Everipedia, Larry Sanger: “The goal is to organise all the encyclopedic info”
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Everipedia, Larry Sanger: “The goal is to organise all the encyclopedic info”

By Amelia Tomasicchio - 11 Jun 2019

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In Malta The Cryptonomist interviewed both the founder, Larry Sanger, and the CEO, Theodor Forselius, of the decentralised encyclopedia called Everipedia.

What is the main goal of Everipedia in the very long term?

Well, basically to create the finest encyclopedia in the world, and I would say the goal for the network is to organise all of the world’s encyclopedic information in a single network which is decentralised and free.

We’re trying to build the world’s most universal knowledge base and I don’t think it should be seen as a zero-sum game between us, Wikipedia or other competitors necessarily but I see ourselves as complementary to Wikipedia. We can have a start where Wikipedia left off, kind of like what Wikipedia did with Encyclopedia Britannica when it started out, and so I think that there’s a world where both us and Wikipedia can exist but we want to have way more articles than Wikipedia and a much grander knowledge base.

How does Everipedia fit in with regard to politics and some laws on equal treatment, right of expression and censorship? How do you control the content?

On the one hand, we have a democratic process in which all of the edits are approved or not by the token holders. In the current phase of development, it provides a kind of oversight, and in a later phase, our aim is to eventually have a rating system that will allow people to identify information about themselves, which can be verified or not by other users, allowing users to be able to rate articles. There will be different articles in the whole network on each subject, and it will be possible to view different rankings according to different political, religious and national biases essentially. There’s a lot more that can be said, it’s a very big topic.

In terms of the contributions to the platform, as far as the end user is concerned, what real advantage does it have over Wikipedia, considering that the average user does not even have an EOS account or a wallet?

In terms of using a blockchain to build an encyclopedia, another big advantage is that it doesn’t just incentivise work on Everipedia.org, which is just one website. Basically, creating an encyclopedia token incentivises contribution to a whole network of encyclopedias, encyclopedia articles and encyclopedia contributors, and as I like to say, we are aiming to create the encyclopedia layer of the internet in the same way that the blogosphere is the blog layer of the internet defined by the RSS standard, so we’re going to create our own standards for encyclopedic information basically defined by our smart contracts. We’ve already been in discussions with other encyclopedias who are very interested in putting their content on the IQ network and that’s a good thing because it will give humanity a way to contribute to the biggest collection of encyclopedia articles without having to negotiate with the Wikipedia community, which only appeals to a very small subset of the people who are potentially interested in working on an encyclopedia.

In Europe, where the GDPR on user privacy is currently in place, how does Everipedia handle cases in which the legislation must be applied, does it have measures to prevent it from inadvertently violating the legislation?

We are reviewing our privacy policy right now, our lawyers are going over it, I personally am taking an interest in this topic very much and we will obviously respect user’s privacy and we will actually go beyond the requirements of the GDPR, I think that’s safe to say.

Why did you decide to use the EOS blockchain?

EOS is faster than Ethereum. The first big content dApp is Steemit and it is based on Ethereum, and EOS just has the ability to process a lot more transactions per second because it’s Proof of Stake. Basically, we ended up using a model that is similar to the Steem model, and that seems to work well so far. We also get along with the executives there, and they’ve helped us a lot in building on EOS. The principles of Block.one along with Mike Novogratz at Galaxy Digital, are behind the 30 million dollar fundraising that we did last year, so they like our work and we like EOS.

Do you think that this year, or maybe the next one will be the final one to achieve mass adoption of cryptocurrencies? In terms of payments or other applications?

I’m not the best person to ask about that. My view is that crypto will maybe eventually become a currency per say, but it’s mostly an investment instrument and a payments instrument, so it could be easily imagined as a crypto pay kind of thing, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and similar systems like that, I think such a system might actually end up being the first big consumer currency used as a payments app.

I think we’ll see the first couple of examples of mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in 2019/2020 – in the next 1/1.5 years for sure – especially with Facebook developing GlobalCoin which is their native cryptocurrency. Big players like that entering the sector and Amazon starting to accept cryptocurrency, makes me think it’s definitely coming, we’re soon going to see the first few examples of a lot of people actually using it for real. We also hope Everipedia is going to be able to set a precedent with our new platform that we’re launching, because when we built it we haven’t looked at how do we make this better than other blockchain projects, we’re trying to make something that’s objectively better than any other competitor on the market, whether they’re centralised or decentralised, and we’ve really put a lot of effort into making sure that people with no technical experience or interest in blockchain or anything like that at all, can actually use the platform as an online encyclopedia just as they would Wikipedia. I think that’s going to be a game changer, that’s when you can truly reach mass market adoption, not just with Everipedia but with the blockchain space in general when you take all the technical aspects out of it and make it really easy to use and understand for regular people and regular internet consumers that don’t really have an interest and aren’t enthusiasts in the technology, they just want the benefits.

Amelia Tomasicchio
Amelia Tomasicchio

As expert in digital marketing, Amelia began working in the fintech sector in 2014 after writing her thesis on Bitcoin technology. Previously author for Cointelegraph and CMO at Eido. She is now the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Cryptonomist.

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