Ifyou want to decentralize the Internet, we already have a protocol for that. It’s not anything like BitCoin. It’s BitTorrent.
What Is BitTorrent?
If you’re my age you remember peer-to-peer file-sharing services fondly and well. They have mostly been superseded by centralized, paid, platforms, basically because governments bludgeoned P2P to death.
Where I live now, however, I still use P2P because those centralized companies give a shit about us. Most streaming services simply aren’t available on this island, which is why we turn to piracy. This, for example, is how I’ll download Kiki’s Delivery Service:
I find a link on PirateBay and then download the file ‘bit by bit’ from other users. Instead of downloading it from one corporate server, I download it from other people’s computers. And whatever I’m downloading, I share. It’s completely decentralized, except for the website I get the links from.
The cool thing about BitTorrent is that more people downloading a file actually makes it faster. Unlike the centralized Internet — where even an article going viral can crash a servers — every user becomes a new server with BitTorrent. It scales tremendously well, and doesn’t require some of the smartest people in the world sitting around optimizing servers all day.
BitTorrent is also very difficult to ‘censor’ because as long as one person somewhere has a copy of the file, you can theoretically download it. While you can shut down the websites that host the links, you can’t actually remove the files.
This old protocol, in short, delivers all the hype about Web3, but no one talks about it because Web3, of course, isn’t about decentralization at all. It’s just the latest entertainment to keep people in the casino, gambling on crypto-currency. As you’ll remember, it didn’t turn out to be much of a currency either.