Should blockchain be used to replicate or replace all the relevant digital services we use each day? The answer, of course, is “No”. A purely decentralized blockchain solution, with zero centralized elements, simply cannot meet the expectations of speed required by a videogame, for instance. What our evolving mastery of blockchain has taught us, however, is that in certain circumstances and for specific ideas, decentralization is absolutely superior.
Centralization Justifies Decentralization
In fact, the prevalence of centralized applications and services proves that blockchain is needed, because the universality of centralization has led to a dynamic that is simply indefensible. Our communications, identities, and finances are exposed when we trust individual companies to collect and protect our data, and at a time when these aspects are inextricably linked to our livelihoods, blockchain contrasts heavily for its proven security, transparency, and trustless nature.
There is high demand for practical blockchain ideas that work without question and use blockchain’s beneficial characteristics for a relevant purpose. With more developer talent, tools, and resources available, it’s no wonder that capable, purposeful blockchain solutions are just now cropping up in the market. This trend includes centralized players such as Samsung (KS:005930), which has recently incorporated some wallet functionality into its latest devices, but also fully decentralized applications that can only exist on blockchain.
Blockchain Wielded Best When Supporting Basic Freedoms
One of the most ambitious is Utopia, a completely decentralized application that is run by peers (miners) as a peer-to-peer network, which grants a package of functions that essentially resemble the basic internet. There’s encrypted P2P email, instant messaging and voice recording for privacy and anonymity, uNS name registry similar to Domain Name System (DNS), built-in wallet with internal Crypton cryptocurrency and even private browser similar to TOR for browsing websites hosted in Utopia Network. Miners of Crypton are everyday users who browse, chat, pay and surf while also letting the application to use RAM for supporting the network. Moreover, the users can run mining bots on unlimited number of devices to multiply the speed and power of mining and raise the earnings. . Such a self-reliant, cloistered ecosystem has a real reason to exist when basic values for freedom in society need more vigilant protection than they ever have.
When it’s down to brass tacks, the most essential democratizing powers of the internet involve personal and open communication, interaction, and transaction. This is where blockchain is increasingly headed, and in fact, these were the ideas that spurred momentum and sustained it from the very beginning. The pretense that there’s a need to run large-scale multiplayer videogames on the blockchain has long ago been dropped. Instead it’s ideas like Utopia, Civic, and Golem which are ignoring the novelty of our modern internet and focusing on building the bones for a decentralized replacement that might very well be vital.
Civic, for instance, grants individuals a means to store and display their various identity documents, licenses, deeds, logins, and other official papers. Users can effectively produce any of these IDs with their mobile device, combining biometric and cryptographic security to safely replace physical documentation, usernames, passwords, and third-party authenticators. This differs from Utopia in that it doesn’t “retune” the best functions of our original internet but augments them.
Golem may be what takes blockchain beyond fundamental freedoms and adds strength enough for fully decentralized platforms to borrow fully decentralized power. In a hypothetical and increasingly conceivable world where centralized sources of bandwidth aren’t able to be trusted, Utopia or Civic communities might still require outside sources of power to support their crucial networks. For Golem, miners essentially operate a generator for all-purpose P2P-based CPU and GPU power, lending it out for purposes that also include rendering and other intensive processes.
Reaching a Crossroads
The Equifax (NYSE:EFX) breach and Cambridge Analytica scandal prove a need for us to mobilize a growing bank of blockchain developer talent, tools, and resources to satisfy demand for blockchain platforms. A collective call to explore blockchain further isn’t answered only by good actors, as we’ve seen demonstrated by Facebook’s Libra. There are also those who mean well but ultimately compromise on fundamental decentralized concepts in order to make money or pursue a goal that’s more in line with the distractions of cryptocurrency and speculation.
In this time of impending need, where irrevocable rights of private, safe communication and interaction are being infringed upon by an unrecognizable internet, the most notable champions are platforms which prioritize pure decentralization and use cryptocurrency only as a carrot for those who take up a supporting role. These ideas aren’t only necessary in a world where centralized solutions are no longer available, they’re necessary in our current world whereby centralized solutions are no longer safe either.