A startup that is developing a protocol based on the ethereum blockchain to allow users to validate information across different datasets has raised $3 million in seed funding.
Called DIRT, the San Francisco-based company said Wednesday that notable investment firms taking part in the round include Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital, China-based Zhenfund and InBlockchain. Individual investors such as Linda Xie and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ersham also participated.
With the new financing finalized, DIRT’s founder Yin Wu told CoinDesk in an interview that the protocol – also called DIRT – will be released in the next three to four months, together with a token that will be based on the ethereum standard ERC-20.
Wu said that the goal of the protocol is to serve as a platform where third-party decentralized application (dapp) developers can create what is called a token curated registry (TRC) – a similar concept to the way in which Wikipedia uses the community to update and verify its data. In essence, a TRC is a distributed data list focused on a certain topic that allows users to propose and validate what information should be on the list, using tokens to vote and back up positions.
Wu further explained:
“If anyone in the network finds misinformation, they can also challenge the dataset and say this is incorrect. In order to initiate a challenge, you need a stake token. The challenge then begins with a vote. Anyone in the network can vote with tokens. … Whoever wins the vote, wins the tokens; if you lose the vote or voted for the wrong side, then you are penalized.”
The company has not yet decided how it will distribute its tokens, however – though it will seek to do so as widely as possible. Wu did say the token should have a “strong utility angle,” since it is used to “adjudicate whether information is correct.”
In addition, the company said upon the protocol’s release that it will also launch a decentralized application that is developed internally, but declined to disclose more information for now.