Commentary

Po.et Announces Inkrypt, Anticensorship Project

Print and digital media is facing trouble from several angles, such as destabilized revenue streams because of the digital ad marketplace — and, particularly after the 2016 election, threats to its very right to exist.

Recently, developers have looked to blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a means to stabilize the advertising part of the equation. In April, Dow Jones Media Group announced it would join a host of other respected publishers on the ad-blocking browser Brave, which uses cryptocurrency to pay publishers and users, rather than subjecting users to unwanted advertising.

Yesterday, the open-source, not-for-profit blockchain publishing network Po.et announced a potential solution for another problem, censorship of the press.

Introducing Po.et Development Labs, the network plans to partner with creators who want to provide solutions for other digital creators.

Po.et Development Labs was created to allow developers to work with the Po.et blockchain protocol. Po.et hopes to support new projects through its platform to “expand its already vast ecosystem.”

The first project to come from the labs is Inkrypt, an app that allows users to save content by distributing it to several sources, rather than centralizing a journalist’s information.

As Po.et CEO Jarrod Dicker notes in a post on medium about the labs and new app, the creation of Inkrypt is essential “in countries with oppressive regimes that censor news and information.”

Press freedoms here are slipping as well, as the U.S. continues to drop in the World Press Freedom Index, ranking at number 45, just under Romania and down two spots from 2017.

Journalists using Inkrypt can save their work to several personal devices rather than a single service, making it nearly impossible for a government to censor a writer’s work. Dicker’s Medium post likens the app to Uber for media content hosting.

Farhan Javed, Inkrypt’s co-founder, stated in the post: “We wanted to partner with Po.et because there is a complete alignment in vision. At the core, both of us want to empower content creators and usher in a new media ecosystem dedicated to data integrity, transparency and ownership.”

The hope is that the Labs will become a platform for both media companies and creators to take advantage of blockchain technology through partnerships like Inkrypt’s.

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