I am currently working on a White Paper for my project “Whistle”. I have copied it in its current state below. To be clear the app, is not currently online.
Whistle is the idea for an app that helps keep people safe wherever they are. The app got its name from the act of “whistleblowing”, or reporting a crime despite potential negative repercussions. Whistle serves groups such as children, elderly, LGBTQ, minority racial groups, religious minorities, illegal immigrants, domestic violence victims, and rape victims. These groups were chosen primarily because they represent the majority of people who could benefit from Whistle’s primary features, anonymity, freedom of speech, and ease of access. These features address two broad categories of victims, under reporting groups and oppressed groups.
Whistle addresses the problem of safety via incident reports. An incident report is similar to a crime report that a police officer might fill out, but it can be created by anyone with an internet connection. An incident report is optionably anonymous and contains at least one GPS location, a description of the events and the suspect. The creator of a report can post updates to a report like, “I found my wallet, it wasn’t stolen”, but the original report can never be deleted or edited. Interaction is also possible with the creator of a report via a forum like comments section. A report can be created without an account, but features like comments and updates require an account. Creating an account collects no personal information. Reports and comments are moderated primarily by spam and bot filtering. Whistle is accessible by a web client, a mobile client, and optionally through the Tor network. This is the basic outline for the Whistle app. Whistle provides advantages over traditional reporting inherently by the fact that is is a smartphone based solution. For example, even small children can report a crime without having to talk to a single police officer. However, some advantages of Whistle are due to more advanced technological features such as distributed ledgers.
It is important to note that Bitcoin uses distributed ledger technology, or blockchain technology, but they are not the same. Blockchain can be used to store and transfer currency, like Bitcoin, but in addition can be used to build complete web applications. Some of these web applications have become incredibly popular. Whistle uses blockchain tech but it is not a cryptocurrency or asset. The further described Whistle token is not an asset, it is a utility token used for running the Whistle platform. The token is mineable similar to bitcoin, but it is mined using masternodes required to participate in the governance of the project and is used as fuel to run code so it is not intended as an asset. Of course it is possible for people to transfer Whistle token to each other or even trade it on an exchange, but it’s purpose is explicitly functional not speculative.
Blockchain tech contributes to the mission of Whistle by making it anonymous, immutable and decentralized. The ultimate goal is to create a democratic autonomous organization that allows Whistle to provide information independent of the local government or other powerful entity. Blockchain allows Whistle to offer complete freedom of speech. The database will always be accessible via an API and users are encouraged to develop their own applications using Whistle data.
Like a cryptocurrency, the goal is for Whistle to be powered by decentralized network of users who contribute to running the Whistle database in exchange for a token. Whistle will use a MPOS, or masternode proof of stake, mining system where users are required to purchase a significant amount of Whistle tokens in order to participate in the mining process. In addition to receiving a small dividend, operating a Whistle node also allows users to vote.
The decision making structure is simple. Proposals are submitted by node owners. Other node owners then have the option to vote on the proposal by a deadline set by the submittant. If the proposal fails to meet a significant majority of votes by the deadline, the proposal fails. If the proposal receives a significant majority of favorable votes, the proposal passes and the code is implemented automatically.
Whistle is built on a fork of a cryptocurrency called Ether Zero. Ethereum is well known as the cryptocurrency that introduced smart contracts and the solidity programming language. These two tools remain the most pragmatic tools for developing blockchain applications. Ether Zero provides all of the benefits of Ethereum but has substituted Proof of Work mining with Masternode Proof of Stake mining. This speeds up transaction times, eliminates fees, reduces the environmental impact of mining and reduces barriers to entry. Masternodes also enable a more secure and democratic system via voting protocols. This is another feature added by Ether Zero, a voting mechanism much like Dash, another cryptocurrency. The voting system is implemented via smart contracts packaged with the application. Masternodes incentivize users to invest their time and capital to support the project due to the yield from mining rewards. They also encourage community engagement via proposal submission.
The specifics of the system may change, but the technical foundation of the project revolves around two pillars: the decentralized ledger and the decentralized decision making structure. While the technical details are definitely complicated the key takeaway is that they enable completely free uncensored access to a crime reporting platform that is resistant to tampering; by powerful individuals or organizations, even governments. This is critical in countries with extremely oppressive and powerful governments. China is one example, but there are many. There is a bull market in corruption and the trend doesn’t seem to be reversing anytime soon. A crime reporting platform such as Whistle needs to be built using blockchain tech in order to provide redundancy in the case of a crackdown by the Chinese government.
Ether Zero is an obscure Chinese Ethereum fork, it’s updated regularly but was only popular in Mainland China. Its token has sold off heavily since its inception, most likely because the creators allocated a large portion of tokens to themselves and flooded the market when cryptocurrency prices collapsed in 2018. Obviously the value proposition presented by Whistle is very different from Ether Zero. Ether Zero is sold as a dApp platform and currency. Whistle is a decentralized crime reporting platform built with a decentralized governance structure which are both powered by a utility token.
It has been mentioned that the purpose of Whistle is to address the security concerns of a variety of specific individual groups. Let’s dig into some examples and statistics related to these concerns. Some crimes are underreported, innocent people are falsely convicted, many criminals are never caught, some people do not feel safe reporting crimes due to potential threats to their safety. [stats on crime]. Whistle exists to help people communicate about criminal activity with other people. Using Whistle you can get help when you don’t feel safe. You can protect the people around you without having to go to the police. Some benefits of reporting with Whistle are as follows; People around you can see where you are if you need help and potentially respond more quickly than the police or take further action if you are unable to (call 911). On the other hand, your report can warn people to stay away if you have escaped, or potentially help the police solve a crime in the future by providing evidence. Because the original report cannot be modified it can serve effectively as evidence. In addition to keeping people safe by providing live public crime reporting, Whistle keeps people safe by protecting its users identities and not collecting data on them. No email address, phone number, date of birth, name or address. Signup requires only a username, password and a 2FA application of your choice. This along with Whistles utilization of blockchain tech enables users to speak out against abusive romantic partners, politicians, bosses, police, gangs, terrorist groups, family members, bullies, etc. We live in the age of information. People are more connected than ever before and this has had a big effect on crime. There is more to accomplish however. When people are able to engage meaningfully in keeping the people around them safe then even the weakest people can confront injustice and society can take one big step towards a world free from fear.
Challenges to Development
Decentralized project so liability is limited
Token is utility so is not considered a security
Local censorship laws
Path to profitability
Custom solutions for law enforcement, college campuses. Advertising revenue. Charitable project so growth over profitability. Financing via mining and governance model.
Buy some. Run a node. Vote. Create a proposal. Create a report. Download the app. Enable Alerts. Be an ally. Get involved. Contribute. Make a difference. Support equality, stand against corruption, protect the weak. Don’t become a masked vigilante.