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|Named after||Pierre de Fermat|
|Formation||May 14, 2014|
|Founder||Luis Fernando Molina|
|Purpose||Building a secure, decentralized, disintermediated digital space.|
|Products||Fermat Framework, Internet of People|
Fermat is a collaborative, open-source technology project advocating for a free, secure, decentralized and disintermediated information space in which people's interests are placed ahead of those of corporations, states and unnecessary third parties in general.
Fermat leads the development of the Internet of People (IoP), a technology infrastructure consisting of interconnected peer-to-peer networks hosting people’s profiles, reputation and identity information. The Internet of People allows the discovery of both known and unknown people and, ultimately, enables direct device-to-device communication over the Internet and direct person-to-person interactions via person-to-person applications. The Internet of People incorporates blockchain-based native tokens, IoPs, as incentive for operators running IoP software.
The Internet of People is meant to enable the person-to-person economy, a potentially disruptive innovation resulting from disintermediation in which people hold direct control and ownership of their data, digital footprint and purchasing power.
Argentine entrepreneur Luis Fernando Molina founded the Fermat project in 2014, named after French lawyer and mathematician Pierre de Fermat. Along with a few colleagues, he designed the Internet of People's architecture while working in stealth mode. During 2015, over sixty people collaborated in early proof of concept works.
The project went public in 2016 after publishing the Fermat White Paper and source codes at GitHub. The release included the IoP token blockchain, distributed mining software and IoP (token) Wallets.
In 2017 Fermat launched an alpha testing version of the Profile Server, a key component of the Internet of People that enables users to discover other user's profiles and establish a device-to-device connection, along with the Location Based Network (responsible for Geo-localized services) and Content Address Network.
In April 2017, Fermat has announced the launch of a dedicated consortium to research use cases for its Internet of People (IoP) initiative.
Fermat's vision is to enable and produce a disruption in what the organization perceives as a trend towards centralization of information and social interactions. The project aims to empower people by allowing them freedom to administer their online privacy, protect themselves from spying, censorship or data mining, and establishing direct person-to-person interactions without unnecessary middlemen.
The organization argues that centralization has enabled unprecedented concentration of power leaving people defenseless against what they perceive as abusive behavior from entities such as governments, states and corporations.
Direct device-to-device communication
Fermat sees direct device-to-device communication over the internet facilitated by decentralized peer-to-peer networks as part of the technological infrastructure required to achieve the vision.
A person-to-person application interacts directly with an application on a second device over a device-to-device connection. Person-to-person applications are also regarded as part of the elements required to achieve the vision.
Internet of people
The Internet of People (IoP) is an information space where people's profiles are identified by a public key and interlinked by profile relationship links. Profiles can be accessed via the Internet. Fermat developers wrote the first profile server computer program in 2016, in Switzerland. The Fermat IoP Profile Server was alpha-released in February 2017.
The Fermat organization claims the Internet of People enables the development of the person-to person economy and constitutes an alternative to the World Wide Web for person-to-person and company-to-person interactions.
IoP profiles are—primarily—data structures whose format depends on the profile type. Formats are standardized by the Internet of People Consortium. In addition to profile data, IoP profiles may contain profile relationship links. A single individual can have multiple profiles and can choose to link those profiles between each other and to other people's profiles. The interlinking of profiles conforms a global, publicly accessible social graph with all kinds of relationships.
Client apps upload end users' profiles to the IoP and keep an active TCP/IP connection with the profile server hosting their profiles. End users can then search the Internet of People both for people they know and people they do not know, and use that open connection on every profile to acquire a device-to-device connection.
Profile servers run on top of two different decentralized peer-to-peer networks: one used as a content delivery network, and the second one as a Geo-localized network. IoP connected client apps can use the IoP as a decentralized discovery layer and for the signaling process that ends in a device-to-device connection. Once connected, IoP apps can interact directly between each other without unnecessary middlemen.
Companies can search for and find people's profiles. They can use the connection end user's devices have with profile servers to contact them for purposes like: product offerings, delivery of advertisements, acquiring end user's personal data, etc. In all possible use cases initiated by companies (company-to-person interactions) payments are required from companies and paid to end users via the embedded IoP cryptocurrency, IoP tokens.
The Internet of People introduces the concept of Application Services. These are services running at end users' devices which operate through a communication protocol standardized by the IoP Consortium. These protocols are fundamental for IoP apps interoperability. Different IoP apps using the same Application Service can interact because they adhere to the same communication protocol. IoP then acts as the connecting tissue of different private networks of people.
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