Issue #117

The NEW Internet (9 of 10)

Alright, today, I’m going to talk about something which isn’t exactly actionable to you. Unless you’re interested in investing or something.

See, I talked last week about one of the big inherent problems with the internet today: CENTRALIZATION.

Too much of the internet is centralized around big corporations like Google, Facebook and Amazon. You see the same problem with news, where most of the networks and newspapers and even news sites are controlled by just a handful of mega-corporations.

The answer to centralization is, of course… DE-CENTRALIZATION. Or more accurately, distribution.

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And the good news is that… I think it is going to happen.

And it isn’t due to government regulation. In fact, it is despite that.

I think the internet is going to evolve. It is going to move (perhaps slowly, but perhaps quickly) from a hub-like, client/server relationship to a distributed structure.

Think Bitcoin. 🙂

OK, the one time I mentioned Bitcoin in this newsletter, I think I annoyed a few people. I even had one lady tell me she was quite disappointed with me. 🙂 But, hear me out… because I’m not here to pimp Bitcoin at all.

Bitcoin is driven by a technology called Blockchain. It’s a big deal. It is basically a distributed database that is immune to being hacked because it is distributed everywhere. Remember the scene in the movie “V for Vendetta” where all those people were wearing the same mask so they couldn’t get the person? It’s like that. It’s everywhere, so it can’t be taken down. It’d be like a game of whack-a-mole.

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That’s blockchain, in an uber-simple version. Plus, it takes care of the issue of trust. It is verifiable trust without a third party.

Blockchain isn’t just about currency like Bitcoin. It is also about applications. Ethereum is all about decentralized apps. You’ve got apps like Storj, which is distributed storage that could rival Amazon S3.

On top of all this, you’ve got the currencies and token that are part of the whole crypto-scene. What it does is puts INCENTIVE into the system. It was (and still is) that the Facebooks, Googles and Amazons could out-incentive the smaller companies. This is what led to things becoming so centralized to begin with.

But, the tokens in these various blockchain-powered systems provide economic incentive to DECENTRALIZE. In many of these systems, the tokens are required to use the system. So, to power an app on the Ethereum network, you need some ETH (the token of the network).

Now, add to all this the exchangeability of these tokens. Where you can move one token into another, via a decentralized exchange. It all becomes economically viable. The incentive to decentralize outweighs the value that the big juggernauts like Google can provide. It is a new internet of value, with trust built-in.

If you’ve ever used BitTorrent, what I’m talking about is kinda like that. It is distributed, so it can’t be shut down.

But, in the case of these various blockchains, there will be a built-in incentive. And human nature is to use that which provides the greatest award.

You’re also going to see technologies come in which allow these various blockchains to communicate to one another easily. Sort of like how TCP/IP protocol enabled the internet to blossom. The “internet” was a bunch of separated bulletin boards before the TCP/IP protocol came around and gave everything a common “language”. The internet, as we know it today, began with that. It will happen in the world of blockchain, too.

It will dethrone Google and Facebook and those big corporations currently in control. Not out of any force… but just simple economic incentive.

I don’t know what the whole thing will look like. But, I think the writing is on the wall.

I think, eventually, we’ll be selling our stuff online for cryptocurrency.

I think the current domain-name system which is controlled by ICANN is going to be replaced with a de-centralized system.

I think the current model of centralized hosting resources is going to be replaced by one, distributed cloud. Perhaps powered by an internet of things, decentralized storage, and decentralized computing power. The days of denial of service attacks will be over because it’d be a useless game of whack-a-mole. No point to attack.

Issues of censorship become a moot point because no single company controls the pipeline.

It is going to be a great thing. 🙂

Now, in terms of what you and I do about it now?

Well, there’s already an insane amount of investment capital going into all this. You could always invest. But, that’s not my business to recommend such things. I thought you should know where I think things are headin’, tho. 🙂

Today we think about how to appease Google for SEO?

Pay attention to whoever starts doing search for blockchain.

And instead of Facebook? It’ll be some decentralized app, open source.

Does this mean Facebook disappears? Well, I don’t know. Facebook certainly has some major network effect so I doubt it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

But, this is an evolution. It doesn’t happen overnight. But, I do think it will happen in a shorter timeframe than you might think. When you put economic incentive onto these things, things happen quickly.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you how all this blockchain and crypto stuff is going to affect us as content creators – and how it will affect monetization. In some circles, it already is.

– David

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