If you like to keep current with internet trends, you may already know that the data from 2017 has uncovered some interesting developments in the data usage for users in the United States. According to Statistica, this isn’t just a U.S. trend. By the year 2021, global mobile data traffic is projected to go through the roof.
And those aren’t the only numbers on the way up. You have no doubt also heard rumblings about the rise of demand for the decentralized web. Since decentralization is on the rise, it’s more important than ever for everyday users to understand the decentralized web.
Definition of Decentralization
The term ‘Decentralized Web’ is being used to refer to a series of technologies that replace or augment current communication protocols, networks, and services and distribute them in a way that is robust against single-actor control or censorship (David Lee King, quoting Jason Griffey).
In other words, the decentralized web breaks content hosting into smaller chunks and spreads them out. Rather than sinking everything into a few massive networks, the decentralized web parcels out data. In many circles, decentralization is seen as a a pushback against the status quo and a process by which Americans can preserve both free speech and Net Neutrality.
Rise of Decentralization
In order to understand the rise of decentralization, you must first recognize that the structure is a pushback against the consolidation of internet hosting by a few powerful companies.
The core idea of decentralisation is that the operation of a service is not blindly trusted to any single omnipotent company. Instead, responsibility for the service is shared: perhaps by running across multiple federated servers, or perhaps running across client side apps in an entirely “distributed” peer-to-peer model (TechCrunch).
The need for decentralization is obvious. Whether or not the average user recognizes that fact is less certain.
For more information check out Fergus O’Sullivan’s comprehensive piece on net neutrality here.