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cool well thanks for making it out early
this morning it's been a crazy week full
of in intense activities a lot of crazy
parties and fantastic conversations yeah
I'm Jarrod I'm co-founder of status it's
but really I'm really you're just a
representative of like a hundred plus
core contributors that are all
participating in this project trying to
will it into existence and I'm pretty
much just a cat herder these days I
wanted to start off this talk with with
the quotes from Marshall McLuhan we
shape our tools and therefore our tools
for a while and certainly heard of it
but I don't think I really understood it
until kind of recently when I started
working with sort of larger scale human
systems a lot of the time we talk about
like changes that we do to software and
things that were updating but we don't
really think about how we actually
change ourselves and doing these things
and we're an industry that has is primed
people if not the whole globe so the
design decisions we make today could
have everlasting consequences and it's
really important to keep this stuff in
mind and status really starts off with a
question that we're trying to answer and
is could we actually build a secure
communication tool that upholds human
rights while enabling community money
community law and through privacy help
preserve culture and we're in answering
these things you can't help to start
feeling more principled you can't help
to think about public prog-rock chains
and connecting directly to them to avoid
intermediaries because immediately if
you allow that into it you you create an
environment where there can be
corruption and these sort of adversarial
attacks so we initially started
embedding go ethereum in in directly on
but we also started thinking about what
actually means to create a generalized
interface to aetherium I think the ideal
version of that we're still a little bit
shorter from ideally would look like a
window manager or a desktop environment
or directly integrated into the
operating system but while we're in this
mobile form factor it's currently
expressed as essentially three apps all
rolled into one we have this def browser
which is essentially like your window
manager it allows you to access all
these crazy cooled apps that are coming
out on top of ethereum you have your
wallet or your transaction management
this allows you to sign transactions
manage your assets blah blah blah oh and
get your collectibles of course and the
other part that is sometimes a little
perplexing to people is chat but if you
think of the term smart contracts and I
know there's some opinions against that
but it's really really interesting to
think about the implications of what
we're doing if we are signing smart
contracts as people you can never really
sign a contract in the legal sense
without first a meeting of the minds and
so we need to create an environment in
where we can actually provide secure
private access to coordinating before we
create transaction artifacts of our
we're also targeting Android and iOS and
we've been working on that for some time
now and that's pretty much where thing
people think that we stopped them that's
what we work on quite frankly our scope
has expanded since then and yeah this is
just a bunch of crazy stuff that we're
going through and I'd love to walk you
through some of it now I mentioned this
idea of like how our tools shape us and
if you remember about a year and a half
ago ish most of the crypto communities
were doing a lot of the community
building over a tool called slack
unfortunately slack was essentially
designed without the public in mind it
wasn't exactly like IRC it didn't have
really any moderation tools and it's
basically for
internal teams and this internal Nisour
this castle mentality is something that
really shook us a community grew to over
16,000 people we had 50 to 100 active
people chatting about different things
in different chat channels at any given
moment of the day and it was a fantastic
time for a community driven project the
issue with that of course is that we had
the bunch of scammers and fishes were
quite right at the time they came in and
we didn't really have any tools to help
combat or defend that almost every
project was forced to essentially split
their communities some moved in to ride
and matrix some into rocket chat and
others into telegram etc etc which would
be fine but unfortunately for us we had
set up a bunch of bots and different
processes that were integrated directly
within chat so it made it very difficult
for us to extricate X extricate
ourselves from that and move into a
different environment because the amount
of effort to get back to our
productivity was was too high and what
that really did is we started hiring he
started growing the team and with that
people were coming into this and they
were they're already divorced from the
community this castle mentality starts
to infect us the terms internal versus
external became a thing and it was
incredibly depressing actually because
we will no longer connect it with our
community the people that were actually
building within for and it's kind of
strange because at the end of the day
our application is all about
connectedness so last year at Def Con we
announced status desktop to solve this
problem essentially we act we're adding
three new Plutarco platforms which is
Mac Linux and Windows last year it kind
of looked like the that picture there
the janky of the janky one and we didn't
want just like an electron applique
a lot of we wanted to share our react
native code base amongst all of our
platforms so we picked we dusted off an
old project that canonical started and
spruced it up a little bit optimized it
and I've been have been implementing
different rendering components the react
native has and today we finally got to
an alpha which is actually somewhat
usable it has the same code base as the
mobile application but not all the same
features are created so as part of this
today we want like to deactivate our
slack entirely as a signal that we are
moving our organization into status
desktop thanks so so our boiler bill is
going to make this happen now
it was that
anyway so on a more serious note so that
that's done which is great so you're
welcome to join the conversation you'll
notice that there's hashtag topics these
are whisper topics and you're welcome to
join her on the mobile application or in
desktop although you know be warned the
more janky than the mobile location
mobile application anyway so we have the
other issue that we've had is we had a
bunch of different stories about how
much assets people are actually carrying
around in their mobile wallets like on
public transportation and it's a little
scary sometimes when you hear these
things especially when you hear about
some of these news over the past year
how perhaps we can't really trust our
Hardware devices as much as we would
like to think and certainly a mobile
phone is not somewhere you want
restoring your keys so we've been last
year we we mentioned this idea of doing
a hardware wallets the code base is now
completely done and it's been audited
and we now move it we found a great card
platform and we're moving into
production that's some prototype
packaging there and essentially what
this allows you to do is put your HD
keys on a credit card form factor and
just tap on your phone to log in it it
allows you to have pins it allows you to
export your whisper identity and we have
an extra feature if you're feeling
especially dangerous for tap and pay
which is essentially pinless so you can
imagine later on that it's you could add
a point of sales terminal it's kind of
like you just tap the amount of cash
that you're willing to risk for ease of
transactions but this is also really
fascinating from an onboarding
standpoint you can imagine these things
wrapped in foil
preloaded with an amount of tokens in a
convenience store and the person would
have everything they needed to get going
in in ethereum they would tap their the
the card against their phone it would
automatically load up the installation
for status at the same time it'll allow
you to retrieve the preloaded tokens
from it and then you'd be able to
initialize it correctly with with the
hardware lot so that's going really well
we also started working on the next
version of this where we want to
essentially create the same credit card
form factor but have things like
Bluetooth and all that involved but we
want the hardware to be actually open so
it's very hard to find these kinds of
platforms and asking them to open-source
their PCP designs another major thing
that we do is user user research we have
a team that actually travels globally in
meeting with people who are not involved
in the blockchain space whatsoever and
we do a lot of testing with them and
essentially this is allowing the public
all the people to help amoled our tools
and make it a lot easier to use one of
the most interesting things for UX is
that some of the some of the security
features all the ways you have to do
things in in aetherium are a little
unorthodox and for example if you sign a
transaction in status you will see this
thing called a signing phrase and it's
essentially anti-phishing measure and
it's the first time that you that users
are actually required to have the
application prove its identity to you
it's usually the other way around but of
course the signing phrase it's at the
moment is such a jumble of three words
and that's a little bit confusing
especially when you have your passphrase
already we found through our testing is
that the use of emojis is been
incredibly powerful I it gives you a
sense of like warmness when you when you
assign and it makes you feel a lot
better and you're much more inclined to
actions which is kind of interesting
we've also done many iterations over our
onboarding apart from like the password
stuff which will like replace with
fingerprints very soon it's pretty
smooth everyone's pretty happy with
getting through and there's a very
little attrition and what we're doing at
the moment however once you get in it's
like it's basically you might as well
see a little hay-bale kind of rolling
along whatever it's called and that's
because we're not connecting you with
the community we need to find ways that
we can actually bring you to other
people so you can start participating in
a wonderful community online and we have
some interesting ideas about that you
could imagine subscribing to new user
notifications and when a new user comes
on you get a notification to go chat
with them and you all come into a group
chat and give them the rundown help them
help them out and get them started
within within the descriptive space
we've also done a lot of surveying in
terms of like what our requirements are
for actually getting adoption of status
and ubiquity is the main thing so we we
need to be everywhere for every reason
another thing we've reintroduced is
extensions this is something that we had
a while back but it was a pretty janky
implementation it's a lot better now and
it's incredibly powerful essentially you
will want to get to other people to kind
of build on top of status and build
within the chat UI and we'll have other
hooks for other parts of the application
and in the future some of the in-house
extension ideas we've been looking at is
doing multi-sig transactions within the
chat context we're thinking about doing
stenographic messages so you can
actually send hidden messages even
though they're already encrypted and
then decrypt them on your side as well
we've also released our ENS names so you
no longer have to have a ridiculous long
address you can just be referenced by by
your name for example you could you
could register potatoes and then people
can just find you buy potato
and yeah it's really cool it's but I'm a
little bit concerned about this actually
because there's some potentially some
issues depending on how this technology
goes we might be creating a problem
where people can be identified depending
on like some of the virtual asset
regulation stuff that's coming out so
yeah keep an eye on own another thing
we've integrated is a voting adapt its
users quadratic voting and of course
it's non-binding but essentially we're
trying you can think of it as trying to
get community feedback and help us
influence the direction of it even if
you don't really want to contribute in
any other way in fact the reason why I
mentioned potatoes is because their
community voted for me saying potatoes
which is great we also have this thing
called a wall ashame which I'll talk a
bit later or it's called book of shame
and opportunities now I think and we
basically together during our off-site
earlier this week we came up with a list
of all our priorities and we all voted
on what we think is going to be the best
way forward this is not null Knightley's
and not now released but we are
currently reintroducing private group
we've tore it all down and that's
predominantly because we use whispers
identity based encryption only and
that's something like PGP but we want to
include another layer of encryption by
default which is perfect forward secrecy
and yeah so that's what we're doing
that's some slides of what group chat
looks like in the moments and PFS is is
something we were doing but the
important thing with this is that we're
actually making this by default and
adding it into your contact requests
pretty much every other messenger out
there does not make this by default and
if they do then they include your phone
like you have to register your phone
number which is problematic and for a
different reason so we do a lot of work
on the the UI and the app and how we can
actually interface humans with
blockchain technology but we're getting
to the point now where we've pretty much
kind to come to the limits in terms of
what the lie
client protocol is a capable of doing
and what Whistler is capable of doing in
fact this whole event has been a really
good life test run for us to see how
well whisper scales we've implemented
some of the bloom filter stuff and we've
managed to kind of bring down a network
topology quite a bit so on a daily usage
it's not using a one gigabyte worth of
pen width is using roughly twelve to
twenty megabytes however when there's
concurrent users and there's a lot of
network and network activity it does
become problematic so we need to start
thinking beyond this and how we can
actually start moving down into that
space and help working with researchers
to make better protocols and the same
with little I client protocol I think
when we move off proof-of-work and move
into a proof of stake scheme this would
be quite interesting but for now we need
to start thinking about ultralight
clients ways that the client can get a
level of security and pull down states
but not necessarily have to verify the
blocks themselves in running with that
theme we've also started working on a
theorem 2.0 a sharding clients called
Nimbus basically taking a lot of our
engineering ideas in terms of getting
this stuff running on resource
restricted devices such as mobile phones
raspberry PI's routers that sort of
thing and we really want to create like
a really good solution for for that and
hopefully expand that out to include
some layer two stuff as well we're also
trying to do our best to support the
community in terms of Education and
development one thing that we've had to
do is bring lots of skills from outside
the space that we haven't been able to
source and there is just this disparity
so we need to create these training
systems to be able to help people
understand this technology and build
apps and that sort of thing and of
course development is something that
we've been involved in for a while we've
been contributing to Viper for for eons
now it feels like and we are now
building out the embark team and they've
been doing some amazing stuff I hope you
checked out URIs talk it was it was
really good and their web ID is
absolutely insane their block checks
and all kinds of crazy stuff but we're
also taking embark further and making a
status studio this will essentially be
at least in its current form a series of
Visual Studio code plugins as well as an
education portal and hope we'll be going
beyond just app development we'll be
talking about libertarian principles and
how to design these things etc etc so I
basically just rattled off like a bunch
of like stuff that we're doing but
they're pretty much all how I view
software is they're essentially
cultural artifacts they're material
items that have taken our mental models
and we've put them into things and now
we've gotten to this point where we can
actually stop for a moment look up and
really think about the future and when
we start thinking about the future we
start thinking about how do we actually
want to go about doing this do we really
slack and who are we actually designing
this stuff for so we got together in
Basel and Switzerland to really
understand like what we're actually
about and what we actually believe what
are our values and these principles in
terms of software design is really where
it came down to I think we're talking
about Liberty censorship resistance
security privacy transparency openness
decentralization inclusivity continuous
and resourcefulness keep in mind the
inclusivity and continuance stuff
because I'll talk about it in a moment
but the rest of the other principles
made us really understand that there's a
bunch of work that we have to do
I mentioned this idea of this book of
shaming and opportunity and it made us
really understand the the threat model
that exists out there in terms of
protecting people's assets and that
basically is livelihood and I mean this
quote is pretty extreme but it has been
said in our shirts and even though I'm
not one to judge
on whether that's justified or not I
think the the means of what basically
the the technology that's been create
to be able to do that sort of thing has
other implications or ability to be
misused so for example phone numbers
which is pretty much in every messenger
when you sign up is leaking your
metadata we avoid it now we started like
doing a sort of phone verification
stripped it all out Mixpanel
is quite interesting this isn't really
important for product managers to really
understand how people are navigating
through an application and and try and
refine the user experience but the
problem is is that's leaking a lot of
data and it's sending a suit to a
centralized server that we no longer
control so we have no idea how that data
is being used so we had to rip it out of
course that made a lot of people unhappy
because they could no longer do their
job effectively in the same way that
they could we're trying to combat this
with two things basically we want to go
and talk directly with users of the
software within the software and we also
want to do a thing called adversarial
analytics basically we are attacking our
own platform to see what data we can get
out of it so we're trying to identify
users by their transactions we're trying
to ID we've got a cluster of whisper of
course so we see what messages we can
find from that what we can't see
messages but we can find how they're
flowing throughout the network and
trying identify sort of network
topologies and seeing if we can find
correlations between relationships we're
also thinking we also recently removed a
thing called test flight test flight is
basically used by banks and a whole
bunch of other applications out there
for testers to get you know accurate
logs and like video screens and stuff
like that now they have a feature right
where you can hide password screens and
you can hide certain screens so like the
idea was that we could use this and like
hide certain elements this is only
included on our Knightley's by the way
not in any releases but the problem with
this is they had a bug twice now where
those features stopped working and it
was too much so we pulled that out as
now the how is quite interesting and how
we want to do this like I've mentioned
we've been kind of living in a castle
the past year or so and it's not really
conducive to like what this projects
really about and it certainly has become
less community driven than it has been
in the before so now we're thinking
about how can we actually move on to the
space how can we get help encourage more
people to get involved and what kind of
structure does that look like and it's
quite interesting because there's like
there's two different kinds of modes of
thinking about this and a really good
example is this spaghetti and
marshmallow challenge shell hands was
actually heard of that challenge by the
way cool so basically the idea is in the
study is they they have a bunch of
kindergarteners on one side and they
have a bunch of CEOs or lawyers or any
other skilled profession on the other
side and they're given 20 sticks of
basically raw spaghetti and they're
given a stack of marshmallows and then
you need to make the marshmallow get as
high as possible
now you would think that the the CEOs
and all these five skilled people would
actually start building and getting it
as high as possible but more often than
not the kindergarteners do and it's
essentially theorized that the
kindergarteners don't really need to
worry about so histories or so like
social pecking orders and that sort of
thing they're just all equal and they
all just just try stuff you know they
just mash things together talk awkwardly
and just brute force the problem which
is quite interesting when you start
thinking about collective action so I'm
also quite influenced by a political
scientist named Mark bevor he has a
dissented theory of governance basically
we're so obsessed with formalisms
or at least we focus on formalisms
because they are incredibly important
but they are essentially institutions
his position is essentially that before
you even get to that point these
institutions rise out of a narrative
out of our social norms our traditions
our rituals and our which give rise to
creating essentially a dowel or a model
where anyone can fund anything and
create proposals and get funded like how
do you actually Corral that how do you
create direction how do you create sense
of purpose and his ideas are essentially
revolving around cultivating that shared
narrative and treating it like a
cultural practice so you need to find
anchor points within this space which
could be our principles they become
talking discussions you can treat people
as like nodes in a social network except
for the color the software they're run
is their culture and the discussions we
have is like semi updating or loosely
when we start talking about this and as
soon as we had status running almost
immediately a pseudo anonymous group or
faction arose within status they have a
channel called newts and they all use
the same key we don't know who they are
but they've basically voicing their
opinions on how things should be done
that they wouldn't normally do it's
really fascinating called cultural
experience to be part of when but people
are voicing their concerns or bringing
up ideas and moving a completely away
from biases of individual you can really
treat ideas in a merit meritocratic way
anyway so who are we building forth
essentially ourselves to start off with
and when we're talking about that we're
talking about internal motivation we all
come from different life walks of life
some of us have more crypto an acoustic
side of things some people are actually
living in these conditions and other
people's just want to help others and
those others are the dispossessed and
eventually we want to do almost
everybody and so we're like also working
on cultivating culture like I mentioned
and one of the best ways to do that is
through symbology and through memes
essentially so we're coming up with a
framework in terms of our branding that
allows people to individualize it so it
no longer becomes this one static symbol
but it comes a living object that we can
all change and transform you can imagine
in a decade's time
what status looks like in terms of a
symbology in Indonesia will be
contrasted lead if er Anor thammaracha
and here's some examples of some artists
that are already doing that I were also
questioning what is mass adoption
because that can mean really different
things and for different reasons
you can imagine that in the developed
country there's not really a real need
for a lot of this stuff because we
already have existing legal frameworks
in fact they're already bleeding into
this this technology already but there's
another side another mega trend that's
happening is this idea of mass
urbanization there's going to be over 2
billion people forecasted living in
slums by 2030 according to UN habitat
they live in informal economies and
perhaps we can start reaching them
the point is is status as an
organization is changing we'll be moving
into a dau I hope you would join us on
the on the journey and be part of the
conversation thank you very much