TL;DR: Shammah Chancellor is trying to rekindle the spirit of Bitcoin by drawing upon his experiences as a Jehovah’s Witness and the early work of Hal Finney. Chancellor is going back to basics, attempting to restore functionality and putting to use the idea of taking back our identities. His project is named Stamp, and it hopes to leverage the power of messaging with payments, moving us away from an increasingly centralized internet. This episode is available embedded in the article below, and on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Breaker, PocketCasts, PodBean, YouTube for Newer Episodes, YouTube Older Episodes, and Overcast.
Shammah Chancellor Grew Up a Jehovah’s Witness
It’s a smaller, Protestant spinoff known for its door-to-door advocacy. You wouldn’t think a group like Jehovah’s Witnesses inspired a protocol developer, but it did in a way. Shammah Chancellor has been an important member of the Bitcoin Cash community since its founding a few years ago, having worked with Bitcoin ABC among his credits.
He’s since moved on to do independent work, but more recently is drawing upon his upbringing to highlight the importance of having access to uncensored information, for decentralization, and to tap into Bitcoin’s true functionality potential. Being a Jehovah’s Witness, according to Chancellor, meant being actively discouraged in considering other points of view, and he sees that as a parallel to the Silicon Valley gatekeepers who censor opinions they dislike.
It got him to further consider the important early dream of Bitcoiner Hal Finney and his reusable proof of work tokenization scheme (RPoW). The concept is a back-to-basics approach to Bitcoin; and in this case, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a project well-poised to actually make Finney’s dream a reality. Chancellor believes too much emphasis has been placed on point-of-sale (PoS) systems, which he describes as not unimportant but rather a second step in the adoption process. Instead, BCH needs to go where people are online, and that involves messaging one another.
What’s needed, Chancellor argues, is a greater emphasis on leveraging the reliability and decentralized properties of BCH in the form of a wallet, Stamp. The hope is to “give us a chance to take back our online identities — being anonymous if we so choose” by way of “providing frictionless payments for any digital service, and attaching real value to messages in order to limit spam and place the cost of spamming back on the sender of messages,” something giants like Google take advantage of as trusted third parties. Stamp, then, would be “a reference implementation for a client that uses a set of protocols which any wallet can implement in the future. The protocols enable direct wallet-to-wallet communication via a network overlay on top of Bitcoin Cash.”
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