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SHARE Protocol

What is SHARE Protocol?

SHARE Protocol is a set of decentralized property rights management and revenue sharing building blocks for the future of the internet.
To learn more about the history of the protocol and how it evolved into its current state, you can read the original V1 whitepaper published in 2022.

What are the key benefits and applications?

SHARE Protocol was initially conceived as a solution to the creator economy problem. It introduced the concept of pay-for-access (PFA) smart contracts which enabled cross-platform digital rights management (DRM) for audio and video streaming.
One key innovation is its cross platform nature, e.g. SHARE smart contracts are not specific to a single SHARE application, but instead, a single contract contains access terms such as pricing, licensing and royalty splits across any application that can serve ERC721 based tokenized properties. One way to think of this is a blockchain based backend for rights management––with instant payouts, limitless splits and full control for digital property owners.
Since its origin the protocol has evolved in several dimensions and the key benefits and applications you should know about are listed below:
  1. 1.
    SHARE Protocol is designed to support all forms of digital property. Pay-for-access (PFA) smart contracts have to date been used for audio and video streaming, but the protocol design supports any property that can be bought and sold on the internet. For example, we have seen a recent spike in demand for applying these primitives to physical property.
  2. 2.
    SHARE Protocol is a multi-chain, cross-platform protocol and associated infrastructure. This means digital properties on SHARE Protocol are not locked into any one given application. Instead, they live on a permissionless blockchain layer so that the rights management and revenue sharing details are honored independent of the application in which products are bought and sold. Any property backed by a SHARE Protocol smart contract can be interacted with by any application developer, permissionlessly.
  3. 3.
    SHARE Protocol is the first of its kind to introduce liquid royalty splits as a revenue sharing mechanism. Liquid splits are a new patent pending innovation that enable anyone to obtain (by joining) or trade rights to on-chain revenue streams in realtime, e.g. after the contract has been compiled and deployed to a blockchain. One key feature is that there is no upper bound to the limit of revenue recipients, even at microtransaction scale, where high numbers of splits can be cost prohibitive. Splits participation can be authenticated using MPC based account abstraction techniques so that participants don't need wallets to enter into revenue share smart contracts. This capability can and has been used in various ways to maximize network effects around product distribution.
  4. 4.
    SHARE Protocol blends on-chain rights management and revenue sharing smart contracts with off-chain compute to perform flexible product distribution. The protocol specifies that a property owner can set a compute endpoint which is then accessible by calling a contract tokenURI function. This network of off-chain compute endpoints which fulfill delivery of digital products conditionally based on on-chain financial state transitions is called a "decentralized distribution network" (DDN). DDN code is designed and containerized such that it can be self-hosted, however we provide load balanced cloud instances as the default configuration at contract creation time in the SHARE Protocol GUI. A roadmap for fully open sourcing the DDN server binary container and self-hosting instructions is pending as we assess demand. If you're interested in this, please let us know.

How can I use SHARE Protocol today?

The SHARE Protocol Decentralized Application (dApp) Beta is live and available here for you to use. It is a graphical user interface for creating and interacting with digital property smart contracts. It includes features such as Apple Pay and Google Pay for consumer transactions, instant payments and splits, audio and video streaming and playlisting. Here's an example video smart contract link which includes liquid splits (all of which have been claimed).

How we think about blockchains and why decentralization

With SHARE Protocol, we're much less concerned with the price of digital currencies and distributed databases and much more interested in the idea of an ownerless virtual machine (e.g. the EVM) with self-governing property and highly programmable revenue sharing.
SHARE smart contracts act as self-governing property management programs, executed on a publicly owned, permissionless global machine. A good mental model for this is the vending machine. A vending machine enables its owner to fully manage the rights of the property housed within it, while the machine itself operates on other properties. This has strong benefits when utilized in conjunction with the power of highly scalable revenue sharing.
We see blockchains as analagous to hardware and much of our protocol UX is designed this way. In the same way that most people don't know what kind of RAM they're using we don't expect that in the future most will know which blockchain they're interacting with. For this reason SHARE is a multi-chain protocol, but it aims to abstract away the underlying blockchain details for end-users.

FAQs

What is the primary difference between FORMLESS, SHARE Protocol, and Creator Economy Application "XYZ"?

FORMLESS is a decentralized network and digital space that empowers individuals to connect, create, collaborate and share in a multiplayer digital economy. Formless, Inc. is the name of our company which builds the network and the associated infrastructure technologies.
SHARE Protocol is one such family of technologies including rights management building blocks, revenue sharing building blocks and graphical user interfaces to interact with the protocol.
With rare exception, many products which may seem similar to SHARE Protocol are applications (apps) and not protocols. SHARE Protocol is not the application which is used to interact with the protocol. It is not an app. Instead, it is a layer of smart contract technology deployed across various blockchains, upon which other applications can be built and powered. A good way to think about this is that "applications are powered by SHARE Protocol" vs. "SHARE Protocol is an application".
For products which are in fact protocols, one frequent and fundamental difference is that SHARE Protocol is not used to facilitate the sale or purchase of NFTs. SHARE Protocol functions around transactions facilitated by digital property smart contracts, not the sale of those contracts, as is traditionally done in NFT markets.

For media products, where is the content stored?

SHARE Protocol supports various storage solutions. For contracts backing large video files, we use IPFS via Livepeer. For contracts backing smaller files, we typically used Cloud storage. This choice is up to the digital property owner.
It's important to understand here that within the SHARE Protocol the owner of a digital property remains the owner even after selling access to the property. This means there is no risk of a property sale which points to a CDN or compute endpoint that is ephemeral. The owner has the right to control and or update this pointer at any time, as the property is under their control.
It's helpful to think of this like a house in the physical world. Owning a house entitles you to the revenue associated with access to it (e.g. rentals), and the sale of the house would grant that right to the subsequent owner.

When will SHARE Protocol be available for production use?

SHARE Protocol is currently live in production and available for use. Protocol contracts have been security audited with a 100% pass rate. Our smart contracts have been used for thousands of digital properties. SHARE Protocol is a Beta stage product meaning SLOs are limited and we're constantly seeking feedback. Liquid splits smart contracts are in Alpha stage and are available on a invitation-only basis.
Do you have or are you launching a token?
We currently don’t have plans to launch a token. Any announcements regarding future plans will be announced in the announcements channel on our Discord.

Security

At Formless we prioritize the safety and security of our users and community members. We encourage open and transparent feedback to help us identify and resolve potential vulnerabilities in our products and services.

Reporting Guidelines

Please send your reports to [email protected] and include Security Report in the subject.
  1. 1.
    Provide a clear description of the issue, highlighting its potential impact.
  2. 2.
    Specify the location where the vulnerability was identified.
  3. 3.
    Outline detailed steps to reproduce the issue.
Verified vulnerabilities may be rewarded via USDC distributions on Ethereum on a case by case basis depending on severity, potential impact and whether the issue was already known to our team. Reports that receive rewards may not be disclosed without express consent of Formless. Duplicate reports, social engineering attempts, and low quality (e.g. non-reproducible) reports are strictly prohibited.

Support

The team at Formless, Inc., the creators of SHARE Protocol are available on our Discord channel to answer questions.

Service Level Objectives (SLOs)

SLOs are service level guarantees for production usage of SHARE Protocol, SHARE Protocol dApp and SHARE Protocol DDN. SLOs can help you make decisions about using the infrastructure for your product or release. During Beta, production SLOs are documented internally and are available upon request.