July 16, 2024
Real Estate Tycoon Frank McCourt Critiques 'Dodgy Cryptocurrencies' at Web Summit 2023
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Real Estate Tycoon Frank McCourt Critiques ‘Dodgy Cryptocurrencies’ at Web Summit 2023

Renowned real estate developer and billionaire Frank McCourt took centre stage at Web Summit 2023, using the platform to express his concerns about what he termed “dodgy cryptocurrencies and silly NFTs.” McCourt, who is actively involved in the open internet protocol known as DSNP (Decentralized Social Network Protocol), took the opportunity to clarify that his project does not involve tokenization. In his view, these speculative crypto assets and non-fungible tokens are distinct from the core blockchain technology that holds the potential to significantly enhance the internet.

McCourt’s emphasis on the separation between speculative crypto assets and the fundamental technology underpinning blockchain stems from his belief that blockchain can “fix the internet.” By “fix,” he specifically refers to addressing issues such as identity, provenance, and the verification of attributes and attestations. These, according to McCourt, are areas where blockchain excels, providing immutable and non-corruptible information.

DSNP, the Decentralized Social Network Protocol championed by McCourt, utilizes Frequency, a layer-1 parachain on the Polkadot network. Importantly, McCourt underscores that the social graph within DSNP is intentionally not linked to any financial incentives through crypto tokens or private company database servers.

The real estate tycoon took the opportunity to unveil a manifesto at Web Summit, advocating for what he terms a “better web.” Within this manifesto, McCourt criticizes major tech and social media platforms, alleging that they have inflicted “profound damage” on society. He characterizes these platforms as a “techno-capital engine” incentivized to engage in activities such as stalking, manipulation, and preying upon individuals. McCourt identifies artificial intelligence (AI) as a potential accelerant for these negative trends.

In response to these concerns, McCourt’s non-profit initiative, Project Liberty, seeks to provide an alternative. While McCourt expresses a pro-technology stance, he clarifies that Project Liberty is not supportive of autocratic, centralized surveillance technology. Instead, it advocates for internet users to “own your data and take back your digital rights.”

DSNP, as part of Project Liberty, has already facilitated the migration of over 170,000 users from the Web2 social media platform MeWe to its protocol. McCourt anticipates that this number will reach 300,000 by the end of the year and surpass a million by the close of Q1 2024.

McCourt concludes by posing a thought-provoking question: “Rather than us clicking on the Terms of Use set by five big giant platforms, what if the new apps are clicking on our Terms of Use, for how our data gets used?” This query encapsulates McCourt’s vision for a user-centric and rights-oriented approach to digital interactions, challenging the prevailing norms set by major tech platforms.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Disclosure Statement: Miami Crypto does not take any external funding, or support to bring crypto news to the readers. We do not have any conflicts of interest while writing news stories on Miami Crypto.

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