Crystal Rose Pierce, Founder and CEO of SENSE, tells Block.one about a fresh approach to a messaging platform that safeguards privacy and provides users with a chance to share rewards during their interactions with each other.
How would you describe your project?
Crystal Rose Pierce: In a nutshell, Sense.Chat is the EOS Messenger.
This is the first provably secure, crypto-enabled messaging platform. Because we built this on the EOSIO blockchain for encryption, users have an unparalleled level of control over their
privacy. A feature of this app allows users to be rewarded for the value that they bring to their group channels through posting, curating and sharing.
Where did your initial idea come from?
Crystal Rose Pierce: Our team had built and launched a network of chatbots inside large-scale social messengers, and as our tools scaled to millions of users, we became concerned about user privacy among these platforms. Private user data was freely flowing through APIs, scanned by AI, and stored in centralized databases in plain text before being encrypted. Large social platforms were brokering users’ private data for advertising profits.
It was clear to us that messaging apps were surpassing the usage of social networks. It’s human nature to connect, but it’s also a human right to have privacy.
We also recognized the need for creating real value for the time that we trade for our data. In November 2018, SENSE was the first company to successfully complete a peer-to-peer
video chat over the blockchain. We leveraged EOSIO to perform a handshake between users, with a unique encryption method using the users’ public EOS keys. Now, users can chat on text, audio and video without middlemen.
Can you introduce your team and tell us what makes it special?
Crystal Rose Pierce: The SENSE team has built blockchain and messaging tools for the past 5 years. I started building on the Bitcoin blockchain and migrated to Ethereum to build apps with logic on chain. I chose to switch to the EOS public network to tap its ability to handle large-scale software. I’m also the co-founder of shEOS, a female-founded EOS block producer. Our CTO, Ben Sigman, was a critical member of the EOS public network launch and built a protocol to help app developers transition their tokens.
Our team comes from diverse backgrounds, but we are all guided by the same values and mission. We believe in Common Sense: fundamental values closely aligned with blockchain technology around privacy, transparency, and freedom. SENSE creates technology to be used for the benefit of the individual, the community and humanity. We believe users and their data are valuable and sovereign. We consider these values in every line of code we write and believe that true decentralization is a means to reward and empower individuals.
What stage is the project at and what are your plans for scaling up?
Crystal Rose Pierce: We launched Sense.Chat mobile apps for iOS and Android and have built a highly-scalable messaging encryption protocol using EOS account keys.
Why did you decide to use blockchain technology, and specifically EOSIO?
Crystal Rose Pierce: Blockchain transactions are simply messages, a reliable transfer of information. We wanted to build our private messenger with both off-chain and on-chain activity – for connection, data transfer and transactions. EOS provides a great infrastructure for handling accounts and authentication of those accounts via user-controlled keys. Most messenger applications depend on legacy / external systems, such as a password, that can be reset via a mobile phone number and email address. We wanted to provide something better and more secure, so we chose to build on EOSIO.
Where do you see your project / business in 3 years?
Crystal Rose Pierce: SENSE is building blockchain communication tools for everyone. We see Sense.Chat being integrated into any EOS dApp with a community. We’re building tools for content creators, community managers, token holders and game players.
More information on Sense.Chat available at https://www.sense.chat/
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