The Guardian: Decentralized Web Or There Will Be No Intermediaries to Connect Us

The Guardian: Decentralized Web Or There Will Be No Intermediaries to Connect Us

The Guardian air views the idea of the so-called decentralised web — or DWeb — in communication without having to rely on big tech firms, shows how it works and when people will have an access to it.

What is the decentralised web and its advantage?

The DWeb is about re-decentralising things — users keep control of their data and connect and interact and exchange messages directly with others in their network.

With the current web, all user data concentrated in the hands of a few creates risk that the data will be hacked. Moreover, governments can conduct surveillance and impose censorship. The DWeb, say proponents, promises control and privacy, and things can’t all of a sudden disappear because someone decides they should.

Working principles

  • Peer-to-peer connectivity, where the computer not only requests services but provides them
  • DWeb protocols use links that identify information based on its content

How DWeb is connected to blockchain?

Blockchain technology is now finding application in the development of the DWeb including recording the movement of data, registering unique user names and even data storage. There are also cryptocurrencies themselves being deployed to help create the DWeb, such as Filecoin by Protocol Labs.

How DWeb can change the world?

  • Direct payments, such as micropayments based on cryptocurrency
  • Most passwords could dissapear, user will have one unique password. Unfortuntely, if you lose password, you will lose access to everything.

How to sign up to DWeb?

The decentralised web isn’t quite here yet. But there are apps and programs built on the decentralised model including OpenBazaar (a decentralised marketplace), Graphite Docs (a Google documents alternative), Matrix (which provides Slack and WhatsApp alternatives) and etc. Social network alternatives include Akasha and Diaspora.

Possible issues

  • There is the potential for online harassment and hate speech to increase

Censorship — both by good people and bad — is going to be harder. And if information is stored in a decentralised way, how do you ever truly get rid of information you no longer want to have online? That could be a concern for the European 'right to be forgotten'

Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive

  • DWeb might also offer a shield to criminals, for example distributors of child abuse images.
  • Technical issues with building and the way to attract people to use it
  • Speed
  • Governance issue

There are going to be a lot of forces for the status quo. The DWeb is new and burgeoning, but it also isn’t inevitable.

Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive

Although the idea of the decentralised web is not a brand-new, lately a lot of influencers have publicly spoken about it. Recently, the Internet issue was discussed by Gavin Wood, the founder of Parity Technologies, a Polkadot developer and a co-founder of Ethereum.

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