Cryptocurrency : the protocol that is taking over the monopoly of the Google search index






In one of the most memorable presentations of Consensus 2021 at the end of May, “You are being manipulated online! Here’s how crypto could help, ”Amy James, co-inventor of Open Index Protocol (OIP) helped explain another aspect of Google’s questionable practices and, better yet, a possible solution.

James and co-presenters Dr. Robert Epstein and Devon Read made a case of the ill effects of Google’s monopoly on search, citing an unregulated ability to influence people with search results and a crushing monopoly status coming from the size of your index.

James explained that Google’s index is too large and not open source, so anyone who enters the search space, or anything that uses indexing and search, such as a video platform or a social media platform, You must deal with Google to use your backend or be hopelessly outgunned by the data Google has already accumulated and now hordes.

OIP and PIN Network are working on test cases to create expand their open source blockchain layer with a full metadata record, something that would allow Web 3 users to track the actions of entities like Google and at the same time , provide a new index technology. Players can use it to power new search and social platforms. Indeed, the goal of OIP is to level the playing field, allow tech startups to compete, and bring accountability on the part of everyone, including tech giants like Google.

We interviewed James after the 2021 Consensus. His responses are below.

How will an open metadata layer level the playing field with tech companies? How will it serve the user?

An open metadata layer allows anyone to resell a publisher’s content according to its terms, either as a platform or as an individual influencer, and allows anyone to audit the terms of a given record; as a result, there will be real competition between platforms. Put attractive and interesting content in front of an audience interested in paying for it, without the problems of incompatibility and the waste of inefficiency that derive from the fenced garden model.

Right now, platforms are competing with each other based on the content of their index, which means the user has to chase the content they want from one platform to another and has a terrible user experience. With an open metadata layer, platforms will have to compete based on how well they serve users, not based on their content as everyone will have the same access to content.

Users gain trust because the system is transparent – they can avoid the headaches of the walled garden model and instead support the creators and platforms they like and have confidence in where their money goes.

How long do you expect the adoption cycle to last? Is an open metadata layer on the blockchain a logical continuation of Web 3?

Web 3 will mean that user data and anonymity is protected by default, processes that are usually performed in centralized data centers are instead performed using open networks, deep fakes are the source of funny jokes but not real threats for information dissemination, and creative content producers can earn a real and reliable life. And yes, achieving these goals absolutely requires an open and unified metadata layer.

Due to the way these web 3 networks are designed, as they grow, they will become more consistent and more rewarding for their users, ultimately generating a growing effect until it is the default way to run an online business .

Sir Tim, describing the early days of building the World Wide Web used the analogy of a sled team having to work very hard to push their sled for quite some time, exerting enormous energy to bring it up to speed, but eventually, their own momentum begins to take over and they begin to jump and the ride takes off.

Are there any short-term use cases that you can discuss for the network? What do you think PIN is ideal for, using its metadata layer?

The shorter term use case we are helping to build is a news platform for Al Bawaba, MENA’s largest independent news platform. By using OIP on the PIN blockchain, they gain resistance to censorship and micro-payments so that they can be self-sustaining without relying on the goodwill of tech giants. The PIN metadata layer is ideal for any type of public data: scientific and academic data, property records and public records in general, all types of digital content such as videos and music. If you are on the Internet and should be public, it is ideal to use OIP on the PIN network.

In terms of data collection, will you work directly with editors to get more information? What are the benefits for the publisher?

Yes, absolutely, we have already received feedback from editors as we create OIP, and will continue to do so. Creators and publishers will also have a significant interest in the ongoing governance and future development of the OIP specification.


OIP is a figurative David facing Goliath technology. It’s hard to argue with the clear crushing monopoly of big technology like Google currently has. Clearly, US regulators don’t know how to deal with the changing influence of platforms like Facebook and the dance of big tech companies seeking to preserve their power and regulators facing potential threats to free speech and an orderly and truly representative system of democracy. Government.

What OIP is addressing is an existential threat to our society – what happens when private companies know too much and therefore gain too much power. The question remains: what publications, states, and organizations will get involved next to help OIP build an index from scratch that can challenge the index that Google has been building since 1998?

Amy James is co-inventor of Open Index Protocol, an open source specification for a persistent world index, and CEO of Alexandria Labs, a company that creates Web 3 products and services. The specification is currently in use by Caltech, the subsidiary from Overstock Medici Land Governance, the state of Wyoming, MENA’s largest independent news platform, and many others. The Open Index Protocol’s mission is to be “the technical solution to the problem of walled garden platforms that monopolize the web.”

Cover modified from Pete Linforth’s image on Pixabay

The article originally appeared on Hackernoon.

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