This week, no news[letter] is good news! We participated in two important events and were pretty busy. We’ll give you a rundown here, as we recap how these exchanges have helped to move our mission forward in a much-changed social landscape.

Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2020

Thanks to Dietrich from IPFS (Hi if you read us!), we were invited to talk about decentralization, Web3, and IPFS with at the Paris Blockchain Week Summit (PBWS). We had already met the Medwish team at the IPFS Camp in Barcelona and were stoked to reunite.

Important questions were raised in the hourlong+ exchange, pushing us to understand and clarify our position in the community. Crucially (and obviously): “Why isn’t Berty based on blockchain?". We confirmed that (1) we’re not, but (2) we haven’t ruled out or lost touch with these technologies. For example, we want to implement a DAO - which is based on a blockchain (for more info, read DAO for Berty? ).

We also fielded broader security questions. For example, what are the differences between Berty with Signal and Telegram and why do we care about metadata so much ? These kinds of questions indicate that privacy literacy is growing – a core value of the Berty nonprofit.

We also talked about the IPFS protocol. (Why are we using IPFS instead of BitTorrent, by the way? We’ve got a blogpost for that.)

Finally, we had a lot of questions about our distinguishing feature: the optional use of the internet in Berty. Sure, everyone is joined at the hip/pocket to the internet these days, but disconnecting from these central networks is critical to minimize their dangers to privacy and service unreliability. We talked about BLE and real-world offline use cases (tsunami, lost in the desert, a concert, in the subway…). There was real enthusiasm in the audience about this, and we’re excited to be bringing this [privacy] gamechanger to life.

So thanks Dietrich for the intro, thanks Thomas & Benoit from Medwish, and thanks all for your great interactions!

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We were also invited to speak at the Wrap Up 2020 organized by IPFS tools are a cornerstone of our technology and ongoing participation in this project works out pretty well for everyone.

The concept was simple: Get a bunch of IPFS' interactive speakers in one (virtual) room to wrap the year 2020 (a pretty f*cking shit year 😆).

Everyone had the opportunity to present either a 15min presentation or a “lightning talk” to outline the major advances of their project. We chose the second option. ⚡️

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Our most significant advances in 2020 are:

  • Berty Protocol became a thing: first release of specs (IPFS Node + Identities + Groups + Multi-Device + Low-Metadata)
  • We went 100% open-source: the protocol, the mobile app, some bots, a replication server, an RDVP server, etc
  • We released our closed beta… And soon, we’ll open the beta 🎉
  • We brought BLE features to life (more to come). Meet our three BLE drivers 👋:
    • Universal
    • MPConnectivity (for iOS and macOS)
    • Android Nearby
  • go-orbit-db + go-ipfs-log: Ports of OrbitDB and IPFS-Log in Go (Pubsub, CRDT)
  • go-libp2p-tor-transport: we bootstrapped a generic libp2p onion transport on the Tor network to enhance privacy
  • gomobile-ipfs: a first version of a framework to embed an IPFS node in native iOS and Android apps

Our 2021 goals are:

  • 🚀 Berty Public Release
  • 🧡 Enhance gomobile-ipfs for easier adoption, help developers put IPFS on mobile
  • 📱 Improve the go-ipfs’ CI to monitor the impact of code changes on mobile
  • 📡 Make it easy to integrate our BLE drivers on any libp2p/IPFS projects
  • 🔋 Continue improving stability and performance of IPFS on mobile (battery, speed, etc)

📽️ Our slidekit

2020 Reflections 💭

We would like to thank everyone who gives us the opportunity to make Berty known to as many people as possible. We know that a project like Berty is useless without supporters and curious onlookers. Your interactions gave us us strength! Thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of our hearts.

These two talks gave us time to appreciate how far Berty has come in the year 2020, and the dedication and adaptation this progress demanded. A look back on this year isn’t so much a glance in a rear-view window as it is a glimpse in a fun-house mirror that’s, well, anything but fun. We don’t know how, but these once unimaginable challenges pushed us to move forward. Thank you folks for being here during this crazy year.

We are ready for 2021. Tssh, we have a lot of surprises coming. Keep in touch. 🥂

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