Secret Grant 2: Fardels, Decentralized and Private Social Media
NEW: The second Secret Grant has been awarded for the development of Fardels, a new kind of distributed social network application built on Secret Network that lets users share items of small value.
Hello to the Secret community!
It's been many busy months of building in the Secret Network ecosystem, and our application layer is now fully emerging. We've demonstrated the power of private smart contracts to make decentralized finance more secure and to create privacy-preserving secret NFTs, yet this just scratches the surface of what a smart contract network with privacy-by-default can support.
Programmable privacy has the potential to create a whole new ecosystem of distributed applications that would be infeasible without built-in mechanisms for keeping data private. Just as adding a secure layer on top of HTTP enabled e-commerce to thrive on the web, programmable privacy provides the flexibility for developers to create an endless variety of decentralized applications where public and private user-controlled data can co-exist.
In our latest secret grant we are excited to fund the development of Fardels, a new kind of distributed social network application built on Secret Network that lets users share items of small value.
Social media has become integral to how content creators like musicians, writers, artists, and entertainers publish their creations with the world. Although social media has made it possible to more directly share what you make, because the networks are centralized, the development of comparable mechanisms whereby the consumers of the content directly compensate people for what they bring to the community has been elusive.
Ever since the creation of smart contracts there has been a promise of building new kinds of decentralized social networks that can solve this problem. In practice what has been built have been impoverished clones of existing social networks (for example, EtherTweet) that lack key features, such as the ability to follow others. That is because most smart contract networks do not (and cannot) keep user data private. Plus, they have not innovated around the strengths of the blockchain to rethink the types of relations that social networks aim to foster.
Fardels aims to improve on both counts. By building on Secret Network, important aspects of user data can be kept private. And just as Twitter innovated around sharing short pieces of information, Fardels is designed to foster a culture of sharing digital items of small value. A fardel is a bundle or collection of information that you carry to the decentralized web to share with others. The contents of a fardel can be a link to a music file, an image, or even a short piece of text like the punchline to a joke. It is something others are willing to pay a small price to access (e.g., no more than 5 SCRT and perhaps considerably less), and because the price is low there is little risk in unpacking one.
There are also no limitations on what kinds of data are shared. It can be a link to an immutable file on IPFS or a simple Dropbox link. Thus, the contents can be permanent on the blockchain or they can be ephemeral, copyable, deletable, sharable. You can think of them as anti-NFTs, because the content creator earns money based on the number of users who create demand to unpack the fardels, not because of their high value. If the fardel was something that made you smile, that you found useful, or simply valued in some way then you can leave a positive comment and rate it up, so others will know it is something they might want to unpack as well. And if the contents are a let down or disappear, well... you can write a negative comment and rate it down.
Over time, content creators who create quality content will get good ratings and will begin to gain social capital in the community. People will trust them and want to unpack more of what they have to offer.
A first draft of Fardels was developed as part of the HackAtomRU hackathon.
The GitHub repo for Fardels can be found here, and a video of the early demo can be found here.
This grant will support the development of a full version of the Fardels application, with a plan to release a Testnet version in June and a Mainnet version after testing has completed in 2021 Q3. The development work will include refining the secret contract and its data structures as well as further development of the user interface.
A priority for the user interface will be on developing an easy entry point for content creators and others to create a Keplr wallet, begin carrying fardels to the network, and start earning money. Further detail on the proposed outcomes of the grant can be found here on the Secret Foundation GitHub.
To stay up to date on progress, follow @FardelsNetwork on Twitter, or keep an eye on announcements on the Secret Network community pages!
And if you'd like to apply for your own Secret Grant, don't hesitate: there's over $75M in ecosystem grants available for developers and creators! Learn more in this announcement post - then start building your own unique piece of the Secret universe.