5 min read

Problem & Worldview

Problem & Worldview

The SSI Protocol originates from the critical and conscious look we take on the damage that certain technologies (or their human use) cause to nature. The founder is an engineer with experience in petroleum engineering, during which he noticed some of the effects of this extractive industry. This experience allowed him to understand that behind the exploitation of natural resources lies a logic of domination and commodification of nature for the economic benefit of a minority of people. The co-founders of the Self-Sovereign Identity Protocol also have backgrounds in geology and anthropology. Through our work and research, we have witnessed the unfortunate scenarios and the vital affectations caused by extractivism. As part of a socio-economic model that started with colonialism and later took advantage of neoliberalism, extractivism nowadays shows profound socio-environmental damages. It is not only about environmental problems due to pollution, overuse of water resources, accumulation of toxic waste, and emission of greenhouse gases, but also negative consequences for local and community-based economies. Moreover, this has led to a paradoxical widening of the poverty gap concurrently with rising oil&gas revenues, precarious work conditions and an increased cost of living.

Therefore, we understand that the predominant use of technology throughout history has been with a strongly anthropocentric focus, i.e. with men (mainly male) at the centre of attention. Analysing modern technologies such as the web (internet), we notice that the centralization of data is yet another consequence of the anthropocentric use of technology, i.e. using new tech to take advantage of users' data, including their financial assets. Web technologies have changed the world and the way we interact for the better. Still, the problem we point out is that using these technologies in such an anthropocentric way generates a centralized system of control that has taken over the organisation of governments, our finances, and health and education systems, among others. A system that limits and endangers us by taking away our right to freely control our data and assets. Nowadays, many online identities rely on companies acting as Identity Service Providers (ISP). Such companies are trusted third parties but have become single points of failure and, therefore, security vulnerabilities for our data. The current identity system still resembles the inherent weaknesses of the trust-based model, also described in the Bitcoin whitepaper. Under this system, we often have to make a new account for each company we want to interact with, such as an airline or e-commerce business, repeatedly giving away our personal data. The problem is that your data can be, e.g., used to manipulate your vote in democratic elections, as happened in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytical scandal. Most companies exploit our data without proper consent, which should involve a complete understanding of the consequences. Companies use profiling techniques to categorize us based on personal data, traits (e.g. age, physique, etc.), and information from online consumer behaviour. The lack of regulation has led companies to use misinformation and fake news to manipulate your opinion. Not only what you can think about general topics like the importance of democracy but also more specific ones, such as your individual preferences. Something that is also very problematic is censorship, i.e. being deprived of the possibility to express your identity as you wish. By storing your data on private networks, those controlling them can arbitrarily modify or delete your data. This problem can also affect our financial data since banks usually keep control of our funds, and centralized exchanges often control our private keys. For example, in 2001 in Argentina, with the so-called "Corralito", banks restricted access to their users' dollar savings during one of the biggest financial crises in modern history.

Unfortunately, the anthropocentric use of technology leads to a notorious deterioration of the common good (including nature and human rights) in favour of the private interests of a minority of people (those who act as intermediaries). As a result, access to new technologies is limited and with an unequal distribution, i.e. not equal opportunities.

Thus, the question that guides us and takes us back to Tyron's origin is: technology for what and for whom?

In this context, the solution proposed is the Self-Sovereign Identity Protocol as a relational use of technology, that is, technological tools for the common good. The SSI Protocol connects decentralised identities (users who can be individuals or organisations) with other open-source applications and software to provide equal financial opportunities to all users. We develop technologies with community and collaborative purposes and looking to remediate the devastation of nature. Decentralisation is part of the solution to solve the problem of intermediaries, giving you control of your data.

With the common good as the project's vision and to address the problems caused by the anthropocentric use of technology, we opted for the Kvme Felen to guide the project's worldview. Thus we created a community interest company (CIC) called Tyron Mapu to respond to the humanitarian and natural crises we face. These problems have various degrees of impact, which depend on the inequalities of different social groups (per class, age, gender, ethnicity, racialization, territory, and access to rights, among others).

We encourage you to take control of your data and become a self-sovereign identity. Since we believe that the technology of decentralised identities enables a better redistribution of income and wealth to solve:

  • inequalities, and also
  • the damage to nature caused by the anthropocentric use of technologies.

Tyron Mapu CIC is part of the DAO to promote the relational use of technology to connect like-minded people and reconnect us with nature. To keep building tech oriented by and towards the Kvme Felen.

Kvme Felen means Buen Vivir (good living, common good) for the Mapuche people. It is a worldview shared by many indigenous communities that have existed since way before the colonisation of America and the formation of the current states. This model recognises the diversity of lives that exceeds and includes our human lives. It acknowledges all elements in nature as forces in interrelation with each other and with us: ixokomfijmogen ("all lives in one"). This holistic view of the Kvme Felen guides a social organisation and decision-making that responds to the regulation of nature and its balance.

The SSI Protocol believes that decentralised technologies can reverse the anthropocentric tendency that has damaged the Kvme Felen of all societies. The innovative blockchain tech creates new opportunities to enable the transformation toward the relational use of technology. This paradigm change implies shifting the focus away from personal gain, reconnecting with nature, creating networks for the common good, and strengthening existing community-based projects. Our community effort implies horizontality among participants, the consensus in decision-making, authorities as guides or referents and not bosses, and a spirit of collective work and a joint projection for a transformation towards the Kvme Felen.

This post is also available in Spanish.

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