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Blockchain is the technology that started it all – it’s what makes millions of transactions sent through peer-to-peer cryptocurrency networks every year. And now, it’s making its way into one of the most important parts of everyday life – communication. But what makes blockchain so powerful, and what exactly does it have to do with the way in which we talk to others?
What Makes Blockchain Powerful
Cryptocurrency networks decide on the true state of their blockchains using consensus mechanisms, processes that verify the legitimacy of data stored within blocks and decide where along a particular blockchain those blocks belong. If nodes within a cryptocurrency network disagree on a blockchain’s true state, then protocols specific to each network automatically settle the dispute and determine the correct blockchain. Because this is done automatically, it is very difficult for an attacker to commit fraudulent transactions.
Consensus mechanisms contribute to another attractive feature of blockchains, that being their immutability. Data stored within blockchains cannot be retroactively changed or reversed without majority consensus. 51% or more of all nodes within a cryptocurrency network must agree to change the state of a blockchain. As a cryptocurrency grows, it becomes harder and harder for a single entity to control 51% of the network. Because of this, large cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin ensure the integrity of transactions. In turn, this enables individuals and businesses to trust that their funds are safe.
How Blockchain Revolutionizes Communication
TokLok, a rising messaging app, is using similar technology to revolutionize online communication. TokLok uses a decentralized and encrypted peer-to-peer network to send fully secure communications directly between phones, guaranteeing truly private correspondence.
When messages are sent from one phone to another, they are first wrapped in two layers of encryption. Then, they travel throughout the network to their intended destination. To ensure that they cannot be intercepted, only devices equipped with the correct secret codes can decrypt and read them. The combination of encryption and secret codes makes it impossible for anyone who attempts to insert themselves between senders and receivers to sniff or alter the contents of their messages. This enables users to trust that their conversations are unfiltered, uncensored, and secure.
While there are several encrypted messaging apps available, no other app goes to such lengths to protect user data. Because TokLok sends messages directly between phones, those messages never touch a third-party data provider, completely skipping cellular networks and internet service providers. This is important because messages that through third-party networks are vulnerable on the way to their destination. Without knowing what happens between a message’s start and end point, it’s impossible to determine whether they are being spied upon or altered.
This concern is not unfounded. The famous PRISM documents, leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013, revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States had back-door access to some of the largest internet platforms. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple were all named – either voluntarily or by force, these companies enabled the United States government to spy on anyone using their services. Between government surveillance and hackers, no data sent through a third party is safe.
Even without anything to hide, data privacy is important. Data sent through third-party services can be stored indefinitely and used in a plethora of nefarious ways. Personal data can be used to profile individuals in order to influence their beliefs, track their movements, impersonate them, steal their identity, and more.
Though TokLok is already developed, maintaining the most secure messenger is no small task. Cyber security threats evolve every single day. As such, TokLok has decided to go public via an ICO, or Initial Coin Offering. Sold TOL tokens will be distributed through the Ethereum blockchain, and the funds generated from these sales will be put towards continuous updates and the development of new features.
The first round of TokLok’s ICO has already begun. In total, there will be three rounds, each round offering the token for a higher price than the last. Because TokLok has the competitive advantage of being the only messaging app that provides full security, investors from across the cryptocurrency space are jumping in.