In her 1999 article titled “Fragmented Future”, renowned IT architect consultant Darcy DiNucci introduced the world to the concept of Web 2.0. This new web architecture was based on user-generated content that would replace the then static nature of the Worldwide Web. It is important to note that her description of the framework differs significantly to what obtains today. The fact though is that Social Media came to be known as the advancement of web technology, in other words, Web 2.0. There are strong indications that Cryptocurrency may soon become the new Social Media.
When the internet first emerged, it was the pinnacle of distributed computing. It forever changed the face of information technology. Data could be transferred from and to multiple network nodes at breath-taking speed. At some point in the evolution of the web, the idea of user-generated content was developed and Web 2.0 was born. Within the framework of the Web2.0 architecture is Social Media with its many popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google among others. These platforms have changed the way we share information and communicate with one another.
In the few years since the emergence of Social Media, the digital phenomenon has attracted praise and criticism in almost equal amount. Social Media critics point to the many flaws in the system which undermine the fidelity of the information that is being shared. These issues have even been brought to the forefront in the wake of the alleged manipulation of the 2016 general elections in the United States.
With issues concerning privacy and trustworthiness at the core of the opposition to Social Media, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been identified as holding the key to a new and improved Social Media ecosystem.
A big part of the popularity of cryptocurrencies today can be attributed to the power of Social Media. With almost unlimited networking potential, stakeholders in the crypto market have been able to raise awareness for their offerings. No serious ICO marketing strategy today can leave out Social Media integration. Latest happening in the crypto world are usually trending topics on many of these Social Media platforms. On the flip side, Social Media platforms have also benefitted greatly from cryptocurrency and blockchain-based applications in general. With the never-ending nature of the conversation, these corporations are surely raking in significant revenue from all the activities on their platforms.
Up till now, one could say the relationship has been a symbiotic one; both benefiting from each other. However, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may very well constitute a disruption to the mainstream Social Media construct. Cryptocurrency has also revolutionized many Business processes from payment processing to contract performance and many others. The blockchain delivers the possibility for almost unlimited potential in theoretically every business process known to man. Many of the core aspects of cryptocurrency operations of the face of it seem like the panacea to some of the nagging issues in the Social Media space.
A crypto-based Social Media platform will be decentralized; there will be no central server and the entire platform will be run on a blockchain. This, therefore, returns control over the user-generated content from the hands of the platform administration, back to the originating user. The entire network will be responsible for monitoring and control, thereby making the platform truly democratic.
The mainstream Social Media is notorious for being agents of State-sponsored spying on private citizens. A crypto-based Social Media has the potential to offer a robust security framework that ensures the privacy of users. This can be especially useful in countries under repressive Government with little or no freedom of expression. Obsidian, a secure blockchain-based messaging platform is a noteworthy example of a cryptocurrency start-up that is addressing this issue.
Despite the considerable level of economic activities that occur on a daily basis across all the Social Media platforms, the benefits are still restricted to a few players. The rising cost of advertising and content promotion makes it such that not many ordinary users can monetize their Social Media accounts. Online payment processing attracts hefty fees as well. With a cryptocurrency-based Social Media platform, users will be able to make payments easily using the native coin of that platform. Participants will also be able to create and execute smart contracts without the need for third party involvement. This last benefit has the potential to raise the stakes of digital networking even higher.
These are just some of the potential improvements and benefits that can come as a result of the emergence of a crypto-powered Social Media 2.0. If there is one thing that has remained constant in this digital age, is that improvements and advancements are never far away. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continues to disrupt more and more areas every day. It isn’t inconceivable to think that it has the power to drive the next phase of the social media revolution; one that is more decentralized.
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