The concept of a decentralized web is not new, in fact, the original developers of the internet intended websites and the networks they run on to be managed by the users themselves and information to move freely from one computer to the next. And for a long time, it did just this - there was no central control, people had the freedom to exchange ideas and information with whomever they pleased in whatever way they wanted. The internet and its users operated like this for many years.
Other than a few bad players, the internet was successfully self-regulated.
But this all changed when internet traffic began to consolidate around a handful of popular platforms like Google, social media sites and a handful of news outlets. With more and more of people’s online activity and data being stored on a small
a handful of private servers and software, the temptation to control the flow of information became too great and control structures formed.
Enter the decentralized web. The decentralized web is often compared to Bitcoin in that there is no central control - any attempt to manipulate data in the network will quickly be recognized as unauthorized and rejected. Decentralized websites are not hosted on any single server, copies are distributed across a wide network. Each copy is aware when a change is made to another copy and operates by consensus.
Where is the Decentralized Web?
The decentralized web already exists, but it operates in a fundamentally different way than the old web and requires some special tools. As the decentralized web becomes more popular, websites such as dWebGuide.com have come into existence to explain
the technology and provide the tools necessary (currently a
dWeb Chrome plugin ). They also offer a directory of dweb websites. Over the next couple of years, you can expect the number of decentralized websites to grow by orders of magnitude.
A Facts about the Decentralized Web to Keep in Mind
Not unlike the first days of the old internet, the decentralized internet is a bit slow and not the level of user experience you are accustomed to. Be prepared for cryptocurrency to be part of the conversation. Cryptocurrency, blockchain, and the decentralized web are all based on similar technology, in fact, the decentralized web is designed for cryptocurrency to be the main exchange currency. But you neither have to own cryptocurrency, or understand how it works, to visit decentralized websites. In fact, you don’t have to understand the underlying technology to any degree to surf the decentralized web.
In general, the decentralized web is very new. It certainly has a large role to play in the near future. It will be enthusiastically promoted by most, especially the general public generally opt for more freedom than less. But it will be viciously attacked by others, especially by companies and individuals who rely on centralized control for profit and power. The decentralized web is going to shake things up, with new winners and losers emerging on the other end.