Max Thake, a 22-year-old Maltese co-founder of a DLT research company, was at a blockchain boot camp in the United States last year when he found out that Daphne Caruana Galizia had been assassinated.
“Daphne was a family friend and her murder shocked us,” Max recounted to Lovin Malta. “The day after her murder, my team and I put our heads together for eight hours to try and find a way to use blockchain technology to help out journalists like Daphne.”
Their idea was to create a ‘Dropbox’ on the blockchain, a secure and decentralised data storage network that would allow journalists to store sensitive digital information without fear that this data could be hacked or that the authorities could someday demand access to it.
Max spoke to stakeholders, including the sons of Caruana Galizia and the editor of murdered Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak, about his plan and received positive feedback from them.
People protesting in Valletta last night to mark the first anniversary since Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder
His team then teamed up with ORC, a project set up by BitPay’s ex-lead engineer Gordon Hall, to develop the actual platform.
Now, just in time for the first anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s assassination, the project is complete, pending a third party security audit. However, such audits don’t come cheap, and indeed Max and co have now launched a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising $30,000 from the public.
“The importance of what Daphne worked towards – freedom of the press, transparency in government, truth and justice – cannot be denied,” Max said. “People in a functioning democracy need an uncontaminated supply of truthful information. Investigative journalists like Daphne put their lives on the line to give us that, but they shouldn’t have to. We’ve created this to give these heroes an extra level of security, another tool to help them do their work.”