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Nov 16, 2021

Skiff: the Decentralized, Encrypted, and Super Secure Word Processor

When you think about it, word processors haven’t changed much in decades. Each one emulates recording words on paper. The only significant change in recent years is when Google introduced Google Documents, a product that stores its text online in the cloud instead of in your own computer. While significant, that is still a not a major change.

Anyone who can gain access to your computer or to your online account can still read your documents, including accessing private information that you don’t want to share. Until now…

Skiff changes all that.

Skiff has launched a new, decentralized architecture – realizing the company’s vision to build the application layer for Web3 – private, decentralized, and end-to-end encrypted.

Decentralization and privacy go hand-in-hand. While privacy demands that users know exactly how and when their personal data is shared, decentralization keeps users’ information outside of anti-private, centralized databases. End-to-end encryption and decentralization together truly deliver complete control over personal data to Skiff users. Technically and organizationally, decentralization helps us deliver on core promise to users.

According to the programmers who created Skiff:

Decentralization

Your identity is your keypair: Skiff’s products keep your personal information private to you. Our whitepaper details this approach to provisioning users with keypairs (for encryption and attestation). Like a password manager or a crypto wallet, this technical design represents the foundation of decentralized collaboration.

Decentralized real-time collaboration via CRDTs: As detailed in our pre-launch blog post on decentralized collaboration from March 2021, decentralization allows us to realize numerous technical and user-friendly advantages. In particular, CRDTs enable us to, in real time, synchronize data structures across multiple Skiff users around the world. Users communicate end-to-end encrypted document changes to each other and arrive at fully synchronized, independent copies of working documents.

Decentralized storage via IPFS: We are incredibly excited to announce our collaboration with Protocol Labs and IPFS to build fully decentralized storage into Skiff. In IPFS, Filecoin, and libp2p (for direct peer-to-peer communication), Protocol Labs is building foundational infrastructure to enable decentralized, privacy-first applications like Skiff.

Now, Skiff users can store files, static content, and more via the Interplanetary Filesystem (IPFS). Inside the settings page, users can enable or disable IPFS storage:

In short:

Skiff breaks every document into dozes or hundreds of smaller pieces and each piece is stored in a different web server in the cloud. Even if someone who access a small piece, there will be so little information displayed that it becomes useless to the hacker.

Even before being broken into hundreds of small “snippets” of information, each piece is encrypted in its own unique encryption code. Even different snippets within one document are encrypted in different methods.

When the document’s creator wishes to retrieve the document, everything happens in a manner that emulates an old-fashioned word processor: each snippet is located, retrieved, and combined tito a single document within seconds in a manner that is invisible to the document’s creator.

You can learn a lot more about Skiff at: https://www.skiff.org/updates/skiff-decentralized.