Hackernoon logoRedefining Internet Protocols Through Effective Decentralization by@sadie-williamson

Redefining Internet Protocols Through Effective Decentralization

Sadie Williamson Hacker Noon profile picture

Sadie Williamson

Developing blockchain solutions since before it was cool and I'm in Auckland, NZ

Before the advent of Bitcoin and its underlying technology, blockchain, the internet seemed a lone benefactor to at least a majority of humankind. The technological leap that was made possible by the internet leaves a mark as one of the most significant disruptions humankind has ever encountered.

With the benefit of hindsight, while appreciating the solutions made possible by the internet and the opportunities that came with it, the arrival of blockchain exposed its limitations and weaknesses.

Overhauling the Internet

With a little probe of the backend of internet protocol anyone can understand how the internet works. The TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol), is the method of handling data packets on the internet. TCP is a speed-handling system by which data packet loss is controlled and IP is a routing handling system for data transmission. These two protocols are now more than 40 years old and in dire need of an update.

Bitcoin and subsequent blockchain protocols introduced a new dimension to how problems are solved and services rendered across the internet. The systems proposed by blockchain are focused on delivering more efficient and reliable methods of managing data and carrying out transactions. Despite being still in its formative stages, the benefits and potential of this emerging technology are clear.

Since the creation of Bitcoin as the pioneer blockchain and cryptocurrency, several modifications have taken place on the protocol, giving rise to new blockchain products. The essence of these products are mostly based on the intention of whoever is behind them and what they intend to achieve. These modifications are in line with the original idea of Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto who made the Bitcoin code available in open source for whatever improvements developers saw fit.

Algorithms Promoting Centralization

The fundamental quality that defines blockchain is its distributed nature that qualifies it as decentralized and democratic in nature. It’s alsp what is behind the protocols on which blockchain networks run. In Satoshi’s original idea, the Bitcoin network in essence is supposed to be maintained by millions of individual computers across the globe mining away using the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm.

The imbalance in resources, especially in the cost of electricity worldwide has encouraged lopsided development. What we have today is a situation where countries with a more friendly climate and cheaper electricity have become hosts to large mining farms owned by a few individuals. Hence, a lot of people argue today that Bitcoin is no longer truly decentralized.

Away from the PoW algorithm, Ethereum’s Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm suffers a similar fate of false decentralization. The PoS algorithm gives masternode owners in the community the power to vote during decision making. A user’s vote count is decided by the amount of masternodes he possesses, therefore the outcome isn’t very far from what is experienced in the PoW system.

Moving Away From Centralization Prone Algorithms

While a few other protocols have emerged that tend to fix specific deficiencies within the blockchain industry, the absence of a holistic system that delivers true network neutrality and proper decentralization remained the main setback of blockchain. But now, there is a company working to make these issues a thing of the past. The team, which is comprised of the core developers of both Bitcoin and Ethereum, have rolled out a robust solution in the form of Skycoin.

The Skycoin project tackles the problems of cost, security, privacy, network neutrality and various other limitations that linger, holding back blockchain from full implementation. Just as blockchain exposed the limitations of regular internet, the Skycoin project takes us a step further and introduces the community to greater possibilities of blockchain.

Within the robust Skycoin portfolio are specific solutions that tackle a lot of the identified shortcomings of blockchain and the internet at large. Rather than the limited centralized internet protocol that is exposed to various forms of inconsistencies, Skywire’s internet structure will rearrange the entire system and organize the global internet priorities.

This system will be a mesh network that consists of hundreds of thousands of nodes connecting to each other directly for forwarding and routing of internet traffic. This creates a spider web-like network or mesh that is much more stable and secure as well as faster than the current world wide web. The Skywire mesh network will function very differently from the traditional TCP/IP system, creating a decentralized and better-distributed network.

Skyminer — The Hardware

With tens of thousands of nodes around the globe in the Skywire mesh network, users will have the choice to connect to any of their preferred nodes, paying only for the bandwidth they use, and being paid for the bandwidth they provide. The benefit of this development is a significant reduction in internet cost as users will begin to get proper value for the services they pay for. The decentralized profit-making opportunity that this provides also makes it possible for anyone from anywhere in the world to create their own business and make money.

Powering this network is the responsibility of a Linux server with an integrated router and networking capabilities known as Skyminer. This is the hardware of the Skycoin project that is configured as a custom VPN server providing the infrastructure to power the Skywire network.

Indeed blockchain solution so far represent an evolutionary phenomenon that is desperately seeking stability. It might be this stability that will guarantee the overall adoption and the effective implementation of the technology. Considering the expertise and experience of the team working on the Skycoin project, we can be certain that the hitherto unsustainable promises of blockchain will begin to find the fulfillment that will guarantee a better internet experience for users across the globe.


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