Edited by Mike Roncone and Denise Levine
with input from Xavier Hawk, Matt deCourcelle and Andrew De Gabriele
Token-Controlled Access (TCA) is a simple idea. In a given system, different levels of access to that system and abilities within it are granted according to the combination of tokens in a particular users wallet.
What is TCV? Token Controlled Viewpoint (TCV) is an application of TCA to information content (forums, posts, comments, bonus content, bloopers, walkthroughs, tips, tweets, supplemental blogs, RSS feeds or other data) on basic web pages.
Each piece of information, or block of information, is associated with a token(s) and quantity(s). If the quantity is zero, the information is viewable to users with or without accounts. If the quantity required is more than zero, the information is not loaded unless the address(s) associated with the user contain the required token(s).
Working in the cryptocurrency space is like building an enormous mansion one room at a time. During construction it is difficult to see what comes next. Each time we install a new window it provides an opportunity to poke ones head through it, and see what we will be building next.
At LetsTalkBitcoin.com, we ask our users to give us a Counterwallet.co address. Every Saturday we send their share of the LTBcoin weekly participation rewards to that address. From there, they can do whatever they want with it. They can use it in auctions to bid on a variety of things. They can trade it, buy a stone sink with it or they can speculate on its future value. Currently, thats about it.
A few months ago, one of the developers in the LTB community created a tool that lets users easily check the LTBc balance of a username with one click. The first version used scraped data from user profile pages, however the LTB platform is designed to embrace this sort of development. Thats why we hooked them up with our official api. This was a cool tool. Its a novelty really, but reminded me of our ability to programmatically look at user addresses and see their balance. We dont need to hold any control or responsibility over that account.
Since the relaunch of LetsTalkBitcoin.com, weve introduced a somewhat bare-bones forum where our community has coalesced. When I create a community, I look for eager participants and give them responsibilities. One such user with the handle Matt, created a token called JEDI and started handing it out. He is quietly growing the cult of the token through a new method hes pioneering called an Asset Based Puzzle (ABP).
And what does every secret society truly desire? Privacy. Invisibility in plain sight. Op-sec without inconvenience. Matts not the only one. Xavier Hawk of Permacredits.com has been on me for a private forum where he can plot permacultures ascension into the halls of power.
In the LTBcoin skype chat, Xavier said:
I was JUST having a convo about a secret crypto society where you need to be given a specific token to get in....[a] private forum
Then I realized, We can do that... Right now.
The tools are all there. Counterwallet.co is a multi-wallet so you can have as many tokens of as many kinds as you want, it really doesnt matter. We just watch one address per user and whatever token(s) are in their wallet dictate what they can and cannot see. This tool could be designed to deliver multi-level access where certain sub-communities information on the forum is controlled in a distributed, hierarchical fashion.
A legacy structure has the intelligence seated at the top of a hierarchy, automation serves to perform the will of the intelligence at the human level. This is why when legacy companies make cuts for efficiency, they cut at the edges of the network. Low level humans are the least valuable and most easily replaced parts, while to trim from the brains is to cripple your decision-making capacity which no intelligent organism would do. This all changed when Bitcoin introduced the idea of autonomous distributed consensus, automation at the center of the network and intelligence on the edges. TCV represents this concept applied to information access.
In a legacy structure, there is always a master control. In the new paradigm with tools like MAIDSAFE and Storj on the horizon, systems are within sight to power the first fully decentralized society, as niche as you want to be. You are 100% in control while using the common infrastructure that nurtures, protects and enables it all. We all are.
Eccentricity Requires Privacy
Users would need to acquire various asset(s) to attain access to certain levels information within the sub-community.
Here we could have a thousand private sub-communities each with their own token. Users visiting the page would only see the public boards plus their token privileges. If they want to increase their privileges, simply acquire tokens from the organization or public/private market. I realize this might not fit all situations, but Counterparty assets can be callable. Therefore, its quite possible to have moderation abilities even with untrustworthy parties in the mix.
If we can control what forums are seen, why not apply this to read/write access on a thread by thread basis? Why not a post by post basis? The default can be full visibility or 1-token visibility, but this system allows granular control over how invested one must be to view certain content. Again, it would not necessarily be obscured to people of lower permissions, it would simply not be visible at all.
Wait - Arent Secret Societies Bad?
Okay so that can get a little creepy in the end, but it proves a point.
Right now, something like this would need to be centrally managed by one person or a small group granting and repealing permissions for all subgroups. The subgroups necessarily require the consent of the higher structure to be able to function, and the higher structure has abilities that supercede those of the lower.
With a token based infrastructure, the platform is a service provider, not master. Private boards could be made private even to administrators since information is locked through a different means than the administrative authority. With a token based infrastructure, information is only loaded based on the contents of a users wallet. Because we use token technology, this means access can be traded as easily as bitcoins.
A less creepy use would be taking this line of thinking and applying it to content. For example, lets look at our front page and blogs:
Scenario A: A random reader visits the front page of LetsTalkBitcoin.com - They see the front page exactly as it is now. Hopefully they enjoy the content, then sign up for an account so we can give them their share. Nothing changed for them.
Scenario B: User visits the front page of LetsTalkBitcoin.com - They have an account properly configured and a wallet with 100LTBc in it. In this case, they are greeted by a version of the page that contains additional content relevant to our users. They visit the same URL but see more.
Scenario C: User visits the front page of LetsTalkBitcoin.com - They have an account properly configured and a wallet with 1000LTBc in it. They see a version of the page not only containing the public and general user content, but also discussions on the future of the website. Perhaps they will see polls asking them to vote on a particular decision, or announcements regarding recent developments. We probably wouldnt want to scale this too much, but it demonstrates the time/value effect to potential users.
Scenario D: User visits a Content page of LetsTalkBitcoin.com - They have 100LTBc in their account plus the author ACTs fan token in an author defined amount - They can see everything as above but they also can see the companion blog post written by the ACT about that particular piece of content. This could be a video blog, or bonus material that didnt fit into the story.This system would allow anyone to have a fan section of each story they post which is only shown to those who are actual fans. Ever wanted a bloopers section for your article?
What about sharing?
This isn't done yet, but eventually non-public items may be shared. Without appropriate access to a piece of content, readers will be redirected to a page explaining why. The page would also give examples of how they can gain access. For instance: wait a certain amount of time, or perform certain actions (Tweet this article to gain access!). It may even calculate the direct cost of purchasing access as an additional option. The important thing is that gaining access is put into the users hands.
But all of that is a ways off, there's lots still to develop. Today we're pleased to share our first experimental project of this concept.
Introducing Token Societies, new From LetsTalkBitcoin.com
Starting today, September 17th 2014, You can set up your own token on the Counterparty system, and in exchange for 50,000LTBc or .1BTC make yours one of the first access tokens with Token Society. Only holders of your designated token will be able to see it, and you have complete control of your asset.
To use any of the systems, you'll need to prove to us that you own the bitcoin address you're saying holds your access tokens. We can show you a bitcoin address created specifically for and shown only to you. You then send a bitcoin donation (to LTB) of any amount to that address, and we know you have control of the private keys, so it's probably really your address. A transaction of a satoshi proves the point just as well as a full bitcoin, so only donate what you want.
Alternatively you can sign a message created specifically for and shown only to you with the bitcoin address you are verifying, but at the time of this writing the "Message Signing" feature has been bugged on Counterwallet for several months.
This process is required only once per address you wish to associate with your LTB user account, which may hold as many access tokens as you desire. You can indicate during verification whether you want the address displayed publicly.
Are You EARLY?
Have you set up a LTBCOIN wallet with us? If so, you should have an EARLY token very soon that will give you access to the new Founder Forum. This asset is locked at 2401 tokens and they are required in order to access this exclusive board, with more such features to come in the future. This board will be closely moderated.
If you have an EARLY token, you can do whatever you want with it but know it's an ongoing project and we'll be adding features. If you don't have an early token, this is probably going to be the most cost effective time to get one from someone who doesn't see the point.
For those of you who jump right in with us, you'll find a bonus magic word in The Founder Forum.
What is an ABP? An Asset Based Puzzle (ABP) is a reality-based role playing game/puzzle which requires users to attain access to various assets through cryptic and puzzle-like missions in order to attain access to new levels of information within the community. The puzzle is controlled through TCV.