Who Owns the Internet?
See how ownership has an impact on SMEs.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Who owns the internet?” As trivial and meaningless as the question may sound to many, it is the answer to the groundbreaking change currently rocking the digital world. For whoever owns the internet, even if only a portion, has unlocked a cache of inexhaustive resources and opportunities.
The jostle for the discovery of many such caches has onboarded many internet users. In fact, there are around a billion or more websites in the world at the moment. Now, with the internet somewhat serving as an archive of digital footprints, personal data has never been more visible and easily accessible. Enter the age where personal information is one of the most powerful leverages and the most freely given commodity. Never has there been a better synergy of independent happenings.
Entrepreneurs understand this power play so well that they'd literally do what they can and must to leverage it. As expected, such large data guzzling has its pros and cons. Talking about pros, you get a personalized experience for the off chance the privacy promised is kept by these firms and that you are not censored so much.
But then, only a handful of companies keep their side of the bargain. Ever wondered how that particular advert chases you about the internet despite checking that privacy box? With an increase in data theft despite supposed encryption features these days, the call for a decentralized internet has never been louder.
Some industries have received the Midas touch and are already glowing in the light of decentralization. Others are yet to experience this phenomenon; however, they yearn to. A cursory gaze at the advertising industry reveals a conscious effort by SaTT to make transparent the processes associated with advertising online. It's incredible the wonders smart contracts are capable of. But perhaps what appears to be a more interesting example is a project that Kristof de Spiegeleer and his team are championing: ThreeFold. This project is aimed at giving everyone the key to access and ownership of the internet. Now could this be the digital utopia where you and I can own a piece of the internet? It's as interesting as it's incredible.
Opportunities That Abound For Users Of The Decentralized Internet
Since Satoshi started what is widely regarded as decentralization’s greatest heist via the discovery of Bitcoin, it was only a matter of time before the feat was replicated in other industries. Some industries may have seemed quite resistant to the spreading change because of how obtrusive the application of technology may appear. However, a recent partnership between ThreeFold and Artheon was a strategic awakening to the many possibilities attainable via decentralization. Now Artheon is a virtual art and exhibition platform with the aim of creating the world's largest open database.
To put this in perspective, you may think Artheon having a database of their own or partnering with a big shot like AWS or Microsoft will do the trick. However, when you consider how short the attention span of the average netizen is, you’d agree that a simple policy change or server downtime is all it takes for a startup to go from promising to unscalable.
ThreeFold’s founder, Kristof de Spiegeleer, has this to say about the future scalability of the internet and cloud infrastructure, albeit from a different angle:
“The internet and cloud infrastructure holds about 60 to 70 Zettabytes of capacity according to statistics. With more than 1 billion people and 70 billion IoT devices expected to join the internet economy by 2025, and future financial downtimes that are well expected now, the two available options don’t seem to be scalable.”
A constant state of change
The gulf between the present state of innovation and when Bitcoin first hit the market will be even more immense in the future, with the present as the reference point. Needless to say, as certain business processes grow obsolete, newer ones rise to compensate for them. If traditional cybersecurity goes out of fashion, spruce it up with some knowledge of blockchain, and, voila, you’ve got yourself a new skill or business or job. Such malleability in portfolios and job titles!
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor