If you’re anywhere above the age of one, you’ll probably know a thing or two about the internet. But did you know that every account you create, every post you make, and every like, share or retweet you do is valuable? Your data is a business. So the ownership of data should be at the top of your digital agenda.

The path to digital freedom

Without data ownership, we don’t have digital freedom. As we hurtle forwards in time, technology advances, breaching the limits of the imaginations of the great sci-fi writers. But there’s a global problem: we’re getting closer and closer to a completely technocratic, cashless and online society.

Whether you’ve heard of people buying digital real estate, or a little thing called the metaverse, the signals are clear: we’re shifting to a digitized world. There’s even non-satirical reports of potential brain implants in humans by 2023. For better or worse, the physical world and the digital world are colliding.

While all these advancements in technology will surely have some positive effects, they are also festering with the potential for harm – harm in the form of repressive and totalitarian control. If we don’t act now, data ownership may be the science fiction of the future – an imagined world where people have digital freedom and the right to own their online assets.

But it doesn’t have to be a work of fiction…

First, let’s get back to the basics.

What is data ownership?

There are two general definitions of data ownership:

  1. Data privacy for the consumer and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In this case, the data owner is the consumer who is the subject of the collected data.
  2. Data management and security. In this case, the data owners are those in an organization in control of data security policies and data management, monitoring the data stored by the organization. These data owners are in charge of keeping it safe, up to date, and useful for their colleagues and organization.

Generally, data ownership refers to the right or control over the use, access and distribution of data. It often refers to someone who owns physical data, such as a hard drive or a computer, as well as the people who have legal rights that empower them to access, use and distribute the data contained inside. But more recently, the term is becoming known for its online equivalent.

In terms of business, data ownership tends to refer to the legal rights and responsibilities related to collecting, storing, and using data about customers, clients, employees, or other stakeholders in the company. This is mostly personal data like names and addresses, but it also includes more specific data about preferences, behaviors, and transactions.

Individuals, organizations and government agencies are all potential parties involved in the complex web of data ownership. It’s critical that all parties have a clear understanding of what is meant by data ownership and data management so that they can assign the appropriate protection.

The third definition

There is a less-spoken-of third definition of data ownership: the ability to store your own data safely and securely online, without the requirement of a third party or middleman. After all, the prior two data ownership definitions often overlook the fact that it’s your data that is under question. In web2, your data is always handled by someone else. Not anymore…

At Elastos, we believe you should own your data. Data ownership issues will be easier to solve when there is a clear understanding of this topic. Any data sharing, use, or storage is down to you, not a custodian.

Why is the ownership of data important?

While any type of data can be considered under the umbrella term of data ownership, it’s really digital data that we’re talking about here. As all things go digital, we need to ensure our data remains free before we’re locked into an inescapable system, secured by code.

Without proper data protection measures, our personal data can be shared without our permission. Not only can our personal information be leaked, but our likes and dislikes, our more subjective data, is often sold to marketing companies who target us with highly specific adverts.

Ever wondered why your phone shows you ads for things you’ve been talking about or Googling? It’s because your digital footprint is being monitored by AI at all times and the data collected is being used to convert you into a customer.

Your phone is listening in to collect data even when you're not using it.

There’s no other reason why social media is free to use, and it’s one of the most successful and profitable business models of all time. You are the product. The more addictive the app, the more data you unwittingly give, and the more money the company can make by selling your interests to marketers.

This means that not only is our data sold, but some of the most popular apps in the world are purposely made to be addictive; think of how many times you’ve found yourself aimlessly scrolling Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. Big Data companies use manipulative tactics to drain us of our time, suck out our desires and regurgitate them for their business partners. This vampiric business model is extraordinary and operates largely misunderstood by the layman.

The solution is simple to understand conceptually: true data ownership so that it’s impossible for companies to use and sell your data against your will. The actual implementation of such a thing requires a few additional parts, something we’ll get onto soon…

What is user data?

User data refers to any type of data about an individual or organization that is collected when they use a product, service, or platform. This includes data that is actively provided by the user, like an online survey, but it also includes passively collected data, which is harvested through their interactions with the product or service in question, such as their browsing history or location data.

User data includes, but is not limited to, personal identification information (name, age, contact details, etc.), demographic information (gender, income level, education level, etc.), behavioral data (browsing history, search queries, etc.), and transactional data (purchase history, payment information, credit score, etc.).

User data is usually collected and used by companies to improve their products and services. It can be used to personalize experiences for users too. User data is also beneficial for companies that want to launch target marketing and highly specific advertising efforts.

While it’s critically important for companies to be transparent about their data collection practices and to make data protection a priority, too few organizations actually see it this way. It tends to be that profit comes first and data security is less important.

What is data stewardship?

Data stewardship is the responsible management and protection of data assets in an organization. It ensures data is accurate, secure, and used ethically and effectively. Or, at least, it’s supposed to.

Data stewards are responsible for all data within an organization, from its creation or acquisition, to its storage, processing, and dissemination. They aim to make sure that data is properly governed, managed, and protected. It’s also important for data stewards to ensure that data is used in a way that aligns with the organization’s goals and values.

Data stewardship involves a range of activities:

Overall, data stewardship is a critical cog in the machine of any organization’s data management strategy. It helps to ensure that data is used effectively and ethically, and that it’s protected against unauthorized access or misuse.

Except that there are many loopholes which make true data ownership far more desirable.

The failures of data stewardship

There are a number of reasons why data stewardship can be a flawed process. Not all organizations take data governance as seriously as they should. There are laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation, which are supposed to protect data on all platforms, regardless of the technology used. But they don’t always work like expected.

Man-made laws still need to be enforced, whereas code is automatically enforced, making it the default in the digital world. You can compare coded laws to natural laws like gravity. If we take Bitcoin as an example, there can never be more than 21 million BTC. This is immutable. You know the outcome is final. The same can be said for if you walk off a cliff: you are going to fall. There is no secret way you can hack life and float away. There is no way to alter the number of Bitcoins and make more out of thin air – unless, of course, all the nodes and users agree.

The digital scarcity that blockchain technology presents empowers us to create digital laws that are immutable, transparent, and apply to everybody. This is why we must ensure that we keep our data safe before a technocracy decides what’s best for everyone based on their monetary interests rather than the people’s right to data ownership. If the masses succumb to a centralized, blockchain-based internet, we could find ourselves sucked into an inescapable maze of digital censorship and limitations. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

Data stewardship can fail for a number of reasons:

  1. Lack of clear policies and guidelines: Without a clear understanding of policies and guidelines for data management, it can be difficult for data stewards to understand their responsibilities.
  2. Insufficient training: If individuals are not adequately trained in data stewardship best practices, they are less likely to know how to properly manage and protect data.
  3. Lack of resources: Data stewardship requires a budget, staff, and technology to be effective. If these resources are unavailable, it can be difficult to properly steward data.
  4. Poor communication: Data stewardship relies on effective communication between different teams and departments within an organization. If communication is poor or disorganized, it makes it more difficult to ensure that data is properly managed.
  5. Lack of accountability: If there is not a clear system of accountability in place, then it becomes almost impossible for established policies to be followed. This results in a lack of appropriate care for the data of others.
  6. Centralization: Data stewardship is usually centralized, meaning that a small group of people are in charge of a large amount of data. This can result in trust issues, security concerns, and data breaches.

Data owner vs data steward

‘Data owners’ in the usual sense of the term are stakeholders or other key players that are accountable for all the data in an organization. They have ultimate responsibility for how the data is used, collected, and shared, while a data steward is a person or group that is responsible for overseeing the management and governance of data within an organization.

The data owner is responsible for setting data governance policies and procedures. They are there to ensure these policies are followed.

A data steward, on the other hand, is responsible for day-to-day data management. They oversee an organization’s data and make sure everything runs smoothly. This may include tasks such as ensuring that data is stored and managed effectively, as well as verifying the data is accurate and accessible to those who need it.

To summarize, the data owner is responsible for the overall direction and strategy related to data, while the data steward is responsible for the practical implementation of these strategies and the ongoing management of the data.

What are the trust issues regarding data?

There are several trust issues that immediately spring to mind when a company is managing data.

1. Lack of transparency

Companies are often not transparent about how they are collecting and using customer data. When companies aren’t transparent, it creates cause for concern. The same can be said for governments, which is why a decentralized autonomous organization may be the best bet for the future.

2. Privacy concerns

When an external company is managing data, it can be a worry that personal data will be used or shared without the person’s knowledge or consent.

3. Security breaches

When centralized organizations store tons of data, they become a target for hackers. With a single point of failure, one successful hack can result in billions of people’s data being leaked.

4. Misuse of data

Big Data companies have built a reputation for themselves for being irresponsible with customer data. They frequently misuse customer data in a way that is unfair, manipulative, and/or downright illegal.

Can you own your own data?

As things stand, organizations collect data and store it according to their data governance policies. However, in a blockchain-based internet, or web 3.0, data can be stored on a blockchain, making it clear to all who owns it. Just as everybody can track every satoshi to find out which wallet it belongs to, data ownership will advance in that it will become transparent and verifiable.

The data itself, as some form of non-fungible token, will only exist in one place at one time. In the decentralized social media of the future (like Feeds), you will save, control and store your data yourself. It will never be collected by the decentralized application itself.

With a decentralized storage system, and a single-account decentralized identity, it’s finally possible for you to own your data. All that profit that Big Data companies are making? You can get a slice of the pie if you want. Web 3.0 (or web5 as Jack Dorsey calls it) will empower you to sell your own data if you want to earn from it. Otherwise you can keep it in your wallet – like you do with your cryptocurrency – and it will be private and secure.

Unlike the data breaches of today where millions, if not billions, of people’s data is leaked all the time, the decentralized internet of the future will mean that hackers have to break into each and every single person’s individual wallets to access their data. The feat of breaking into one person’s crypto wallet is already difficult enough (unless the owner has somehow exposed their private keys), so trying to break into millions is as close to impossible as can be.

How can blockchain enhance data ownership?

Can blockchain really solve all these problems? If you thought crypto was just magic money and expensive jpegs, think again. Blockchain technology can solve real problems, and decentralization can be used to counter very real trust issues. Digital money is just the tip of the iceberg.

True data ownership via blockchain technology is as disruptive as you can get for web2 industries. There are several key ways in which blockchain can improve data ownership.

These are just a handful of the ways in which blockchain technology can support data ownership, return power to the people and restore digital freedom. While it might seem a long way off, there are already numerous tech start-ups working on the solution to data ownership right now. And you’d best believe they are using blockchain technology.

Overall, blockchain’s potential for decentralization, transparency, and security make it the perfect solution to enhance data ownership and write digital data rights in immutable code. This is akin to the constitution – we get to choose our digital laws of the future, and we best make sure that data ownership is a top priority.

Own your data with Elastos

Elastos has been built to solve data ownership issues. More of an operating system than a simple blockchain, Elastos is meant to be an entire suite for creating the dApps of the decentralized internet. Its tech stack is built to help you keep your data any way you wish.

Data access and storage will be made possible through Elastos’ decentralized storage system, Hive. Access privileges will be a right of the wallet owner. The Carrier peer-to-peer network can be utilized for sharing data elements without needing an intermediary.

This will protect the integrity of your data, making you a true data owner in every sense of the phrase, but it will also protect entire industries’ data sets. Imagine research data or some other form of scientific data from a cutting edge study. This technology will not only keep it private and secure, but it will allow it to be passed between entities without interference of any kind.

The same kind of technology (blockchain, NFTs, decentralized storage, P2P networks) can be used to ensure integrity and transparency when voting too. That’s just a glimpse into the many useful ways that NFTs and decentralized technologies can greatly improve digital freedom and data ownership.

By acting now, we can ensure the digital world of the future is free and tamper-proof. We can all be data owners.


If you’ve never heard of Digital Rights Management (DRM) before then you’d be forgiven for thinking it was something that only publishing businesses needed to worry about. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Digital Rights Management can affect everybody, especially content creators. The more you know about it, the more you can be prepared as we venture further into the digital world of the future.

But what does DRM mean exactly?

What is DRM?

What does DRM stand for?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It’s a term used to describe technologies and practices that are utilized to protect digital assets, as well as digital content, such as movies, music, and ebooks.

A DRM system is designed and employed to prevent unauthorized use or distribution of digital content. By controlling access to the content and limiting the ways in which it can be used, Digital Rights Management technologies are actively opposing digital age piracy.

DRM technologies usually use encryption techniques, among other security measures, to control access to digital content and restrict specific actions, such as copying or sharing. A DRM system may also implement software licenses to regulate the use of the content.

What is DRM-protected content?

When something is DRM-protected – meaning it has been encrypted by DRM technologies – then it can only be accessed and used in particular ways that are determined by the copyright owner. If unauthorized users access the digital content, then it would be classified as copyright infringement.

For example, DRM-protected content will likely have restrictions on a number of different aspects of the content’s use: the number of devices it can be used on, the number of times it can be accessed by the user, or the duration of its accessibility. These limitations are designed to prevent unauthorized access or distribution of digital content.

How does DRM work?

Digital Rights Management works by encrypting digital media, thus requiring users to obtain a license before they can access the content. The license will reveal the granular details of the terms and conditions under which the digital content can be used. It will often include restrictions (like the ones outlined above) and limit access to those who do not comply.

To access DRM-protected content, users generally have to work with special software programs, or sometimes specific devices, that have been built with Digital Rights Management in mind. These DRM software programs or devices will check and verify the user’s license to make sure that they are authorized to access the DRM-restricted content. They then decrypt the content so that the user can access it.

The type of DRM technologies used will depend on the content. Different types of digital content are protected in different ways. Movies and music, for example, may use different DRM technologies than ebooks or some kind of computer software.

How Digital Rights Management works in multimedia commerce

Common DRM Technology

There are several well-known DRM technologies that you may have heard of:

As you can see, with 5 of the biggest names in technology using DRM software to protect their digital files, it’s obvious that Digital Rights Management and digital watermarking is here to stay. What’s not immediately obvious is where modern technology will take DRM.

For example, these big tech companies are notorious for being a hazard to data security; a big portion of their income comes from how they monetize your data. Now they are centrally governing your digital assets and telling you what you can do with them, where you can access them, and for how long.

Imagine buying a book and having the publishing company follow you around, telling you where and when you can read it, and for how long before they make you close it. It’s one thing to protect a creator’s rights; it’s another to meddle with a user’s purchase.

While Digital Rights Management is obviously important in today’s digital world, it’s also vital that the flaws in DRM technology get solved before it’s too late. With modern technology, DRM techniques are becoming more advanced, but they don’t have to become more restrictive.

Before we delve deeper into the downsides of DRM, let’s take a look at the benefits it provides.

What are the benefits of using Digital Rights Management?

The benefits may seem clear, but it’s still worth spelling them out.

  1. DRM protects intellectual property from online piracy. DRM can help digital content creators and distributors protect their intellectual property by making it difficult for unauthorized users to access and/or distribute it. This benefit of DRM technology helps creators get fair compensation for their work.
  2. Digital Rights Management encourages creativity. By providing a method to only allow authorized users access to digital content, DRM helps to create an environment in which content creators feel more confident and secure in releasing more content. However, as seen later, it can also have the opposite effect.
  3. DRM boosts security. Using encryption techniques, DRM protects digital content and makes a secure file that is only accessible to paying users.

While DRM was intended to be a good thing, things don’t always work out the way they were intended. Whether you’re dealing with audio files or an ebook, there are downsides to Digital Rights Management.

Is DRM bad?

Digital Rights Management is often controversial because it can limit the ways in which consumers can use the content they have purchased. This can be a bit of a pain if you bought an ebook, but want to read it from multiple devices (kindle, smartphone, etc.). Users often find it difficult to access content and this can put people off purchasing digital content that utilizes DRM, but more importantly, it can prevent sellers from using it, despite the piracy risks, in order to keep their customers happy.

There have also been critics who argued that DRM can be used to unfairly restrict consumer rights and stifle innovation. These critics suggest DRM solves nothing and only inhibits content creators and consumers alike.

Criticisms of Digital Rights Management

Here are some of the common criticisms of Digital Rights Management:

  1. DRM limits consumer rights. Digital Rights Management prevents users from copying or sharing their digital content with friends. This, in turn, limits the way in which users can interact with content that they purchased. In a sense, it’s like a big “but” attached to your purchase.
  2. DRM can be easily bypassed. It’s often seen as ineffective at protecting digital content because it can be overridden with relative ease. Most users can find a way around it if they really want to, which makes Digital Rights Management an annoying hurdle rather than an effective method to protect intellectual property.
  3. Digital Rights Management can be awkward to use. It is usually necessary to access digital content via a specific DRM software, adding extra steps to the process of accessing your fairly purchased digital files. This makes it incredibly difficult to access DRM content on multiple devices or platforms.
  4. DRM systems often collect data. DRM systems monitor how you interact with your digital files. Despite being built to prevent online piracy and attempt to adhere to copyright laws, DRM solutions see no problem with harvesting your data and sharing it among interested parties, including content creators and distributors.
  5. Digital Rights Management can suppress innovation. Contrary to the benefit of boosting creativity, Digital Rights Management can also suppress innovation. Because of the difficulty with making new products compatible with DRM-protected content, it has been argued that DRM is unnecessarily difficult for developers to use.

While Digital Rights Management sounds great on paper – protecting intellectual property from digital piracy – it clearly has its flaws.

So why are we talking about this here, at Elastos? What makes Digital Rights Management important today?

One word: blockchain.

Blockchain brings trust to DRM

How does blockchain technology affect Digital Rights Management?

Blockchain technology has the ability to impact Digital Rights Management in a number of different ways, each one strengthening the core concept behind DRM technologies.

 

  1. Immutable DRM. One of blockchain’s core tenets is that it’s immutable. It’s almost impossible to tamper with data that has been stored on the blockchain – that’s why this technology can be used to revolutionize so many industries.
    If digital content was available as a non-fungible token (NFT), then it would be possible to track who owns it at all times. Not only this, but it would allow for the resale of digital content when the original purchaser is done using it. It creates digital scarcity, which automatically improves Digital Rights Management due to its inability to be reproduced in the same format.
  2. Decentralized Digital Rights Management. Another key benefit of blockchain technology is its potential for decentralization. While some chains are more decentralized than others, DRM could thrive without influence or control of any one centralized authority.
  3. Transparent DRM. Another tenet of blockchain technology is its transparency. It doesn’t require you to trust corporations, instead you can trust code, and what’s more, you can see the blocks and monitor transactions for yourself. This allows everybody that wants to to track the ownership and usage of digital assets.
  4. Automatic Digital Rights Management. Utilizing smart contract technology, Digital Rights Management can be automated so that the terms of a DRM agreement are enforced through code. For instance, payment may be released to the content creator or distributor once a specific milestone has been reached.

Most of the problems with Digital Rights Management that exist today can be solved with the use of blockchain. NFTs have already started to gain traction as digital art; it’s only a matter of time before they become more popular for other digital content. There are tons of quality use cases available for NFTs as we transition from Web2 to Web3.

In addition to the four benefits outlined above, Elastos allows DRM technology to become even more powerful

How does Elastos improve Digital Rights Management?

Elastos isn’t just a blockchain. It’s a smart contract platform that comes with a suite of features that developers can use to create decentralized applications for Web3, the metaverse, and whatever lies beyond.

  1. Peer-to-peer network. Elastos’ Carrier network is a fully decentralized peer-to-peer network that is designed to replace outdated IP addresses. Decentralized and fully encrypted, Carrier transmits information on behalf of dApps so that no middleman can interfere or surveil.
  2. Decentralized storage. Elastos’ decentralized storage system, Hive, empowers users to store their data in the same way that they would store their Bitcoin – safely, securely, and privately. Users remain in control of their data at all times.
  3. Decentralized identities. As we edge closer towards a dystopian technocracy, it’s important to decentralize areas which lack trust. Digital identities is one of them. With decentralized identities, you can keep one log-in for all Web3 websites, but maintain control over your data and information.
    There can be no huge data leaks or breaches that reveal sensitive documents or information when the internet as we know it becomes decentralized. This will also be beneficial for Digital Rights Management, as each DID will be able to hold, sell, or trade its digital assets, including digital content.

So Elastos has the tech to decentralize DRM, as well as make it trustless and automatic. But is there any dApp to showcase such a thing?

Meet Elacity.

Simply click "Complete and Deploy" and your DRM contract will be converted into a smart contract by Elacity

Elacity: bringing DRM to Web3

Elacity is a smartweb platform that facilitates the creation, management and distribution of digital assets using AI, digital rights management (DRM) and Web3 technology. It intends to utilize all of the Elastos tech stack to showcase what Elastos is capable of. It makes sense that they are the first ELA project to be thinking of combining NFTs with Digital Rights Management.

Working with Dr. Xin Wang, an expert in the field of Digital Rights Management, Elacity intends to combine a DRM and NFT system. This will introduce digital scarcity to digital assets and open up disruptive new business models which empower content creators to own their data and monetize it without third parties. Their first goal is to deliver a DRM-powered NFT video-sharing platform, comparable to a Web3 Netflix or YouTube.

The ultimate goal here is to bring Digital Rights Management (DRM) from the world of Web2 to the world of Web3. The project aims to add blockchain, a.k.a trust, to a pre-existing system (DRM) and showcase that you don’t need to rely on centralized parties to distribute royalties, protect assets, or ensure data rights are respected. By using blockchain to facilitate transactions in a trustless manner, we can effectively cut out the middleman and empower content creators to earn more, thus fuelling further innovation and creativity.

Not just for newcomers

Elacity’s bold vision of a merged NFT and DRM system isn’t just for new Web3 participants to enjoy. Traditional entities from Web2 may bring their contracts to Elacity by uploading them and simply clicking “Deploy“.

Behind the scenes, Elacity converts DRM contracts into EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) smart contracts and deploys them on the blockchain network. This allows existing creators to convert their real-world contracts into smart contracts and reap the rewards of Web3.

In addition, Elacity’s newly demonstrated interface enables users to choose who will receive royalties. In a movie, for example, there may be many different parties who are contracted to receive royalties. In the world of FIAT currency, these royalties may be paid out monthly or even quarterly; but when you implement DRM technology with NFTs, each transaction will automatically and instantly send the exact percentage of royalties directly to your wallet.

You can even choose how many wallets will receive royalties, with a number of early examples including: creator, publisher, distributor, and investor. This transparent way of delivering royalties is akin to livestream payments, and is extremely enticing to content creators who regularly have to sacrifice a lot of their potential revenue to middlemen.

Are there any downsides to merging blockchain technology with Digital Rights Management?

Of course, there are a few hurdles that blockchain must still overcome.

  1. Limited adoption. While the technology is fantastic at decentralizing power and making transactions more trustworthy and transparent, there is still a lack of adoption that will definitely put off content creators who are hoping to reach a large audience. If specialized software is needed to merge the two, then this may make it even more difficult for users to access the digital content.
  2. Scalability. One of the common problems of blockchain technology is its ability to scale. Elastos, however, uses a sidechain architecture, which allows it to scale infinitely by simply creating a new parallel chain whenever needed. Other blockchains have different scalability solutions, such as sharding.
  3. Cost. It may be more expensive to run a blockchain than the current DRM mechanisms, but again, this depends and can vary from blockchain to blockchain. As Elastos can scale relatively easily, there should not be a high cost associated with creating a DRM/NFT system. Gas fees are miniscule.
  4. Complexity. Off-puting for newcomers, blockchain technology is still in its infancy and most people don’t understand what a crypto wallet is, let alone how to mint DRM-NFTs. To implement DRM technology requires advanced cryptographic techniques and a distributed ledger system that can be challenging for content creators and distributors to comprehend.
    Luckily, a platform like Elacity makes this easy for creators as all the technical magic happens in the background. Even physical contracts are converted to smart contracts behind a delightful user interface.
  5. Security risks. As with all technologies, especially emerging ones, there are security risks that may hinder adoption. For example, there are more and more crypto hacks every single year, with billions of dollars stolen in total. Not only that, but content creators and/or distributors will have more responsibility in keeping their keys safe. If they lose the keys to their wallet, they lose access to their royalties and NFTs permanently.
    The Essentials Super-Wallet has a user-friendly interface that makes looking after your crypto simple. But even Essentials requires you to take responsibility for your keys. Keep them safe at all times.

Blockchain isn’t perfect. But it’s a damn sight better than what we currently have.

If Bitcoin is decentralized money and DeFi is decentralized banking, blockchain-based DRM will become decentralized content creation.

If you want to be a part of it, log in to Elacity and have a look for yourself. You can check out their Tweets here or join the Telegram and say hello.

As 2022 draws to a close, the Elastos Info team will be retiring its services as one of the stewards of the Elastos community’s communications. Effective December 31, 2022, the Info Team will dissolve. To be clear, this announcement is only in regard to the Info Team, and does not affect nor include any other ecosystem or core team of Elastos. 

We would like to thank the Elastos Foundation, ecosystem development and project teams, CR Council members and representatives, and the rest of the Elastos community for all of their efforts and support. 

The CR Council will determine which organization will take over the management of the elastos.info website and blog, as well as all relevant social accounts. We wish the entire ecosystem all the best as they continue forward with Elastos’ mission


Already one of the Elastos tech stack’s most powerful web3 platform services, Hive has landed a major upgrade with the development of the HiveHub web app, courtesy of the Trinity Tech team. On the HiveHub web app, users can deploy their very own Hive nodes, and register the nodes on the Elastos Smart Chain (ESC). All registered Hive nodes are ERC721-compatible NFTs, and are displayed in aggregate on the official HiveHub website.

Via HiveHub’s dedicated website, Hive users in the Elastos ecosystem, may browse and select their favorite and most trusted Hive nodes to set up personal Vaults to store their application data. Users may also browse their Vault data from HiveHub’s website, and even back up and migrate their personal Vault data. The HiveHubofficial website is currently undergoing testing, and will be launched shortly.

HiveHub: Features at a Glance

At first launch, users can enjoy the following features on HiveHub:

Hive in Action Across the Ecosystem

A number of Elastos ecosystem projects already leverage and rely on Hive’s decentralized data storage and management services, including:


In addition to the above projects, Elabox also supports the deployment of Hive Nodes with the help of Carrier V2’s port penetration service.

What’s Next for HiveHub

In addition to conducting ongoing optimizations and stability tests, the Trinity Tech team is working on bringing new features and integrations to HiveHub. Integrating PricingPlan, a set of payment tools already implemented on Hive, is a major priority. Work is already underway to integrate PricingPlan on HiveHub so that subscription payment models can drive growth in Hive Vaults. In addition, the IPFS nodes will be used to develop and implement a Hive-native service that ensures the accessibility of NFT image data on Hive Vaults.

To keep up with the Trinity Tech team as they fine-tune HiveHub and expand its payment capabilities, stay tuned here on the official Elastos Info Blog.


With the Essentials team hard at work fine-tuning Elastos ecosystem’s flagship super-wallet application, Elastos Info is pleased to deliver the first formal introduction to Essentials 3.0.

The web3 space has evolved a great deal over the last twelve months. As web3 applications have become more diverse and sophisticated, so too have wallets. However, single-screen displays limit how feature-rich wallets can become before they overwhelm users. In the boundless virtual domain of web3, designing a one-size-fits-all model is simply infeasible in 2022. Simply put, less is more. As for which apps and tools deserve home screen real estate, in the eyes and minds of the Essentials team, the user is always right.

On that accord, rather than creating a comprehensive super-wallet home screen oversaturated with features, the Essentials team developed Essentials 3.0 with paramount customization. In Essentials 3.0, the Essentials team has brought to market the simplest, slickest, and most intuitive user experience yet – and all without compromising on the breadth of new features and applications that continue to crop up across the Elastos ecosystem.

Widgets You Can Touch

On Essentials 3.0, users can select from a variety of popular features in the form of widgets: simple blocks that can be added, moved, or removed from their personal home screens at any time. By populating their home screens with widgets that reflect their virtual interests, users get faster access to the applications and services they use frequently, and send the rest out of the picture.

The Essentials Home Screen at a Glance

Upon opening Essentials 3.0 for the first time, users arrive on a default landing page with a basic layout:

The Opening Cast: Essentials 3.0 Widgets

In the initial release of Essentials 3.0, users can select from a number of primary widgets:

Four Features to Look For

To complement its freshly launched widgets and customizable home screen, Essentials has brought a set of powerful new features to Elastos.

1. Feeds integration

In addition to its primary widgets, Essentials 3.0 features a special news widget that allows any dApp to deliver news directly to its Essentials users following a simple integration process. Taking web3 news one step further, Essentials’ partners at Feeds have provided support for Feeds channels within the Essentials news widget.

When Essentials users log into Feeds using their DIDs, they can access the latest posts and updates from their favorite Feeds channels directly from the Essentials news widget. Of course, in the spirit of customization, any and all Feeds channels can be hidden at any time per user discretion.

2. dApp Plugin Widgets

The Essentials team has developed a mechanism to allow third-party applications to introduce custom widgets of their own on Essentials 3.0. To keep Essentials’ UI clean and crisp, the Essentials team designed a simple layout as well. All dApps teams have to do is input their content and announcements, and their users on Essentials will receive updates in real time.

3. UI Consistency

Prior versions of Essentials 2.x have been a product of many strategic shifts and much fine-tuning. Consequently, as feature implementation has taken priority, various elements of the Essentials UI have remained inconsistent with one another. In Essentials 3.0, that all changes. 

WIth the new Essentials 3.0 UI and customizable widget display, every screen, button, and design minutia has been renovated to provide a consistent, on-brand experience for new users and OGs alike.

4. Expanded Themes

Historically, Essentials has kept its color schemes simple. But that doesn’t mean you have to! On Essentials 3.0 users can stick with the standard light and dark modes (with contrast variants), or explore their adventurous sides with brand new pink, orange, and blue themes.

The Improvements Don’t Stop Here

With widgets and customization features live and running smoothly in version 3.0, the Essentials team is just getting started. In the months ahead, the Essentials team will continue to engage users from across the ecosystem to collect critical feedback pertaining to new widgets, more efficient accessibility, in-demand features, and new ways to add value to the Elastos ecosystem’s Super-Wallet application. For Essentials 3.0, the journey has just begun.

To keep up with Essentials 3.0 as the Essentials team delivers announcements in anticipation of new version releases, make sure to stay tuned here on the official Elastos Info Blog.


Essentials 3.0 is picking up steam! This week, we take a look under the hood at one of Essentials 3.0’s most exciting new features: one-click cross-chain Swaps. For the Essentials team, user experience is the cardinal focus for Essentials 3.0. Much like the application’s fresh widgets, simple cross-chain swaps open the door to new users, while providing a much-needed streamlined trading process to existing users.

Making Cross-Chain Easy

With Essentials 3.0’s built-in cross-chain swap feature, users no longer have to spend time and energy scouring various blockchain ecosystems for reputable, liquid decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregators, and sorting through long token lists just to conduct a single swap. Here’s how Essentials 3.0 gets it done:

Supported Networks for Swaps

At first release, Essentials 3.0’s cross-chain swap functions supports 10 leading EVM networks:

Cross-chain Swaps on Essentials 3.0: Key Features

Essentials 3.0 features a number of valuable features to assist users seeking to execute cross-chain swaps: 

 

About the Elastos Smart Chain (ESC)

On Essentials 3.0’s first release, swaps to and from the ESC are not supported for reasons concerning liquidity. In order to support the cross-chain swaps including ESC-native assets in future releases, relevant development teams are working to resolve all liquidity-related challenges.

In addition, the Essentials team is also working with the Chainge Finance team to integrate Glide Finance, the ESC’s leading DEX, in order to expand swap access to ESC-based tokens.

Live Screenshots: Essentials Cross-Chain Swaps in Action

To keep up-to-date and in-the-know with the latest news, features, and release information for Essentials 3.0, stay tuned here on the official Elastos Info Blog.

About Chainge Finance

Chainge Finance is a next-generation DeFi app that currently stands as the crypto space’s most liquid cross-chain DEX aggregator. The platform supports more than $70 billion of aggregated liquidity.

Chainge offers a wide array of decentralized services including:


With the recent FTX scandal, it’s become a talking point once again: should you keep your coins on a centralized exchange? At first glance, it doesn’t seem harmful. You have easy access to your coins and can trade them whenever you feel like it, you don’t have to worry about losing the keys to your wallet, and you can withdraw to FIAT currency whenever you feel like it.

But the old adage has been proven once again. Not your keys, not your crypto. If a centralized exchange goes bankrupt, your coins are forfeited. In fact, they were never truly yours to begin with.

Not your keys, not your crypto.

With that in mind, let’s look at centralized exchanges vs decentralized exchanges. There are pros and cons to both, but if you’re focused on security, safety, and true ownership, then there is only one real choice.

What is a Centralized Exchange?

A centralized exchange, otherwise known as a CEX, is an exchange platform which allows you to buy, sell and trade digital assets. You can send FIAT currency directly from your bank to a centralized exchange and then swap it for the asset of your choice. However, if you leave your coins on centralized exchanges, you never truly own them.

The CEX owns the private keys to your coins and can therefore move them without your consent. If there is a security breach, a malicious actor can access your coins (and everybody else’s stored on the exchange) and remove them without your knowledge. If the exchange goes bankrupt, as with SBF’s FTX, they won’t have the liquidity available for you to withdraw your coins. This is because not all centralized exchanges are run by competent individuals. You have to trust that the organization in charge is actually protecting your money and the CEX’s liquidity, rather than gambling it away or downright stealing it. And it’s been proven time and time again that face value can be deceiving.

Some centralized crypto exchanges seem more secure than others. Binance for one has been around for a while and has earned its place as the biggest centralized exchange by volume. It has an emergency SAFU fund with over $1 billion inside. This is for compensation for potential hacks and other disasters. However, even Binance may not be as trustworthy as you yourself. You still have to rely on them to maintain their security over time.

It’s also worth mentioning that many considered FTX to be a safe and secure centralized crypto exchange, but it turns out they were actually siphoning user funds to their sister company, Alameda. When people tried to withdraw their money, it simply wasn’t there to withdraw.

What are the benefits of using a centralized exchange?

Using a centralized exchange does come with some benefits. It’s user-friendly, usually has an intuitive UI, and allows you to buy almost any coin from any chain without compatibility issues. This is because the centralized exchange owns your assets and can easily move them around behind the scenes. They’re tied to your account rather than your crypto wallet.

Examples of centralized exchanges

Pros of centralized exchanges

Cons of centralized exchanges

What is a Decentralized Exchange?

The alternative? Decentralized finance (DeFi), which allows you to automatically transfer assets in a peer-to-peer manner. This groundbreaking technology means you can actually own your own assets. No longer is a middleman needed to help (or hinder) you when transferring funds. What the internet did for information, Bitcoin and DeFi are doing for finance.

So, what is a decentralized exchange (DEX)? Similarly to centralized exchanges, a DEX is an exchange platform which allows you to buy, sell and trade assets. The difference? You own your assets. You own your keys. You own your crypto.

You can access a decentralized exchange by using your crypto wallet directly – read our guide to the best crypto wallets in 2023 and beyond. This means the decentralized exchange never has access to your coins. You own your private keys at all times. There are no centralized authorities controlling a decentralized exchange; rather, there is usually some form of decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in which you can participate. This decentralized form of governance is a gamechanger for big organizations, potentially including governments in the future.

There are also downsides to using decentralized exchanges. While you don’t have to trust a company or an organization, if you want to participate in yield farming or liquidity mining, you will have to trust code. Sometimes developers can make mistakes, and sometimes eagle-eyed hackers are watching. This has led to countless crypto hacks, resulting in the theft of billions of dollars. The hacker can never access your personal wallet (unless you expose your private keys). However, they can access the funds locked within smart contracts if there is a flaw in the code.

If, on the other hand, you are just using decentralized exchanges for trading Bitcoin and other crypto assets, you are in much safer territory. Always check that the decentralized exchanges you use have been audited, preferably by more than one independent auditor. This is especially the case for lesser-known and smaller decentralized exchanges.

What are the benefits of using a decentralized exchange?

By using a decentralized exchange, you are inherently leveraging the advantages of decentralization. You are operating in a P2P network which cannot be shut down or censored. You own your cash just as if it were in your pocket. You no longer need to funnel money through a middleman to transact with other people. You can use a decentralized exchange’s automated market maker to swap your coins directly with a liquidity pool. This also creates an opportunity for arbitrage trading.

Examples of decentralized exchanges

Pros of decentralized exchanges

Cons of decentralized exchanges

CEX vs DEX: Which Is Better?

The pros and cons of centralized and decentralized exchanges.

So which one do you trust more? Centralized exchanges are notoriously easy to use, especially for newcomers who need a FIAT on-ramp. But decentralized exchanges take away the need to trust corporations with your crypto assets. Instead, you can trust yourself and your funds will never leave your wallet.

For active crypto trading, leaving a small amount of your crypto assets on a centralized exchange allows you to take advantage of sudden price swings, especially if you’re trading something that isn’t available on your DEX of choice. However, for security and long-term holding, decentralized crypto exchanges make trading safe.

While a decentralized crypto exchange may not be the best choice for a complete newcomer, it is definitely the better choice for security. Simply put, with centralized exchanges, you are leaving your crypto in the hands of others. This is no different to traditional finance and banking. With decentralized exchanges, you own your private keys at all times.

As the FTX bankruptcy has confirmed, not all centralized exchanges – even the ones that seem safe, secure and popular – are as safe as they seem.

Centralized and decentralized exchanges both have their benefits and drawbacks. It all depends on what matters most to you. With a DEX, and decentralized apps in general, you yourself safely store your data and crypto. Centralized exchanges are easier to use for beginners but are becoming less and less trustworthy as time goes by.

It’s true that cryptocurrency exchanges will evolve over the following years, improving security and UI, but it would be incredibly difficult for centralized crypto exchanges to ever compete with the security of your own wallet. And this is the bottom line. In time, decentralized crypto exchanges may be able to offer all the perks of a centralized exchange, but centralized crypto exchanges will never be able to offer the perks of a decentralized crypto exchange.

Decentralized exchanges are at the heart of the decentralized web. Whether we’re looking at web 3.0, the metaverse, or whatever other name you want to call the decentralized internet of the future, the time of CEX dominance is almost up.

Glide Finance – Trade Native Elastos Assets Seamlessly

The native DEX in the Elastos ecosystem is Glide Finance. It has been audited by Paladin Blockchain Security. You can provide liquidity, stake your GLIDE and even use your Phantz non-fungible tokens to get bonuses in APR. Access the DEX, and many other decentralized apps, directly from your Essentials Super-Wallet.

Glide Finance's easy-to-use interface and intuitive design.

Technical Dynamics

Elastos Essentials
– Improved the transaction request processing of the wallet and improved the support for CR-related transactions
– Fixed the problem that the wallet did not display small sidechain recharge transactions in some cases
– Fixed the problem that the wallet displayed abnormal historical transaction amounts on some devices
– Tested the multi-signature wallet and fixed the problems found
– Added chainlist.org as new suggested dApp for all EVM compatible chains
– Fixed the balance information displayed by the wallet component in the home screen and the synchronization problem of the wallet
– Improved the implementation of the Connectivity SDK according to the requirements, as well as support for DID-related requirements
– Started WalletConnect v2 integration and added session date display
– Fixed the problem that SushiSwap cannot connect to WalletConnect normally in in-app browser
– In-app browser added support for URL history and quick inputs
– Fixed the in-app browser occasionally freezing the page when selecting reload from the menu
– Fixed CryptoName’s address update bug
– Improved the processing of screen jump after starting Essentials through Intent
– According to community feedback, adjusted and improved the UI and related implementation of CR Suggestions
– DPoS dApp removed dependency on elanodes website
– Fixed the problem of Hive data loading after switching from mainnet to testnet in development mode
– Conducted regression testing of DPoS 2.0 related functions
– Conducted regression testing for Essentials 3.0 release

Hive
– Optimized the naming of the package plan of the Pricing Plan module in Hive Node
– Optimized the database service code in Hive Node, and improved the interface documentation
– Implemented command-line tools to fetch files from Vault via Hive URL
– Optimized exception handling of Hive JS SDK
– Optimized JS SDK service interface description and unified interface style
– JS SDK removed the browserFS dependency library, reducing the size of the JS SDK release package
– Optimized the display of some pages such as Home/Explore/MyNodes in HiveHub
– Implemented HiveHub webApp UI/UX Design v2
– Optimized the exception handling of the HiveHub webApp page, improved the My Vault page, and used the Hive Node interface internally
– Refer to the JS SDK to implement and improve the encryption interface of the Hive Swift SDK and add test cases

Carrier
– Refer to Java DHT to improve the implementation of Node-related modules of Native DHT
– Solved the problem of log path conflict in the Java super node test environment
– Fixed the bug that Java super node message parsing is slow
– Carried out the special test of Java Super Node for DHT routing table, and optimized the routing table implementation according to the test results

DID
– Refer to the encryption interface implementation of JS DID to implement the encryption interface of Swift DID SDK
– Solved the problem that pod spec lint verification fails when libsodium is used in Swift SDK
– Supplemented the serialize method of CredentialList class in Swift SDK

Mainchain
– Continued with DPoS 2.0 consensus testing and fixing issues found during testing. DPoS 2.0 is an important upgrade of the elastos main chain consensus, which is conducive to improving the decentralization of the elastos network and increasing the stability and security of the consensus network.
– Developed functions that support multi-signature account registration DPoS nodes, and prepared test data for self-test.
– Carried out the functional development of the ELA mint pledged on the main chain as an asset on the ESC chain, adjusted the payload structure of the NFT destruction and withdrawal of the main chain and added the RPC interface for querying the destroyable NFT, and started preparing the test plan. This function can improve the utilization rate of pledged ELA in the DPoS 2.0 consensus, increase the assets on the ESC chain, and enrich the diversity of elastos asset applications.
– Completed the test of the original text of the main chain browser proposal, leaderboard pagination and other functions.


Useful links:

Elastos Essentials for Android

Elastos Essentials for iOS


After many months of development and fine-tuning, the Essentials team has officially launched Essentials 3.0 on Google Play while Apple App Store is still under review. As the flagship application and official Super-Wallet of the Elastos ecosystem, Essentials has been systematically redesigned to serve new and existing users on Elastos. For the Essentials team, user experience remained paramount throughout the development process, with special attention dedicated to simplicity and customization.

Download Now

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.elastos.essentials.app&hl=ro&gl=US&pli=1

Essentials 3.0: Putting Users First

Essentials 3.0 features a number of powerful built-in features that users can access directly from the home screen. Here’s what users can expect in the Essentials’ newest release:

Rebranding Essentials: A Remastered UI for the web3 Community

In addition to augmenting a breadth of new features, the Essentials team completed a comprehensive rebrand for the Essentials 3.0 launch. Equipped with its slick new logo and UI, Essentials is more prepared than ever to attract and onboard new users from leading communities around the web3 space. Here are some of the new design features users can enjoy in Essentials 3.0:

And best of all – the Essentials team isn’t slowing down! To keep with new updates and releases as the team rolls out new and improved versions of Essentials 3.x, stay tuned here on the official Elastos Info Blog.


Elastos is pleased to welcome the Elavation Team, the ecosystem’s first dedicated task force focused on developing a commercialization and go-to-market strategy and spearheading its execution. With a major surge in infrastructure development and feature augmentation in 2022, the Elastos community has a great deal to be proud of and share with the broader web3 space. The Elavation Team will work to ensure a more cohesive Elastos brand and product story in order to build visibility, grow the community and support business development initiatives within the decentralized ecosystem.

Alongside stellar marketing and PR campaigns to spread awareness, making tangible progress toward adoption requires forming deep relationships amongst stakeholders within and beyond the Elastos ecosystem, and calls upon a specific subset of expertise and industry experience. The Elavation Team joins the ecosystem at a crucial time, when technical milestones are sliding into place and the web3 movement is beginning to pick up traction. 

“From the outside looking in, Elastos has so much going for it. Considering the popularity of other ecosystems without any core technology, we have an amazing opportunity to thrust Elastos back into the spotlight and be unapologetic about the fact that we’ve been quietly building the decentralized web of the future. It will require the entire Elastos ecosystem to work together, communicate a unified narrative, nurture a supportive community and put in a lot of hard work, but it’s time for Elastos to come out of its shell,” says Jamie Read, Strategy Lead. 

Elavation BD: Mission & KPIs

The Elavation Team aims to connect with the core community, focus and streamline communications, and align incentives between key stakeholders and contributors in the Elastos ecosystem. The team will identify opportunities to add value, form new partnerships, and most importantly, drive adoption of the Elastos tech stack and native ecosystem applications.

The team is committed to supporting the Elastos ecosystem to achieve its goals, and will operate with a number of Key Performance Metrics (KPIs) to assess its progress:

Elastos Elavation 100-Day Roadmap

Elavation: The Team

The Elavation team is led by a select group of experienced individuals that have held previous leadership positions within the ecosystem, in the broader web3 space, and traditional industries. Team leads hold backgrounds and industry experience that span across finance, technology, marketing, and business development. Most importantly, the team features both familiar faces and new names ready to contribute creativity, add value, and deliver results on behalf of Elastos. Please note that the Elavation team plans to hire one additional business development hire for the Americas Region.


Fakhul Miah – Team Lead: Fakhul has over 15 years experience in the investment banking industry at Morgan Stanley. Prior, he was the Global Head of Institutional Margin Financing, Margin Technology Development, and Risk Control. Fakhul is currently serving his second successive term as an elected Council Member for the Elastos Cyber Republic DAO, with notable achievements including CRC DAO registration in the USA, contracting K&L Gates, contracting TLGG, engaging Kairon Labs, facilitating exchange listings, and supporting several ecosystem projects.


Jamie Read – Strategy Lead: Jamie has 20 years of strategic marketing and entrepreneurial consultation experience across numerous industries, including fintech, web3, healthcare, technology, food, and international trade. He has built award-winning integrated marketing teams in North America, the Middle East, and Asia for Fortune 500 clients, governments, NGOs, and startups.


Greg Arding – Execution Lead: Following a career in education and business as a teacher, leader, and trainer in multiple disciplines including IT, English, Math, and Sports, Greg has been involved with Web3, crypto, and DeFi since 2017. He has helped manage communities and social media, curated and created written content, and secured business development relationships with projects across multiple blockchain networks. Furthermore, he has demonstrated a loyalty and enthusiasm for Elastos and Cyber Republic. As an ardent advocate for Elastos, he raised the initial suggestion to create an Elastos Growth team.


Jonathan Hargreaves – Global Investment & EMEA BD: Jonathan has over 25 years experience working with technology companies in web sectors to build global brands that inspire trust. During 15 years at Edelman as Global Vice Chairman responsible for technology, he developed methodologies to drive both marketing and business development. This experience covered three generations of the web, starting with Microsoft in the early 2000s where the need to develop trust around online activity was crucial to reversing negative reputation following antitrust investigations. In the next generation of the web, Jonathan worked with brands such as LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Box to articulate the revolution in social media engagement.


Ryan Collette – Technical BD:  Ryan has been active in the cryptocurrency space since 2017, and has over 3 years of experience as a software developer, having led or assisted in developing several projects within the Elastos ecosystem. Prior to dedicating himself to web3 full time, Ryan received a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, where he researched the irradiation performance of 3D-printed stainless steels for use in next-generation nuclear reactors. His research includes extensive experience in modeling and simulation, massively parallel computing, experimental design, and data analysis. After several years of studying and experimenting with web3 as an investor, node operator, and dApp developer, Ryan has developed a strong understanding of the technologies that underpin the space, and how user experience is imperative to making successful products. As the founder of Glide Finance, a second term member of the Cyber Republic Council and a representative for the DAO’s legal arm, a participant in Elastos’ validator community, and a signer on several multi-sig committees, Ryan’s focus has been bringing decentralized finance (DeFi) to the Elastos Smart Chain (ESC) and expanding its presence.


Agnes Serenio – Asia Pacific BD: Agnes is a Business Development Manager in web3 with 7 years of experience in B2B sales working as a Sales and Marketing Manager in FMCG and SaaS Business Development. Her sales approach is consultation-focused, and she takes time to understand a client’s needs before advising on a solution. Coming from web2 SaaS, she believes in what web3 stands for, and has been doing freelance work for projects since January 2022. Agnes’ web3 experience has involved pitching to VCs for seed and private funding, closing other meaningful partnerships, liaising with listing partners such as Launchpads, Centralized Exchanges (CEXs), and NFT marketplaces, dealing with gaming guilds, communities, and utility and solution providers such as market makers, closing integration partnerships, and continually finding and exploring new use cases of various technologies.


As the Elastos BD team gets its hands dirty pushing the Elastos ecosystem into the spotlight, keep up-to-date and in-the-know with all of the latest development and news from around the Elastos ecosystem right here on the official Elastos Info Blog.

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