$NEAR Chill&Shill
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$NEAR Chill&Shill

Chill& Shill: Decent.land AMA Recap

Hey everyone,

Thanks for joining the recent Decentland space, and congrats to the giveaway winner. You can listen to the recording of the space here.

Read on for a recap of the most important questions we covered. During the space we were joined by Chris from Kaizen Consulting and Cobolt, the founder of Decent.land.

Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

Chris: I’m Chris with Kaizen Consulting. We’re a web3, and NFT consulting group and help projects manage parts of their project that might not be part of their skill set. We focus on marketing, network liaison, creating relationships, and helping to get the word out. Decent land is an amazing project and is really pushing the boundaries in enabling identities across multiple chains, all built on NEAR.

Cobolt: My background is in development and marketing in web2, silicon valley software. I did that for the majority of my life. The first job I got was marketing employee number one at a young startup.

[then the space rugged him]

Usually, I’m one of the first employees, mostly B2B SaaS startups. Often I held either an engineering or marketing role. While I did marketing, I had a media outlet and was one of the first independent journalists to cover Arweave. That was my breakthrough in crypto, and got in on the floor with the founders. So when I quit my job, I had someone to go to, and I got the chance to become a co-founder of arweave news — now the biggest independent media publication in the space. We started branching out to create more products to use the tech instead of just writing about it.

Met the cofounder of decent.land through arweave news, and we hit it off, and eventually, he needed a public face for his company, so I got into that role to handle communications product direction and took decent.land from what it was supposed to be and pivoted into an infrastructure provider for those wanting to build social infrastructure.

A lot of it is around ark protocol and how we can go multi-chain.

Can you talk about the synergy between Kaizen Consulting and Decentland?

Chris: Our relationship started a little over a month ago. They just started pushing what they were building to the public and set up social media profiles and discord servers. This project is run by very talented developers looking for help with social media marketing and community management. We saw that we could help in the areas of branding, community management, and social media because that’s what we specialize in.

You have a multichain vision but started on arweave?

Chris: We were in the unique position of being one of the original builders on Arweave, and realizing that we needed to build it beyond arweave if we wanted to build a social protocol. Arweave is an excellent storage layer and also has smart contract capabilities, but others are better at that. NEAR was the choice for fast finality, smooth UX, and quick interactions, whereas Arweave is a choice for permanent storage of data.

To go beyond storage and more important things like governance, you want to enable companies to be accountable, so having the promise of permanent storage is very powerful and the only way we wanted to take that.

The multichain vision is more so for settling data that isn’t on Arweave to it and use arweave as an oracle. Things like what is your ENS name or your DIDs on different protocols? All of that activity should be settled on a chain where it’ll be stored for cheap and can be accessed.

The multichain vision is accepting that there are protocols of insane value and with lot of activity, so we’re filling the need of settling activity from other chains on Arweave.

Can you compare Arweave and NEAR?

Cobalt: I think they are very different. Arweave is slow execution time; NEAR is extremely fast. Arweave UX is not natively great, but the NEAR storage cost is extremely high, whereas Arweave is $1 for a GB. It’s so cheap that you can’t even compare it. Arweave is proof-of-work essentially, where the miners are people with space and fast CPUs that mine and duplicate data. That’s the sole purpose of arweave to make data extremely robust. NEAR is much more focused on providing users and devs with an amazing, fast UX.

They couldn’t be more opposite. So that’s why they work really well together. They have an integration with bundlr network where you can pay with NEAR tokens for storage on arweave.

The combination of the two is very powerful.

The storage cost of NEAR is prohibitive, so we push data to arweave first and then the ID of the arweave blob to NEAR instead of storing the entire blob of data on NEAR. NEAR isn’t optimized for storage.

What is decent.land?

Cobolt: At the base level, we have an identity layer of decent.land called Ark protocol. It aggregates all your different addresses, bios, and names all into one ID, which you can access through a master key. So if an app integrates it they get all of that info, enabling dapps to make cross-contract calls in a trustless manner. We settle a lot of identity data back to both chains via the Ark protocol.
Another part of that is providing the ability to build social media apps, where one can sign up with Ark protocol and then assert yourself as your .eth name, even though the app is on another chain.

All our social stuff is on NEAR, but we’re able to ascertain that you are this person on Ethereum, hold certain NFTs, and is in certain DAOs. It opens up users' history to dApps.

You’re not restricted to the chain when using decent.land. That part already works and exists. The social graph is being built on NEAR and will be a composable component anyone can integrate, but they will use NEAR as an interaction layer. So the first target will be NEAR apps. Any app with social elements could integrate it and interact with other chains in the process.

It’s also an integration with AstroDAO to enable more governance functionalities that go beyond proposals and executing them. We have a vision to replace the NEAR governance forum with something that can’t be censored or edited.

It’s a very general protocol, so use cases are seemingly endless.

Eventually, we will publish our own social app to prove the contract, and enable others to spin up their own DAOs, and publish things like blogging on-chain and hold governance discussions there.

Does decent.land store a person’s identity?

Cobalt: We don't store these things on our servers. We do store associations between, for example, your ENS and NEAR address. We don’t store who someone is, and it’s up to dapps to then retrieve relevant data from different chains.

You can learn more about decent.land on their website and follow them on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Naomi Oba

Writer in Crypto — passionate about financial education, blockchain, books, and food.