The European Commission’s Fire Study of Next Generation Internet recently concluded among other things, that:
- Internet should ensure citizens’ sovereignty over their own data and protect privacy;
- Internet should ensure diversity, pluralism and a right to choose; and
- Internet should avoid the concentration of data in a few proprietary platforms.
Personal Data Spaces was seen as a very important technology area for all the above top ranked values.
In this post, I take a look at this broad, complex, and crucial topic and a venture, the Pillar project, that is focused on solving the problem of Personal Data Spaces.
We live in a world that is entangled in a web of cyber-security issues. Accounts are one of the main entry points for hackers and cyber-terrorists.
Wouldn’t governments, enterprises, and the crowd, love to solve this?
We live a world in which our digital assets are held by several centralized entities. They offer us access to them via accounts and monetize all the data we generate. Corporates have learned to live with complex custody and counterparty risks, and we “accept terms” blindly.
Wouldn’t corporates and the crowd, love to get rid of this?
We live in a world that operates via apps which don’t even talk to each other. Our life goals and projects live in silos. Interoperability remains a huge challenge for enterprises, and for us, it seems too far from being possible.
Wouldn’t corporates and the crowd, love to personally control from a dashboard access to only what is necessary?
Enterprises are swimming in an ocean of cyber-security issues that drain financial and human resources. We, the people, we are all plagued by inertia around all these issues: Accounts-Passwords-Apps-Custody-Privacy.
Don’t we all dream of a new world that tackles these issues at scale?
The Pillar project
The Pillar project aims to address these issues by replacing Accounts with Atomic Ownership and replacing Apps with Services.
This will be done by first creating an open-source wallet that will be the dashboard for all assets. From IDs, financial records, health records, education, professional engagements, and much more.
David Siegel, blockchain expert, author of the book Pull (Penguin), and godfather of the Pillar project, says “We’re starting with a wallet, but we’re aiming to replace the iOS and Android operating systems with the Pillar system that has no apps. It uses tokens, smart contracts, and a growing ecosystem of online services that let you pull the information you want, find what you’re looking for, buy what you need, manage the ownership, and interact with hundreds of other systems easily and securely.
We envision all consumer devices and wearables being eventually powered by the Pillar wallet. Because the data is decentralized and stored in secure blockchains, it is of little interest to hackers, thus, providing high-level security.”
The Pillar project will offer end-users personalized assistance in very simple and secure ways that are unimaginable today. By being able to securely access the relevant personal data and get rid of the usual silos of the Apps world, the Pillar wallet will let you manage everything you own, everything you want to look for, everything you consume online; without logins, searches, and multiple step requirements.
Imagine a world where you walk into a new doctor’s office – all the paperwork, test results, prescriptions, billing, and insurance are taken care of automagically by your Pillar wallet.
Imagine a world that governments and corporates, get rid of accounts and account-management entirely. Everyone had his/her own assets in their own wallet and simply plugs into the government or enterprise system as needed – i.e. to use the necessary services via existing APIs that are now modified to accept Pillar tokens.
The Pillar project development
The open source Pillar Wallet, will allow the development of the necessary ecosystem on top of it. This will include a browser, an exchange, a calendar etc.
All digital assets will be residing in the decentralized world of various blockchains (which are behind the Pillar wallet) and you will be the owner of these private keys. This will replace the existing centralized ownership structure with the new Pillar atomic ownership capabilities and will get rid of the inherent, systemic cyber risks.
The ecosystem that will be built on top of the Pillar Wallet will be partly built by the Pillar project team and partly by other parties. The vision is to eventually, connect all consumer devices and wearables to the Pillar wallet.
The Pillar system will use its own native utility token, called the pillar (symbol: PLR). The PLR is a meta-token which will be used “behind the scenes” to cover all your needs and offer all the services seamlessly and in a “pay-as-you-go” fashion. From identity, to energy, to golf, to job engagements.
The Pillar project is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal that will offer to governments, enterprises and individuals, the decentralized empowerment needed to change the current operating systems and processes. The vision is to become the dashboard used by e-Government services and the medical industry for identity and security, by financial service providers for wealth management, or by enterprises for employment (and for any other high value service).
There are three development phases towards making this open source dashboard reality:
- Phase 1 – by Q4 2017 – Building the Pillar multi chain wallet and integrating it with the various systems.
- Phase II – by Q1 2018 – Enhancing the multi chain Pillar wallet with an exchange platform, an escrow messaging, a browser etc.
- Phase III – by Q2 2018 – Enhancing the Pillar wallet with the creation of the personal data locker and the personal assistant that will separate the Pillar wallet from other wallets (e.g. Jaxx, Shapeshift, Lykke, etc).
Disclaimer: I am an Advisor to the Pillar project, a Bold venture looking to create a smart and secure alternative to our world of apps, logins and increasing centralized risks. I am lured to it because it is Open-source, Multi-chain, and can solve major pain points for governments, enterprises, and individuals.
The Pillar Token (PLR) sale will take place on July 15, 2017. See more details on the Pillar web site where you can also read the white paper and more.
The Pillar token is key to the decentralized empowerment of our personal digital lives and of government and enterprise processes.
Join the conversation on the Fintech Genome The Pillar project and the upcoming PLR token sale or in the commentary below.
Efi Pylarinou is a Fintech thought-leader, consultant, and investor.
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looks interesting but how do we make sure “Max is Max”, it seems like the weaklink is still in the users authentication process, I don’t see anything that tells me what happens if Max’s phone/wallet gets stolen? what sort of protection is there against this?
This is the current most vulnerable angle of attack and while I see how the blockhain concept can protect the data, from a cybersecurity perspective it looks like I’d be putting all my eggs/private keys in the same vulnerable basket… or am I missing something?
The personal data space is all about getting rid of the Centralized way we store all our “assets”. In the world the Pillar project envisions, the private keys to the wallet will be held by Max himself. This reduces substantially the risk from hacks to the centralized entities (banks, hospitals, insurance, e-commerce entities etc) that now hold keys to our assets.
The additional security needed at the individual level (my private keys) has much less risk and is already the focus of various projects. Two such examples are Civic and Lykke.
thanks the Civic project looks interesting to solve that issue, but I’m still uneasy having all my personal data linked to my fingerprint they don’t seem to use any 2FA method to complement ID check in transactions.
However I agree that compared to how “most people” protect their data nowadays, it is probably an improvement.
[…] in 2018. I started last year with my involvement in the open source Pillar Project (read more in Decentralized empowerment with the Pillar Wallet: A secure dashboard with No Accounts, No Apps). I will be posting an update next month after I visit their innovation lab in London and get […]