Alexandria: Decentralized Knowledge Database

The blockchain technology is enables us to reinvent a lot of applications and to develop a new generation of apps that simply weren’t possible only a few years ago.

Also read: ZapChain, Coinbase Enable Digital Compensation for Artists

Alexandria_article_midimage3_BitcoinBlocktech is one company among working to enhance the use of the blockchain technology. Moreover, Blocktech is applying this new technology to develop several distributed applications, new cryptoeconomies, and knowledge distribution. The startup developed an open-source project that presents a new concept for a distributed knowledge base for storing and for sharing and preserving art, history and culture.

The Alexandria Library is the new software application developed by Blocktech. Alexandria brings to life a platform much like the Youtube, Soundcloud, Netflix or any other library providing information, but without centralized servers. By removing the central points of failure while financially incentivizing content producers around the world and by using
open-source and peer-to-peer technologies, Alexandria tries to do for digital content publishing and distribution what Bitcoin did for money.

Devon Read, Blocktech CEO explains:

“Alexandria is a decentralised peer-to-peer library for art, culture and history. Essentially you can think of it like youtube but without servers. It lets users share anything. 3d printable objects, feature films, music, books, PDFs, and whatever the user likes. And there’s a built in payments layer that allows the users to do great things with it that youtube would never allow.”

Alexandria: Online Decentralized Knowledge

Alexandria offers us a decentralized, online method of storage to prevent the possible destruction of mass amounts of human knowledge destruction. This service also enables a knowledge platform where censorship is nearly impossible.Alexandria_article_midimage1_Bitcoin

Governments censor what people can watch, and creators many times see their content deleted from the Internet without their consent. Furthermore, content creators must depend on centralized servers, generating revenue based on ineffective and restrictive advertising outdated models.

With this new model, users are encouraged to publish anything they want, including videos, music, books, 3D-printables and recipes. On the Alexandria platform, content creators are in complete control over how their work is published, and they have access to several different monetization options. Only the publisher has the power to remove his or her content from the library. Users have access to features like commenting on media, publishing subscriptions, and the ability to automatically “cash out” cryptocurrency tokens into USD or other fiat currencies. This gives Alexandria the ability to replace the “software as a service” model that runs on platforms like iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, enabling content creators to publish their work without being exposed to censorship.

Decentralized Publishing

Alexandria_article_midimage_BitcoiAlexandria harnesses the power of distributed technologies, including IPFS (Interplanetary File System) and the Bitcoin and Florincoin blockchains. Bitcoin is optionally used for audience-to-publisher payments. By using the Florincoin blockchain, Alexandria can provide a permanent, publicly accessible publishing database and payments ledger, creating a financial incentive for users to contribute to the growth and security of the platform.

Alexandria handles all content in a fully decentralized manner. By eliminating central points of failure, Alexandria Keeps all content in the blockchain. Alexandria also uses Bitcoin to enable artists to receive tips and payments for their art directly from their audiences.

The first step for an artist to get their work out in the world in front of potential audiences is publishing it. To publish to iTunes or Spotify, artists usually go through a middle-man service that takes a small piece of their revenues in exchange for putting their tracks into digital music stores. With Alexandria, artists will no longer have to do that!

Peer to Peer Distribution

Once a piece of art has been published to an online catalog, how do the users get the file? In the traditional model, files are kept on a content distribution network (CDN), governed by its rules and paid for and controlled by various companies. This gives companies the ability to demand big cuts from artists’ revenues, and the ability to censor or erase content they don’t agree with as well.

To replace this system with a decentralized mechanism, Alexandria uses the IPFS distributed hash table (DHT). Similar to the technology underlying Bittorrent, IPFS is an open source software platform that allows users to share files with one another without going through any central points of failure.

By using Bitcoin, Florincoin and IPFS, Alexandria introduced a new system capable of replacing for the centralized mechanisms with an entirely peer to peer, uncensorable and decentralized process.

What are your thoughts on Alexandria? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Blocktech.

Nuno Menezes is a Portuguese Bitcoin Entrepreneur and a crypto currency’s enthusiast supporting the Bitcoin Portuguese Community. He is an Anthropologist and a Writer and his current field of work is virtual currencies. Complementing his Social Sciences Master degree with a Professional background in telecommunications along some experience in Computer Science, he intends to bring knowledge and understanding about the impact of crypto currencies in society.