we're struggling with that we're trying to take something that is not ready for the world and trying to fix something that is having a terribly hard time and it's it's it's an experimental you know we're putting a baboon heart into journalism right now I'm gonna have that on my business cards sorry cardiologists but it's a distributed ledger of bad but you can track baboon hearts using a system yeah constantly looking Harold blockchain as the answer to fake news which we can all hope that it is but that is based on the assumption that the majority of the people who are going to be putting in the time to say that something is right are the people who have truth as the best interest at heart and I think that's often an underlying assumption that you know the people in this room are gonna make but well I don't know if you have this conversation at different communities are the majority within people who are going to look at except to worry necessarily which people go after the truth maybe maybe not do we know what the Kremlin is doing about blockchain I mean serious crash actually serious question you know it's also in in sort of countering counterintelligence I know but it's gotta be on the radar as I vary you know I don't know I'm sure it's probably a couple Google searches away there's there's gonna be stuff but we also don't know whoever who actually created it so you know there's there's still that moment that yeah it takes a mask off and it's actually it's it's Satoshi Nakamoto right I mean hahaha but I do think there's one thing that we could actually impact here that really could help preserve the better intentions of the blockchain and that would be having as many different block chains as possible right the ultimate undermining of this is that we all end up on one blockchain right like one Internet it was not supposed to be the case Facebook do have a team I mean but that I mean again this is a kind of a serious question right it's like the same questions that we have about a eyes and Aleksey your point I think is a really good one about like let's just imagine that a threat model version of this which is emerging elsewhere you know what what about things like kind of daxing on the blockchain you know kind of if you go all of that information could be made you know permanent or you know all of the kinds of things that we want to wipe off the internet is there a kind of it you know that the sort of rip is is there is there a good reason to kind of try and regulate now before all of this becomes you beyond our control I'm Europeans I always want to regulate everything I just want to just see it I see it and I want to regulate it memes are gonna die in Europe because of the new copyright regulations that's what people say which is projects or these means Europe the place what means going to die it's like I don't think it's like anything it's like any kind of technology whether we're talking about blockchain augmented reality virtual reality artificial intelligence it's a really fine balance between doing this kind of thing thinking about it getting minds into a room looking at the best case worst case scenario you can do that and make a lot of progress and give the community thinking because at the end of the day the community doesn't we saw what happens when you have congressional hearings and you it's quite alarming to see that people can would be regulating things like watching how much they know about technology I mean we saw the questions that were asked of dr. Burton so I'm always hesitant to push for regulation too quickly not to give the technology time to breathe and grow even if it has to make certain mistakes while at the end at the same time I think it's important to encourage these kind of conversations and talk and get minds together in a room and there's regulating and there's regulating and regulating doesn't always have to come to talk down anything I've been she the the point you just making about many blockchains are one big ball chain kind of like what this just a scalability point aren't all social scalability you know is the best chance for that public blockchains or private blockchains I'm not sure I don't really understand enough to know how that would work but clearly it's something you've thought about that's a great question I think that ultimately it would be private blockchains I think there is a real interest and everybody's interested there to be a journalism block at the minimum journalism blockchain maybe certain contract block chains maybe maybe even within journalism there being different parts of journalism blockchain there being gay tech coverage any business coverage and the more you can disaggregate it the safer it becomes the the real the key to this is creating a single point of failure so I mean even the point that Paul admitted before does everyone here even know that countries can literally turn off the internet that a government has a life switch where the whole internet turns off I mean obviously if that's the case then you could also just read what's going through that point as well turn on off slower faster so that single point of failure is the ultimate threat and so in order for there to be and as you kind of alluded to if the government does this it's it's way more efficient to have one it'll be cheaper to operate it'll be faster it'll it makes a ton of sense in so many ways that's why there's only a few telecom companies the media companies etc so it has to be the people that actually want that to be desegregated to remain that way there's just attention and everything we're talking about between like technology has just become real life like the government there you can't just go do revenge porn on on the internet anymore because there are laws and it took a minute for everything to catch up but it was clearly illegal and bad when it was happening like it was this and everyone's like well it's on the internet I mean and and then suddenly people are like what the hell what the hell does that have to do with anything you can't abuse people in that way and we know who did this therefore we have to stop it alright so the real question becomes like what level of anonymity are we going to allow and how and where are we going to insert fails fail-safes and and many of the people I think there's like and then it gets even trickier because you know bitcoin was supposed to be quite anonymous as to who the individual was while their wallet and their identifiers could be tracked by the transactions they make but they I think the Department of Justice at one point called bitcoins prosecution Futures because they were able to track dark web transactions by who had the wallet and once you could make one connection and figure out who one person was you could start to just do old-school law enforcement work and you could break them and you could say well who are you trading with did you know and there'd be an email so there is this possibility of like a purely decentralized super anonymous secret network but most likely it'll it's just it's still humans and so increasingly its governments and there's this something there's also an assumption in technology that everybody is stupid and after like a certain amount of time other people get smart and figure out how things work and and they go work in places that aren't technology right and when you say everyone is stupid everyone except you except someone except the the do to this meet up I'm gonna open it out for questions because I know this comes like a ton of questions I'm out there so put your hands up but I also wanted to yeah if we circulate there we start over there I also have terrible eyesight so you really have to put your hands up early on you spoke of deep publishing I'm familiar with the California Court of Appeals of deep publishing but that related to statute says any journalism publication been ordered by the courts to quote deep publish anything and has been out it's a notice and takedown procedure and the point I was making is that the word takedown and the concept in the area of blockchain doesn't really make sense because it's not so much a take down it will be a deep publishing of the story so whether courts are willing to buy that if the publication is the same or tantamount to a takedown that hasn't been tested yet that has not been tested yet but that surely could only be directed to the original publisher that is in consequently don't the courts understand distribution of I worked at the Guardian when we were given us of a contempt of court well everybody was was was told that they had to take down all the stories relating to a case because of Kempton contempt of court and there had to be some very detailed discussions with the judge about what exactly that meant and how you couldn't just disappear everything off the internet well this was it this was this was in the to that day yeah this is about mm and kind of five or something and just not like just not understanding how the internet worked that we couldn't just recall and delete every single version of the story for a period of six weeks and then kind of republish it again so it's a touch on that at that point there's actually the blockchain can enable something more powerful in this regard right because one of the things that we're looking at is how do we syndicate content using the blockchain and it could allow a publish once up here in multiple places at the functionality so the point where you deep publish something could actually be more powerful than taking it down because if you take it down from our site it could still live in other places where it was syndicated but if you have it published in syndicated to the blockchain you can turn it off once and it will turn off everywhere you could also put a smart contract in there and tell it to republish ten days later and it will do that automatically that's amazing that was that was saying that's the initial publisher I'm interested in the topic of the panel includes governance and I'm interested in this vision right so one of the big appeals of all of this technology is the decentralization right you don't have to have the government or Facebook or somebody in charge and so who is in charge well various consensus mechanisms vivy and I think talked about one of the values of the coin is that you know or somebody talked about you know one coin one vote and the idea that you essentially can buy control and I'm just wondering who likes the idea that the whoever spends the most money has the most say about what is true and what is not so and that's implicit in every single thing we've we've seen here is the person who has the most coins as the most votes so you guys very much do you like that do you not like that what and how does that play out if any of these things takes off and there's a question should it be published is it true is it trustworthy and dollars Bitcoin okay so as I say in this weird parallel universe where strangely the people with the most money get to dictate voting voting in information systems if you can imagine such a horror but this is I mean this is this is quite seriously this is a this is a floor a floor which is talked about a lot which is okay kind of you know this is meant to be decentralized is it are we not just like gonna be remaking all the problems that we currently have with you know kind of like the centralizing way but um in a slightly different monetized form I mentioned this a little bit earlier I don't think the technology solves anything I don't think it creates any good I don't think it does anything good or bad I think the people that use it do things that are good and bad and so I think you know the way that plays out but you know I don't think that is a condemnation of blockchain that's just a condemnation potentially or a validation of this these people's application of it well you can yes financial reward and that I mean I don't really see I agree with your that's what makes me uncomfortable with it but it's kind of to me it's baked in I mean that's the incentive is token if they coin in a very simple and I don't know how you get away from that while keeping this idea of an incentive the monetization it would be a system where the incentive is something else but I don't know what it would be well there's a sense of citizenship right but we don't you know I own a larger portion of my company than other people do in the company and myself and my co-founder and so it's it's we have more say and more sway and it's it's perpetuating that it's not perpetuating that certain individuals buy in and have more control it's not citizenship as we understand it and that doesn't seem to be a topic that comes up a lot in this world it's sort of like being a citizen because it's not really a world yet and we actually we never got there with the web there we're always topics of there are always a discussion about you know what does it mean to be a good digital citizen and how do you link the things and what should it be and then when the giant platforms came away they sort of took away the oxygen up until that up until like you know your Twitter in your facebook sure people were making things online and talking about making the works that's the bonus on relatively small community nowhere near whatever like today but that that conversation changed and it feels like we maybe have even skipped over that there's no conversation that I know of about like being really like how this could enable there's a issue equitability that's just not in the water as much right it was there's hand there oh sorry I'm sorry I guess like very bad eyesight I'll see who's got my cry sigh so the panel spoke briefly on failsafe so I want to give you a chance to kind of expand on that a little bit because it seems like whether it's security and obviously the advantages of blockchain for decentralization and encryption etc or if its ease of use through smart contracts and licensing it seems to me that we're putting a lot of faith in the the automation that blockchain resolves if we're putting a lot of faith in the technology and it's like just looking back it seems like putting a lot of faith in technology is not a good idea right and so my question to you is as we're building these technologies and these block chains etc what are the levers that we as humans as we and as participants in this blockchain can pull you know is it like Wikipedia where there are editors unbeknownst to us what's what's that like again at a point we've got to a point where we can start to design what were we we can still design systems that you know all right idealistic even if they don't actually kind of you know injure but that's a good point about if you're designing your failsafe set into this I don't know Alexei you're a lawyer have you thought about what the right kind of set fail-safes would be in any of these systems who the failsafe or the publisher the failsafe or the platform the failsafe or the platform remains the same as the failsafe for a platform and in normal print publishing that do you want to remain a plateau right if you want to be safe on the blockchain and not be liable on the blockchain you want to be sure that you're considered a platform on the blockchain and not a publisher because public there are a lot of my abilities that platforms don't have and they're just a platform as opposed to a publisher of content so a lot of the thinking goes on a lot of the advice that we've given is very similar at least from a media lawyers perspective right I'm probably not the best I'm not a up watching lawyer in the sense of the technology of it but at least from setting up your business as a media business on a blog treatments actually ends up being very similar to how you write what about the fail-safes for you know does it work in society pool what would that be like this will be open source code on github and figure it out if you want to participate and run a node you know you're gonna receive these kinds of transactions and we're gonna be you're gonna store them and be part of this big decentralize database and you've had access to all the information that you might need in order to decide if this is going to work or how so once you setup that infrastructure you're gonna keep going and it's really hard to change it once it's turned on and so I think that's there's an existing sort of change is hard once you're set up and the whole point of this thing is it's immutable and kind of keeps going forward and so that's the deal the deal currently is get in here and you know turn it on let's just hope it all works out okay which I mean yeah bitcoin was a white paper and was a some code and it was a very big idea about centralized banking and it just just caught fire and it wasn't entirely new as – riffing off of lots of stuff it just got really big really fast which these things tend to do but yeah I mean to me it just sort of feels like I mean there are ways to change things in and modify roles after a blockchain is out into the world but it really does feel like there's a big switch to do where people buy in and turn it on and it's really hard to go backwards and that's the site yes though yeah I just wanna going off what Paul just said there used to be a utopian vision of all this it wasn't so kind of plug the leaks kind of an idea like Ted Nelson had this idea of project design I do a long time ago you know the guy who first theorized hypertext in 1967 that we put stuff online and the Visa card would be charged you know three cents to read yours and you'd pay two cents to read mine and we pay for each other and if your six-year-old kids you pay a penny and if you're big company you pay a thousand dollars and it kind of made it a way that you know we could all share and be creative and innovative and not part of a massive system like a template but be authentic and individual and this would enable that and so my question really is is there a utopian vision in terms of a humanistic vision a blockchain in which it allows us to be this person who's creative innovative and makes enough money to buy dinner you know sort of a thing I do like Paulie said you can't think yourself quite back to 1994 on this one I think simple has a very possible I feel that there's a lot of very positive visions in this world what's really tricky now is that the world of tennis is working south and Doug Engelbart was such it was so small they were talking about relatively hundreds of computers thousands of computers in the world of any significance and they were seeing very realistically like what the technology would let people do too and the word over and over was augmented like augment and an enhanced human technology there was an element of empathy there it doesn't really align with the way that centralized platforms operate look if you look at the work of Allen Payne you look at the work good of that cohort the focus a lot of their focus is on like how can we how differently abled people get access to the world like it was a real vision that that went way way down closer to things that we would now refer to as social justice and that was they thought that the computer was going to enable that and it is actually I mean it's paints beyonce is sort of a tragedy of the era that we've lost that ethos injected to straight-up hyper capitalism instead and I'm all for a little hyper capitalism from time to time it keeps things moving in a way that like an encounter group of technologists doesn't but at the same time it would be okay to have a little more of that ethos in there but I think it's it's still there people are still talking about it there's still a lot of hope there's if you have movements and people trying to do things that make a more collaborative and open environment but until there are cracks in the giant platforms and I think that they're gonna I mean frankly extinct Lee I feel that they long what happens with blockchain to Facebook has it had a block game and they have you know trillion dollars to operate and make this that big they're blocking central so that utopian vision as well that didn't play out quite quite but I mean actually this is sort of a point so you know when you're kind of selling it in newsrooms or you know kind of like what that there wasn't I remember some of my tiles coming explaining simple to me and I said at the end of it which is probably what I'd say about it now I have no idea if it's gonna work I have no idea what the UX would look like but the idea that you can suddenly create a different marketplace we're actually kind of the same sort of you know transactions or transactional kind of commerce is is different and it has a different quality on it is really exciting for journalism what's the kind of you know what's what's the sort of the publish of you is there a utopian public review of this apart from please let it make us lots lots of money it's okay to say no it's I don't think there is one to be totally Frank I mean I and I actually don't think it's either gonna make us a lot of money either I think that it is probably you know I really think of it like a building material I come from the product and technology side I think that you know we had sticks and leaves and then we used mud for a while and then if you baked that mud to made hard bricks and Weez bricks for a really long time and then we discovered to steel as a building material and so you know I live in Brooklyn and you see the brown stones now they're built 220 years ago with all all brick well now when people renovate them they're putting steel into them and guess what happens there are no more pillars in the middle of the floors anymore Windows can now be the size of a whole wall so it's the it sounds trivial you know but literally you don't need as many support beams you don't need as many things in the way you don't need a small room off to the side of the entrance because there's a support wall in the middle that can't go away these things sound trivial but that's the way I think about blockchain in this application to business and our business is that alright it's not gonna let me necessarily do anything I couldn't do before even the syndication point I made before I could do that now it would be a little bit clunky I could do it but this new material has come out and we want to use it to do things a little bit more effectively and maybe down the road you know if you kind of appreciate the distinction between an innovation and a disruption innovation is loosely doing the same thing a little bit better a disruption is something that allows you to do new things all together for now blockchain is just an innovation it's it's not yet broken into the disruption kind of phase of its life if it ever does so for me it's a it's a better cheaper building material I have to say I rather like the idea of the Brooklyn brownstone tiny bit more than the baboon's heart analogy and also very interesting that a publisher should go to it's like a brownstone in Brooklyn but it was a very yes very limit its yeah I was wondering if we go back to the point about people work with more wealth accumulating more votes you know Paul you had an interesting comment about how founders have more equity within the company and you have more sway and say but at the same time I think you know founders are held accountable because they could lose all that equity in deist and more to lose so I was wondering how you could make it so that there is more accountability for people who have more votes within walk chain and how do we align the incentives with the interests of the broader group I asked a question back quickly is that I I was like it's a little bit explore what we're talking about people being accountable for exactly because civil as a constitution and the votes are about violations of that constitution and if you haven't read that constitution it's it's pretty high level and easy to agree with so I I don't think and I know this might not be specific to civil but like in the civil world even if you have a lot of votes it's not like you get to just censor people you know it's like I don't like what this person says I'm gonna vote against them that's not an option they have to violate a law a civil law meaning like news that's not cited or or substantially false and known to be so etc so you know just a little bit of splitting your hair there but but I think it matters we talk about you know somebody having too many votes to enforce the law I guess it was more about trying to reduce like bad actors and how do we create the incentives to be able to do that reached on the side that the bad actor was not the bad actors votes are gonna be taken away you're gonna lose certain votes right I mean that's the way also I understand it it's you're you're hedging your votes in a way against whatever it is that you're standing for and if you keep putting you have fun civilly you keep putting votes to shut down newsrooms that are actually operating ethically and that are putting good journalism out there they're not gonna be able to have that ability to do that because you lose your it's gonna cost you it's what was said in the panel before they thought it was a great line about it being very cheap – was it being very cheap to say the truth and making it really expensive not to and I think that's a great that's a great way to yeah that's how somebody can add hey thank me as as a journalist I can't believe I took the mic to ask a question about advertising but like throughout this whole day like we've just seemed to be running into like problem after problem with actually trying to like figure out ways to use blockchain to conduct the act of journalism and like put it out there and like there are a lot of interest in questions but I was wondering if any of you have kind of looked into some of the work that they're doing with like brave and basic attention token and kind of benefiting journalism by creating better ad tech and like tokenizing people's attention which is something they're giving anyway and you're not like asking them to do something extra right so that's something as well that sort of janitor ticket is doing it I think as well but yes the sort of brave idea which is Brendon Ike's browse a level way of returning again a little bit clunky but a way of returning kind of value to publishers so ah what's that so this is another application is another example of something that people are doing the blockchain that was possible without the blockchain so in other words this is I'm gonna hey I'm gonna allow the user to pay let's say ten cents to view this article therefore the publisher doesn't need to cover it in ads coming from Forbes I can tell you that is very much an appealing option for me you know as part of the under champion of the user experience there I do not control our advertising experience so you can imagine as a natural a natural rivalry there and so somebody comes along and says we can do this that's amazing I take that meeting right away but in the end you walk away thinking okay well actually I'm not sure that the blockchain is actually unlock this potential is again maybe a better building material for it but the appetite for it to be adopted I don't think is any higher today than it would have been ten years ago so I do think it's a bit of a it's a bit of a long way to go because I promise you even if the companies do and a couple years if there's a bit of a downturn they'll start throwing ads on top of it right I think we can if we have one more cut we have time for one more questions be great if it was a woman just saying or on the other hand it is 28 minutes past so I can see machine isn't advancing the mic it's fine a few other question how's it going um I just wanted to see whether any of you have gotten a sense from people in the blockchain community whether they've shown any whether they're conscious of or whether they've shown any worry about the presence of this other emerging technology called quantum computing and how I heard that it might threaten a lot of change technology because of how fast and fish it'll make computers in the few and how it may make hacking or how it might take some of the security encryption way that the blockchain provides so just want to see if you've heard of seen and you worry from the blotching community regarding that I mean again that's a great question which is you know kind of does quantum just blow through this idea that it's immutable and you can't crack the code it's just not there's a lot of progress in quantum computing whether it's progress like at they like think like nineteen sixties level computing so I don't know when the explosion happens where suddenly that technology becomes real and and and sort of something you could like rent in the cloud it's gonna be a while I mean there's there's stuff going on but it's just not like it just doesn't feel like a threat at this moment like something else will get us first I know as high as that gets stronger encryption gets stronger so none of these things are like one about the other just like you know memory and programs right so so what I'd really like to finish only something else is going to get us first note at which just to keep just to keep an upbeat upbeat turn I just want to thank every I want to thank the panel I want to thank you guys who boast amazing questions I want to thank everyone who's participated because actually this I feel that we will be back here probably in a year probably in five years and probably in 10 years that won't be me think of but discussing this because it does feel like we're at the start of something and having all of your brains engaged on it has been really fantastic I think for us today so thank you very much indeed [Applause] you you

2 thoughts on “Blockchain in Journalism: Promise and Practice – Tow Center

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *