July 28-th held an Ask Me Anything session at ICO Speaks telegram chat. From the Cortex side there were: Leonard Kish | co-founder of Cortex | @hypergraphi
My name is Leo and I’m a co-founder on this project. I’ve been involved in crypto since 2014.
The idea for Cortex came out of health data. In the U.S., hospitals and doctors pretty much own your health record. As bitcoin was taking off, we wondered “how can we decentralize data so that it’s all around an individual and not dependent on third parties.”
In other words, how can we build “a cryptographic, decentralized and individual-centric data store?”
The co-founders had been working in digital health and then we moved over to building decentralized data.
@hexorx another co-founder the authored the decentralized protocol and that became the basis for Cortex. But we figured out the impacts were potentially much bigger, why not decentralize the web, so that it is also individual-centric? Web pages, digital assets and other data can now exist around the individual rather than being dependent on any software or a server.
Let’s get started!
Q: What does Cortex App do?
A: Cortex is a decentralized note-taking and web page publishing tool. Notes or pages live in a decentralized environment, IPFS by default, but could eventually be anywhere you choose.
That means your social live, your documents, all your digital stuff will no longer be dependent on a third party, like Google, they will belong to you, the one with the keys. Just like other digital stuff. Essentially, all digital stuff becomes a kind of digital asset.
They can also be quickly and easily published to a decentralized DNS using Butterfly Protocol. But there is much, much more.
What this means is that all of your digital stuff can now live around YOU rather than in a file on a server somewhere.
There are also some unique features like keylinks, which allow for both public and private linking, so you can share private spaces with other people to share data.
All of this adds a new, human-readable dimension to crypto in that keys literally become web pages with a context. Imagine that the web was built out of NFTs and cryptographic addresses rather than URLs and file structures and you can start to see what the future will hold, and how much crypto will become part of everything online.
Q: What problems does it solve?
A: Well, first, It makes publishing on a decentralized web (controlled by users) simple and easy.
Because pages are keys, it provides authenticity of everything that is published (or kept private).
Many new ways to collaborate and interact around crypto with data.
Security at each individual data element. So security is built in from ground up for all digital stuff.
Human-readable keys that live in a structure. So crypto become much more than just transactions. Keys have context. They have links. They can hold data, live in a relational structure. There’s much more as it is a complete framework, we get new use cases every day, but solving for authenticity, security and a new data context for crypto opens a lot of opportunities.
Q: What are the top use cases?
A: Notes and publishing on the same decentralized platform. Essentially public and private worlds can be managed in one application.
Better management and display of digital assets. If an NFT is art, you can hold all kinds of data around it, it has home on the web and in context with other data. It has a gallery around it.
An more authentic internet for all kinds of interactions. You’ll be able to know and trust all kinds of information better, not just crypto transactions but all kinds of data.
Q: What makes Cortex unique?
A: Owning your own infrastructure. You control the domains and hosting of pages, not some third party.
Decentralized domains becomes your ID and mode for interacting, including crypto transactions.
Notes become synonymous with crypto keys, extending into new dimensions the crypto universe building a strong bridge between crypto, data and the web.
Public and private linking. There’s a public and private context to your notes that you can control.
You can publish web3 pages, but you can also browse web3. Cortex becomes like an all-in-one tool for web3.
Finally, because it is built on an open framework and data, there will be lots of opportunities to extend the platfrom.
Q: Can you give us a brief explanation of the tech behind it?
A: There are 4 or 5 technical aspects, and a few more joining. I think any one would make it an outstanding project, but pulling them all together makes it truly powerful.
1. Human-readable names for keys that have structure and have privacy built into that structure.
2. Decentralized data structures tied to the key structures and wallets. We use a unique kind of Hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet to build our file system.
3. Decentralized domains as IDs using butterfly protocol. We have a top level domain called “.crtx” where domains within the application will live.
4. Git-like versioning of notes.
5. We’re working a few other nice things to decrease costs and make NFTs more cross platform and another for shared data spaces between keys. So plenty more to come. /end
Q: What are the strongest aspects of the project?
A: As mentioned there’s a lot of uniqueness. But the strongest aspect is probably breadth, as you mention, the completeness of the solution and most of it already up and workingin one form or another.
So all of the problems that we are solving we see a lot of projects maybe trying to solve 1 or 2. So in that way we see it as becoming foundational.
Q: What effect will this project have on the cryptospace?
A: Personally I believe this will make crypto indispensable to EVERYONE. One day it will be difficult to imagine operating online without crypto. We are making it easy and useful to build crypto into the core of the web and useful in many new ways.
When every page and interaction online has an address and/or an asset(s) associated with it, we’ll see crypto baked into everything in ways we can’t start to imagine.
And on top of that we’re working on ways to make it all much less expensive to interact and transact.
Q: What will you be able to do that you cannot do today?
A: Right out of the gate you’ll be able to have decentralized notes and publishing in ways that don’t exist today.
You’ll be able to give your crypto assets a home that is unique to you, with a page, with art, with code, with a whole host of context and a human-readable name for your assets and NFTs.
You’ll be able to get paid in crypto for the content you create at the DNS address/key where you create it.
further down the road there’s lots to imagine for defi around assets in this infrastructure, but let’s not get carried away.