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A major tenet of cryptocurrency is its peer-to-peer nature, one where people can maintain direct control of their assets and exchange with others without third party interference. Today because of Bitcoin’s ascension worldwide, the opportunity to transact openly in a free market environment without barriers and constraints has never been greater.

Fermat, a large open-sourced project on the blockchain hopes to further this aim. In August of 2016, the company released a landmark white paper highlighting key elements of this movement along with a call for interested parties to participate.

Fermat’s vision is to facilitate direct device-to-device communication, independent of any entity or web server. Data will be stored on end user devices and applications will be built to interact with each other directly. This will be enabled via Person-to-Person apps as part of a new technological paradigm, referred to as the Internet of People (IoP) .

Over the course of the last year, Fermat has successfully built and implemented the IoP (Internet of People) token blockchain, and distributed mining software and IoP Wallets. The key innovation at the blockchain level is it’s unique mining scheme where mining licenses are issued to Fermat local chapters.

The latest technology to be released in Alpha is the Profile Server, the cornerstone of the Internet of People system. As a piece of the broader IoP architecture, the Profile Server will enable any user to discover another user’s profile and establish a device-to-device connection directly between them.

As a decentralized, distributed app platform with a growing worldwide presence, Fermat aims to fuel a new normal for peer-to-peer engagement, all supported by a collaborative model where incentives are tracked and paid via the blockchain.

The Fermat Community is segmented into local “Chapters” with 60 currently situated worldwide, including in Australia, UAE, Canada, Brazil, Singapore, the UK, and within nearly all European countries. Led by a chapter president, each group is charged with advocating for the Fermat project within their country, region, or city, with tasks including running a testnet node, holding meet-ups, marketing the project, and mining IoP tokens. A mining license is shared among a chapter with additional licenses available as the chapter grows. Each chapter holding a license is entitled to run one mining node and receive IoP tokens from the IoP blockchain as a reward.

Fermat, a name derived from 17th-century French attorney/mathematician, Pierre de Fermat, boasts a team of over 70 full-time developers, designers, and experts busily curating what the company calls a new “Internet of People.” The working goal?  To eliminate third-parties and other intermediaries that serve as barriers to digital ownership and the free exchange of business and commerce. It’s here where the blockchain ecosystem serves as the epicenter for Fermat’s user controlled, censorship-resistant and flexible platform.

Founder Luis Molina, who was born in Cordoba, Argentina,  started his career at Latin America-based Kepler Technology, where he developed software for the financial industry focusing on security and scalability of banking systems. While at Kepler, Luis aided banks and institutions in their transition into Windows, taking charge of one of the first mission-critical systems made with Microsoft technology. By 2000, he founded Frame Labs, a firm specializing in internet banking systems and security consultation.

While living in Dubai in 2013, Luis learned of Bitcoin and its potential to accelerate productivity in finance and to disrupt many of society’s inefficient norms. It was there where he handed out an Arabic-inscribed business card for “Nomad Inception” to a local sheik. The sheik turned to him and mentioned that with one small addition to the word “Inception” – a single dot – his company name would translate to “bitcoin.” His fate was sealed.

Shortly thereafter, Luis formed Fermat, as an open source project that proliferates the concept of the p2p economy and the Internet of People – a novel case for blockchain technology which had yet to be discussed. In 2014, Luis moved to Hungary and kick-started the Fermat – a  movement that now spanning several continents.

Molina views Fermat’s “Internet of People” initiative as akin to a social graph in that like the blockchain, it is open for anyone to see, to consume information or to innovate in a permissionless way.

Says Molina: “We aim to foster person to person interactions that go through the Internet of People, as it removes middlemen, and by doing so transactions are cheaper, and privacy is increased.”

Molina notes that Fermat is pursuing a radically different approach to mining, one that doesn’t use pure Proof-of-Work (PoW) or Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

“We invented a new concept known as Mining Licenses where anyone in the Fermat community can mine if they become part of or establish a local chapter in their own community. To get the license, one needs to add value to the project in several pre-defined ways, such as creating a local website or running a local meetup.”  

This concept, says Molina, was launched in November 2016 and within three months, Fermat local chapter sign ups spanned over 60 countries. “Our structure is geo-localized, and that is the key to preventing concentration in mining. Each country or state can have only one local chapter.”

Molina says that beyond the blockchain hype is the person-to-person economy and that this future can only be seen once you see the full apple. “The person-to-person economy is going to reshape the world more than the internet did,” he attests.

When asked about broader emerging trends in terms of blockchain’s advancement over the next 12-18 months, Molina believes we’ll see more blockchain-enabled systems similar to Fermat. He views the blockchain as a nuclear reactor that enables a spaceship to travel farther and faster than before, allowing it to reach places that never before seemed possible.

In closing, Molina says: “Here at Fermat, we are already building a spaceship and targeting the next galaxy where we can use this new type of engine, that this alien called Nakamoto gave us to play with.”