One of the post-ICO protocols I’ve been watching with interest lately is Oyster. They’ve had an April 2018 Main Net release on their roadmap for some time, and lately the release date was updated to end of May.
About 20 hours after a slightly fraught Reddit post announcing a delay, Oyster is now live on the Ethereum main network.
What’s Oyster Protocol?
For website owners and visitors, it’s an alternative to monetizing web content with advertising:
- If you’re a Website Owner, you can get paid Pearls (Oyster’s token… a.k.a PRL) in exchange for installing a script on your site.
- If you’re a website visitor that lands on one of these sites, your browser does some “Proof of Work treasure hunting”. In exchange, you get to view the content (maybe with less ads… one can hope).
It also provides a file storage utility.
- Need to store a file on the cloud? You can spend Pearls to upload files via a decentralized application. The files are split up, encrypted, and spread around to distributed nodes for retrieval later (securely & anonymously).
It’s kind of a mashup between Brave and Storj.
Understanding it means learning more about Broker Nodes, Tangles, and other complexity but the key is that all these things work together to deliver these utilities to end users. There’s a pretty good description on Oyster’s page — see “under the shell” (these guys know how to stretch a metaphor :).
The fascinating thing is that trying to read about and understand it is complex and can even be mind blowing… some of the promises are crazy cool, and can seem a little elaborate. But here’s the thing: using it is dead simple.
Trying Out Oyster Storage
- OK so I didn’t have any PRL, so naturally, I hopped over to Ethex and bought some (shameless plug).
- With my new PRL in hand, I hopped over to http://oysterstorage.com/ and clicked Upload a File. Picked a file, and hit start upload.
- And that was it.
- The app generated an invoice to collect my PRL (turns out that storage is free during the beta so I didn’t have to spend any after all).
I tried this about 5 minutes after they announced on Twitter, so an ethex-banner.psd might be one of the first things uploaded to Oyster Main Net :)
Try it Yourself: Download my File
Another cool thing about Oyster is you can use it with no exposure to crypto, DApps, Ethereum or anything else. Download my file:
- Head to http://oysterstorage.com/download-form
- Copy and paste this “handle”
Really there’s nothing to it, but behind the scenes, there’s a whole crypto-economy making it all work.
Why this is Exciting
Oyster now joins the ranks of a very elite club: post-ICO company/organizations who’ve delivered some useful utility driven by their pre-sold token. Actually using it offers glimpse into why there is so much hype in this space.