Is Greater Decentralization the Need of the Internet Hour? – News from Crunchbase

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Through Ruben jackson

Internet outages are becoming quite common in today’s world, whether due to censorship, cyber attacks, technical and natural issues, or human error. As the Internet has become a necessity of modern times, the growing hegemony of centralized operators raises serious doubts about the very basis of the technology.

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Of pirate Twitter and Facebook accounts for major crashes and the occasional “503 Service not available”, the current situation underscores how centralized the Internet has become. Ironically, centralized online services quickly gained the upper hand despite the Internet’s design to decentralize communication and information sharing.

Ruben jackson

While we can’t deny that the internet remains decentralized to some extent, it cannot be stressed enough that what we do on the internet on a daily basis is controlled by a handful of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Tencent and Ali Baba. Even if these brands offer valuable services to the world population, the growing dependence on these platforms has, in a way, allowed these companies to gradually consolidate the control of our communication (and our wealth) to a unprecedented pace.

According to David Clark’s article, The Design Philosophy of DARPA Internet Protocols, which is essentially the model of the Internet, “the architecture of the Internet must allow distributed management of its resources, be profitable and communication must continue despite the loss of networks or gateways”. When we take these goals into account, it’s obvious that the idea has always been to build a fully decentralized Internet.

The fundamental view of decentralization began to fade and was eventually sidelined when big players entered, resulting in a market situation where profitability thrived through centralization and competition was shattered through consolidation. For example, Facebook started out as a social media platform. Yet after acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp, it now controls the lion’s share of the online messaging market in almost every country outside of China.

As such, the Facebook-Instagram-WhatsApp-Messenger outage of October 4, 2021, is a blatant reminder that most of the internet’s second-level goals are not being met and that decentralization is the need of the moment. Gavin Wood, a Ethereum co-founder and creator of the blockchain Peas, took to twitter further stressing the importance of decentralization to prevent these problems in the first place, saying, ironically, “, @Facebook for giving us a very real demonstration of why the move to a decentralized Web 3 is necessary and, indeed, inevitable. “

Wood’s comments reflect how the advent of Web 3.0, a fully decentralized Internet, where every user will be fairly compensated for their time and data, can overcome the very problems of centralization. Unlike centralized networks prone to cyber attacks and outages, decentralized networks provide a balanced Internet, where millions of devices are linked together in an open network. For example, since its creation on January 3, 2009, the Bitcoin network has been operational since 99.98 percent of the time.

The history of the Internet is flooded with reports of several important crashes, which are often overlooked, be it the infamous AOL crash, Gmail crashes, government interference or other similar cases. Besides repeated blackouts, the internet’s unfortunate centralized design allows countries like China and Russia to manipulate and control it.

That said, we still have to understand that the involvement of centralized service providers has played a vital role in the continued evolution of technology. The infrastructure provided by these “big tech companies” has helped the Internet expand its reach and connect global communities. We will need it in the future, at least to some extent.

However, we must also recognize that the underlying Internet and the World Wide Web remain a public resource that should not be controlled by a handful of companies with ambitions often contrary to the public good.


Ruben jackson is a blockchain security consultant, helping organizations with data structures. Outside of his non-existent office hours, Jackson reports and writes opinions on the blockchain / crypto space. He previously wrote on CBDCs, NFTS, and crypto regulation for Crunchbase News.

Drawing: Li-Anne Dias

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