This week Mark Cuban unveiled the Mercury Protocol, an open-source messaging platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. The goals of the Mercury Protocol are to enable sending messages across multiple platforms, increase user engagement through rewards, and protect user privacy by getting rid of the need for ad servers that collect and store user information. The Dust messaging app is the first application to use this technology, and an app called Broadcast is currently in the works as the second. The platform is currently under development with a plan to launch and open-source the code in the first quarter of 2018.
Applications running the Mercury Protocol can integrate Global Messaging Tokens (GMT) into their communities. GMT can be used to purchase advertising or messaging to other users in lieu of a central ad server. For example, instead of paying Facebook to boost your posts you could theoretically pay other users in GMT to see your advertisement. There are many other potential uses. Online trolling can be discouraged by fining the offenders in GMT. Instead of giving someone Reddit Gold you could give them GMT for a great comment. It’s a general-purpose, decentralized currency for online messaging and communities. Users can use their GMT on any application running the Mercury Protocol and can even send messages between any application running the Mercury Protocol.
This is an exciting technology and I look forward to seeing its impact. Online communities like Reddit have always had a difficult time with low-quality comments and trolls. A token rewards/punishment system will solve a lot of these problems better than an upvote/downvote system, especially if the tokens can be used in a variety of places.