Decentralization isn’t exactly a new idea; it’s something that’s been around for as long as humanity. In fact, ancient tribal societies were significantly more decentralized than our modern-day nation states.
However, today’s societies tend to be dominated by centralized institutions and power structures. Sometimes, of course, that’s a very good thing. But there are also cases where greater decentralization might be the way forward.
The growth of technologies like blockchain have dragged this debate to the forefront in recent times, and with the internet has come unprecedented opportunities for decentralization.
It’s now possible to build networks without a central point, making many of decentralization’s promises a reality. Things that were just ideas and concepts in the past are now becoming possible.
And it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that this technology could change the world for the better, in multiple ways.
However, there’s still work to do. Decentralized technology is still viewed with suspicion and confusion, and many people are still wary of it. To bring it into the mainstream, we need to encourage uptake and make it more accessible to the masses, not just passionate tech whizz-kids.
Before looking at how to do that, let’s first check out some of the advantages decentralized systems have to offer the world.
How decentralization could change our world for the better
Social media has taught us the benefits of an open, democratic space to share ideas and communicate. It all started with chatrooms and forums, which over time developed into social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.
These are, in principle, places where everyone is equal, where free exchange of ideas is possible no matter who you are or where you are in the world. They’re self-moderated communities where anyone can make their voice heard.
It’s a wonderful idea, but unfortunately this space has slid into the trap of centralization, with giants like Facebook building their own powerful empires out of online communities.
And with centralized social spaces, controlled by all-powerful third parties, come data privacy scandals, calculated manipulation of users, promotion of biased news sources, and much more.
It would be better to move to a system which is decentralized, where users themselves are in charge, and have control over their own data and privacy.
Cryptocurrency has shown us the advantages of decentralized payment. The technology offers low fees, potentially instant transactions, anonymity, security, transparency, and so much more.
Centralized banks have always dominated the financial world, but even they’re considering blockchain and other decentralized methods with numerous trials of this technology.
It’s unlikely that crypto will replace traditional finance any time soon, but it could well have a big impact on the way we buy and sell things. More and more shops and businesses are starting to accept crypto, and the future looks very exciting.
Of course, there’s no one simple solution to world poverty and hunger, but decentralization can be a surprisingly big help.
That’s because many of the issues in developing countries like unscrupulous companies, corrupt governments, and incomplete infrastructure are a result of centralized bodies.
Decentralized projects can help bring accountability to governments and corporations, process payments in a fair way, and fight against unstable currencies and banking systems.
It’d mark a move away from paper bureaucracy to digital contracts and records, which would be fairer and more transparent.
How to do it?
One of the single biggest steps towards a more decentralized world that can tackle these issues is to raise awareness and drive uptake of the technology.
For example, Cardstack wants to make it easier for ordinary people to access decentralized software by creating a community hub where users can mix and match features from different dApps and come to terms with how valuable this technology can be.
They’ll use the CARD token to take part, access features, and gain new knowledge and experience of the space. It’s a big step towards incentivizing wider use of decentralized technology and promoting the idea of decentralization on a wider scale.
Users don’t need to manage a diverse portfolio of crypto tokens to access dApps; it’s all done within the same platform with minimal hassle.
With advancements like this, the hope is that decentralization and blockchain will no longer be scary, daunting ideas.
By bringing dApps and similar software into the mainstream and allowing ordinary people to learn about the advantages they bring, we’re taking an important step towards implementing this technology on a scale that can change the world.