Tether and Bitfinex have launched Keet, a peer to peer video calling app. The Block was informed by CTO Paolo Ardoino that the two companies have already invested $10 million in the project to date and are planning to invest as much as $100 million more.
Tether and Bitfinex, sister crypto companies, have entered a new business area: building peer to-peer (P2P), applications.
Together with Hypercore, a P2P infrastructure developer, the two companies have formed a new protocol and company called Holepunch. The trio launched their first app Ket, a peer to peer encrypted video calling app (currently alpha).
Tether and Bitfinex shared a statement with The Block Monday that Keet will enable users to schedule audio and visual calls, send text chat, and share files free of charge. Distributed Holepunching (DHT), a technology that allows users to find and connect to one another “using only cryptographic keys pairs upon authorization”, powers the Keet app.
Ardoino likened Holepunch with BitTorrent. This file-sharing platform is now owned and operated by Tron Foundation, a crypto company. Ardoino said that Holepunch can create many other apps than file sharing. He said that you can rebuild the whole world wide web in a completely P2P manner.
Bitfinex and Tether have been working on this technology for the past five years, Paolo Ardoino (CTO of both companies) told The Block in an interview.
Ardoino stated, “So what have we been working towards? To create a platform that would permit users to access applications which are unstoppable” and allow freedom of speech.”
Freedom of speech in many parts of the world is much more restricted than it is in the US and UK. Freedom of speech does not mean that you can just sit down and say what you like, but that you can share and talk with people you care about without worrying that big tech might be listening or using your data.
Ardoino stated that Bitfinex and Tether had also committed five years to the project and invested approximately $10 million in Keet and Holepunch. Ardoino said that both companies were open to investing $50 million-100 million more as they develop more P2P applications.
The Holepunch protocol currently has closed source code. However, plans are to make it open-source in December. Ardoino said that once the protocol is open-source, anyone can create applications and make money using it.
Holepunch will integrate the Lightning Network into its protocol, along with the tether stablecoin USDT to support a default payment system.
In an interview with The Block, Mathias Buus from Holepunch stated that “some apps and features are intrinsically better when paid.” We consider primitive payments to be extremely important, so we are adding them. It’s sure to create a large marketplace and a business that’s exciting for us.
Buus stated that Keet is 10% in Holepunch’s offerings, and that the latter will build “great apps without any strings attached.”