Daniel Larimer, former CTO of Block.one and co-founder of Block.one and Steemit, presented his next project called Clarion.
The project aims to be the first decentralized mobile social media platform that supports all kinds of social functions, such as private messaging via text and video messaging, publishing content to subscribers or discord-style voice chats.
According to Larimer, “Clarion learns from other projects,” including the original idea of Steemit and Voice, two social media projects he has launched or supported.
According to him, two previous attempts to decentralize social networks were “logically central” and required “all full nodes to process all transactions.”
Larimer’s idea of a better network borrows most from RetroShare and Zeronet, two platforms that rely on peer-to-peer messaging, the latter based on BitTorrent. He also cited file-sharing protocols such as IPFS as good examples of decentralized networks. These are current issues with usability, especially on mobile devices.
Clarion will be developed as a “Progressive Web Application” based on WebAssembly, which is a framework for building high-performance web applications programmed in languages such as C ++ and Rust. This is often necessary to avoid relying on proprietary apps distributed through app stores, as Larimer noted: “Recent actions by Google, Amazon and Apple have shown that we cannot trust app stores and hosting providers to distribute our apps and content.” The WebAssembly architecture also helps when designing full desktop nodes, as it requires minimal code changes.
The aspects of Clarion’s blockchain are somewhat less clear, and Larimer described those that do not require consensus on user actions, making it a “zero-level” platform. WebAssembly plugins still allow you to build apps on top of Clarion OS. Larimer explained that there will be no icons related to the main features of the project.
The announcement was met with some skepticism in society due to Larimer’s belief that he was leaving projects. Larimer co-founded Steemit, a popular blockchain-based social media platform in 2017, which he left in favor of Block.one, the company behind EOSIO, the blockchain framework that runs EOS and Voice, another social media platform.
After Larimer left his position at Block.one in January, many took it as a sign that he was going to build something else, which seemed to be the right assumption. It is interesting to note that the surviving Larimer projects do not go well afterwards, with Tron acquiring Steemit in a rocky and controversial agreement, while EOS is currently fighting against its new competitors when it comes to adoption.
Larimer continues to be particularly interested in decentralized social media, a space where the list of competitors is also growing. Although his previous experience would make Larimer a good candidate for a viable “high-tech killer”, he also raises the question of why Clarion’s core ideas could not have been realized before, when he was still leading these projects.