Add Crypto And Blockchain To Zoom? Vonage Founder Jeff Pulver On The Next Evolution In Communication
Blockchain – Internet pioneer Jeff Pulver is working on the decentralized blockchain-based cryptographically-secured communications platform of the future. It’s called Debrief, and the goal is middleware that any communications app — Zoom, Houseparty, Facebook Messenger — could potentially use.
That’s kind of a big deal, because he led early development of voice over IP (which we all use most days), founded Vonage, which is now worth about $3 billion, and has invested in over 400 startups, including Twitter.
And, of course, because communications platforms like Zoom are notoriously insecure.
“What we’re creating … is a next generation end-to-end IP network,” Pulver, who is the co-founder of the new company, told me on the TechFirst podcast. “You have privacy because it’s a true peer-to-peer communication network … built from the top down, bottom up to be as decentralized as possible. So that we don’t see the [content or] context of what’s being shared and you have privacy in those communications.”
Centralizing anything, whether it’s communications, financial data, or personal information, creates an attractive target.
Debrief says it is guaranteeing higher data security thanks to a peer-to-peer architecture, decentralized storage, and a blockchain-based technology. The platform will include authentication, management, encryption, and all functionalities needed for running full high-definition video conferencing.
Privacy is guaranteed because the platform itself doesn’t know what you’re sharing. Including three-letter agencies with government requests for user data.
“In our case by not storing what you’re sharing … we as a network don’t have it” Pulver says. “So we’re not going to be able to share that with anyone else because we don’t see it.”
The particularly interesting part is that Debrief isn’t trying to be the new Skype or BlueJeans or Google Hangouts. It’s not trying to be a communications app. Rather, Debrief wants to be a communications platform or protocol that other apps can use to quickly build the benefits of decentralization, peer-to-peer architecture, privacy, and encryption.
“If Zoom wanted to set up in our test bed … to take our code and use our code to start up a session, they could,” Pulver says. “They can go onto GitHub, they can download the APIs and they could play.”
One caveat: the architecture is different.
Internet-first applications are built, Pulver says with a decentralized architecture in mind. Old-world applications that are designed based around central offices and phone numbers are centralized.
“That’s a mindset,” Pulver says. “We used to call that ‘the bell-heads versus the net-heads.’”
Currently, Debrief has 3,000 people using the demo app the company built to showcase what it can do. Now, Pulver is looking for developers and partners to build on top of the platform and create solutions beyond what the company has imagined.
This article originally appeared on forbes.com To read the full article and see the images, click here.
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