With Ternoa, Mickael Canu puts the “blockchain revolution” into a capsule

From Biarritz to infinity and beyond. It was at the foot of the Rocher de la Vierge that was born Ternoa, a blockchain with a now global reputation driven by computer engineer and successful entrepreneur, Mickael Canu. His basic idea? Make data immortal. The project seems ethereal but its achievements are very concrete, adopted by the champions of MMA like family notaries. Meet the man who wants to build castles on our memories.

On March 31, Ternoa launched the deployment of public blockchain. A great success for a project born two years ago…

Yes, it was launched in 2020, but the idea comes from much further. It was the birth of my daughter and the loss of a member of my family in the early 2000s that triggered the process. At that moment, I wondered how I was going to succeed in the future in passing on to my children what they had never managed to pass on to me, whose grandparents had died suddenly. In the past, information was transmitted orally and nothing was forgotten. Since the arrival of the media era, we have paradoxically lost this capacity because we rely on digital to store everything, but it does not provide anything for transmission.

And you created Ternoa to remedy this?

It took time…I invented browser plug-ins, tested peer-to-peer, but nothing worked. And in 2016, I worked on the blockchain for one of my start-ups which serves co-ownership trustees. I discovered the technical side of this universe and I understood that the solution was there. After unsuccessful attempts on Ethereum [l’une des blockchains les plus utilisées], we said with the co-founders that we were going to develop our own blockchain. Ternoa was born.

How does it actually work?

Via NFTs… You know these non-fungible tokens for art, but they actually serve their intended purpose. We see ours as capsules, inside which we can put unlimited content (texts, videos, virtual keys…) that only the person who holds the NFT on his smartphone has the ability to open . This chest, we will be able to transmit it at a specific time and/or during a defined period. We create a concert ticket in NFT and inside there is a QR code which allows access to the concert in the form of streaming for two weeks, then closes. Or we program a capsule so that it is sent to someone automatically when the death of a person is recorded by the administration.

Like a will?

In a way… French notaries also want to offer this solution to their clients, for the transmission of their memories or “emotional” heritage, but other applications are being studied, such as real estate, for example.

To send a goodbye video, for example?

With the development of virtual reality, we imagine much more ambitious solutions. We will be able to transmit a complete environment. Basically, we create a virtual room in which we put a TV with a movie we like, a frame with a photo. There, we put a favorite book, a radio that plays the music we listened to with our children. If one day they want to meditate, well they can walk around the room with their virtual reality headset. They will be able to see what our universe looked like. And in turn, when they have to pass on, they will add rooms and they will give their own children a two-storey house and so on to end up with a castle where all the family history will be found. This will help everyone better understand where they come from. People who want to meditate will be able to do so more easily without having to go to the cemetery. We will no longer refuse to move for fear of betraying the loved one who is buried nearby. We’re talking about the near future here, but we already have many other uses for our capsules…

Which ones?

For example, we have an application called Metafight who chose Ternoa to bring his NFT project dedicated to MMA fighters, like Cyril Gane, to life. Real estate groups seeking to bring the sector into the blockchain universe. Artists, who develop pieces split into several NFTs that must be collected to unlock a work. We can imagine many things for companies. For example, a lessor sends his tenant an NFT with all the necessary information for the duration of his lease, then automatically retrieves it and sends it to the next tenant.

Can’t we just create an old-fashioned app for that?

But it’s much cheaper, safer and more efficient to do it on the blockchain… If a platform like Airbnb or Booking wants to develop this kind of solution in-house, it will cost them a fortune and no one will be able to check what is made. With the blockchain, everything is transparent. And suddenly, in the case of a rental, if someone thinks of paying a member of your organization to make a negative review disappear, they cannot do it. Everything would be known.

Trust, particularly through ratings, was presented as one of the fuels of Web 2, said to be participatory. Is this the failed bet of digital as we have known it for fifteen years?

Yes, because trust only exists through transparency. You can’t trust people. Unfortunately, whether through thoughtlessness, lack of skills, or bad intentions, humans are fallible. With the blockchain, you don’t need to believe anyone, there is no trusted third party. There is no woman or man behind the operation of the applications, it is the network that operates. Today, no one can read Ternoa capsules except the owner of the NFT, and no one can prevent their transmission.

The discourse of security has been used for a long time. We have the impression that with each advance of the web, we are promised that everything is more secure…

Yes, and every month, a tech giant is in the news because it has poorly secured its thing. The blockchain solves this problem even if to be honest, the weakness often comes from the consumer. For me, putting a photo like that on a drive is just impossible because I know how it’s processed. And so, every time I put something on a cloud, it’s first encrypted with an asymmetric key. But people are not educated in all that. They generally think that since it’s on such and such a known platform, that there’s a little green padlock in the navigation bar, it’s good, it’s secure. We all have bad habits. So we, on Ternoa, secure all data by default. It changes everything…

On the one hand, we present the blockchain as the solution to have real transparency on the Internet and on the other, we explain that it is the technology which guarantees that the secrets remain so. Do you understand that we are lost?

We are in a very simple logic: either everyone has access to information and not only platforms that centralize data, or no one. Except, of course, the one who sends the information and the one who must receive it.

Is it a major evolution of the Internet?

It’s a revolution. With Web3 [les technologies associées à la blockchain], we relive the transition from the 56k modem which was noisy at home, to fiber with Netflix in 4K which works on the TV in parallel with the mobile phone. In the current state of maturation, blockchain is at stage 1. People are still discovering and mixing cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT. They are all different components, but they work together and revolutionize digital technology. The democratization of the blockchain will pass, as for any technology, by the development of applications for the greatest number and with a user experience that does not suppose an understanding of the technology. This has been the case for the Internet, or even our mobile phones and that is why we have focused all our efforts on this kind of development from the first day of Ternoa.

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With Ternoa, Mickael Canu puts the “blockchain revolution” into a capsule


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