The internet was invented back in the early 1960s to provide security to the US commercial telephone and military communications networks against a possible nuclear attack. The objective was to decentralized communication networks.
After finding usage beyond the military field, the decentralized internet worked in conjunction with the content producers. Without seeking approval from the central custodians such as media networks, broadcasters among others, individuals started disseminating the information as they wished on the internet. New letters, blogs, and e-commerce started publishing.
However, an issue started to emerge: online publications required some expertise, for example, how to access the internet, upload files, store documents, and many more.
A centralized network is a single entity or a small group of entities controlling the full network and resources of the multi-domain network. Big companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon to mention but a few are the tech giants that are controlling the internet now, making internet users rely on them for information, communication, and entertainment. They have successfully made their contents quite attractive to users to the extent of acquiring, storing, and trading user’s data. This implies that the centralized network is no longer safe from a possible breach and it lacks privacy now.
The Problem with Centralization Only a few companies control most of the activities on the internet, they have successfully tailored internet user’s lives to what they want by providing content that suits their own needs. With this, internet user’s privacy can easily be compromised. These tech giants in some cases retrieve information about users and sell it to the third party. These companies can also manipulate the decisions of internet users via the contents provided to them. Furthermore, through data mining, smart companies can easily predict the behaviors of consumers via the trails of patterns they left behind as they surf the internet.
In today’s digital age, internet user’s data have become a valuable commodity. Reliable personal information is seriously needed for the global technological revolution for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to come to reality. However, personal information, now called “New Petrol”, is the heartbeat of this anticipated revolution. The security of user’s data (New Petrol) is extremely important in recent times.
The above-mentioned tech giants still hold very large personal information in their data banks. It’s no longer news that these companies have been trading this data without the consent of the data owners. These companies are also experiencing huge data security scandals for some years now. By and large, while these scandals continue to unfold, individuals and businesses were left with no choice but to adopt data privacy. As the data owners begin to understand the value and power of data, individuals and businesses are now doing all they could to protect it.
Hence, the concept of Decentralized Internet begins to gain global attention day by day as it tends to provide solutions to the issue of personal data mismanagement. The Decentralized Internet is judged to take most of the power of these tech giants by running internet applications on decentralized networks. With this latest technology, absolute control of personal data will be returned back to the hands of the data owners.
Decentralized internet is also known as Decentralized Web (DWeb) or Web 3.0 is a people-powered kind of internet that makes the web more democratic as there is no hosting company. Decentralization means the internet is controlled by the users as against few companies. Its millions of internet-enabled devices are connected together in an open network. No one actor or few tech giants own it or control it, it's controlled by all the users.
In the early days of the internet (Web 1.0), users connected directly with friends and families via their computers that communicated to each other without intermediaries such as Twitter, Netflix, Google, and Facebook. But now, internet users communicate to one another via Facebook’s platform, called “walled garden”. Our computers have been relegated to just ordinary screens. The Decentralized Internet has enabled users not to be reliant on these big corporations to communicate. Rather, users take back total control of their own data, connect and communicate endlessly with friends and families in their network.
The world is undergoing a revolution that is capable of changing our lives completely. The transition begins with Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now Web. 3.0. Web 3.0, also known as the Decentralized Internet, re-decentralized the internet by providing security, privacy and returning data ownership back to the users rather than making the big companies more powerful than ever.
Through the introduction of blockchain technology, the decentralized internet has gained more popularity, the vision and approach have changed totally. Web 3.0 now found more support from blockchain technology and built its infrastructure on the legacy of the technology.
So, here are the benefits of Decentralized internet:
Anti-monopoly and Pro-privacy Decentralized internet will bring a pro-privacy and anti-monopoly structure to the system. It will completely de-monopolize the system. In fact, very soon the entire internet world will focus on privacy, decentralization and security rather than control. The big tech giants will have no business with this kind of platform. This revolution will be powered with the help of blockchains technology.
Secure Network - Web 3.0 internet is more secure than the previous versions, courtesy of its distributed nature and decentralization. Hackers will find it almost impossible to exploit the network. Also, if they succeed, all their activities can easily be tracked and retracted within the network.
Data Ownership - Internet users have trust in Web 3.0. For a couple of years, internet user’s data was mismanaged by big companies. With the decentralized internet, users will have total ownership of their data. Users' data transferred via this network will be completely encrypted. Furthermore, users will have the right to determine which information they wish to share with corporations or 3rd parties. With decentralized internet, users can now profit from the sales of their data to companies.
Interoperability - Decentralized internet enables apps to work across different internet-enabled devices and platforms such as laptops, smartphones, TVs, smartwatches and many more.
No Service Failure - Decentralized systems are less prone to service failure. Since there is no centralized authority for functioning, it becomes difficult for a distributed denial of service (DDoS) or similar forms of service failure. This made the decentralized internet a better place to share data and critical services without bothering about a service failure.
Semantic Web - A decentralized Web will equally host the properties of a semantic web. This Web is an advancement on the last set of technologies that were used for Web 2.0. It enables data to be distributed across different systems, platforms, and community boundaries. It bridges between different data formats and platforms. The semantic Web will enable internet users to access, share, and enjoy the internet like never before.
User and Developer Adoption: Many of the DWeb apps already developed are facing serious issues in attracting users, due to the high technicalities of these apps. Social media apps, to be specified, are very hard to bootstrap because of network issues. Some decentralized social media are currently not compatible with existing platforms, they are developed to compete with the existing platforms instead of integrating with them, resulting in rivalry, rather than complementary.
Security: Decentralized internet implies anyone can access the internet without restriction or censoring, which means adequate security is needed to protect users’ privacy, personal data, and public key. It is almost impossible to develop applications that are cryptographically secure and at the same time easy to use, one must be forgone for the other.
Decentralized internet or Web 3.0 is here to stay. We are at the initial stages where most of the DWeb applications and their functions are still in development. The complexities of the system make it only useful to tech experts, but for the ordinary person, it may be difficult to master it.
There is still enough work to be done to bring the decentralized internet very much closer to the people so that they can communicate online without intermediaries. The benefits that DWeb has to offer are amazing and have the potential to rule over the future of the internet. The internet was meant to be an open, secured and decentralized network, and users and developers are optimistic that one day, the network will receive massive global adoption. Web 3.0 is no doubt the solution to the government censorship and monopoly posed by the big companies.