Have you stopped to consider the value of your data?
Just by using the internet, we are unwittingly giving our data to those who we don’t even know who then end up using that data for their own purposes. Our constantly digitizing society means that our rights surrounding privacy and data are constantly being tested.
Dr. Wallace Lynch, the founder of ATK Technologies, is aiming to change the way we think about data with his service, Alpha Browser. I caught up with him and the Director of Operations in Japan, Mr. Kengo Noiri, at their office in Harajuku, Japan, to find out more.
WHAT ALPHA BROWSER IS AND HOW IT WORKS
We use the internet a lot, and we end up creating a lot of data. Unintentional data, like your browsing history and your location data, end up being used by other people. The problem is our digital society evolved so fast that many people don’t realize they are generating data. Who owns your data? Who benefits from the data? If you don’t own your data, you lose your power.
The public needs to become conscious of the rights of their data and be given the tools to preserve it.
Alpha Browser is a decentralized tool that aims to utilize data use for the “digitzen”, what we call the “digital citizen.”
A “digitzen” is someone who is digitally conscious and seeks to have their digital rights. For example, they would own their digital assets. You should not have your decision for privacy surrendered in exchange for convenience. A human without rights is a slave. In a digital society, if we don’t have our digital rights, we are just dwellers.
With Alpha Browser, we want people to start to become conscious of the idea and to give them the tools to vanguard their digital rights.
Regarding tokens, each country has its own regulations. It also takes time to tokenize a product. In Japan, we are focusing on the development of the browser.
We are not trying to take a cut from our end users. For example, publishing through other platforms can sometimes take away as much as 70% of your revenue – that’s high. What we want to do is preserve the value for content creators, so that means we have to look at other revenue streams.
Generally speaking, the traffic can be monetized in three ways.
- User-friendly advertising
- Enterprise services
We are looking into a subscription model for commercial and enterprise users. We also want to do advertising in a nonintrusive way. We also have our own way to monetize the traffic that is fair to users who created the traffic.
THE LIFE OF WALLACE LYNCH
My generation still remembers a time without the internet. I began to realize, along with other industry leaders, that something was going terribly wrong with the fast digitization of society. People were beginning to lose concepts of their right to privacy and democracy.
Because of my background as an IT entrepreneur, I thought of how to give users the tools to help them, and the most basic idea was to use the interface of the browser to start the process.
The business has multiple stages, so monetization isn’t far away. When you do good things, people will recognize that and be drawn to the service. Our aim is to create a better world for our spiritual and mental status. In a lot of countries, including Japan, people are concerned at where society is heading. If we don’t take action now, the trend is hard to reverse.
As entrepreneurs, we must create money to sustain our businesses. At the same time, we are creating something where the moral value is aligned with our business model. This is the right time to carry out a revolution with a quality product.
Blockchain is one of the technologies we use in Alpha Browser. Blockchain has been around for a long time, such as being one of the technologies used to encrypt e-mail.
Having said that, different technologies need to be employed for creating a decentralized system, and blockchain is a good tool to achieve this due to some of the features it has. It is only one of several technologies used in our product, and the technology architecture is far more valuable than just the blockchain.
To become a successful entrepreneur, you need to be very resilient, tolerant of new ideas, open to failure, execute on your ideas, and win. As an entrepreneur, my perspective toward successful business practices is to examine history. Historically, an entrepreneur has rarely hit the jackpot on their first try. In fact, most successful businesses are built on the experiences of failure. You learn by executing. Silicon Valley’s tolerance toward failure and compatibility toward ideas is one of its best qualities. This allows inspiration and creation to flourish.
OPENING OF THE JAPAN BRANCH
I was working in San Francisco for a staffing agent which was helping Japanese companies to operate in America. One of my clients was a cryptocurrency related company, and thanks to them, I become more interested in the technology.
I went to an event at Stanford University and first met Dr. Lynch at the after-party.
At the time, I was still learning about the technology, but I felt a lot of people were only concerned with making money. Dr. Lynch was different. I could see in his eyes that he was trying to change the world.
At the time, we were discussing at my work what jobs would be left after AI and robotic technology advances. We concluded that the arts and creative jobs would be the only ones that remain – they can’t be replaced by technology. Dr. Lynch wanted to save those job creators by protecting their property and helping them to create revenue.
I had lived in America for ten years by that point, but about a month after I had met Dr. Lynch, he called me in the middle of the night. He told me that he needed me to go back to Japan and help set up the Japanese branch for ATK Technologies. Keep in mind that at the time, I was still working for my previous employer.
Japan is in an interesting position both geologically and economically. It is a cross section of Eastern and Western values. While a lot of the Eastern philosophy may have originated from China, because of social and historical reasons, Japan has become the best representation of these values. Japan is also very open to ideas from the West. As a hub of the two worlds, Japan is a very strategic location both physically and abstractly.
We are here to not only serve the local community, but I also want to bring the new decentralized economy and Japan’s creators to a new level. We are looking for participation from the content community, the business community, the media community, and also from governmental and financial institutions.
THE NEW ERA
Every incident that occurs will contribute to people waking up. It needs multiple triggering incidents and public education to make people realize it’s a serious problem. This will only start to trickle down to people if there are mass waves of education.
It’s not just Facebook, either. It was just one example of a centralized system that was compromised. The older internet isn’t wrong or evil, it’s just about growing as a society to give people more options.
Digital media is the developing trend. It will dominate the whole media landscape, but that doesn’t mean the previous technology goes away. TV didn’t kill radio, and the internet didn’t kill TV – nothing really dies. Each form of media has its own value.
In regards to the individual and large organizations, it’s the same thing. They both have their place in our lives. Just like a battery, the positives and negatives have to be balanced. I’m not saying it needs to all be decentralized, or vice versa. Both systems have their value in society, but it’s about offering people the option to choose. Offering the options is what democracy is all about.
My view and experience is success always comes from failure. Without failure, you don’t know how to execute things. Nowadays, the world needs diverse ideas, and as an entrepreneur, you need to be open to those ideas. You need to be resilient and tolerant to ideas; just because someone’s perspective is different to yours, it doesn’t make them you wrong or them right. Everyone has points of value.
You also need to give people options. This is how the common good will be preserved in an optimized way.
Above all, to deliver a product, you need to walk the walk.
THE LAST WORD
We are moving into a new era of having to think about how we value our data. We may intentionally create data, such as videos or articles, but a lot of our data, such as browsing histories, has been sold without compensation to the generators of the data.
Dr. Lynch and his team, with the creation of Alpha Browser and other services, aim to give people the choice of how they want to use their data. At the forefront of this new era, it’s time to re-examine how we think of our digital lives. Having said that, technology isn’t the enemy. New technologies such as blockchain can be used to bring about platforms to help assist us in protecting our most precious asset – ourselves.
For those looking to further their entrepreneurial journeys, as Dr. Lynch noted, success is built on previous failures. Only by going out there and executing on ideas do you build up enough experience to be open to and generating new ideas, along with a drive to not stop until you succeed.
Dr. Lynch and Mr. Noiri, thank you for taking the time out of your day to speak with TACHIAGE.
Check Out Alpha Browser
For those curious about Alpha Browser, check out the video above for more information.