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Friday , 31 October 2014

New platform Trsst turns Bitcoin addresses into identification for encrypted blogging and messaging

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Privacy is much valued today, especially by the people who spend half their day (or more) online. The issue has been largely debated, partially because of Edward Snowden’s case, the man who revealed all the truth about the North-American surveillance program.

This case’s latest consequence was the forced shutdown of the encrypted email service Lavabit, used by Snowden to send messages and distribute information. The founder of the service, Ladar Levison, was forced to put an end to Lavabit after an order issued by the United States government, which tried several times to gain access to its users’ information.

We are definitely living in a new era and that’s why the encrypted messaging platform Trsst, currently under development, might make the difference. The service will allow users to send messages in a secret and anonymous way, if they want, using a Bitcoin address “doppelganger”. To fully launch Trsst, there’s a campaign going on at Kickstarter until September 14 and also the possibility of donating Bitcoins (through the address 1GMuNjMSoVkFkgzSNgDXWb8sGgJGKQruFe).

According to the project’s website, Trsst “looks and feels like Twitter but encrypted and anonymized and decentralized and only you hold the keys”. In other words, it will be something like a mix between social networks and blogging platforms like WordPress. But in this case the public posts will be public, of course, and the private messages will be really private.

“Creating content with Trsst affords both anonymity and proof of authorship. A user’s blogchain provides proof against censorship in the form of message tampering or individual message suppression or omission. The syndicated network protects against censorship by network server blacklisting or keyword filtering”, explains Trsst’s white paper.

The document adds that the service “affords encrypted private communications between individuals and encrypted private publishing to groups of individuals. It allows anonymous authorship. Servers host only encrypted content that they are unable to read because only the user holds the decryption keys”. This keypair is generated in a similar way to a Bitcoin payment address, so therefore each Trsst blog ID is also a valid cryptocurrency-related destination payment address.

Talking with Coindesk, the creator of the service, Michael Powers, said that this service “opens up tremendous room for innovation in content micropayment monetization, including for example ‘tipping’ a blogger when you like a post, or being able to charge for an article you wrote based on who is syndicating it and how many views it gets”.