“Decentralization at It’s Core Is About Protecting Values” by@brian.daniel.schuster

“Decentralization at It’s Core Is About Protecting Values”

In decentralization, we trust, and in our community, we believe. This interview is part of the Decentralized-Internet writing contest. HackerNoon has built a partnership with Everscale (Formely Free Ton)- a decentralized, community-powered blockchain movement for free internet. The biggest stain on the centralized internet is the lack of privacy through organizations like Facebook and Google data mining their users and selling to advertisers. We are in the early days of decentralization on the internet, but there is a really big future ahead for us.
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In decentralization, we trust, and in our community, we believe!

This interview is part of the #Decentralized-Internet writing contest! For those who are reading about it for the first time, HackerNoon has built a partnership with Everscale (Formely Free Ton) - a decentralized, community-powered blockchain movement for free internet! This is the last month to participate in the contest. You can see all #Decentralized-Internet stories here.

So without further ado, let’s start the interview.

Thank you for joining us! Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a developer focused on connecting new talent into the technology industry. Currently building Schusterian Careers and devMint (Web3.0 School, launching later this year).

Let's discuss centralized internet first. What is your opinion on the centralized internet? What are its pros/cons?

There was a time when people thought everything was going to run on Microsoft’s private network. Fortunately, Linux and the open internet took over.

However, related to centralized organizations/software vs decentralized internet, there are many benefits.

It’s easily scalable out of the box, decision-making from the ground up is easy, and it’s very straightforward to make/earn money. All of our centralized structures help make that easier. Despite the push for decentralization from the Web3 community, centralization will never go away, it’s just too valuable. That being said, there should be alternatives.

What does decentralization mean to you?

Decentralization at it’s core is about protecting values. This is in contrast to centralized organizations that are primarily about protecting power. When an organization is built to be decentralized, effective all of the power structures within the system are removed to allow the people in the organization to promote the values of the organization.

In systems, this means removing every part of the process where an individual actor can ‘force’ the other participants in the system to work against their own interests, whether it’s the ability to veto members from the system or to take the system down. In this sense, members join the system not through being coerced, but through actually wanting to be there.

How does decentralization change the internet?

I think the enduring value of the decentralized internet will be putting power back into the hands of the users. The biggest stain on the centralized internet is the lack of privacy through organizations like Facebook and Google data mining their users and selling to advertisers. Because this has been so profitable, it seems that every business is now looking to collect data to sell or monetize.

Decentralization changes this by making it nearly impossible to collect data on users, and then providing an alternative funding model through DAOs and Cryptocurrency projects. This gives users the first real alternative we’ve had to this model and is helping change the expectations of users for not just social media sites, but medical and banking organizations as well. We are in the early days of decentralization on the internet, but there is a really big future ahead for us.

What is the best thing about decentralized internet?

The best thing is to allow for a real alternative to the centralized internet. Don’t get me wrong: it’s immature and ugly today. But at the core, the foundation set by technologies like Bitcoin, allowing for a trustless agreement on data that has no 3rd party, is massively impactful. We’re still figuring out everything it can do, but it challenges a lot of the assumptions set by centralized organizations. There are whole industries that have yet to be created because of this.

Are you currently directly or indirectly working on the decentralized internet use case? We would love to know more about it.

My Web3 School is about bringing in new tech talent into the decentralized internet. But what’s fascinating is that as new DAOs are getting off the ground, it’s clear they’re woefully unprepared for managing organizational scale in decentralized organizations. You cannot have a centralized organization managing a decentralized project and making decisions for the whole protocol: that would effectively make it centralized. So if a decentralized organization wishes to scale, it has to figure out how to make decisions without a traditional hierarchy.

This is hard and something that I’ve heard a lot of companies talk about. My first step in this is using the Web3 School as a way to start training students on how to be a great decentralized organization employees. Not having a boss has a lot of responsibility, and you have to go much further with documenting and communicating than you needed to with a centralized organization.

This will be a tough transition, but it’s necessary for the future. Perhaps one day I’ll scale this out to building organizational methodologies for decentralized organizations, but that’s for the future.

What are the biggest challenges in the way of the decentralized web?

The people aren’t ready for it. The technology will be ready in the next few years, but the people are going to take years, maybe even decades, to fully come up to speed. Our world is built in a centralized way, and every one’s internal programming is built for a centralized world. Decentralized organizations require a decentralized mindset and people just don’t have that.

At a small scale, this is a program, but as organizations try to scale beyond a dozen people, they’ll need to figure out how to work in a decentralized manner (or risk creating a centralized organization with an attack vector on their system). This will take time to fix and there will be a lot of failures until we hit critical mass.

Do you have any apprehension or fear related to the decentralization of the internet?

Not as much as I have about living in a totally centralized future. There will be problems but the value outweighs the immediate cost.

How do you see the future of the decentralized internet?


Thank you for your time! Any closing thoughts/advice for the readers?

Keep your mind open about these projects. They are immature and need attention to grow. Some of them will be dumb. Very dumb. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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