B-Umbrella: A Healthy Narrative in a Sick Society
(interview given to Chief Ambassador of BITNATION Erik Vollstädt)
1. What was your main reason to start devoting your time to developing a DApp for peer-to-peer security when we already have traditional public security offered by nation-states?
To say the truth, we started pondering the DApp subject not from the idea of B-Umbrella. The beginning of 2017 was the time when the crypto boom started occupying the broad social discourse. However, at that time, the smart contract capabilities were discussed much more intensively than the growth of any cryptocurrency value. We were impressed by the promise of Ethereum badly.
Having a wide experience in the energy generation sector, I proposed my friends to develop a token-based system allowing to secure a power plant against the growing market uncertainty. The idea was based on the hypothetical tokens that could act like some “energy derivatives” capable of stabilizing the financial security of a power generating organization whatever fluctuations of the market might occur be that a local collapse of energy consumption or a dramatic change of global energy prices.
During the numerous iterations and brainstorming we practiced to develop our project, the Dapp architecture started taking shape. But suddenly we realized that our solution would serve a very small segment of rich individuals — the owners of power plants. We started understanding how narrow-minded and extremely transactional was our project having almost zero social value. Lurking the internet in March 2017 I occasionally came across the Bitnation website. The decentralization social paradigm propagated there was just the ideological and philosophical component our project lacked.
Together with our teammates we decided to expand the security subject as wide as possible to cover all social strata regardless of any particular business sector. Living in Ukraine — the post-Soviet terrain immersed in a civil-war-like hybrid warfare, we have a clear view of the total insecurity our people suffer from. But Ukrainians are not the only people in the world who seek another approach to individual and social security.
The distributed ledger technology gave us a promise to reinvent the whole security safeguarding industry. This is how the core idea of B-Umbrella appeared. Having no similar solution to check borrowing some features, we invented the whole peer-to-peer algorithm of our project as well as the entire functionality of the B-Umbrella DApp. Namely the decentralized structure of the DApp makes B-Umbrella utterly different from both the conventional private safeguarding agencies and the traditional State-owned security forces.
Developing B-Umbrella’s functionality we have been striving to represent people a reliable means of self-organization in order to protect themselves without having to rely on corrupted governments and unfair legislations.
On the other hand, we were trying to invent a blockchain-based solution which, in contrast to numerous purely virtual crypto projects, could bring a real value to average people in their day-to-day “offline” routine.
2. What kind of customers are expected to be early adopters of B-Umbrella’s security services?
Even though it may sound pretentious, we do not limit the B-Umbrella’s customer audience by any particular parameter. In other words, everyone is invited. Moreover, we believe that each person can find one or another service of B-Umbrella useful with no regard to either customers seek some security service or they offer it being the executors.
All B-Umbrella users are divided into two main categories: the clients and the executors. B-Umbrella is just the platform where both categories can meet anonymously. It means that acting in the peer-to-peer workflow every person who needs a security specialist can sign a security agreement without disclosing any personal data.
On the other hand, any security specialist is able to offer clients his/her skills without having to correspond to any official regulation or licensing. That’s why IPFS and blockchain technologies should be implemented in B-Umbrella to provide both the anonymity of customers and the cashless transactions between them.
When it comes to the early adopters, the encouraging factor has the purely economic background: since the “fuel” with which B-Umbrella runs is BUNT tokens, the token’s price concern should incentivize the token holders for buying BUNT at the lowest initial price (during ICO). On this point, B-Umbrella does not differ from any other crypto project.
Besides, we developed a clear and comprehensible mechanism of the BUNT tokens’ deficit when the amount of tokens circulating out of the Dapp (after ICO) is steadily decreasing. In other words, both the future users of B-Umbrella and the crypto speculators have quite strong reasons to buy BUNT tokens as early as possible.
3. Why should non-enthusiasts choose it over traditional private security services / agencies?
Creating a solution aimed at disrupting the traditional security industry we were trying to empower B-Umbrella with the advantages allowing our project to compete with the ordinary security service providers. And the advantages should attract just the common people rather than crypto activists.
Security service cost is the issue which must be reconsidered with the help of B-Umbrella first of all. In most cases, the private security providers are affordable for only quite wealthy people. Pop stars, politicians, business leaders and other VIP persons are the regular customers of the private security agencies. At the same time, those social strata who are the most vulnerable to the contemporary threats (unemployed, veterans, refugees, immigrants, and various sub-strata from the so-called “precariat”) can hardly afford quite expensive private security services.
Besides, the traditional security providers offer only those services for which they have the State-issued licenses. It means both the service cost and the scope of services of the traditional security providers limit the customer audience significantly.
B-Umbrella provides a labor exchange capabilities where individuals, groups, and companies can bid on security orders offering the low-cost solutions unachievable for the officially registered agencies shackled by their corporate anti-dumping collusions. The transactions and settlements carried out in crypto currencies via B-Umbrella without the involvement of any middleman allow executors to offer much lower service fees for a much wider scope of services in comparison with the traditional security providers.
Another advantage of B-Umbrella over the traditional security agencies comes to accessibility of the DApp through mobile gadgets. It means that the cross-platform application of B-Umbrella provides an around-the-clock access to all available services and options. Since the DApp is created with the IPFS and blockchain technologies, nobody can arbitrarily stop, eliminate, hack, or interfere the platform. It is always on, take it or leave it. The security agreements signed by the customers through B-Umbrella are executed automatically being based on the smart contracts invulnerable to corruption, counterfeiting, retrospective alterations, and other negative effects of human factor.
No spatial limitations are implied when clients select the security service executors via B-Umbrella. Any particular Nation-State legislation is irrelevant when clients and executors come to a consensus regarding terms and conditions of their security agreements. The ultimate decentralization and self-governance dominate in the client-executor interactions on B-Umbrella.
We all are humans, and our common sense is enough to arrange mutually profitable cooperation — this is the pure free market. We impose the whole responsibility on our users with regard to all their actions because we believe people are not dumb, lazy, and irresponsible. We also hope on the really humane decisions of the B-Umbrella users. We strongly doubt that the “money-service-money” paradigm is the only method of people’s cooperation.
What if a white-hat hacker, for example, performs some computer security assignments in exchange for the physical security provided to him by a former police officer? No money at all can be involved in such type of cooperation. Needless to say that the traditional security providers can hardly offer something similar.
4. How does B-Umbrella help to overcome the nation-state paradigm?
Any discussion about decentralization comes to the governance issue one way or another. The simplest model of interactions between the Government and people in a Nation-State paradigm can be described as the “master-slave” dominance. Whatever transformations took place with the State during the shift from the pre-modern to the modern paradigm, nothing crucial changed in that “master-slave” model.
Kremlin and White House remain the symbols of Power. It seems the democracy works only during the elections (and then only in democratic Countries). When the State machinery is stabilized, common people remain powerless before the centralized (and in most cases highly corrupted) entities. Nobody can neither change the rules nor live without subservience to legislation. Two ways to go are available for an average person in the Nation-State realm: to be a law-abiding citizen or to become a criminal. But in fact, both ways are the same since both the State and the Mafia are highly centralized.
There must be the third way to choose — the way of self-governance. It means the decentralization in the forms of either the civil society or crypto anarchy. And we have chosen the latter creating our B-Umbrella. We believe that the distributed ledger technology is the mechanism which people have been lacking to establish the self-governed communities.
Blockchain excludes any manipulation when people interact through such decentralized systems as B-Umbrella. The unique combination of the full anonymity and the total transparency can bring up people to take responsibility for everything they do, for every decision made within the self-governance paradigm. Because being freed from any centralized Boss-like authority all customers have to rely on their own habitual mind as well as on their conscience. In other words, the multitude of the peer-to-peer deals executed via B-Umbrella will lead to the convergent behavioral patterns every user is to share in order to benefit from the decentralized system.
Sooner or later, such a practice will demonstrate how effective and fair the self-governance paradigm is in comparison with the Nation-State one. Thus, the indirect mission of B-Umbrella is to be one of the triggers that push people to change their minds in recognizing decentralization as the better version of governance.
5. Will Bitnation’s DBVNs be able to integrate with B-Umbrella to provide their global citizens with security across the world?
Since we represent B-Umbrella as an integral part of Bitnation, all the technical requirements and programming features addressed to the development process of the DApp will be in strict compliance with both the Pangea software and any other programming stacks the Bitnation’s developers use. The very idea of B-Umbrella implies implementation at the global scale. The core functionality of B-Umbrella is based on three “less”: cash-less, border-less, and nation-less. It means only the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity of the developers in the B-Umbrella’s integration into Bitnation.
6. How do you generally envision the transition towards using peer-to-peer governance services such as security, legal, education, etc. ? What are the critical requirements for this to happen?
Many contemporary thinkers make a common mistake when they wait for the so-called “natural” or “organic” transition from the modern society to the post-society. The first step toward the open society was made when the European Union was established. But the current situation proves that was just the palliative: the inability of the EU governments to cope with the spontaneous migration on the one hand and the separatist pressures, on the other hand, demonstrates that any incentive coming from the elites can lead to just another version of the Nation-State.
The true libertarian movement must have its genesis in masses within the crypto-anarchy activists. In contrast to any other “revolutionary” stratum, namely the crypto anarchists have the actionable technology of the real social transformation. Moreover, any social evolution is impossible without the actual means of the peer-to-peer interactions.
Just look at the banking sphere — it started transforming only under the pressing of cryptocurrencies. I strongly doubt bankers are glad to change their traditional schemes of the “golden calf” feeding. But Bitcoin and the other cryptos made the global banking system play by different rules. The R3 consortium and Ripple RCL, as well as the coming national cryptocurrencies (Venezuelan Petro coin) along with the corporate cryptos (Amazon is rumored to issue its own cryptocurrency in 2018) reflect the changes the distributed ledger technology brought to the financial segment.
The similar attack of the disruptive crypto approaches should be performed on the other spheres of social interaction. Education, governance, healthcare, transportation, security — literally everything can be and must be re-established with the help of DLT. And then, the cumulative effect of various decentralized solutions will lead to the drastic transformation of the whole society.
The old world order will never lose its potency unless it is pressed by the forcible methods. Any political correctness is redundant here since the Nation States never take people into consideration when with the assistance of the corporate elites they pump military budgets with trillions of dollars with no regard to the fact that millions of people starve to death in the contemporary era of exuberance.
The forcible methods I mean constitute the actually working decentralized applications with the help of which people can acquire the taste of decentralization. Just the practical experience can give people the deep understanding of how to reorganize their life in accordance with the libertarian values.
And another important comment should be made: just the discourse creates phenomena, and not vice versa. It means the crypto activists should expand the decentralization propaganda as broad as possible. Start talking about the self-governance paradigm and it will come to reality shortly.
Hope the present interview will add the momentum to the crypto discourse making both B-Umbrella and Bitnation run together.