Interview with Paul Walsh from MetaCert Protocol: Taking Online Trust and Reputation to the Blockchain

MetaCert is aiming to make every link safe to click and open. Derek and Brian interview Paul Walsh, the CEO of MetaCert and the MetaCert Protocol — a platform aiming to take their online trust and reputation products to the blockchain.

Welcome to Ledger Cast, hosted by me, Brian Krogsgard (@ledgerstatus on twitter), and in this episode I’m joined by a special co-host, Derek Waltchack. Ledger Cast is a cryptocurrency trading and blockchain ecosystem podcast.

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In this episode of Ledger Cast, Derek and I interview Paul Walsh, the CEO of MetaCert, and the head of the MetaCert Protocol. MetaCert is creating the MetaCert Protocol to bring their online trust and reputation platform to the blockchain. They see many benefits for taking centralized information and decentralizing it, and they are creating the MetaCert Protocol to address that.

In this conversation, we discuss the use case for establishing trust for online links, the products MetaCert currently offers, and the benefits of the MetaCert Protocol.

Here’s the audio:

Here’s the YouTube version:

MetaCert offers several products right now on their centralized platform. They have a browser extension that adds reputation scores to website URLs. They also have additions for messaging apps like Slack and Telegram to help organizations prevent scammy URLs from infiltrating their communities. They see the next big battleground for online security as taking place in large part within chat apps; the crypto community is certainly familiar with that threat.

The blockchain allows us to shift our centralized database to a decentralized registry. The Protocol features built-in game mechanics, rewarding participants with Tokens for submitting and validating the categorization of URIs. This incentivized system is the heart of the Protocol. In addition to rewarding participants, the Token will help mitigate the risk of bad actors trying to spoil the quality of the registry.

MetaCert’s network can be integrated at most layers of the system: hardware (like your network router), software like a messaging app, or the end user via a browser extension. They currently collect and license their reputation scores to other centralized entities, and they see value in creating a broadly used decentralized reputation blockchain.

We discuss with Paul some of the potential issues we see with MetaCert as a distributed protocol, and other questions someone would have for a centralized company creating a decentralized protocol. And at the end of the interview, we wrap up with our own thoughts on MetaCert.

MetaCert has been around since 2011 and Paul is an experienced entrepreneur, with a long history working on the web and in the security realm. We were both impressed with what they are doing and what they’re building.

MetaCert ICO

The MetaCert ICO details aren’t out yet, but most of the information is near ready and pending the completion of legal review.

They are seeking to raise $40 million, including in a private sale. They have thus far received a lot of interest. There’s no discount or bonus for the private sale, but it allows some investors to have a larger allocation of tokens for the protocol.

Paul said that 75% of the team tokens are going to be locked up and vested over a three year period; he notes he’s skeptical of some of the short lockup periods of other ICOs.

Users of Cryptonite will receive tokens as users. Once the network launches, users can pay to use the extension with tokens, but also can earn tokens by participating in the network by reporting websites and establishing online reputations for websites.

The MetaCert Protocol will operate on the Ethereum blockchain.

Links discussed in the show

Ledger Status links and information

Learn about Derek

Derek Waltchack is a partner at Shannon Waltchack — a full service commercial real estate and property management firm in Birmingham, Alabama. Derek is interested in all things cryptocurrency and blockchain. He’s been investing actively since early 2017. Check out our introductory interview to learn more, and be sure to follow @dwaltchack on Twitter.

Interested in sponsoring?

We’d love to talk to interested parties about sponsorship opportunities. We are open to suggestions, but are not seeking deals that include promos for ICOs, etc. But if you do something interesting in the space and want to chat, contact us.

Music: “Oh, the chains” by Joel Madison Blount