What is Decentralization?

4 min read

The Internet is a centralized mess! Is decentralization the answer? Decentralization describes the design of a network that isn’t managed by a central party. Instead, peer-to-peer interaction drives the network, and no third party is needed! Jeremy explains how decentralization impacts you, and how it could revolutionize the internet as we know it!

To read more, find the script for this video below, or check out our “What is Decentralization?” guide that explains it all in even more depth!

The Internet is broken, but not in the way you think it is. Sure you can connect to the Internet, browse around, send emails; all of the technical aspects work fine. It’s what users give up in order to access the Internet. Popular websites have proven that they will choose profit over protecting your privacy, as they are ready to sell your personal data without thinking twice.

The honest truth is that we’ve just become accustomed to this suckyness because we don’t know that there is better option, that we haven’t really unlocked the true potential of the Internet. However, a new internet is being formed, and it’s being built around the principle of decentralization. In order to better understand exactly what decentralization is and how it can benefit us, we first have to look at the issues with the status quo.

Centralized networks today

Centralized networks can be defined as network where communications/information/data must enter into, and leave through a central hub, which is often in the form of private servers. This framework has led to a technically efficient internet, but it is one that always depends on users sacrificing their privacy and personal information. If you want to access social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you have to sign an agreement that essentially allows them to sell your information to third parties.

Centralized entities are everywhere. Governments, Banks, and ISPs have shown that they will do anything to stay in control of your information. They don’t want to lose this advantage that they have had for so long. All of these entities controlling information leads to a lack of power for the individual or consumer. Information that we give up to these centralized powers often ends up being sold or compromised by hacks, which can lead to identity theft.

A solution for a better Internet

The call for increased tangible decentralization did not really gain steam until after the 2008 financial crisis, when a person or persons under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto published a whitepaper that first introduced blockchain technology, which encompasses the principle of decentralization. A decentralized network differs greatly from a centralized one. Instead of one server or one party being put in charge of all data, decentralized networks operate on a peer-to-peer basis, where the users computers communicate and transact directly.

By operating on a peer-to-peer basis, personal information is not shared, as a third party never has access to that information. It essentially cuts out the middleman, letting you bypass their involvement by working directly with another user. The benefits of decentralization are numerous. It allows you significantly more privacy, allowing you to maintain your identity and reputation without worrying what that third party is doing with it. Cutting out the middlemen also saves the producer and consumer money!

And the most important thing decentralization can provide? Freedom. The freedom to use the Internet without the caveat of having to give up personal information that could fall into the wrong hands. The Internet has a long way to go before it becomes completely decentralized, but it’s undeniable this trend has already started.

Now that you are informed on what decentralization is, start getting educated on blockchains, what they are, and how they work, with our resource guide: What the FAQ is a blockchain! Maybe even take it a step further and read up on cryptocurrencies. Then you can go and test your knowledge with our blockchain quizzes, and boast to your friends that you are a blockchain pro.

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