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After the repeal of net neutrality laws and the current global trend of politicians trying to clamp down power on the internet's freedom, people are getting increasingly concerned about the internet's future. As with any form of tech, or really any institution, the internet is evolving.
However, how it's evolving is what causes people a lot of concern. The freedom that the internet gives is what makes it so great, and as such, many people are working to try to preserve it. If you listen to those in the blockchain technology world, the best way to keep the future of the internet bright is to make it decentralized.
They're right, and here are 10 good reasons why.
Decentralization means that restrictive laws will have a harder time keeping ideas, speech, and commerce under control.
If nothing else, the internet is a place where people go to share ideas, communicate, and trade with one another. Restrictive government access, particularly to specific websites like The Pirate Bay, is most easily done when the source of all the site's data is in a centralized location.
Decentralization can help. By decentralizing major sites and apps, people will have a better chance at keeping the future of the internet intact—and will make it much harder for governments to fully stomp out sites.
Decentralized token usage could also turn otherwise unprofitable websites profitable.
The concept of the Initial Coin Offering is an incredibly powerful one that allows people to monetize decentralized apps just by holding onto the tokens they create. As long as people find their websites useful, the tokens appreciate in value and money is made.
This allows decentralized sites to forgo advertising if they so choose—and could actually help the future of the internet involve into a purer, less ad-filled form.
Cryptocurrencies offer more security in transactions every single day.
Let's talk about the cryptocurrency world for a second. As many people know, cryptocurrency composed of a digital ledger that cannot really be altered and acts as money. Though the first real cryptocurrency to be widely used was Bitcoins, new altcoins are being developed every day.
Newer altcoins are getting improved transaction speeds and better security measures. Within a matter of time, smart contracts will act as a far more efficient form of mediation than what currently goes on during e-commerce transactions.
The future of the internet is mostly commerce-based, at least from an economic standpoint. By decentralizing transactions via cryptocurrency or similar blockchain tech, you're ensuring safer (and more profitable) transactions from businesses of all walks of life.
To prepare, we'd suggest getting a Bitcoin wallet like Xapo. You'll need it as more stores start accepting cryptocurrency.
Decentralization also makes a more transparent and efficient form of revenue sharing.
One of the best reasons why we need a more decentralized net is the transparency aspect of revenue sharing. Revenue sharing is one of the most popular ways to earn money on the net, and unfortunately, there are too many ways to circumvent having people get paid the full amount.
If we want the future of the internet to be a fair and lucrative one, having apps that support decentralized revenue sharing is a must. This way, affiliate marketing and ICOs will remain the easiest way to get the most out of your online work. Smart contracts used in revenue sharing would automate a lot of payouts—and in turn, help everyone involved.
Decentralization also means less downtime.
If you've ever seen a server that has been hit by a DDoS attack, you already know what one of the main causes of server downtime can be. Downtime causes massive losses in profit as well as user experience. By decentralizing your data, apps and sites will be able to avoid downtime and also immunize themselves to DDoS attacks.
A lot of attacks would end up fading away as a result of blockchain technology, making the future of the internet a safer one. Saying that blockchain revolutionizes cybersecurity is an understatement.
If you want to protect the transparency of the internet, you really do need digital ledgers made with blockchain tech.
Digital ledgers that are kept in a decentralized manner cannot be altered by individuals who have ulterior motives. This reduces corruption, increases open communication, and improves people's' ability to have genuine discourse while knowing where the other person is actually located.
As of right now, the lack of a fully open forum of communication is hurting us all and making the future of the internet a dark one. After the United States 2016 election hack, it became clear to many that being able to discern a troll account from a genuine human being is a must. There's a good chance that blockchain tech could help facilitate that.
Decentralization also helps people in net-restricted countries access sites they otherwise wouldn't be able to.
Some countries, such as North Korea and China, have taken to blocking sites based on the country that they are situated in. Depending on the coding that they use to do this, decentralization could be the workaround that many citizens would need in order to access information.
This goes back to the free internet notion that makes the net we love right now so grand. If we want the future of the internet to be one with global discourse, then we need decentralization to help keep the internet accessible to people from every country out there.
Though they may be based on digital ledgers, blockchain-based apps and decentralized software adds more privacy than before.
Privacy is important, and all the privacy breaches we're hearing about are enough to make most people ask for a little more privacy. Sadly, centralized apps are not good for that—especially when users don't have much of a say in how their stuff is distributed.
Because blockchain transactions are more secure and because of the very nature of decentralized storage, people who want more privacy will likely choose a decentralized app over an app with a centralized architecture.
Decentralization also means that users potentially could have a greater level of control over their personal information. By participating in it and using tokens, it's possible users could vote to ban nosy practices in some dapps.
Investors are already voicing their interest in decentralization.
It may not be fun to admit, but a large part of the people who control the future of the internet are the people with the money. Investors are flocking to blockchain and decentralization because they see the benefit in using it.
The fact that they see so much potential there says volumes, and that alone means that there could be ramifications for the globe that we have yet to imagine. If you're at the right place, at the right time, you could be one of many to enjoy those perks.
To a point, another reason why the future of the internet is decentralized is because of the nature of tech itself.
Tech always evolves, whether people like it or not.
We've already seen computer tech change dramatically in the past decade or so. We went from stupid chatbots like SmarterChild to serious artificial intelligence programs like Siri. We've stopped having individual devices and now rely on connected devices that use the internet of things to work. We've gone from hard drive storage to cloud stories.
The fact is that the future of the internet will be an evolved one, and so far, evolution is pointing to blockchain.