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Blockchain Could Give People "Ownership of Their Own Data"



(p. B1) The first blockchain was created in 2009 as a new kind of database for the virtual currency Bitcoin, where all transactions could be stored without any banks or governments involved.

Now, countless entrepreneurs, companies and governments are looking to use similar databases -- often independent of Bitcoin -- to solve some of the most intractable issues facing society.

"People feel the need to move away from something like Facebook and toward something that allows them to have ownership of their own data," said Ryan Shea, a co-founder of Blockstack, a New York company working with blockchain technology.

The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has said the blockchain could help reduce the big internet companies' influence and return the web to his original vision.


. . .


(p. B4) Blockstack has built a way to record the basic details about your identity on a blockchain database and then use that identity to set up accounts with other online projects that are built on top of it.

The animating force behind the project is that users -- rather than Blockstack or any other company -- would end up in control of all the data they generate with any online service.

Blockstack is one of several blockchain-based projects hoping to create a new generation of online services that don't rely on having unfettered access to our personal information.

The idea has gained enough steam that in the days after news of Facebook's relationship with Cambridge Analytica broke, Twitter was filled with people calling for blockchain-based alternatives.



For the full story, see:


NATHANIEL POPPER. "Tech's Answer For Security: Blockchain." The New York Times (Monday, April 2, 2018): B1 & B4.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date APRIL 1, 2018, and has the title "Tech Thinks It Has a Fix for the Problems It Created: Blockchain.")






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