Founder of DECENT Content Distribution Network: The Digital Revolution is About to Begin

Earlier this year Swiss blockchain startup DECENT released a prototype of its upcoming content distribution platform. Seeking to empower the platform’s further development, the project has recently announced the crowdsale of its DCT tokens to start on September 10.

Forklog caught up with Matej Michalko, one of the project’s leaders, to talk about their approach and future plans.

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FL: Could you tell our readers about the basic features of the DECENT decentralized content distribution platform? Will it look like some decentralized social media from user side? What are the use cases?

Matej Michalko: DECENT platform aims to provide place for digital content sharing. It’s not meant to become a new social media platform. Rather we want to create a place for publishing of media such as video or music content, e-books and online newspapers. As DECENT is based on open-source principle, people can make their own applications on top of DECENT protocol entirely tailored for their needs. The future plan for DECENT is to start a digital revolution to allow people to share and get the information or creative work without intervention of profit-oriented corporations. On DECENT, only people decide which content is either reliable or worthful. Simply said, they create the platform itself. By supporting decentralization and authenticity, the content distribution is based on people’s preferences. The common consensus will create much more relevant content database without unnecessary intermediaries. Everyone who joins the platform will therefore become a part of the future by helping us to create it.

Later on, to make things as easy as possible, there will be an App store where anyone can download the applications both for iOS and Android just like they do it nowadays. What makes it different from anything we know today is blockchain technology that brings security and transparency and lowers fees due to the elimination of third parties, e.g. publishing houses. With this approach, authors earn more money while the customers pay less.

From basic user’s point of view, DECENT will be a user-friendly platform where he/she can find a lot of interesting content and information. From a more experienced user’s point of view, it can be the opportunity to create very own applications or online media platforms or a place for presenting his or her creative work.

FL: Earlier this year you have released the first demo of DECENT platform prototype. How things are progressing? What about a user-friendly client?

Matej Michalko: Since the creation of DECENT prototype we have been testing the network for any possible failures, optimizing the protocol to make the publishing and buying process faster and preparing the Software Sale. We have created an example application for demonstration of the basic functionalities and buying/publishing process on the platform. Right now we are focusing on Software Sale preparation as it is a crucial point in DECENT evolution. Apart from providing additional resources to cover the final development costs it will also establish the decentralized nature of the platform. As decentralization is based on many entities working together to reach a common goal we ask people who care about their future to join. There is only one way how to create an independent and trustful publishing platform. And it is the cooperation of free and independent people who come together to show the power and potential of the community.

FL: What are your primary sources of funding? What’s your business model, and how do you plan to make money?

Matej Michalko: DECENT is a Geneva-based foundation with teams spread around the globe with offices in Switzerland and Slovakia; and collaborators in Ukraine, Luxembourg, Shanghai and Australia. The company secured a €500k funding from Element Capital LLC, a US-Chinese Fund. DECENT is currently launching its Software Sale to receive funds for further development, legal and operational outlays and community outreach.

DECENT aims to become part of a coherent system, a secure structure in which the human society will be organized in the future. In order to make it happen, DECENT platform’s open-source principles support the development of the society and emergent interconnections of its members and elements. To give the world a possibility to evolve itself into and independent and self-sufficient community, DECENT functions as a non-profit organization. After the platform is launched, DECENT Foundation will be responsible for keeping the protocol up to date and doing its best to ensure trust, security and reliability of the service.

FL: At the first glance, DECENT looks similar to some notary tool with publishing features (or vice versa). However, it seems, the content will be, say, “paywalled” somehow. Does this mean the readers will have to pay for every piece of content? Will this be micropayments and how the prices will be derived?

Matej Michalko: It’s up to the author whether the content is for free or not. Authors pay a small fee for publishing on DECENT. However, since there is no third party involved in the process, the author gains the whole profit of his or her sales. Micropayment solution makes publishing and buying process effective for real users and expensive for spammers. Besides being an anti-spam protection DCT represents the fuel to the network which makes it work.

FL: What will be the means of payment? Apart from the DCT, will there be any other crypto available?

Matej Michalko: As I have outlined before, DECENT platform mechanism involves its own token. However, DCT is more than just another cryptocurrency. It’s the tool that makes DECENT platform secure, transparent and spam-free as well. At the beginning DCT will be the only possible payment method on the platform. Later in the future we are considering the possibility of integrating different currencies within the applications. Nevertheless, DCT will stay the exclusive token of internal DECENT system.

FL: Could you please tell us more about tokens to be distributed during this “Software Sale”? What exactly users will be able to do with DCT?

Matej Michalko: DCT enables publishing and buying content on the platform. It also serves as a reward for miners or publishers in DECENT terminology. DCT is the basis of decentralization on DECENT platform. It gives the power over media back to people and eliminates huge third-party fees. The idea of a blockchain-based publishing platform came to our minds when we realized that big organizations get a real profit from selling other people’s content. We believe that information, art and digital content in general belong to people who have created it. The opportunity to release your ideas as you have meant them is missing on the market. The control stays in hand of those who give you the “ability” to publish. DECENT is here to bring the change and transparency into the media industry.

To conclude, Software Sale participants get a value exchangeable for service on the platform. Being a software tool that powers the network it’s an inevitable and worthful component of DECENT platform.

FL: Do you plan to use any crowdfunding platform or just make a sale on your website? Is this going to be a presale or will there be a finite number of tokens?

Matej Michalko: The Software Sale will take place on our website. Recently we have announced that Bitalo will become a DECENT Software Sale wallet. We chose Bitalo service thanks to its advanced security features including user-side encrypted private keys or multi-signature wallets. In Bitalo, users do not give up control over the stored coins. Thanks to the back-up transactions, the coins can be recovered even in case of complete shutdown of Bitalo.

DECENT Software Sale is one-time opportunity to join the digital revolution and become a part of the blockchain-driven future of media. After the Software Sale new tokens are going to be generated only as a reward for mining.

FL: Could you please give us more details regarding the ICO? How many tokens will be distributed, at what price, how much funds do you plan to get after the ICO, and how the invested funds will be spent?

Matej Michalko: The initial price is 5000 DCT / 1 BTC and will change as Software Sale progresses. This means the earlier someone participates the more he/she gets for the same value. There are bonuses and bounties for early supporters planned as well. The complete amount of distributed tokens is not limited and will depend on the actual participation.

The proceeds from the Software Sale will be primarily used to fund development of the future releases of DECENT, e.g. protocol optimization and its maintenance. This also covers associated operational, administrative and logistical outlays such as paying for network infrastructure & bandwidth. The rest of the funds will be allocated to legal expenses and marketing and community outreach costs.

by Eugene Muratov