Three years ago, technology leaders from around the world were invited to join the first Decentralized Web Summit. One of the personalities at the event was the creator of the World Wide Web (WWW), Sir Tim Berners-Lee himself. The purpose of this summit was to discuss an abstract concept called Decentralized Web. But what exactly is it? And how will this affect the people who use the internet? Well, different web experts have defined the term differently. The core of their definition, however, is to rid the web of powerful monopolies. Let’s now look at how it works and the obstacles it will have to face.
Centralized Internet and its problems
Before we get to the decentralized web, let’s take a step back and explore the internet in its current form. First, let’s get one thing clear: the Internet is not physically and legally centralized, as no single corporation owns it. However, there are some great servers that are either associated or operated by large companies that are responsible for taking care of certain essential elements like websites, social media and email. They make sure that such services remain available to people. This means that the companies that own those servers have some control over the internet.
It can therefore be said that the internet is centralized. And that can be a bit of a problem for everyone. After all, people usually share their personal details on the web, whether it’s a credit card number to buy online or their email address to subscribe to a newsletter. So let’s now look at the problems that users of centralized internet may experience.
# 1. Servers may fail
Do you remember the satellite error that occurred in 1998? This incident caused the pagers to stop working across the United States. Many people were affected by this, including carpet cleaners and plumbers who could not be contacted for new performances. Today, the whole world is dependent on the internet. This is why there is such fierce competition in the market between different ISPs, with everyone trying to offer better and improved deals, such as
Cox Bundles. Now imagine if the servers were targeted or malfunctioning, how much destruction would be caused. Everyday life will come to a standstill, and businesses will struggle to keep their operations running smoothly.
# 2. Companies that sell your data
Large companies you rely on can actually sell your data to other businesses so that the
businesses target better
with their ads. Thus, large corporations can not be trusted. And sometimes those platforms that allow you to create a free account may be the ones selling your data. Facebook came under fire in 2018 and the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had to appear before the senate.
# 3. Companies sensor or throttle data
Those ISPs that have a lot of power to control the pipelines that the internet provides to the people across the US are actively looking for ways to limit the amount of data being sent so that users can be willing to pay more. They usually do this by suffocating the data. The worst is that no one can stop them as they have authority over the supply of the internet.
Decentralized internet is very different from centralized internet. It will depend on a peer-to-peer network that will be created on a community of users. This means that companies with massive servers will have no control over the internet. In addition, each site will be spread across hundreds of nodes on different devices. This will prevent the server from crashing. The technology that will drive decentralized internet is the same that is behind cryptocurrency and its blockchain. Over the years, this technology has become incredibly popular. And many new businesses are regularly replacing some common internet services with blockchain.
The barriers of decentralized internet
The idea of decentralized internet certainly sounds fascinating. After all, it offers a return to the open and free internet that everyone wants it to be. But there are still some obstacles that need to be addressed first
# 1 Mass Adjustment
The decentralized internet is a concept that will work perfectly if everyone agrees to use it. However, it should be noted that people usually do not like changes. Also, considering how social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have been used by millions of people for years, it has developed a level of toughness that is not easy to beat.
# 2 Nobody wants to take responsibility
Since decentralized internet depends on the peer-to-peer system, it will take the responsibility to maintain the internet away from the owners of the servers and will place it on the shoulders of users. This is actually great for those who are prone to technology who know how it works, but what about the other people? It will take time for them to learn how the system works. On top of that, the chances are good that not everyone will be ready to take on the extra responsibility.
# 3 Latency Issues
The users of the decentralized internet will have to face delay issues. This means that the web pages will load slowly, and you just will not be able to have the same level of high speed experience as you have today.
Cryptocurrency and decentralized internet are much closer than one might think. How? Well, both of them share the same concept of deregulation of an important aspect of everyday life. However, as most people have become interested in crypto, the same cannot be said for the decentralized internet. This is because the latter has some issues to deal with first. Once those issues like the ones above are resolved, you can see how the world is moving towards the decentralized internet.