This is a transcript of the Podcast – How the Internet Failed and How Blockchain is Replacing It with Crystal Rose – You can listen the audio here
Nye : What is going on everybody? It’s your boy, Nye, and welcome to another episode of The Evolvement Podcast, where we talk about bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and the future of our financial systems. Today I’ve got a really special guest on the line. I have Crystal Rose. She’s a serial entrepreneur. She’s a long, long-time crypto-advocate, and she is the CEO and creator of Sense Chat.
Nye : Crystal, how you doing?`
Crystal Rose : I’m good. Thanks for having me.
Nye : Hey, thanks for coming on. I’ve been diving a little deeper into what you’re doing with Sense Chat, and we’ve talked a little bit over the last couple of days in terms of just what we’re going to talk about on this podcast. I’m really excited to have you on. I think you’ve got a unique set of knowledge, a unique perspective on what’s going on in the blockchain space. Yeah, I’m excited to have you, so welcome.
Crystal Rose : Thank you. Yeah, I’m excited to be able to chat with you. I love all of the things going on in our space and especially at this time, I think, for this year, 2019, is a really exciting time because everyone is strapped down into their seats and building. We’re seeing a lot of great things come out of it.
Nye : Agreed, agreed. So we’re going to get into a whole bunch of different stuff today. We’re going to talk a little bit about Sense Chat and what you’re building with decentralized messaging. We’re going to talk a little bit about how the internet failed, and how blockchain is replacing or evolving that.
Nye : Before we get into all that stuff, Crystal, can you just give the audience a little bit of a background of yourself? What were you doing before cryptocurrency? What got you involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain and what excites you about being involved with this space on a day-to-day basis?
Crystal Rose : Was there life before crypto?
Nye : I know, right? That’s the big question.
Crystal Rose : I’ve always been in technology, and that’s what has helped me to be guided towards what I believe is the number one technology that’s really radically going to transform our planet, which is the blockchain. I started at a very young age coding, so I was really fortunate to have the internet in my bedroom when I was a kid, and I was already developing websites by the time I was 11. I was able to start my first company as a teenager and really embrace what the internet had given us.
Crystal Rose : One of the core values I have is the right to be anonymous because I learned anonymously through a chatroom how to code. Because of that anonymity, was also able to have a business, a thriving business, as a teenager. As a female, especially, it’s really difficult to be 15, 16-years-old and selling large-scale internet projects. That was a really great success of mine to be able to discover, and I was really fortunate.
Crystal Rose : From there, I had a digital agency, so I learned that I could scale myself better if I brought on team members and we built out … For eight years, I built a digital agency. Within that time, that is when I started to understand more about what we know now as decentralized networks and services. Early on, we had things like Napster, and that was really … To me, that’s the first example of the most successful distributed or decentralized network. The problem was that they did still have central control, which is ultimately why they were able to be taken down.
Crystal Rose : That was the time when the people who were in my office were downloading music and downloading software. We started to see things come on the scene like the Pirate Bay, and everybody was getting their software and videos and music that way. As it evolved, in my office, around 2009, I had a developer who was running his computer overnight, and he was taking all of the resources on the network. Basically, I was like, “What are you using this bandwidth for?” I figured he was just filling up hard drives with movies. Actually, he was mining bitcoin. That’s the first time that I heard about bitcoin and what cryptocurrency even was.
Crystal Rose : It wasn’t until later that I dove into the actual technology though. I didn’t really understand what the purpose was, and I thought it was actually a frivolous use of resources and electricity. Around 2011, I understood more deeply what the technology was actually doing and that there were applications beyond the financial aspects of it. 2014 was the first time I built an actual blockchain tool, a blockchain-based tool. I think that anyone who builds on top of the bitcoin network understood that there was a lot of potential but that we still had a lot of limitations.
Crystal Rose : We think about this scale today of where everything has evolved in the cryptocurrency world and that the financial tools seem to be the most prevalent, but we still have this incredible opportunity with the core underlying technology, which is the blockchain, to really build. It’s not been a very long time, and we’ve already seen how huge this has exploded. I think of my career as being in two parts now. I was really fortunate to be early in the internet. It’s been two decades of being around all of these different large-scale startups and different companies that emerged and building some myself and being fortunate to exit a couple of those projects.
Crystal Rose : This is the second go-around. This is the time when I think that we are seeing the real potential of the internet, and we have our training wheels off. This to me is the first time that we’re going to be building what will be the world’s next internet, the large-scale, sustainable internet that’s going to empower everybody.
Nye : That’s really interesting, and I think that’s where I want to get into first, right? Because it took me a long time from the beginning introduction of bitcoin and blockchain technology to get how this was even related to the internet. I didn’t really understand. When you were saying that you were building things on top of the bitcoin network, I didn’t understand that. I didn’t comprehend that for a very long time. Once I did, it opened up my perspective. It opened up my view to the extent at what’s being built here today. It just gave me a bit of a better understanding of the potential of what we’re seeing here for the future.
Nye : Can you help me explain that to the audience a little bit? How can we explain how blockchain is related to the internet or an upgraded version of the internet?
Crystal Rose : Yeah, that’s a great description. Upgraded, I think, is the best way to explain it. When I first started building a tool on top of the blockchain, what we wanted was all of the elements of the blockchain that provided the immutable records, the security, the distribution that allows us to have a trustless system. But the way that bitcoin itself was working, proof of work, didn’t really lend itself to the types of software I wanted to build.
Crystal Rose : Let’s say you want to do a notary for documents, for instance, and you want to have this in a decentralized way, it’s easier for you to create just a hash of that document than to actually store it on the blockchain. In fact, it was at that point impossible for anything to be stored. And even today, we’re still having some issues with that.
Crystal Rose : I actually took a pause, and even though I really wanted to build out, at the time it was anonymous file sharing, which was tied to microtransaction on blockchain on bitcoin. I ended up going the direction of building communication tools and those tools were founded on centralized networks and done in a traditional way in which we stored all of the user data, like Facebook and like all of the large-scale centralized networks, and operated in the same way. We couldn’t really build what we wanted to build yet.
Crystal Rose : For the average person thinking about these systems, there’s a very, very large difference in centralized and decentralized systems. That core thing is simply that the authoritative servers, or where the data is stored, or where the software is run, is either owned by one party or it’s distributed across many parties. The new method by which we’re doing things, I think, with the upgraded internet is better.
Crystal Rose : The very beginning of the internet had the potential to use more secure underlying protocols, but it wasn’t really possible with the resources that we had. The servers couldn’t run fast enough. If you remember trying to download a video and how that could take an entire 24-hours, it wasn’t like YouTube was able to run efficiently at that time. The internet was just built insecurely. It was built with HTTP protocol. It was built where anyone could intercept most of the data. It was built where everything lived on centralized servers so you have the risk of being hacked.
Crystal Rose : When one company is holding all the data, then there’s hack risks. Today, we’re seeing the byproduct of that original methods that had to be used in order to get around those problems. The byproducts are everybody’s data’s getting hacked now. Everybody has things living in centralized servers and it’s all exposed. It’s all open. The blockchain helps with that. We can hash things. We can put things into more secured systems and we have the ability to give keys for those bits of data.
Crystal Rose : Encryption is helpful, but even more helpful is being able to have ownership. I think it’s going to be a really radical transformation when we see that even your email address won’t have to be exposed anymore. You have complete control over all of your data with the future being built on blockchain.
Nye : I love that. I think the main thing I really want to ask you and I really want to point out to people for the audience is really why do decentralization matter? What is the difference between centralization and decentralization and why does it matter? Because, I’ll just take my parents, for example. My parents, they wake up, they use Google on their computers, and maybe once in a while Facebook and things like that.
Nye : They are security conscious. They’re not going around putting all their information online all the time, but they don’t think very heavily of that. On the opposite end, we have teenagers, people who are 12, 13, 15-years-old, whose entire lives are actually online. How does decentralization affect both of these parties and why does it matter to both of these parties?
Crystal Rose : I think that the core part that you hit on the most is the fact that our whole lives are digital now. We have things that are seemingly good tools that are innocent like every single day everyone interacts with AI whether or not they know it. If you use Google or you use Facebook, which is most of the digital population, you are interacting with AI. The AI is mostly working to do things that will provide more relevancy for you. We think of a lot of the targeting as mostly ad-driven, but basically, if you, let’s say, upload a photo to Facebook … Maybe all of our parents are on Facebook. It’s funny. It’s going to become our grandparent’s social network for the next generation.
Crystal Rose : The photos that you upload are getting scanned by AI. They have facial recognition and they’re actually getting tagged on the backend. Even if you turn off facial recognition, they can still that there’s a cup from Starbucks. They can see that there’s a cat in the background. They can see contextually where that photo might be taken. They even have the location data because that metadata comes from your phone whether or not you turn on location. It just gets aggregated and aggregated.
Crystal Rose : If you are actively putting anything out there and searching as well … You’re actively on Google, Google’s using AI to constantly understand where you are in your lifecycle, what you might be buying. It predicatively … In the future what you might need and it’s anticipating your needs. All of this collectively, if you put it all together, it creates this extreme profile on a person. We think of it as, “Well, not a big deal. I’m getting targeted for ads on Instagram because I liked a couple of photos that were related,” or something like that.
Crystal Rose : What we’re not seeing is that when we combine all of the datasets of these networks … For instance, Facebook, which I call them the mega-centralized corporation at this point, they’re getting to the point of monopolizing almost everyone’s digital identity because they have Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Those are the top four downloaded apps globally besides China who has banned Facebook and has WeChat instead. When you add all of those together, the dataset that you get and the profile that you get on a person is extremely valuable for, let’s say, an insurance company or a company that might be thinking of giving you a mortgage or a loan.
Crystal Rose : While you think that it might just be targeting you for ads and that’s not that big of a deal, it might actually be impacting all of the activities that you do in your life. That is a really big deal because there might be things that you want to keep private. Maybe you just wanted to share a picture at a party with your friends only, and you think because the privacy settings say ‘friends only’ that you’re safe and you’re okay. Really, that’s not the case. Germany has just banned Facebook ads or the method by which they serve the ads completely in terms of asking the user for their opt-in as a forced way to give them an account.
Crystal Rose : The only way to use these networks is for them to be able to use your data the way they want. That’s okay. It’s expected. We get these free tools. This is the, I would call it, the original fallacy of the internet, is that at the very, very beginning, everything was created for free. I remember doing websites too and I did all these different sites, blogs and classified sites. I had a blog that had 300 authors at one point. The server costs were so expensive the only way that you could handle it was to put on a banner and without targeting the banner ads just get you a cost-per-click. With targeting, you can charge a lot more.
Crystal Rose : So, the more data you can collect on the user, the more that you can serve ads that are relevant and the more that the advertisers pay you. That what the beginning. We saw this two decades ago when cheesy banner ads were the … Banner blindness was the thing that people were complaining about. They just wanted their content. They didn’t want to deal with it, but they had to understand that the networks needed to be uplifted somehow. Everybody was losing money.
Crystal Rose : That’s the original, original internet sin, I think, is paying for everything with advertising rather than asking the user to participate. Now, this standard has been set and if you think about the next generations of people coming on … The other example was the teenager. The teenager wants to put their entire life into digital format, but I think the success of a network like Snapchat was because they want it to be very private and they want it to be ephemeral. In fact, they don’t want their parents to be able to see a lot of what’s going on on the other side.
Crystal Rose : It’s become a really interesting dynamic with the centralized networks. Where the blockchain comes into play is you really could own your own data and there might be a trade-off. Maybe you have to pay a certain amount for storage. We were really, I think, aware of what storage costs were for the consumer at least as things like Dropbox and Box came onto the scene. Now, we’re just thinking about it in a broader sense. Facebook is challenging because I’ve been on for, I think now, eight or nine years and all of my data is there. If I wanted to move, what do I do? Where do I put that data? How do I port it over? I’ll probably never stop using the tool have because I’m so ingrained in it.
Crystal Rose : I think that this is where we have to see the next steps of could I potentially export all of that data and put it under a lock and key somewhere else and give people access only when I want them to have it?
Nye : 100%. 100%. As we’re seeing it today, what you’re pretty much saying is that privacy has obviously become a huge, huge issue. We’ve seen that in many, many different aspects, many different regards. Whether it’s Facebook possibly utilizing the data for illegal activities or activities beyond the scope of approval of their users to even people just getting doxxed online when it’s not appropriate or not under that person’s approval to do so. We’ve seen all these use cases and what you’re pretty much saying to me is that blockchain has the capacity to act as the upgraded internet.
Nye : There are people like yourself and other entrepreneurs out there that are building … I don’t know if you want to call them DApps, decentralized applications, or whatever you want to call them. You’re building things on top of these blockchains in order to build internet 2.0 in a way.
Crystal Rose : DApps is the current name and I think it is relevant to call them decentralized. There is a fairly large argument among the community of what decentralization actually means. I think decentralized is more of a spectrum than a binary thing. It’s not either centralized or decentralized. I really think that it would be difficult for us to achieve true decentralization. As an example, a DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, would be something that isn’t run by any central party.
Crystal Rose : The best example is Bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn’t have a CEO. It doesn’t have a headquarters. It doesn’t have one individual or even a group of shareholders who are benefiting above others. It is an equal network where everyone has access and ability. It has aligned incentives. If you’re a builder or you’re mining the network, you are also holding those tokens or the shares, however you want to look at it. Also, if you’re a user maybe you are using a product on the Bitcoin blockchain. The DApps are not as popular on Bitcoin, but there are still some. Maybe you use some software and you also have to pay tokens in order to do so. But, you’re an owner of the tokens as well.
Crystal Rose : The alignment of the interests of all of the people involved has become a really important part of building these new networks. Rather than having a top-down situation where you have shareholders who have the interest of just extracting profit and you have the builders in the middle, maybe if they’re building an open source platform, they’re not benefiting at all financially. If they’re building a centralized platform, maybe they’re getting a salary. They may or may not have equity. Then, you have the users and the users just want the best value. They want the stuff to use mostly, probably for free. They want the software or they want the benefit of the network.
Crystal Rose : If you think about how that plays out, the users end up ultimately losing out because, in the sense of a digital product, the most valuable part of the whole thing is their content or their data. They’re contributing all this time and they’re contributing all this data and then someone else is just extracting the value from it. I think in this now next web 2.0 or however we want to say it, we might even be on 3.0 actually, the blockchain internet is going to equalize this and empower everybody to be able to get the most value for their experience. The shift that we’re going to have to make, I think, is that everyone starts to understand I have ownership in this.
Crystal Rose : I love going back to Napster because Napster … Do you remember when you put a song on? Usually, it was music. You put a song on to Napster and if it was obscure, it was like maybe only a couple people worldwide were streaming this thing. You have to keep your computer on if you want to let people download the song. You could see really popular ones, you’d get bits of the files from all over the world and it would be really easy to download. It’d be super fast because so many people were supporting it, so many people had their computers open with this file available. That’s really what’s going to have to happen to make the next internet very successful is everyone’s a contributor.
Crystal Rose : Now, the beautiful part is everybody’s already a contributor. We have the most amazing networks. We have things like YouTube and Twitter, which is the best, or fastest at least, news. YouTube, which gives us the most niche information that we could ever possibly want and we get to have direct access to these people. But the publisher in between, which is the intermediary, that’s the part that’s keeping things slowed down. It’s really hurting the content creators because they’re just not getting all of the value.
Crystal Rose : We’re one of those builders. We’re building a DApp that allows people to find value and privacy in their conversations. Sense is the first decentralized messenger that has come out to be able to do this.
Nye : Awesome. I want to talk about that a little bit. I do have more questions in the overall spot of this, but before we get into that, ’cause I think we’re perfectly on the topic here, can you share a little bit more about Sense Chat and how is this valuable to me as the end consumer, for example? Is this something that I would replace my WhatsApp for or replace my Facebook Messenger for and I would have more security in the conversations and the data that’s being shared in those conversations? What’s the value for me and what is Sense Chat?
Crystal Rose : I think that everyone uses probably five, even more, messengers today, SMS being the most popular one with iMessage or just text depending on your platform. Really Sense Chat is a private messenger so it completely protects your messages to the other person. We say peer-to-peer, but we could call it phone-to-phone. We like to call it phone-to-phone because if you think about how messengers operate, even SMS, you put the message into the chat, I sent it over to Nye, but it doesn’t go directly to Nye. It actually goes to WhatsApp’s servers and then it goes to Nye. That helps it to be delivered if Nye is offline.
Crystal Rose : In the meantime, though, when Nye comes online and gets that message, WhatsApp doesn’t take it off the server. They do sometimes encrypt it. It depends on what messenger you use. I really like Signal for encrypted messages. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they have a policy like Facebook Messenger where all of the information that you send is either stored or scanned or both.
Crystal Rose : If you’ve seen Facebook’s tool called M, you have this little assistant inside of your Messenger. The assistant seems like it’s doing the job of being helpful to you. Let’s say that I asked you if you want to come and meet me for lunch, Facebook’s M might pop up and say, “Hey, Nye, do you want to take an Uber?” They’re basically cross-promoting using AI to get you businesses or services relevant to this conversation. Kind of creepy if you’re having a private conversation.
Crystal Rose : There are different ways in which your data is used in these different messengers and whether or not that’s meant to help you. I would say on that one the thing that was creepy about the Facebook M product is that they were using Mechanical Turk. Basically, they had at one point, up to 20,000 people whose entire job was to read the messages that were coming through and tag them for relevancy with AI. You can see this in some reports that they released themselves because they were really proud of their AI product.
Crystal Rose : They showed you exactly how the AI would scan the messages going through and then how the humans would actually tag it and say whether or not or not the AI got it right. Then, they would also link it to a proper response. That’s crazy. If you think about my messages are being read by a human. Even if it’s someone in another country or another location and they don’t have context, it is still a violation of privacy.
Crystal Rose : What we’re seeking to do with Sense Chat is give people the ability to do what you should be able to do all along which is just pick up your phone and send a message directly to somebody else’s phone and have no intermediaries in between whether or not that data is encrypted. That’s our main premise. We really want to get people connected directly. The best example, I always go back to Bitcoin for everything because really, the core of the blockchain was started with Satoshi’s original whitepaper.
Crystal Rose : What Bitcoin did for digital currency, which was remove the intermediary when you’re doing an online transaction or a digital transaction, making digital currency into cash, we’re doing for conversation. We really want to just take away anything in the middle. No more middleman and give you that option to do truly peer-to-peer just like Bitcoin did for money.
Nye : That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I’m curious about a few things. Is the data saved or how does that work with decentralized messaging? What’s that process like?
Crystal Rose : We definitely wouldn’t put any of your messages on the blockchain. We don’t want it to be immutable and forever unless there’s a transaction attached. One of the things that we also let you do inside of the chat is we could let you send crypto to another person. We leverage that EOS blockchain so that you can create an account and you can have your account be disassociated with any of your personal information. We don’t require a phone number, an email. It would be more helpful if you want to give any data like your Telegram handle so we can find people to chat with, but it’s not required.
Crystal Rose : Even that information is hashed and so the company, Sense, doesn’t ever store it in a database. We don’t even see it. We don’t know your actual number if you were to put it in. That’s a big differentiator because we’re not valuing the user based on the data that we can collect from them. Ultimately, the business model is not to sell your data on the other side.
Crystal Rose : Then, when you do send messages, we have come up with a method using your private keys and public keys. Your private keys are yours. We never know what those are either. So, you’ve created an account on the blockchain, and if you think of any kind of crypto wallet, just like your crypto wallet stores your keys on your device and it also stores your crypto, decentralized in a distributed way, but it stores it with the keys to be able to unlock it, we do that as well. All of your data is on your own device.
Crystal Rose : There’s a really great ad that Apple ran and it’s being used right now in a bunch of articles on TechCrunch because some of the developers of iOS apps have been recently found to be recording your screen while you’re using their apps. A lot of people didn’t know this. But, Apple created this … They now have a ban on that and they’re taking strides. Apple has this big ad that they put out at CES taking over a whole building. The ad says, “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.” They were in Vegas when they did this at CES.
Crystal Rose : Then, the way that we encrypt your data, we’ve created a method, which is unique to the EOS blockchain, to be able to temporarily store messages that aren’t delivered yet. Back to that example of what happens if the other person’s offline? Did you ever use ICQ? You remember the really old school messengers?
Nye : I never personally used them, but I was actually watching a Joe Rogan podcast with Jack Dorsey the other day and they were talking about it. So, I started to do a little research on it.
Crystal Rose : Nice. Yeah, see everybody’s jumping in. I really like that there’s a lot of awareness. The whole thing with ICQ and even original AOL, like the AIM Messenger that I learned coding through, when the other person was offline, you’re SOL. There’s nothing you can do. You can’t send them a message because there was no relay server. There’s nothing in between. You can’t just send a message and it sits somewhere waiting to be delivered. The original messengers operated in a peer-to-peer format so you couldn’t do anything if the other user was offline.
Crystal Rose : That is what we see as one of the challenges of being peer-to-peer today. The blockchain and this method through which we’re able to lock things with your own keys has helped changed that. As a company, let’s say that someone wanted to subpoena a Telegram or Facebook Messenger and get data for a user, the government could do that. As a company, we don’t have, Sense does not have, any of your data. We can’t even access it because you, the user, own it and control it. It’s all yours. That’s really what we building these tools for.
Crystal Rose : The model and the way that we have an incentive to build, just like you, the user, has an incentive to use the product, is that we have a small token staking mechanism. So, you have to own and hold some tokens in order to be able to use the resources on the network.
Nye : I love that. I love that. That’s super interesting. Bringing it back to what we were talking about in the overall perspective of all of this, where do you think we are? Because right now, obviously, we’re in the middle of a bear market. We’re in a position where yourself and many other creators have stepped up to take initiative, to build things during the middle of this bear market with the intention of propelling it, innovation and creativity of the space even further into the next bull market, if you want to talk about markets and things like that. Where do you think we are with the overall picture of this? How many years out are we from seeing an actual utilized DApp or an actual utilized blockchain on a widespread basis?
Crystal Rose : It’s happening now. I think we’re really close and it’s going to happen faster than the buildup of the internet 1.0. We’re in an area now where there are already a lot of blockchains that have been built out. I have a question. What the internet is going to look like? Is it going to be one internet or are we going to have multiple internets? Because right now we have many networks that are running and you see the huge community drive behind them.
Crystal Rose : Globally we have all of these different chains. You can see the developers who are behind the networks like Ethereum, EOS, NEO, even Tron is getting a ton of traction at this point because of their community development efforts. So that the question starts to become are we going to have one unified internet in which people can fluidly go between the chains or are we going to have multiple internets and maybe there is the BYO internet, bring your own internet, and you pick your own chain type of a thing?
Crystal Rose : There’s a lot going on on the protocol level. I consider 2017 and even before that, because obviously, we had a lot of really huge, huge projects that came right on the tail of Bitcoin … Ethereum being the one that popularized DApps the most, but 2017 really was this all of a sudden explosion of new protocols. That’s also the era of the ICO. This is when everybody was saying, “Actually, we could put a token behind this and we can raise funds and start to proliferate these protocols through the developer networks.”
Crystal Rose : I think this year is the year of the DApps. Whether or not we call them that ultimately is to be determined. I think we’re probably going to go back to just applications. For now, the big struggle, the big rub for everyone who’s building is the interplay with centralized networks. For Sense, just speaking from our perspective, we’ve had to deal with Apple and iOS. We’ve to also deal with Android and what the restrictions are for the Google Play Store and how they see crypto and how it’s threatening their core business model. For instance, in-app purchases. They take 30% of every purchase so how could you let a person have any kind of financial activity with crypto. It just doesn’t work.
Crystal Rose : Fundamentally I think that the biggest rub is going to be how we interlink the two things. It’s interesting to me to see there are some DApps that are already launched that have circumvented the Apple Store. You can do that by creating an enterprise app. You basically go to your settings and you turn on the ability to access this enterprise app which is meant for companies basically. But they’re getting around the approval process and I think this is just a tip of the hat to all of the builders and hackers out there who keep finding ways to get around the system. Because that’s right now, the only way to get some of these things launched.
Crystal Rose : Really, that’s the biggest challenge I see. But, if you think about web-based tools, I would say Steam is a really great example of how web-based tools can emerge. We already have a lot of others too. There are some that use the blockchain in different ways, like just rewarding content creators like Patreon. And, there are some that are totally trying to decentralize everything and put the content ownership into the user’s hands. I think DTube might be a good example of that.
Nye : You bring up a really, really interesting point there. For a great example is … I guess it’s kind of decentralized in a way was Binance. The Binance had a mobile application that I had to use for a while but you couldn’t get it on the app store. I think they had it on the app store for a few days before Apple decided to take it down or something. You had to do this whole back loop process with … I think you were talking about enterprise buttons and things like that. I don’t know the whole process, but you had to do this whole back loop process, which brings up an interesting point.
Nye : Because for some people who are more tech-savvy … I wouldn’t call myself a genius in the tech realm, but I’m tech-savvy enough to understand how to do things like that. I’m tech-savvy enough to understand how to work through computer systems and things like that. You have people like myself who can do things like that and then you also have people who just can barely even download an app off the app store. Besides that, there’s also a different trust factor. With downloading something off of the internet that’s not verified by Apple, there is another level of trust that is needed for someone to say, “Okay, this is safe. This won’t corrupt my phone. this won’t corrupt the data that’s being shared on my phone.”
Nye : It’s an interesting thing. How do you see this working? Do you think we’re going to have maybe even a decentralized app store at one point where people will find trust in another intermediary that maybe isn’t Apple or maybe isn’t even controlled by anyone, but it will have that trust factor? I don’t know. What’s your vision with that?
Crystal Rose : Absolutely. It has to be that way I think for now. One of our ideas and something on the roadmap is to give access to the DApps on the EOS network to start and if we can become inter-chain or chain-agnostic, that would be a huge goal. We do have some other decentralized messengers or those that have tried on the Ethereum network. Status is a great example. They were really large ICO and a couple of others that were built like Toshi, which is a project that I love but the team was acquired by Coinbase and basically changed into Coinbase. Those projects originally started as an information transfer, a messaging system and both evolved into a DApp explorer.
Crystal Rose : I think that that’s where we have to go because right now, there really isn’t a way for everyone to easily launch into these centralized networks. There are a couple of others that are out on the market now and able to be downloaded. We still have a big challenge because we’re reliant on things like MetaMask which is desktop only, Scatter for EOS desktop only. The signatures on the wallets are a little tricky, so we’re very early.
Crystal Rose : Anyone who is playing with the games and the gambling tools, which are probably the top used DApps today … Or even the decentralized exchanges. I think IDEX is the top Ethereum app or DApp right now. Anyone who’s using these tools is savvy in some way to crypto. It’s definitely not consumer friendly yet. That’s the other big challenge that we have is in terms of time, when do we hit scalability because we do have to get over that hurdle? That, I think, is still the other thing to crack. This is the big problem for this year.
Crystal Rose : Anyone who’s building is running into these challenges. Really, our goal by building Sense was to give the consumers who are interested in crypto or maybe have heard of it, but don’t really see that as their core reason for using one of these tools, we want to give them something to do and something to use. We’re really excited about all of the different possibilities. Even if you think about my favorite feature that I think is on the roadmap, and something that we’re really excited about building, is the addition of NFTs or just simply digital assets, digital goods.
Crystal Rose : If you think about everyone that owns a digital good today and let’s say you bought cryptokitties when cryptokitties was really popular or you have some other digital assets from a game, maybe something on the WAX network. Those are all locked up in those networks and mostly only accessible through the web, through some website and not really usable in your other worlds. They’re not super portable. You don’t get to keep your cryptokitty with you and send it in a text message. We want to change that. We want to let you put that into your chat stream and use it like a sticker and even sell it in the future.
Nye : That’s super cool. That’s a whole other topic. We could talk about gaming for a whole other hour. Before we wrap this up, I’m curious what your perspective is on all these blockchain funds. We’ve seen Pundi X come out with a blockchain phone or they’re coming out with one. We’ve seen Sirin blockchain phone just recently be released. Do you think these play a role in this mobile DApp app ecosystem in the future? What’s your opinion on that?
Crystal Rose : I think so. I have this idea that there might be a situation where people start to have two phones and that you have two personas. One is your centralized public, almost the way that Twitter is very public data about you, persona, and then you have this private, different view. You have this pseudo, anonymous persona that you can use through these networks and we might require two different devices for that.
Crystal Rose : That’s a thought that I’ve been having because one of the biggest things that I keep seeing, at least in the community of crypto, is this problem where phone numbers keep getting stolen. It’s so insane to me that you have the most private information you own is actually your phone number. It’s like your social security number. Today’s social security number is your phone number. Because of the 2FA, the authentication that’s been placed on all these sites, even banking, it’s a really big problem because that’s the number one thing you give away freely. Most people have it on their business cards.
Crystal Rose : I had this problem of someone actually posted a photo of my business card to Steam in a collection of business card. Now, all of a sudden, my phone number is publicly available and that phone number is really private information. It’s actually something I don’t want publicly available. I really have this concept that coming with this new internet is probably a new way of accessing it. We will watch and see if Google and if Apple adapt or if we’re going to have tools that get around the problem.
Nye : Yeah, that’s why … I don’t really talk about … First off, before I say this, this is not an endorsement of a token or anything like that. I was at the Pundi X announcement even for their phone and I got to play around with it a little bit. That’s actually what I really liked, Crystal, was the fact that the Pundi X phone specifically has two OSs, two operating systems. One is an Android operating system and then you literally swipe the phone and you go over to the blockchain.
Nye : So, you’re able to have multiple SIM cards in there. You’ll be able to utilize the Android operating system, download all the Android apps on the same phone as the blockchain phone. If you want to make a call, send a video, send a text message, whatever it is on the blockchain, it’s literally a button or a swipe and you swipe over to a whole new phone. It’s interesting.
Nye : That really caught my attention. Not at being specific to Pundi X, not at being specific to Sirin or any specific token or project. I don’t like to talk about that stuff. But, the technology itself really, really caught my attention there. I think we’ve got a really bright and interesting future ahead of us.
Crystal Rose : Absolutely. I’m right on board with that as well. I think hardware is maybe one of the hardest things that we can change, but it’s not impossible. We all went from manila desktop computers into portable devices. Some people completely leapfrogged laptops and they just went straight for the smartphone. A lot of developing countries, that’s the case mostly. Same thing with tablets.
Crystal Rose : It’s not outside the realm of possibility that we’re going to innovate our hardware as we innovate the underlying technology that goes with it. I think even IoT devices. It’s really funny because our homes are starting to get completely bombarded with things that are also taking our data. We have the thermostats and we have whatever our smart-home assistant is and we have all of these things that are constantly recording. That’s another really interesting facet where this invasion of your data being captured is imminent and it’s on us.
Crystal Rose : I would see a lot of people really wanting to embrace a new system or a new type of device. I love the idea of having two operating systems in one because that prevents having to have two phones. For the moment, I have the same perspective about my iPhone as I have with Facebook and the Facebook products which is I’m not going to ditch it quite yet. I’m a huge proponent of digital sovereignty and privacy and everyone having the right to choose.
Crystal Rose : I think that’s really important is you have the right to choose what you share and what you protect. As long as the tools that you’re using give you that choice, that’s where we start to have the real sovereignty that we’re looking for digitally. Today, we don’t actually have a choice. Today, we have to hit the ‘I agree’ button or we’re not able to use those systems.
Nye : Exactly. Exactly. Well, Crystal, I really appreciate it. I’m really glad that you got to come on and I’m glad we got to dive into all this. I think you’ve got a really unique perspective, unique angle on all this stuff and I appreciate you for coming on and chatting with me about it.
Crystal Rose : Thank you. I love chatting about all this. I love geeking out. Thanks so much for having me.
Nye : Yeah, of course. If someone wants to learn more about you or download Sense Chat or learn more about Sense Chat, where can they do so?
Crystal Rose : Sense.chat is where you can find the product. If you do download Sense Chat, we’re in beta right now on iOS. You can do a preorder. If you are on Android, just send over your info. If you want to test it out, I would love to do so with you or our team can do it. You can find me @crystalrose on Twitter, @sensetoken on Twitter, and you can find me on Sense Chat as CrystalRose3.
Nye : Awesome. Great crystal. I’m going to go download Sense Chat and I’ll add you on there and we can continue conversations and stuff like that. Again, I really, really appreciate you. Thank you so much for joining. Everybody who’s listening, this is another episode of the Evolvement Podcast where we talk about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and the future of our financial systems. I’m your boy, Nye, and we will catch you next time. Peace.