Meet Legacy Locket

Meet Legacy Locket

According to Sun Tzu’s Art of War, a good General knows how to assess their chances of winning any given battle. When I began as CEO of Veritoken Global our mandate was to solve “the identity issue.” As the Captain of the ship, I spent many hours studying the blockchain landscape, from sunrise to sunset. I brought in experts to help me analyze all the market opportunities and to discover what precisely the world needed to gain from blockchain.

There are far too many blockchain companies who are only working on solving the problems blockchain creates. I’ve watched blockchain startup after startup fail while others run in place while I have no desire to sit and watch, or tread water, spectating from the sidelines as others figure out the bigger usability problems. We’ve decided to focus in the best possible way, by fulfilling a need that exists in the world that nothing can tackle better than blockchain.

Carefully I worked over many nights and weekends to craft the Bill of Rights and have been in the press trying to help people understand why their privacy matters. Apathy has become our greatest enemy in a way I can’t even quantify, as we’ve given up on privacy. But what about when we cannot fight this anymore? When we exit this earth our digital remains are all that the world will have of us — until now.

Legacy gets passed down within families, often through women as storytellers. We live in a world where we’re sharing everything we do in real-time, but what about when it stops? Personal data left inside of Facebook and other centralized services are completely subject to whatever those services want. Services have data breaches, but they also shut down. Even Google wasn’t able to keep G+ alive, and what if that was your best social platform? People should be able to virtually live as long as the blockchain does in the way that they see fit.

How do we create a legacy online in a lasting way? How do we pay tribute to someone we love in a more permanent way? Blockchain. One of the most fundamental purposes for blockchain is a stamp. Some of the more powerful features of blockchain are the ability to provide a unique and definitive time stamp. The ol’ immutable ledger is most useful when things require oversight or a 3rd party verification. Just like a time capsule, we can freeze a memory in time and have it forever. What a beautiful use of this emerging technology!

Image via Pexels

If there’s anything I can do to diminish the horror and awkwardness of managing a loved ones social media after death, I must do it. I am well suited to tackle this problem as I lived through it myself. In 2013, I tragically lost my father to a sudden massive heart attack. My dad and I were extremely close. He was an inspiration to many people, the light in many people’s lives. He was my hero. After the funeral I spoke with many people who loved and missed him, I was fielding their calls for weeks. Everyone who knew my father loved him; my family wanted to make him a legend forever. When the time came to think about his legacy and sift through the digital traces he’d left behind, there were very few ways for me to pay tribute to him. Closing his digital presence and social accounts created a feeling of finality for me that was difficult to handle at first.

Then it came time to look at what digital assets remained for my Dad. It was a messy, awkward nest to untangle, which would’ve been impossible without his email address access. It was such a horribly traumatic experience to shut down Dad’s social that in October of 2014 I actually wrote a Search Engine Journal post about it so as to help others: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/5-tips-handling-digital-life-death/117834/

This passage in particular crystallizes the experience:

“Seeing traces of someone you love online can be both a blessing and a curse. There is no easy way to manage the online presence of a loved one who has passed away — it’s really complicated. Just like everyone grieves differently, every service handles shutting things off differently.”

After recovering a little longer, I was able to cobble together an homage to my father that made sense. Because of my tech background, there are resources at my disposal which are not attainable for most people. My team built a simple web page in Dad’s honor. Then I worked with Dad’s colleague to setup a scholarship at the University of Houston, where he taught as an adjunct professor later in life.

I’ve spoken to other friends and colleagues about their grief and how they’ve handled it with regard to social media, email, cloud storage, etc. The consensus was that quite simply, it’s kind of weird. As a society we haven’t really figured this out yet.

From my personal experience, I knew there had to be a better way to resolve our digital legacy, which has lingered in the back of my mind since. When we started putting pen to paper in determining what capabilities we had with blockchain verification that were not previously explored, my past grief became a bittersweet opportunity.

We are excited to introduce Legacy Locket, by Veritoken Global.

Meet Legacy Locket was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
06/14/2019 - 20:40
Author: 
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