Data storage hacks are not only a pain, they can also be incredibly damaging to individual and company reputations and cost millions in lost revenue. An Australian teenager recently admitted to hacking Apple’s servers and downloading 90 gigabytes of secure files, something that could easily happen to the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive.
Billing itself as “the WordPress of blockchain apps,” Proxeus has today released the second version of its beta, which includes a new decentralized storage application that the company claims is significantly more secure than other data storage platforms. With Proxeus, users can store passports, patents, and passwords with the high levels of security offered by blockchain-powered applications. In short, Proxeus has launched a digital safe deposit box.
The distributed app (dApp) is one of two modules that sit on the Proxeus platform, which aims to make blockchain accessible to non-technical users, much as WordPress does for websites. The first module is a drag-and-drop blockchain workflow engine and document generator, which has already helped the University of Basel’s Center for Innovative Finance create course completion certificates on the blockchain (a workflow that was built in 100 hours) and WWF Switzerland create a tax donation verification system in less than a day.
The aim of Proxeus’ second module is simple.
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Users will have total control over their digital identity, storing encrypted data in secure facilities off-chain while putting advanced access controls on-chain using smart contracts.
Essentially, Proxeus has created a solution that allows people to create their own private and public registers and become their own data providers, which opens up some exciting possibilities.
“What surprised us most is the flexibility of this storage solution,” Proxeus cofounder Antoine Verdon told me. “We are really changing the way data is stored and managed. The Proxeus framework can be used to create fully GDPR-compliant blockchain products and store customer data, information from official registers, or DNA records.”
The module, while similar in concept to the internet hyperlink, looks like a traditional data storage system.
“The interface is similar to Dropbox, and it is available on Mac and PC,” Proxeus cofounder Patrick Allemann told me. “Currently, the documents are stored by Mount10, a storage facility located in the Swiss mountains. We will be adding more storage providers over time.”
We’ve featured Mount10 at VentureBeat in the past. A nuclear-proof bunker in the middle of the Swiss Alps, it’s one of the most secure locations on the planet.
The storage platform itself does away with standard subscriptions and contracts, instead opting for a payment model that works on a file-by-file basis, and is paid for in Proxeus’ own cryptocurrency token, XES. This method allows any storage provider to connect to Proxeus via blockchain and offer storage services to any user. Users can choose their storage wherever and however they want, with the potential for unlimited storage without any contract risk.
“Shortly, you will be able to store your files anywhere while having them all aggregated into one ‘data wallet’, and you will pay a price that will depend only on the file size and storage duration, not on a subscription,” Verdon said. “This foundation, used in conjunction with the other Proxeus building blocks, offers developers from all around the world a possibility to build better applications by putting user data back in the hands of their users.”
Splitting access rights on-chain from the actual files off-chain and giving conditional access to documents enables new business cases. Users can provide access to data based on specific conditions, they can create time-sensitive documents, and they can tackle the entire range of GDPR requirements.
So what’s next for Proxeus?
“Over the last months, we have demonstrated different aspects of our technology — the workflow manager, document registration, and document storage,” Allemann said. “We will be working on adding more features and putting all those pieces together into an open source product that will be used by developers for building their own blockchain applications.”
Test XES tokens will be provided to show how they function within the Proxeus ecosystem, allowing beta users to pay for Proxeus’ services. The beta is accessible from today at beta.proxeus.com.
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