Meet the BEAM Ambassadors #3: Conor O’Higgins — Dublin, Ireland
You already know we are trying to introduce you to the people behind the curtain, helping us, day-after-day, build a fairer future where both paradigms of privacy and financial value are protected for individuals. This time, we give Conor O’Higgins from Dublin, Ireland. Ready?
The BEAM Ambassador Program is built by talented human beings from all over the world, willing to support our approach, our technology, and our vision by spreading the word to their communities and fellows. Being an integral part of BEAM at its early stages truly is an incredible challenge.
Today, let’s meet Conor O’Higgins, our BEAMer in Dublin, Ireland.
Who Are You Conor?
I’m from Dublin and became more involved with the internet as an impressionable teenager. It was fascinating to share ideas anonymously, find like-minded people, and discover music and art and philosophies you never would have discovered otherwise. That was intellectually liberating, and when I figured out how to make a living online, it was a different kind of liberating.
The rise of tech giants and social media and the Snowden revelations changed all that.
The Snowden revelations changed all that.
It turned out the internet had a malicious side. It is used to censor, spy, and filter. Instead of increasing personal freedom, it increases centralized power, and takes away the freedoms (like privacy) that democratic society has been built on for 200 years. As Glenn Greenwald said, “The internet is being degraded from what its promise was, which was an instrument of freedom, into probably the most effective means of human control and oppression ever known.”
I’m doing what little I can to continue the fight for the liberatory internet. I try to keep informed about technologies for decentralizing and encrypting. I love Bittorrent and darknets, and I started educating myself on blockchains in late 2014. Since then I’ve led the public relations account for SingularityNET, who raised $36 million in 66 seconds to build a decentralized artificial intelligence system. Holo hired me in the middle of a failing ICO, and we managed to achieve a huge turnaround and fund the project successfully.
The Mimblewimble proposal has been through two years of examination by cryptographers and academics, and it appears excellent.
Implementing Mimblewimble as a sidechain to Bitcoin is the right decision because all technologies have strengths and weaknesses. Bitcoin’s interesting in some ways but has no privacy, and the size of the ledger grows out of control like a weed. The history of technology is the history of taping together different technologies into a patchwork system that works acceptably well. I see the future of Beam Coin as a sidechain that will be used for anonymous, cash-like transactions.
What do you enjoy working on?
In the blockchain boom of 2017, I saw a rare blend of people whirling together: Wall Street types, punks, geeky engineers, flashy businessmen. When you’re in a room with that much energy and direction, it’s very exciting. But this is not enough. I hope to be able to help people with what we are doing.
Humanity has a basic right to privacy and respect. And we shall not forget this. Cypherpunks, Tech-gurus, and businessmen shall never forget why we are doing all this.
What do you want to see in a privacy-oriented digital world?
I want to see the normal rights that citizens of democratic republics have enjoyed for 200 years. No one read my father’s mail, or my grandfather’s, no one tracked their location, no one recorded their conversations with an always-on mic. Anyone who did would be considered a criminal. If the state needed to, they’d get a warrant from a judge. I don’t expect anything special, just the basic human rights that democracy is built on.
Why should someone become a Beam Ambassador?
I see a lot of crypto projects, and BEAM is one of the few that really ticks all the boxes: there is a demand for privacy coins, interoperability with Bitcoin will ease adoption, the team is competent, the funding is there. If you’re interested in getting in on the ground floor, the Ambassador program is an opportunity to do that.
Inspired by Conor’ story? Want to become a BEAM Ambassador? This where you can apply.
Learn more about our project on our website