Streamr partners up with Jolla and Zipper, the creators of the blockchain phone

Blockchain technology has enabled us to interact with each other in totally new ways. So much so, that it has the potential to become one of history’s greatest global disruptors. One hugely important potential benefit of its decentralized ledger technology is the way it can give you control of your personal data: In short, controlling who has access to the data you generate, and who benefits from its value.

Big data just keeps getting bigger

This is a big thing because a huge, and exponentially increasing, amount of data is being generated by people and the connected devices, wearables, health and fitness apps, and sensors around us. What’s more, the amount of this real-time data will continue growing now and well into the foreseeable future. The numbers are mind-boggling: More data will be created in 2017 than the previous 5,000 years of human civilisation put together.

Building a better blockchain user experience

Realizing the vision and potential of the blockchain – be it on data or on other fronts – needs tools and user-friendly interfaces. While the blockchain community is growing fast globally, the user experience is still lacking. It’s often clumsy and slow to handle private keys securely, exchange digital tokens, as well as access decentralized apps and information sources. It’s also unwieldy when it comes to generating and monetizing value from the data we generate.

Say hello to the world’s first blockchain smartphone

Happily, this is now all set to change. Today at Slush in Helsinki, Jolla, the developers of the Sailfish OS, and Zipper, the Ethereum based mobile platform for decentralized apps, have announced an exciting new initiative. In a world first, they’re creating a blockchain community phone program for Sony Xperia™ X. Their aim is to develop a dedicated blockchain smartphone solution for the easy and secure use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications.

So, where does Streamr fit in?

We first heard about this innovative idea when we met Antti Saarnio (founder of Zipper) at ICO Summit in Zurich earlier this year. Antti was already thinking of ways to solve the usability issue for blockchain users and of promoting the growing developer and enterprise ecosystem in the blockchain space. We’ve had a number of discussions with the Jolla and Zipper team since then, and we met again in Devcon at Cancun just a few weeks back.

Proud to be partners

One thing led to another and we’re now very excited to announce our partnership with Jolla and Zipper in their quest to bring the blockchain to the masses. As friends and followers of Streamr know, our vision is to make it easy for people to access, distribute and monetise their real-time data. With this goal in mind, we are busy building a platform for machines and humans to trade data via a decentralised peer-to-peer network.

Your data has always had value. It’s already being used by a huge number of enterprises, which provide you with many useful services. However, you never see a penny of the value created. With a blockchain smartphone with Streamr integration built in, you’ll be finally able to start sharing in that value. Now, that’s what I call a future to get excited about.

To find out more about our vision of a data-tradable world, join our communities on Reddit, Rocket Chat and Twitter.

DEVCON3 roundup

Back now in Europe after Devcon3. Weatherwise, of course, things are not quite the same here, drizzle and 5 degrees above zero being the order of the day.

But we bring back many warm memories! Devcon 3 was a great experience, the event hummed along nicely and mostly without safety worries. Some unsavoury characters were seen around, though.

Cozumel Splendid Toadfish (Sanopus splendidus)

Despite such distractions, we were able to catch up with old friends, make new friends, and find out more about a number of exciting projects.

As to the official program, Henri was on stage in the P2P breakout track. He gave an overview of the Streamr platform and discussed how it enables machines and connected devices to share and monetize real-time data. Henri also did a live demo, building a real-time analytics pipeline from scratch on stage, and connected it to an Ethereum smart contract. The breakout sessions were recorded but not live streamed, but the Devcon team should make the recordings available online soon.

Interesting opportunities for collaboration transpired. For instance, also presenting in the P2P track was Eric Tang from Livepeer. In discussions afterwards it became clear — perhaps not surprisingly — that the tech for decentralised live video shares common ground with decentralised real-time messaging, and there are certainly possibilities for collaborative development. Henri and Eric tentatively agreed on a joint technical workshop later on to discuss this opportunity further.

For my part, I gave a joint presentation with Gregory Landua on the The Data Mechanics of Saving the Planet. You can see this talk in the morning session on Day 4 here:

REGEN is a wonderful use case for the blockchain, showing how secure decentralized ledger technology and real-time messaging can be used for the common good. The above recording includes an inspiring embedded video, and Gregory of Terra Genesis International makes a great case for a better planet via regenerative agriculture and verified carbon sequestration in his informed but laid-back fashion. We at Streamr are happy to help with the decentralized data infrastructure that underpins their vision.

Many good talks were had with other teams on various fronts where we believe Streamr can be helpful. We’ll come back to those initiatives in the following weeks and months, and will keep everyone informed as progress is being made.

Just to mention some friends old or new, we first got in touch with the good folks at Oaken Innovations from Texas through Trusted IoT Alliance. We were glad to have the opportunity to meet up in person with John and the rest of the team in Cancun.

It was also great to meet with Jun, Vansa and others from OmiseGo, hopefully we can catch up again soon. Deep discussions were had with Julian, Grzegorz, Alex, Andrezj, Piotr, Shiv and the rest of the Golem team, and concrete things will follow. We much enjoyed exchanging ideas and swapping stories with FriendUp team, Arne, Hogne, Thomas, and David.

From Brian Fox we heard about Orchid who are working on a blockchain-based protocol (a kind of decentralized VPN) that lets users access the internet free of censorship and surveillance. Now that’s a formidable prospect!

Microservices are close to our hearts, given that one of the uses of Streamr it to create them or connect to them. Talks with Lucas Geiger of Wireline opened up interesting possibilities on that front.

Lucas Geiger from Wireline and Henri from Streamr in a deep technical discussion.

On real-time data, the work by Thomson Reuters is something we find particularly interesting. We see a great practical demand for trusted financial data as input to smart contracts.

Moving on to mobile devices, the whitepaper by Antti Saarnio and the team at Zipper Global opens up fascinating prospects on bringing the blockchain to the masses and developing the ecosystem. Antti is one of the founders of Jolla, the team behind the Sailfish mobile operating system.

Many thanks for those who attended the impromptu Streamr community get-together (first one ever!) at the Grand Fiesta Americana lobby bar. Dozens of people showed up, even though the event was very ad-hoc. Good to see you all! We are grateful, of course, to our dear advisors and early supporters, and luckily were able to meet up with a number of you. You know who you are.

BTW, we are hiring! We are looking for a head of communications, a person to co-develop the strategy of how Streamr interacts with its followers and gains new ones. This person would have a mission of developing our community every day, producing content to help communicate the Streamr vision, and maximising transparency into what we are doing. Experience in writing and community building, native English skills, and insight into technology are essential. We are also looking for experienced software engineers to join our team. Or particular interest at present are masterful QA and devops engineers, as well as folks with P2P networking experience. We also find Java, Javascript, and React/Redux skills extremely useful, as they are all over our tech. To discuss these opportunities, just reach out using any of the channels listed in the footer of our website.

To stay up to date, follow Streamr on Twitter, and join our community chat.