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War in Taiwan (General)

by dan @, Monday, August 10, 2020, 19:06 (207 days ago) @ dulan drift

One of the main buzzwords in tech circles now is decentralization, meaning primarily decentralization of data. The internet was originally conceived as a completely decentralized network, but it has grown into a highly centralized network, with ISPs at the top and hosting providers somewhere in the middle. The big social networks and ISPs are sort of on equal but different footing; they provide completely different services.

But the point is, NONE of them are truly needed for people to still connect. When I learned decades ago that I could fire up my own server, for free, I was hooked.

Decentralization is taking new forms now. The biggest form is cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, aka Bitcoin and Ethereum respectively, but try to restrain any kneejerk reaction. Bitcoin grew out of the 2008 meltdown, that which was brought about by centralized control of wealth. Bitcoin is, if one bothers to actually learn about it, truly fascinating, and it scares the shit out of the banking sector. I can send you $100 in Bitcoin, or any other digital currency I hold, in seconds and essentially for free. I realized how powerful this technology is in 2016 when I was in Taiwan and wanted to buy something from Germany. I couldn't use a credit card. I didn't want to wire money. But they took Bitcoin. It was the easiest international transaction I'd ever done.

But it's gone way beyond just currency. Check out Ethereum, smart contracts, blockchain technology, and distributed ledgers. Decentralization is happening and the corporate sector, after first demonizing it all, is now taking notice.

Some are calling this Web 3.0, and it's in its very early days. I'd say it's at the stage that Web 1.0 was in in about 1996 or 97.

But what all this means is that data and the internet is moving back, in ways unforeseen, to its decentralized roots. It's very exciting!

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