PUBLIQ White Paper
PUBLIQ introduces a peer-to-peer distributed network that implements a new vision and approach to the media industry. It changes the way people interact and stay informed, specifically in the fast growing online media environment where no disintermediated way to transact and exchange exists.
The incredible growth of Internet access and speed around the world allows more and more people to be connected to media, anytime, anywhere. However, the media environment is currently under threats. Over centralization, unfair remunerations, poor customer experience, and absence of quality contents are on the rise. The situation is not only affecting our approach and trust towards media, but also our understanding of what is really happening around us.
The PUBLIQ team is building our future media ecosystem based on blockchain technology combined with analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). PUBLIQ is rebuilding trust in media by empowering authors and readers to be part of a safe, impartial, and fair ecosystem.
Up to 2003, the world created every two days1 as much information as it did since the dawn of its history. In this ever-growing cascade of information one can find a massive number of digital articles, news, and stories. The rise of online media2 has radically changed the way people interact with the world, but with the boom in self-publishing the quality level of the diffused contents has suffered. The information issued from the myriad of media platforms makes it really challenging to find relevant or interesting content. Moreover, the increase in clickbaits and other malwares deteriorated the overall user experience, representing a heavy burden for the existing platforms.
The current situation is not only affecting the user experience but also the nature of the content. In order to increase traffic, editorials are pushed to relentlessly post new articles, often leading to the creation of poor contents devoid of substance. From the current revenue model, the whole industry is heading in the wrong direction, ultimately affecting readers’ visibility and understanding.
Although the practices in the media industry are unfair when it comes to rights management, an increasing number of unknown authors and bloggers manage to post highly appreciated and respected pieces through the current ecosystem. The reverse side of the coin is that talented authors only manage to build a partial and fragile reputation through low remuneration or unrewarded gratifications. At the same time, social media giants are making more and more profits thanks to the content people are posting and don’t get rewarded for. The increasing amount of articles and data users share has also helped these giants to sell personal data to make even more profits.
Today, a lot of articles are duplicated if not pirated. They are shared and disseminated on multiple platforms without traceability, making it more and more difficult for authors to receive the royalties which should rightfully be theirs. These royalties vanish through intermediaries and middlemen who exploit third-party creativity and creations to enrich themselves.
The barriers to entry are very high for any party ambitious enough to compete with the industry’s current leaders. The infrastructure that underpins the current media industry is opaque and raises doubts about its impartiality.
PUBLIQ is a non-profit Foundation established to support authors of digital content. Its mission is to support and guard the interests and rights of both authors and users while building and maintaining a free media environment. PUBLIQ is reshaping our approach to the media industry by building a decentralized independent communication platform for anyone who wants to share or post news and all types of articles.
The state of the industry is unfair and unacceptable, especially when certain technologies are able to tackle these issues. PUBLIQ wants to reestablish the balance of power by making use of game-changing open technologies.
PUBLIQ is aiming to offer an experience where rewards are distributed instantly, facilitating both the experience of the author who is incentivized to fulfill his passion, and the reader who does not go through a cumbersome and costly process to appreciate free censorship resistant content.
PUBLIQ introduces a seamless instant gratification experience incentivizing creativity and giving authors the opportunity to produce and share more content to their readers and followers.
PUBLIQ is made of three different layers: a content sharing layer that allows anyone to securely post news articles and stories, a transactional layer including a transfer and reward distribution mechanism, and a reputational layer that evaluates the reputation of authors based on readers’ opinions. PUBLIQ intends to democratize the media industry by decentralizing data and removing unnecessary intermediaries from the current environment.
The PUBLIQ Ecosystem
We think at PUBLIQ Foundation that authenticity and independence of media can be achieved by using blockchain and its decentralized nature. The PUBLIQ ecosystem is designed as a decentralized reliable media platform equipped with an analytics reputation assessment engine as well as AI algorithms to analyze viewer preferences and suggest articles with diverging opinions.
Blockchain as a source of distributed trust
PUBLIQ will use its own independent blockchain based on a modified Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. The blockchain will hold account related information, transactions and content metadata. It will also introduce and support the PUBLIQ “PBQ tokens” (cf 4-B-PBQ Token) to be used into the PUBLIQ ecosystem. PBQs will be partially distributed to ICO participants and also issued and distributed from the mining process. The consensus algorithm in the PUBLIQ network is PoS style, but with modifications. The main idea of the consensus is that miners will have a chance proportional to their stake size of being chosen to mine the next block.
Blocks will be mined every 30 seconds or 2000 operations: whichever comes first, but not faster than every 3 seconds. This will allow the blockchain to speed up when the number of transactions are growing and not generate lots of empty blocks when the network is idle. Blockchain operations in our system include PBQ transfers, content submission, daily rating adjustments, content view statistics, and other operations.
To participate in the mining process, miners are required to first obtain “mining tokens” from the PUBLIQ network using the wallet application. Mining tokens correspond to a random ripemd-160 hash. To obtain mining tokens, miners should put a fixed amount of PBQ on hold in a segregated account. Everybody who has enough PBQ can get mining token(s). The number of mining tokens that a miner can hold is limited only by the number of PBQ that has been placed in the mining account. The PBQ collected through mining will be returned to the miner when the mining tokens are returned.
The miner of the next block is chosen from all miners. In order to rightfully mine the next block, a miner should possess the mining token which is closest to last block's hash, and since all miners are registered in the blockchain, everyone knows who the next miner is.
The mining algorithm processes the blockchain updates and for each new block finds T tokens that are closest to that block’s hash from all available mining tokens (T will vary depending on the size of the network and the total number of miners). Those miners will have the right to sign the block and broadcast it to the network.
The network peers will receive T possible candidates signed by different mining tokens. In case all miners trying to sign the block are online for each next block, peers will always select the block that is mined with the token closest to previous block’s hash over other candidates.
Ideally, if all miners are always online, T should be equal to 1. However, some miners may be disconnected from the network, hence selecting a number of elected potential miners to apply to the status of miner for the next block, helps to make sure there is no latency or connectivity issues into the block generation process.
The incentive for the PUBLIQ "nodes" is to sustain the platform and maintain its reliability by providing validation and distribution of the blocks. They receive mining rewards (cf 4-B-PBQ token) for their involvement. Everyone who owns PUBLIQ PBQ tokens can potentially become a node if he or she decides to participate in the process.
Our mining algorithm has an advantage over proof of work as it does not require significant resource spendings, such as electricity costs. Compared to existing proof of stake methods, our method has an advantage, since the miner selection is randomized and not only linked to the size of the stake. Hence, if ill-intentioned actors would want to corrupt the network, they would need to take over a very high percentage of the network to have any guaranteed results of becoming the designated miner in the network.
PUBLIQ will use a distributed storage infrastructure to store all content—articles, news, and advertisements. Storage will consist of participants who will lend their free storage space to the PUBLIQ ecosystem in exchange for PBQ tokens. Becoming a distributed storage provider is an alternative way of sustaining the ecosystem and being rewarded at the same time.
Content will be given a permanent hash ID when added to distributed storage and is referred using that same ID everywhere within the PUBLIQ network. Distributed storage relies on blockchain for content discovery rather than a distributed hash table. Distributed storage uses up all clients’ located storage to its advantage. Any given piece of data can be replicated with a 5-10 coefficient to ensure redundancy and availability. In a more enhanced version, the distributed storage will replicate files based on geolocation of storage to also optimize for latency and speed. The amount of rewards collected by the storage provider depends on his or her availability to sustain more reliable global storage on the network.
One key aspect of our distributed storage technology is that we allow the p2p network to become multicast based on some nodes. This allows a more efficient deployment of storage farms. Our storage protocols automatically adjust and seamlessly integrate the multicast-based portions of the storage network. The higher-level multicast protocol is actually the same one used on the p2p network. So on binary level they look the same, but the propagation is more efficient.
It is important to mention that the hash of the data is stored in the blockchain, so any corruption of data will be detected right away.
The blockchain immutability also acts as a support for independent journalism. No centralized entity can remove writings that are already posted unlike on most existing platforms (cf 4-D-The PUBLIQ governance). If any amendments or notes need to be performed in an article already disseminated into the blockchain, PUBLIQ allows authors to add notes that will be linked to the initial content. Each of these notes will be highlighted to the readers in order to maintain clarity in the reading experience (cf 4-B-PBQ Token).
The PUBLIQ blockchain and distributed ledger technology will strongly protect contents and transactions from any unnecessary points of friction. The work of an author, and his or her pieces of work are transparent and available to everyone in PUBLIQ. Authors can now protect their writings and have their pieces safely distributed.
The AI assistant
In order to better match our ad providers and provide users with meaningful recommendations, we will integrate an AI that can interpret and analyze the content. The AI will sit on top of the blockchain and process all new content. Using different AI protocols will provide searchability of content and comprehension of content categories. Contents can be grouped by events, topics, and facts, and other significant relations between contents can be created. Our team members have a long and successful track record of AI applications in the High Frequency Finance industry.
Our AI consists of three parts:
Powerful recommendation engine. PUBLIQ is meant to be a highly diversified ecosystem broadcasting a wide choice of articles from authors around the world. In order to offer an optimized customer experience for readers, PUBLIQ uses an AI-powered recommendation engine that makes suggestions based on what readers choose to read and what they like about articles. Depending on the searches, readings, and feedbacks made by a reader, either on the PUBLIQ interface or the channels (cf 4-C- Public workflows and economics), the AI assistant will recommend articles that are in line with preferences (topics, length, style, language, country of origin, etc.). Readers can be notified that their favourite author has posted a new article. They are able to shape the recommendation engine based on their own preferences or simply decide to view newly posted articles.
Reliable SVN. Our AI processes and selects the information provided to the user, so that for every article presented to the user, there is an alternate view as well. We use SVN (Support Vector Machines) to classify articles. This allows us to display alternative opinions and directions with any broadcasted article. Our goal is to facilitate the opinion-making process for readers who are currently influenced by wrongly calibrated recommendation engines. We intend to establish and guard an environment sterile from adverse influences. PUBLIQ maintains objectivity and intends to remain an ecosystem cleared of any influence in order to maximize the chances for readers to form their own opinions.
Precise advertising placement. PUBLIQ also uses an AI algorithm to assist advertisers in optimising their ad placement into the PUBLIQ ecosystem. Our AI predicts the relevance of advertisements to show to the user using probability decision trees. The AI algorithm provides an advertisement placement mechanism based on readers’ preferences and also on the nature of the articles (topics, industries, etc.). The AI algorithm helps determine which ad might interest certain readers and channels more than others based on the PUBLIQ activity. The AI-based approach includes reporting and analytics feature for advertisers. It is important to note that the revenues made from advertisements are redistributed to the PUBLIQ participants into the ecosystem (cf 4-B-PBQ token). PUBLIQ foundation does not charge any fees to advertisers and does not sell any personal data to third parties.
Distributed Ad Platform
All free content from the PUBLIQ network will have embedded advertisements from our ad providers. Advertisements and contents will be matched using AI to display the most relevant advertisements with the content. We will also allow advertisers to modify the matching algorithm through the use of content metadata. This will allow them to target a specific audience based on local or other publicly available parameters.
The advertisement content is a publication just like any other with its own hash key, so the first step for advertisers is to create an ad and register it on blockchain like any other article (store the content and save the checksum into the blockchain). The second step is to start an advertising campaign by creating an entry into the blockchain that has a PBQ amount associated with it and a filter on the target audience. Every time an article is shown the daemon that retrieves the article must insert the hash for an advertisement. Whether the advertisement was indeed registered in the blockchain and passed the basic filtering can be easily verified. PBQs are spent from the wallet associated with the campaign through smart contracts depending on the criteria chosen by the advertisers for the campaign (e.g., number of clicks, number of articles, and broadcast).
Wider democratization of the ad supply is achieved through the support of third-party ad platforms. We will provide APIs for all third-party ad providers to supply ads to our network on demand. Requests are sent to the third-party every time a posted content matches with their choices and criteria. Effectively, we provide a built-in solution with our own AI to show ads as well as mechanisms for third-party ad networks to plug into the PUBLIQ ecosystem.
A reputational layer based on analytics
Online reputation is crucial for everyone. Who reads us, likes us, comments our posts: all these parameters reflect part of who we are and what we represent. Corporations, for instance, are increasingly analyzing candidates’ online profiles to better understand who they are dealing with, what are their opinions and networks. Accurately evaluating the reputation of an author is extremely difficult and technically challenging. So far, existing media platforms and blogs authors did not come up with efficient and convenient assessment tools. Through the use of proprietary formulas (cf. 4-C-PUBLIQ Workflows and Economics), PUBLIQ offers accurate evaluations of authors’ reputations. Depending on the opinions of the readers and only the readers, reputation and instant rewards are disseminated into the ecosystem securely with complete transparency.
One main advantage of creating a reputation mechanism is to incentivize authors to post articles that are as relevant and well written as possible. Posting poorly written content may result in poor reader feedback, and therefore the author’s reputation could suffer.
Every author has access to his or her own profile and ratings. On demand and through the use of API, any third party, for instance a job searching platform, could allow their members to broadcast their "PUBLIQ Score". The PUBLIQ Score is an overall assessment calculated to determine the reputation of authors. The PUBLIQ Score is a weighted average (%) of the different feedbacks given to every single author (number of stories, views, shares, likes, and potential flags).
Millions of talented authors or bright minds don’t have the capacity to dedicate time to let their talents speak. These talents deserve to be under the spotlight and rewarded fairly. Building a lifetime reputation that is traceable and transparent on the blockchain is the best way to perform accurate democratized rewarding. PUBLIQ empowers readers by giving them the opportunity to independently shape reputations and rely on them to have a better perception of an author’s talent.
Views - Views of the author’s stories.
Feedbacks - Likes, shares, and flags for the author’s stories.
Stories - The author’s posted stories.
Days - The cumulative number of days of posted stories.
On top of the reputational layer, PUBLIQ proposes a customizable analytics dashboard that allows authors to learn more about their audience. The main information and statistics available include number of views, shares, likes, country of origin, and industry.
At PUBLIQ, we understand the need for independent publishing and authentic minds. Authors must be rewarded for their talents and different, but well-expressed opinions. If authors do not get rewarded for their efforts, we could all be left with several medias controlled and influenced by powerful parties. By engaging professionals, bloggers, researchers, publishing houses, and virtually anyone to be part of the PUBLIQ ecosystem, everybody’s voice is heard. In the PUBLIQ ecosystem, users have control but are not in control, which prevents any powerful party to dictate ideologies.
In the meantime, the most important social media and news aggregators (Facebook or Google) announced that they are exploring new ways to fight the spread of misinformation and alternative facts. It is naturally risky to rely on private companies to tell us what is true or not. We think that only readers should determine whether content is or isn’t authentic, compelling, or simply well articulated.
In a society of instant gratification, PUBLIQ Foundation strongly believes a decentralized peer-to-peer reward mechanism for intellectual creations must be applied.
PUBLIQ provides a cryptocurrency utility token, "PBQ", which can be transferred between accounts, used to purchase advertising space, and to reward participants.
The PUBLIQ instant gratification process gives the opportunity for authors to receive merit based tokens. Every single PBQ holders is granted with a wallet and a key pair to sign transactions. Authors are free to spend PBQs across the PUBLIQ ecosystem or exchange PBQ into other crypto-or-fiat currencies through the partner exchanges.
The PUBLIQ infrastructure relies on smart contracts to install trust and convenience into the reward mechanism. When a reader wishes to support an author, the simple fact of expressing a positive opinion will participate in improving the “PUBLIQ Score” and ultimately result in the dissemination of a larger amount of PBQ into the author’s wallet.
Readers do not want to go through a cumbersome payment process every time an article is read or just opened. They also want the information to be free to access. The seamless PUBLIQ rewarding infrastructure is safely managed via blockchain and the smart contract capabilities. PBQ cannot be counterfeited or reversed arbitrarily.
The workflow would look as follows:
- An author spends a minor amount of PBQ to post an article.*
- The reader reads the article and can like it, share it, or raise a flag.
- A smart contract takes care of communicating the feedbacks to the analytics engine updating the author’s PUBLIQ Score.
- Another smart contract takes care of crediting the author’s wallet with an amount of PBQ commensurate his PUBLIQ Score at the rewarding batch that take place at the time of the Reward Offering (RO) every 24 hours.
- The author can use the PBQ received to post more articles or exchange them.
* PBQ also represents a security against spamming. Indeed in order to discourage abusive modifications and malicious attempts, posting an article or adding new notes on top of a posted article costs a minor amount of PBQ (These PBQ are reimbursed once the author reaches a minimum PUBLIQ Score threshold, fixed by the community ( cf 4-D-The PUBLIQ governance)).
It is essential to note that PBQ transactions are dispensed automatically and instantaneously at a zero cost.
The Power of the PUBLIQ Network
The authors are the “key players” of the ecosystem. They create and post articles that are disseminated into the network:
- On the PUBLIQ interface where all the articles posted through the PUBLIQ network can be found.
- On the channels that decide to use the PUBLIQ API to broadcast content posted in PUBLIQ.
The channels are the principal partners of PUBLIQ in content distribution and promotion. They cannot censor articles but have the right to decide what type of content they wish to make available for their readers. Filtering features (by topics, dates, number of likes, and other parameters) are also available for channels to facilitate their choices. By broadcasting the content posted in the PUBLIQ ecosystem, channels have the opportunity to be rewarded depending of how much traffic they generate through the PUBLIQ contents they broadcast. Channels can also rely on the PUBLIQ ecosystem to create their own “author accounts” and post articles. PUBLIQ does not want to exclude any parties from being able to express themselves.
PUBLIQ is designed to serve the needs of society by distributing censorship-resistant information from around the globe. Readers are the free thought leaders of the ecosystem, helping to fuel the reward mechanism with their readings and feedbacks. Readers have free access to all posted content in the PUBLIQ ecosystem.
The Author’s Workflow
The Use Cases
Wealth generation and distribution
In the PUBLIQ network, advertisers become part of the ecosystem by buying PBQ in order to place their advertising. The PUBLIQ smart-contract engine enables the distribution of advertising revenue among authors according to their PUBLIQ Score, seeders for the storage space they share, and Channels for the traffic they generate.
A subscription model is available for those readers who wish to receive ad-free content but contribute to sustaining the PUBLIQ Foundation.
An author’s reputation is calculated by a proprietary formula that takes into account the number of cumulative views of an author’s stories, cumulative number of days since the first posting, total number of stories, and cumulative number of likes, shares, and flags. The second formula converts the PUBLIQ Score of authors into corresponding tokens.
R - Author’s rating
T - Days passed since the publication day of the article
V - Article views
L - Article likes and shares
C - Article flags
KL - Coefficient of likes and shares (initially: 10)
KC - Coefficient of flags (initially: 20)
The second formula converts an author’s reputation into corresponding shares. The reputation along with the corresponding token allocation is activated once an author’s first story is posted.The number of shares that each author gets is subject to real-time changes depending on an authors’s activities in the PUBLIQ ecosystem. Reward allocation is realized in accordance to the daily Reward Offering.
P - Author’s share in percentage
R - Author’s rating
TR - Sum of all authors’ ratings
The PUBLIQ network self-regulates through blockchain and smart contracts, thereby eliminating influence and the need for traditional centralized authorities that have shown to be ineffective and under the control of powerful external parties.
PUBLIQ Foundation values diversity, freedom of speech, and respect for others. It wants to avoid offending readers with inappropriate articles and ads. To reach this objective, PUBLIQ Foundation introduces a mechanism of community governance to make sure the readers are protected from undesirable contents.
PUBLIQ Foundation will grant the right to the most active and appreciated authors (depending of their activity and PUBLIQ Score), from different nationalities and backgrounds, to be active members of the PUBLIQ community. The PUBLIQ community comprises 40 authors worldwide (the community will grow gradually) whose mission is to determine whether content that has received a certain number of flags may be violating the integrity of the PUBLIQ network.
Readers can raise flags and add comments intended for the community to better understand the nature of their concerns.
In order to be compliant with PUBLIQ governance, authors are highly encouraged to:
- Clearly state what an article is about by choosing the right “descriptive topics.”
- Correctly set the age group access.
- Avoid duplication of contents already posted.
- Avoid posting or promoting fake news.
Also, PUBLIQ Foundation discourages the promotion of any of the following content:
- Discrimination, threats against a person or a group, and urging the infliction of physical injury on oneself or another person.
PUBLIQ’s internal economy is designed to maintain a stable flow of resources, prevent network abuse, and provide suitable incentives for growth. When an author does not comply with PUBLIQ governance, or if an article promotes some of the topics stated above, PUBLIQ community members are entitled to take the following actions:
- Suspend access to content for a certain age group (under 16,18, or 21 years old).
- Remind an author or channel about the community rules.
- In case of repetitive inappropriate posts that disrespect the community rules, community members can temporarily suspend the wrongdoer from posting articles until the issue is solved.
Additionally, economic measures will be used to prevent attackers from abusing the network (e.g., fooling the network reward mechanism). Such abusive behavior can include, for instance:
- Creating dummy accounts and spamming the system.
- Creating dummy accounts to vote for certain articles.
- Downvoting popular articles through unjustified flags.
PUBLIQ Foundation actively involves the PUBLIQ community into the structural decisions that will be taken. A voting mechanism will make sure any significant organizational and structural decisions of the ecosystem are made by the community itself. The PUBLIQ community will be encouraged to vote for reforms in the infrastructure. PUBLIQ Foundation will keep the community aware of any significant decisions that needs to be taken by vote, or any other decisions taken by the Foundation to maintain or enhance the ecosystem.
PUBLIQ restores the balance of power by empowering authors and readers with the right to be free in expressing their minds. In this respect the ecosystem built by PUBLIQ Foundation is and will remain independent from unnecessary third parties.
Wealth distribution in the media industry has been controlled for too long by powerful intermediaries and platforms enriching themselves with people’s creations. The time has come for authors and publishers alike to be liberated. The decentralization implemented by PUBLIQ with the innovative use of blockchain technology brings back trust into the media ecosystem. It also offers a unique opportunity to create a democratic and efficient rewarding mechanism for content creators.
The PUBLIQ community plays an important role in ensuring the ecosystem is made and structured for user’s needs and safe from ill-intentioned external parties. For the first time, people can leverage a media platform to reach anyone and create their own wealth and reputation.
PUBLIQ Foundation aims to inspire everyone to rethink our ecosystems. We are living in amazing times where new technologies have the power to disrupt the way we transact and address inequalities in our societies. We believe it’s time to act and contribute to making the world a better place.
Kevan Lee. “The Social Media Frequency Guide: How Often to Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and More.” Buffer. Published April 7, 2014. https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide