Since the emergence of the internet in the early 90s, the way people share and access data has been completely revolutionized. Initially hailed a ‘fad’ by even the foremost futurists of the time — including Robert Metcalfe, John Allen — today the technology is used by a vast majority of the global population.
That being said, it is worth acknowledging the fact that over the years the problem of centralization has become increasingly more prevalent when it comes to the internet. For example, even though there are billions of websites in existence today, a majority of all web traffic these days is concentrated across a few websites such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, and Yahoo. This has resulted in a major consolidation of power, as is made evident by the fact that many of the aforementioned companies have been caught sharing the data of their users illegally.
Lastly, another major issue when it comes to the internet in its current form is its lack of data security and privacy. To this point, because info is maintained in centralized servers by most companies, any breaches can result in a person losing access to their data, experiencing glitches in their day to day operations or worse still, losing their credentials to nefarious third parties.
Blockchain to the rescue?
Over the last couple of years, the use of blockchain-enabled tech has increased considerably, thanks in large part to the immense social, financial proposition put forth by the technology. In essence, blockchain is a distributed ledger that allows for the recording/maintenance of data in a transparent, decentralized manner such that once a piece of info is recorded on the database every network participant can view. Not only that, the data is completely tamperproof and cannot be altered by anyone.
As a result, one of the key offerings of this technology has been the creation of a new data economy that is not only completely censorship resistant but also one that is accessible to people all across the globe with limited resources. For example, Philcoin is a philanthropy-centric blockchain network that comes with a native information dissemination module referred to as PHILMesh.
In its most basic sense, PHILMesh is designed to make high-quality data networks accessible to the masses. The setup of the platform is such that as more and more internet service providers (ISPs) adopt Philcoin’s end-state design, it will amplify the capability of the average person to make use of the internet in a safe, secure and extremely low-cost fashion — all without the need of deploying a new infrastructural framework. PHILMesh will be available later in 2022.
Moreover, the platform helps in the formation of a global interactive ecosystem that brings together the use of IOT (Internet Of Things), social media, digital education so as to devise a web of information that is easy to access and utilize. Another project worth highlighting in this regard is Helium, a blockchain-based network that connects IoT systems and enables the relay of voluminous datasets between various digital devices using a series of nodes. The nodes that constitute the network are referred to as ‘hotspots’, providing users with network coverage as well as access to digital information with the touch of a button — all at extremely low costs.
As the world continues to move towards a more decentralized mode of operation — especially within the context of a holistic data sharing economy — it stands to reason that technologies like Philcoin and Helium will continue to garner an increasing amount of mainstream traction since they stand to make the interweb more transparent and accessible to those living in remote, underdeveloped regions of the planet. Not only that, they can also help make it extremely affordable for individuals to gain access to vast repositories of information without the need for any middlemen, centralized intermediaries. Thus, it will be interesting how the future of this space continues to evolve from here on out.