"The Bitverse" – Potential For A Trustless, Decentralized Website Based On The...

"The Bitverse" – Potential For A Trustless, Decentralized Website Based On The Bitcoin Blockchain

A new project called ‘The Bitverse’ looks to creating websites that cannot be censored or suppressed by anchoring itself to the Bitcoin blockchain.

Author, physicist, ex-Peace Corps member and current software developer Andrew Barisser shared a blog post today on Medium where he talks about his latest project to build what he sees as the beginnings of a decentralized website based on the blockchain. The working title of the project so far is “The Bitverse.” The goal, as Barisser stated, is to:

“Construct(ing) a decentralized website in such a way that it cannot be censored or suppressed. Moreover, the website’s space, its actual pixels, are themselves for sale via a protocol abstracted on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain.”

Barisser’s idea, not dissimilar from Kim Dotcom’s idea for an alternative internet would allow users to own a pixel within a page, allowing a censor-free environment assuming that the rest of the blockchain associated with “The Bitverse” did not allow it. The only messages allowed would be by those owned legitimately by people with Bitcoin addresses associated with those pixels within a page. Any messages wouldn’t be acknowledged. In total, the designed scarcity of the space will be about 1920X1080 pixels.

The space within “The Bitverse” can not only be owned, but traded, bought and sold with transactions. With much of the same logic referred to in the Bitcoin whitepaper published by Satoshi Nakamoto, the attackers, regulators, authorities or spammers of this “Bitverse” would need to outpace the blockchain effect of the network, which would prove prohibitively difficult.

An owner of pixels on the Bitiverse cannot be silenced unless a majority of the Bitcoin mining pool decided to; an unlikely occurrence. If the content_url is shut down by outside powers, a new one may be created and re-broadcast immediately, becoming a confirmed Bitcoin transaction within minutes. The authorities would have to have the capability of shutting down arbitrary IP addresses every 10 minutes to stifle this.

Owners of pixels will have their ownership justified by their possession of a cryptographic key rather than the registration and recognition of anyone else, particularly a third party.

While this concept proposed by Barisser is a very abstract one, it’s easier to imagine the concept of being able to own, rent or transfer a piece of this alternative internet real estate as easy as one can do the same with Bitcoins. Barisser stated a larger-scale application he’d like to see applied with this technology is a Reddit which doesn’t rely on centralization or trust.

There is currently no example of this “Bitverse” to look at, however, Barisser stated in his blog post that he intends to release alpha version source code very soon that functions on a basic level.

Featured image from Shutterstock.


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Dan Elitzer is a member of IDEO Futures, a new ventures team focused on prototyping and incubating new businesses, with...