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Why Wikipedia's cofounder wants to replace the online encyclopedia with the blockchain

Blockchain technology is breaking into many industries, including publication. Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger explains how tech can create transparency, and allow more content on the site.

Many industries have adopted blockchain technology as a core part of their operations. It creates transparency and trust between parties so that trust is no longer needed, which is why industries such as real estate, finance, and advertising are beginning to use it. And now, Wikipedia's cofounder Larry Sanger wants blockchain to replace the free online encyclopedia.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson met with Sanger to discuss why he joined Everipedia, and why the blockchain should replace Wikipedia.

Everipedia is the encyclopedia of everything, where topics are unrestricted, unlike on Wikipedia, Sanger said. More technically, it's a blockchain encyclopedia with a decentralized protocol for accessing and sharing knowledge.

SEE: Cheat sheet: Blockchain

A blockchain is a list of transactions, or a ledger, that can be used to represent a database. By putting all of Everipedia's content on the blockchain, it creates a transparency between writers and readers. When it's all set up, it will be possible for people to propose adding information to the blockchain, Sanger explained, and people who have tokens (which are earned by adding to the blockchain) come to a consensus about what information gets added to the blockchain.

"In terms of editorial standards, just to get on an encyclopedia blockchain will be relatively easy," Sanger said. When the initial protocol is adopted, it should be a very low bar that allows encyclopedia articles to get onto the blockchain, he said. However, the actual editorial decisions that are made won't happen on that level.

Different users of the information that make up the blockchain and Everipedia will make the decisions on the ratings of articles, and what order they will be placed. Users will be able to go in, read those articles, and visit our interface to submit their own ratings, he said.

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Image: iStock/Davizro

About Leah Brown

Leah Brown is the Associate Social Media Editor for TechRepublic. She manages and develops social strategies for TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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