Friend is a new computer platform built for the blockchain era. At first glance, Friend looks similar to an operating system such as Windows or OS X. It has icons, menus and apps. However, Friend does not attempt to replace existing operating systems; it runs on top of them, providing a powerful, unified interface to a new world of blockchain-ready apps. Friend can be accessed from any computer (or mobile) in the world - just open a new tab in the web browser. Think Google Chromebooks without the Google part. Friend will be a neutral alternative: an autonomous Cloud Computer owned and controlled by its users. For the last four years we’ve poured our hearts and minds into designing the first version of Friend. You can try it out here: https://friendup.cloud/demo. We are now raising money to improve the look and feel of the software, enhance the user and developer experience, and build a new decentralized network of Friend computers. This network, owned and governed by holders of the Friend Network Token (FRND), will be a world first. Each holder will be able to exchange data, run apps, and trade resources without the need for centralized companies - thus increasing access and lowering the cost of computing for everyone.
Freedom is the driving force of peace. Freedom of choice. Freedom of movement. Freedom of thought. Freedom to innovate. Freedom to speak and communicate. Our project seeks to protect these freedoms by spreading Friend far and wide, turning over the ownership of the technology to the users themselves. The platform offers all users a choice in tools that are available anywhere they travel. Tools to conceptualize ideas. They can build their own apps online and distribute them in seconds. They can communicate using powerful instant messaging and peer-to-peer video conferencing software available to anyone on the internet. And they can do all of this on any computer with an internet connection, untied from any single device.
Intelligence is fundamental to personal growth. It protects our freedom by allowing us to solve problems and make informed decisions. We want to help advance people’s personal development by enriching their intelligence through access to data. Intelligence through access to data processing. Through access to applications. Through accessible and easy to use services that can automate mundane tasks. Friend is a platform that will stand by your side and help you get more insight into your life.
Empowerment is the distribution of opportunity through capability. By making Friend free and open, anyone from all over the world gets access to powerful tools and vast storage space. It helps distribute increased access to education, employment opportunities and upward mobility. Friend users are powerful. And they get unrestricted access to build their future without needing to pay for the service — lowering the bar for personal empowerment all over the world.
Privacy is important to achieve a functioning democracy. The ability to keep secrets is not only good for the individual, but it is good for protecting others from raw unarticulated information that can be wielded to seed false narratives and misunderstandings. Privacy also protects the individual from structural or corporate abuse, where your data is sought for money and control. In Friend, we work vigorously to protect users’ privacy. By encrypting on the user’s own device, we protect the data before it is stored on the server. By allowing anonymous access to the Friend Network, we allow the user to choose if, how and when to expose his or her identity.
Integration is a way to simplify. Digital structures are getting increasingly complex, and by integrating data, devices and services, we try to organize the complexity in simpler forms. By aggregating a user’s piece of the internet pie into a Workspace, it can clean up the information into disks, directories and applications — it allows a user to clean up the internet like you would clean up a room in bookshelves, drawers, devices, furniture and ornamentation. And it allows a user to integrate his or her digital life. Friend is also a humanitarian project. It was built on the dream of a truly free and future proof operating environment protected from corporate interests, financial limitations and enforced paradigms. It is built as an emergent and internet embedded infrastructure that seeks to distribute opportunity and capability to anyone with no discrimination.
Having spent the last four years developing Friend as a server platform for commercial use, we are now ready to focus our efforts on connecting Friend computers together to form a decentralized network. Once complete, anyone will be able to access their Friend Cloud Computer securely, at any time, from any device - even mobiles. In order to track the sharing of resources, and enable fair trading between computers, we have chosen to integrate Ethereum into the core of Friend. It will soon be possible to share storage and computation resulting in lower cost, anonymous, cloud computing. Friend aims to make Ethereum more accessible and developer friendly. Users can immediately access applications, resources and services.