The Decentralized Internet is Here to Stayby@ewere
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The Decentralized Internet is Here to Stay

by Ewere DiagboyaDecember 16th, 2021
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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.

Hi, I’m Allan Mang’eni, a software Engineer and Blockchain Enthusiast based in Nairobi Kenya. Currently, I work as the Dev lead for Wengi Web, an organization pioneering research and learning about Blockchain in Africa.

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

Centralized internet is whereby a limited number of companies have control to a big chunk of activities done on the internet. Centralized internet creates convenience to people by offering a simplified process for a user to access and utilize their data. However, centralized internet companies sell personal information without consent and store data in centralized storage which is not secure.

What does decentralization mean to you?

Decentralization means distributing authority from a single person or company to several entities or users across an organization, country, or the internet. Decentralization is a Web 3.0 standard where user information is not controlled by a few monopoly companies but rather a network of computers/nodes owned by individuals across the internet.

How does decentralization change the internet?

Decentralization introduces a dynamic shift in how the Web 2.0 standard works. In web 2.0, a user’s data is handled by a few large corporations which limit the user in many ways and are often known to manipulate or sell data to other companies without consent.

Web 3.0, which is the decentralized internet changes how information is stored, distributed, and shared. Web 3.0 infrastructure encompasses several nodes or computers that are distributed across the globe and no one has authority over them. This means no one can censor anyone or shut down the network. The data shared on Web 3.0 is immutable meaning once it is on the network, it cannot be manipulated or deleted.

What is the best thing about decentralized internet?

The decentralized internet democratizes the internet. Since it is decentralized, users have full authority over their personal data and do not rely on a few organizations to store and manage their data.

Decentralization eliminates things like censorship and allows people to express their opinions without facing the risk of being de-platformed.

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

Yes. I am currently working as the Dev lead for Wengi, an organization pioneering Blockchain research and learning in Africa. We work towards empowering developers with the necessary tools and resources to help them build various solutions in the Web 3.0 space.

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

Solving the scalability trilemma. The trilemma is whereby a Blockchain network needs to sacrifice one of decentralization, speed, or security in order to become scalable. Most Blockchain networks created after Bitcoin have mostly sacrificed decentralization by coming up with other consensus mechanisms that are less secure compared to Bitcoin. The new consensus mechanisms aim to bring in scalability on the networks at the cost of either security or decentralization.

I fear that permissioned blockchains are on the rise and may limit decentralization. Permissioned blockchain selects a specific number of users to run or validate the blockchain nodes. This prevents anyone from randomly becoming a node validator which limits decentralization. Despite Permisioned blockchains increasing the transaction speed and security, they go against the core concept of decentralization.

Permissioned blockchains can be a great option for private organizations seeking to decentralize the organizational structure in the workspace. For a public network, it is not an ideal option considering it is not decentralized and only a selected people can participate in the network.

How do you see the future of the decentralized internet?

As a developer, I envision a future where more developers will join the decentralized ecosystem to work on some exciting projects and also work towards improving the existing networks. In the near future, I hope to see more Bitcoin improvement proposals merged into the Bitcoin network creating a robust architecture that is scalable.

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

Nothing mentioned here is financial advice.