Thoughts on Ethereum. Decentralising & monetising content.


James Joseph | January 6, 2018

Having got into cryptocurrency back in 2014, I was surprisingly slow to learn about what Vitalik and Ethereum had been developing. Then in a learning binge it hit me, Vitalik and his community are going to change the world as we know it forever.

With a background of computer science and digital media publishing, I’d been trying to work out what the next step for content creators making a living on the internet was. Advertising is the worst solution of bad possibilities to fund content. Publishers hate it, readers hate it. The only person who really profits is the middle-man whilst the reader suffers being rudely interrupted or distracted from their goal, and the advertiser sees 0.008% conversion rates.

Going down the other path, well… in a panel talk back in 2010 I practically spat on the talk of The Times doing a pay wall. Welcome to your beautiful walled garden that nobody wants to come to.

Why couldn’t we go to a system of micro payments within the browser, with a purse or wallet being shared between sites viewed or shared?

Well it’s technologically complicated, you’d need a secure wallet within the browser (a notoriously easy to manipulate piece of software), an easy quick way to top up funds, you’d also need someway that this live browsing couldn’t be tampered with to commit fraud, and it would need a certain level of privacy that no company could own. Google having all your search history and tying that to micro transactions, just sounds off to me on a free speech level.

Then last month I added funds to a wallet within my browser somewhat anonymously, and bought content with a micro payment; 0.01 Ether to be exact (around $3USD at the time). Not Ethereum’s primary use, but possible decentralised in-browser wallet payments for content? Ethereum is going to change the world as we know it.

The crux of what Vitalik and Ethereum have built is a decentralised supercomputer that anyone can build software and apps upon, with a currency to fuel it. Which creates so many use case possibilities as developers are drawn to its technology. It’s nothing short of genius, and this is only the beginning.

My use case involves the way we receive, consume and pay for content. But Ethereum is headed to redefine web services, DNS, file storage and potentially even video games as we know it.

Let me know your thoughts…