Digital money pioneer David Chaum is creating his second digital currency and we caught up with him at Devcon in Osaka, Japan.
He created the first platform, Ecash, in 1983 and it was meant to be an electronic cash system, not unlike what bitcoin is today.
Now, Chaum is developing a new so-called “quantum-resistant” digital currency called Praxxis that innovates on his original ideas for Ecash as well as on the technology advanced by Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin.
“Praxxis is delivering two things. One is a new consensus algorithm that is well suited for the Elixxir network. … Praxxis is also creating a new quantum-resistant [crypto]currency,” said Chaum.
Before Praxxis, Chaum created Elixxir, a distributed messaging platform that shreds metadata (data giving information about other data) in an effort to preserve user privacy. Chaum unveiled Elixxir in September 2018.
Praxxis, on the other hand, was unveiled this August. It is intended to enable anonymous payments on Elixxir such that the identity of both the sender and receiver are hidden.
“Vertical and horizontal privacy, it’s the holy grail,” said Chaum. “[Elixxir] is waiting for Praxxis.”
At present, a public alpha version of Elixxir is available for users to download on iOS and Android devices.
Chaum said that there are already 700 people on the wait-list to run new Elixxir software as well as a batch of corporate partners interested in integrating the software into existing messaging app services.
“We are in discussions with various messaging services to use our messenger on a white label basis. … Our messaging interfaces are also open. If anyone wants to create a messenger app for our platform they can,” Chaum said.
In Chaum’s view, the “fundamentally different and interesting thing” about blockchain is its ability as a technology to decentralize power. Said Chaum:
“The ability to have informational security mechanisms that are outside the control of the powers that be … that’s the real power [of blockchains]. That’s what kindled so much interest in this space."
David Chaum via YouTube