Is decentralization even important?

by

Ronak Kadhi

The Web3 Rabbit hole

|

Mar 6, 2023

The Internet is a crucial part of our daily lives and is an essential tool for free speech and democracy. It was also born open and decentralised. But over the years, it has slowly transformed into something more centralised and restricted. The effects of this change are becoming more apparent than ever. We have already seen growing censorship, ownership issues, and obstacles to open communication.

The rise of digitalization, big data companies, and political interference led to a turning point where we need to start questioning what the future holds regarding freedom of speech, privacy, and ownership. With the rise of Web 3.0, it has become clear that control over original openness, freedom, and Internet equality is more critical than ever.

This article looks at decentralisation, which is one of the vital aspects of Web 3.0, and its importance in today’s times.

What is decentralisation?

Decentralisation is the idea that we can have a network not controlled or owned by a single entity like Facebook or Google. It uses peer-to-peer technology, which means each person can interact directly with other people without going through an intermediary.

In the Web 3.0 ecosystem, the decentralised Internet offers secure and censorship-free access to users. It is a peer-to-peer network, meaning no central servers exist to control or filter the information people share online.

So, what does this mean for people in general? It means that users decide what information they want to consume and how much of it they want to share. Users can also decide what information they want to share with the world and who they want to share it with.

The decentralised Internet will create a more equal and inclusive environment where everyone's voice matters and can get heard, no matter how big or small.

Problems associated with centralised web

The Internet is a powerful, world-changing tool but also faces problems. One of the biggest problems: is centralization.

The centralised Internet means that most of the web's content comes from a few big players, such as Google and Facebook, and users have no control over which sites are blocked or censored by those companies. It is bad for democracy, the economy, and the Internet.

Ownership is another concern with centralised platforms as your content is owned by them, not you. If something does not align with the platform’s views, there are good chances of the user/content getting pulled down. Donald Trump’s Twitter account is one of the best examples of recent times. Monetization is another critical area as users do not get much benefit. Even if they do, there is only a fraction of the revenue shared by these platforms.

Centralised servers control everything; we see: what we can access and when, how much it costs, and who can see it. Moreover, the security and protocols of centralised service providers lack transparency. More than weak security practices, the issue also remains about transparency. Decentralised service providers fare much better due to the complete transparency they offer.

Decentralisation is the way forward to solve these problems

A decentralised Internet offers several advantages that can overcome challenges associated with the traditional Internet. Here’s how.

  • No more trusting central authorities

In traditional Internet setups, users must trust companies like Google and Facebook with their personal data. There have been several cases of breach of trust in the recent past. Privacy issues with Facebook have always brought the Internet giant into the limelight. They even had to pay millions of dollars in fines to settle privacy lawsuits. A decentralised Internet system eliminates the need to trust these companies.

  • Reduced downtimes

Downtimes are common with centralised websites. Big platforms like Instagram and Gmail are no exception. They even face outages at times, bringing everything to a standstill. Banking systems, too, remain down for scheduled maintenance or system failures.

Centralised networks control data by a few service providers, who in turn remain under private and state actors. Decentralisation and blockchain technology help limit the risks of outages and data breaches.

  • Reduced censorship

Users will have complete ownership of every post they create on social media. The content will not live on the servers of mega-corporations. You might wonder where it lies, then. Who controls it? Everything remains on the blockchain with cryptographic security. It enables direct peer-to-peer transactions without involving any middleman.

  • Support for open development

The decentralised Internet will allow anyone to create valuable products and services for everyone. Centralised systems often have intentionally limited opportunities. Users will have no restrictions regarding the content they create, ownership levels, or information privacy.

  • Drives meritocracy

The decentralised Internet gives everyone a level playing field regarding product and service development. When somebody designs pathbreaking solutions, they should suitably get rewarded for it. Centralised systems have traffic, engagement, and monetization details locked in hidden algorithms. It leads to less meritocracy and more scope for bias.

Use cases of the decentralised web today

Several decentralised Internet projects seek to offer advanced alternatives to traditional Internet-based ones. Here are some examples.

  • Arcana Network

As the Storage Layer of Ethereum, Arcana provides a Privacy Stack SDK to DApp developers. They can develop Privacy-First products on EVM-compatible blockchains.

The SDK offers decentralised authority, identity, encryption, access control, key management, and storage. Users also have complete control and ownership in their hands. The platform offers full transparency with cryptographic proofs and verifiability on the blockchain.

  • Filecoin

Filecoin offers an open-source, public cryptocurrency and digital payment platform for users. It aims to become a data retrieval and blockchain-based digital storage system. It is built on top of the InterPlanetary File System and enables users to give their unused hard drive space on lease.

The blockchain mechanism helps in securing details. As an open protocol, Filecoin stores the commitment records of its participants. The transactions happen through the native currency, FIL.

  • Blockstack

Blockstack wants to revolutionise the world of the traditional Internet. They are looking to create an extra layer for the Internet that can manage decentralised applications. It is their goal to give users more control over their data. For example, users can do that through local apps instead of exchanging messages and multimedia through centralised systems.

Users will get better control over their personal information, which is always sensitive and prone to misuse. Application developers will not be able to access that information. The rights to read and write data will be with the users.

  • Zeronet

ZeroNet uses Bitcoin cryptography and the BitTorrent network to enable free and uncensored websites. The team wants to create decentralised websites and overcome censorship issues.

The use of public key infrastructure helps them publish and verify website content. They also use Bitcoin wallets, which do not require passwords. BitTorrent trackers help them exchange data, where each website acts as a single torrent. Connections become private as Tor helps mask IP addresses. Users can access ZeroNet’s services through a browser-based app.

  • Freenet

Freenet has advanced privacy features and allows users to publish files, browse sites, and stay active on forums. As a peer-to-peer platform, Freenet enables anonymous interactions among users. The communications happen through peers where the data remains encrypted. Developers cannot identify information stored in datastores.

Freenet is an excellent example of a private network. The project focuses extensively on users' privacy and advocacy rights.

Bottom line

Decentralisation may sound like a buzzword, and people would try fitting it in even use cases where it is not applicable. Furthermore, Web 3.0 and metaverse may get used interchangeably at times. However, the real meaning behind Web 3.0 is the democratisation of the web.

As the Internet grows, there is a trend towards centralised information control. Centralised services like Google and Facebook provide several features but sacrifice privacy and are susceptible to censorship.

The Internet is a crucial part of our daily lives and is an essential tool for free speech and democracy. It was also born open and decentralised. But over the years, it has slowly transformed into something more centralised and restricted. The effects of this change are becoming more apparent than ever. We have already seen growing censorship, ownership issues, and obstacles to open communication.

The rise of digitalization, big data companies, and political interference led to a turning point where we need to start questioning what the future holds regarding freedom of speech, privacy, and ownership. With the rise of Web 3.0, it has become clear that control over the original openness, freedom, and Internet equality is more critical than ever.

This article looks at decentralisation, which is one of the vital aspects of Web 3.0, and its importance in today’s times.

Know more about how Arcana is helping with decentralisation. Want to know more about our latest testnet features? Book a demo.

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Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

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The call is completely free and

no commitment is required.