The Mercury Protocol is decentralized, transparent, and built on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows applications to integrate Global Messaging Tokens (GMT) as a way to measure and reward user participation within communication platforms, and facilitates a trustless mechanism to exchange GMT tokens. The protocol will be used to implement tokens that reward the timeliness, quality, and reach of communications, among other valuable metrics.
The first application to implement this protocol is Dust, soon to be followed by Broadcast. For more details, check out the whitepaper.
What problem does the Mercury Protocol solve?
Blockchain technology enables us to shift from privatized silos of applications and data to a public, decentralized and trustless digital community. Dust aims to use blockchain technology to replace the current industry standard of messaging that uses a centralized advertising based model that extorts user data for profit, to one that trustlessly incentivizes users for their participation and attention within the platform. The Mercury Protocol and the GMT token is how Dust plans to achieve this.
We believe that if implemented correctly, tokens can solve any number of problems with communication platforms, including online harassment and trolling. There are countless potential implementations for a token system within messaging applications (e.g. rewards for watching ads, fines for abusive behavior, etc.), but the commonality between all of them is that tokens are designed to provide a secure, measurable way to encourage positive behavior and discourage destructive behavior within a decentralized ecosystem of any size.
Additionally, the protocol will enable decentralized and platform agnostic communication. This means it becomes possible to send communications from one Mercury Protocol integrated platform to another, thus expanding the ecosystem to include all users across all Mercury Protocol integrated platforms, as opposed to a single platform’s users.
We intend for this protocol to enable a token ecosystem that is completely scalable within communication platforms of any size, and one that continues to increase in utility for every new platform that comes on-board.
How is the Mercury Protocol different from centralized token systems like those found in WeChat or other messaging apps?
The Mercury Protocol is decentralized and trustless. Token-like mechanisms within WeChat and other applications are centralized and proprietary systems that are not transferable across communications platforms. Mercury Protocol, on the other hand, provides utility across every messaging application that adopts it.
Unlike centralized alternatives, the Mercury Protocol will be open-source and free for any application to use to build user-facing messaging applications on top of the protocol.
The token system built on the Mercury Protocol benefits from network effects -- if a new platform accepts a token already integrated into other platforms all of them will benefit from the expanding user base.
How will decentralized governance work?
Decentralized governance on blockchain technology is an ongoing area of research and experimentation within the Ethereum community. We are making a deliberate effort to carefully and thoroughly think through our implementation of decentralized governance policy for the Mercury Protocol. Ultimately the solution will maximize the benefits provided to all parties in the ecosystem, including application developers, protocol developers, content consumers, content creators (i.e. end-users), and service providers, while also maximizing the protocol’s ability to innovate and improve. Once the governance structure is formalized, we will release a whitepaper and/or blog post that provides detailed specifications. Please subscribe to our email list here to stay up to date.
When will the Mercury Protocol be open-source?
We will be deploying an alpha version of the Mercury Protocol onto our private test network prior to the token launch. After we perform security audits and quality assurance testing, we will update Dust and release Broadcast with GMT integrated features built on the protocol. We will launch version 1.0.0 of the Mercury Protocol onto the main Ethereum blockchain and open-source the codebase in early Q1 2018. Refer to our updated roadmap for timeline details.
Explain how the Mercury Protocol works
Specifications for the Mercury Protocol are currently under development. We will release a whitepaper that thoroughly describes the technical architecture underlying the protocol, the various features and functionality it enables, and instructions on how to integrate it within an application. Please subscribe to our email list here to receive updates.
What is the development roadmap and timeline for the Mercury Protocol?
Broadly speaking, a token is a custom digital asset that is built on top of a blockchain technology. A token can represent any digital asset, such as paid credits, IOUs, points within a gaming application, property rights, and so on. Overall, tokens are valuable because the blockchain provides a mechanism for creating and using a digital asset that is immutable, decentralized, and impossible to counterfeit.
What is GMT?
Global Messaging Token (GMT) is an ERC20 standard token built on top of Ethereum. GMT is designed for various utilities in messaging apps. Dust is the first application to use this token, followed by Broadcast. For further information on the token, please refer to our whitepaper.
Where can I get GMT?
The GMT Launch Event ended on November 24th and we are no longer issuing tokens. To be notified of updates, please sign up for our newsletter.
You can learn more about Dust here, or download it now for Android or iOS. Broadcast is currently in development, but we will be announcing details closer to its release at the end of Q4 2017. Sign up here for updates. Refer to our updated roadmap for timeline details.
Where can I apply for open positions?
A list of our current open positions can be found here.
I’m a developer, how can I get involved?
If you are an application developer or product manager interested in early adoption of Mercury Protocol, we want to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.