When web first came into existence in 1989, it was decentralised. Anyone could publish their content on the internet, and users could access that content without any third party services. Communication was easy, secure and peer-to-peer.
However, with the introduction of web 2.0 in the early 2000s, people began to communicate through centralised services provided by several tech giants.
Centralisation with web 2.0
Current internet architecture is called to be centralised, lead by companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. Facebook, for example, now boasts 2 Billion monthly active users (more than China's whole population). Google is another good example; it answers 3.5 Billion requests per day.
These companies became massively dominant in their domain by two methods, that have also become the heart and soul of web 2.0
1.) Provide excellent services
2.) Free services for everybody
You don't have to sift through hundreds of websites to find information; instead you can utilise Google's free, fast-searching capabilities. You don't have to construct your communication channel or deal with other hassles if you want to connect and speak with others; you can do so using Facebook's services, which are also free.
The involvement of these third-party services has provided an exceptional user experience and most importantly at zero expense.
Every internet company has its own data center, where all the user's data and their monitored interactions are stored. This infrastructural centralisation raises security concerns, by giving clear target points for hackers and fraudsters.
In early 2013, Adobe originally reported that hackers had stolen nearly 38 million encrypted customer credit card records, plus login data for an undetermined number of user accounts. In December 2018, Dubsmash suffered an attack on 162 million usernames, PBKDF2 password hashes, and other personal data, all of which was then put up for sale on the dark web market. In May 2019, Canva suffered an attack that exposed details of 137 million users.
Read more here
Tech monoliths like Google and Facebook have billions of users. These users are largely unaware of what goes on behind the scenes at these companies. This Free world is a lie, users pay not with their money but with their attention. These tech giants are reaching past your wallets, spurning your money, to seize your time, which is actually your life.
Companies such as Facebook and Google dominate this user attention so massively that they are called the gatekeepers of 'information presented to users'. All major internet companies have a record of giving away user information to the government and other agencies without acquiring their consent.
The most well-known situation is the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. We know about these companies' dark secrets thanks to whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden, Tristan Harris, and others.
Decentralised Web (D-Web)
Since the advent of BlockChain networks, like Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, and Ethereum by Vitalik Buterin, etc. A new network system is taking birth whose most powerful architectural imperative is security, a system so secure in it's root that it's also called Cryptocosm.
How does it work?
A D-Web removes centralised data hosting services, using instead a peer-to-peer infrastructure. Not only will this remove any services from a third party that tracks your data, it will also secure and smooth your transaction. As a result, no single entity will be able to control or manipulate the network of systems on their will.
D-Web is expected to bring 3 major changes to global internet architecture:
- End of Free World: Money will become a native feature of the Internet.
- Distributed Information: Decentralised applications offering users new capabilities.
- Peer-to-Peer interaction: No involvement of third parties, users will have more control over their digital identities and data.
Benefits of D-Web
- No Ads - Since Dweb is driven through money, there is nothing free of charge. We will not require an existing economic model where marketing and data sharing drive profitability.
- No dependence on central authority: Remember how many times your work got stuck just because Google's server was down. There will be no such circumstances in Web3.0.
- No central censorship: Government or any other single organisation will have no censorship over what you see or use.
- Faster and Safer: Since there is no third party involved, transactions tend to be faster. Also no one is tracking your data, so you have complete control over your personals.
When is this happening?
To be fair, it's actually happening. Thousands of companies are investing billions in developing these decentralised networks.
Let me give some examples:
DTube: A blockchain based alternative of Youtube, it has been getting lot of sensation lately. It's smooth and interactive and has potential to go further heights in near future.
EOS Dynasty: It is Blockchain based gaming platform, which has nearly 12,000 unique daily users, claiming to be the first role-playing, player-versus-player (PvP) game based on blockchain.
MakerDAO: A decentralized credit service that runs on the Ethereum blockchain platform, MakerDAO supports Dai, a stablecoin whose value is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Well, that's all for this article. I hope I did spark a little interest in you towards decentralisation. I believe this is the biggest thing happening in tech industry that will drastically change the way we use internet in coming years.
You can read more about this at:
The Meaning of Decentralization by Vitalic Buterin
Understanding Web 3 — A User Controlled Internet by Emre Tekisalp
Evolution of Web, by Pragati Verma
What do you think about decentralisation? Is it good thing or bad? Let's hear your thoughts in the comment section.
Thanks for reading. Have a nice day.
Top comments (15)
Can't be evil ? That's what was said about Internet which also was supposed to be distributed : this is the BBBC documentary Hypernormalisation that reminds of this ;) youtube.com/watch?v=Dw0BmPYTLyo
Like I mentioned in the starting, web was started as decentralised, until the things went wrong.
Yes but it can go wrong with Blockchain actually it has already begun when Bitcoin was brought to derivatives market ;)
The derivations you're referring too is not because of decentralisation revolution, but because of crowd support trading, where majority is not even aware of what's cryptocurrency.
Also, check this Support for making Bitcoin legal tender grows in Latin America
It is unfortunate that this article does not include any mention of the NON-blockchain p2p protocols that people are working on for a Dweb.
From Hypercore (& Beaker browser), to IPFS, to Tim Berners Lee's own project Solid, to GUN database, to Secure Scuttlebutt, there is a growing ecosystem of projects exploring use cases for the Dweb that do not require blockchains.
If we're to maximize our opportunity to address the problems of the current web, we need to understand the full range of technical possibilities available to us. Blockchains are just one of these.
Yes, I have read about them. I am not very familiar with those technology, that's why I didn't mentioned them.
Pied Piper anyone?
You might wanna try, Life after Google by George Gilder.
You'd have to directly run the web off the tears of children to be more evil than a web that is "driven through money, there is nothing free of charge". Doubly so if you are planning to build this new money-dependent web on top of Free and Open Source Software. If there is any fix to the problems of the current internet, making money a core factor isn't it.
Yes, but It's not about making money the core factor, it's about removing the data driven business model. Check Brave Browser, it's based on blockchain, but it's available for FREE.
Regardless of the goal, the action is the same, putting money at the heart of the web.
And of course Brave is free, for the same reason Google stuff is free, because Brave wants to put ads in front of you. If there is something more scummy than websites filling themselves with ads, it's a browser filling other people's sites with ads. If Brave is the poster child of this new web, then that's a sure sign that the entire idea is flawed from the ground up.
I think you should take a look at Brave advertisement system. It's based on consent of user.
Blockchains are decentralized in name only -
I have attached similar links at end of my article which is written by Vitalic, and it presents a detailed argument about what is meaning of Decentralisation.
Quoting a 'guru' does not make claims to be actually true.
In your article you state blockchains allow peer to peer communication - not true. All communications by Dapp-s go through the blockchain. In case of Ethereum most of Dapp-s go through a single Infura node.
In addition please check - medium.com/hackernoon/towards-cent...