TimeDAO : An Introduction to Decentralized Time Capsules
In our popular culture, time capsules are often viewed as sci-fi movie gadgets and tools used to educate us about the distant past. Rarely does anybody think of them as products designed for everyday use.
TimeDAO is a platform that powers decentralized applications based on time-locking. One of these apps, known as the TimeCapsule, allows you to send data and digital assets into the future. The decentralized time capsule model is the first sustainable one that does not rely on a company, which is why TimeDAO and its apps have the ability to disrupt both physical time capsules and traditional digital time capsules.
Before we dive into decentralized time capsules, let’s have a look at the evolution of time capsules up to this day.
What Are Time Capsules and How Are They Evolving?
Imagining a time capsule probably brings to mind an old, dusty, physical relic. That is the most common type of time capsule after all. But today, a time capsule can also be both digital and decentralized thanks to blockchain technology.
Physical Time Capsules
Physical time capsules are collections of goods or information as a way of communicating with future groups of people, historians, anthropologists and archaeologists. They are often kept in secret locations such as safes or buried underground. Some of the earliest time capsules on record date back to the 1700s.
Naturally, when you think of a time capsule, you’re probably thinking about physical, tangible artifacts. A physical time capsule may include certificates of achievement, notes from loved ones, photographs, old journal entries, newspapers highlighting milestone events or any other meaningful item.
In the 18th century, time capsules were stored in cornerstones of buildings and other landmarks. Today, time capsules are stored anywhere the mind can imagine, even in outer space! According to TechCrunch and CNN, the KEO Space Capsule was a project sponsored by UNESCO to send messages into space for 50,000 years aboard a satellite in 2019.
Digital Time Capsules
In this day and age, you and I can do almost everything digitally. Time capsules now function that way too. Most of today’s digital time capsules allow you to store all kinds of data and personal messages for your future self and the people you care about. Instead of placing paper music partitions inside a buried box, it’s now possible to store music videos in digital time capsules thanks to cloud storage companies.
This new digital model sounds revolutionary at first glance, but it involves a major flaw. Digital time capsules are hosted by companies on centralized cloud storage servers. If the servers get hacked, your information is stolen, and if the business fails, your time capsule is lost.
Creating a digital time capsule is somewhat considered a gamble, because the user crosses his fingers for the company to last long enough to be able to receive its capsule back. That’s where decentralized time capsules make their appearance and completely disrupt the time capsule industry by solving this issue.
Decentralized Time Capsules
The decentralized time capsule is the first digital model that does not rely on companies for its usage. It is run by a DAO with the purpose to last eternally. Thanks to smart contracts, all the processes within the organization maintaining the time capsule service such as transactions are automated.
This new time capsule model is built with decentralized components. One of them is the decentralized cloud storage solution that breaks data into fragments and scatters them across a variety of cloud-based storage devices to increase its safety.
Decentralized time capsules do not rely on companies that risk failure, but they can still face technological challenges over time. When they do, the members of the DAO can vote for public system upgrade proposals to keep the time capsule service in good shape throughout the years.
How Decentralized Time Capsules Are Blooming the Industry by Disrupting It
Time capsules featuring physical artifacts are limited in terms of storage space and are susceptible to wearing away. That’s what happens when you store physical goods in a specific location for long periods of time. Also, physical capsules are hardly accessible since they rely on a location.
Traditional digital time capsules, on their end, face other drawbacks. First of all, the information within these capsules is stored on centralized servers owned by private companies that risk failure anytime. Secondly, the capsule users are not in control of their digital content, often private and sensitive. The company that stores the capsule’s content has access to it the same way Facebook has access to your conversations. Finally, centralized cloud servers can be targeted by cyberattacks, risking your personal information being stolen.
All of the industry problems stated above made time capsules risky to use until now. Decentralized time capsules are not only enhancing the features of the previous models, they are enabling the use of time capsules in a safe and reliable way for the first time in history. This safety improvement may directly increase the demand in time capsules the same way digital cameras changed the world from the previous analog cameras.
Examples of Decentralized Time Capsules You Can Send to the Future on Your Own Terms
TimeDAO allows you to create decentralized time capsules for whatever reason you find useful or meaningful to yourself. These capsules can contain all types of digital files, such as images, videos, audio, text, code, and more. The use cases are very broad, so here are some examples to guide you with.
First, you can use a time capsule to send messages to friends and family for special dates you would never want to forget, like birthdays and holidays. This use case is life-changing for victims of memory loss, and it can also be used to send messages after passing away.
Secondly, you can store sensitive information meant to be read for later such as journal entries, evidence, and even passwords. Remember that decentralized time capsules can’t be accessed by anyone except yourself.
Last but not least, time capsules can be used to store and relive childhood memories. Children often lose the precious memories of their very first years. These moments can be captured and stored inside a time capsule that opens when they become an adult.
As you may notice, the use cases for time capsules are both abundant, practical and meaningful. If you want to experience what it’s like for yourself, have a look at TimeDAO’s TimeCapsule app!