According to LogicMonitor’s study, 83% of Enterprise workloads will be on the cloud by 2020. Gartner predicts the cloud services to be a $249 Billion dollar industry in 2020. As internet bandwidth increases, there will be an unprecedented demand for storage. Centralized cloud service providers are having a hard time maintaining the integrity of their systems.
An enterprise security firm Proofpoint released a report that said 60% of all US Cloud Systems have been hacked. They detected over 15 million unauthorized login attempts to the cloud computing networks run by the US Fortune 500 firms just in the first half of 2019. A shocking 400,000 of these attempts were found to be successful. The research analyzed 20 million user accounts spanning across 1000 cloud deployments and found 92% of the Fortune 500 companies surveyed were a target of these attacks.
Evolution of the Internet
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, recently expressed his disappointment on how the internet has shaped up. In the 90s, the internet was a much simpler place where anyone could host a web page and link it to another. With Web 2.0, the internet got faster, more storage was possible and social networks were created. This enabled everyone to use it, post content and send information. But this also helped create large corporations who boast of humongous servers. Today, these corporations control a large part of the internet, user data, and experience.
Blockchain expert from BTC PEERS said:
“To access the web and its content, users have to give up their money or personal data – in some cases, they give up both. Hence, data has become an important component of the global market. For one, it generates market insight for companies looking to expand their business, or maintain their dominance. Similarly, analyzing the personal data of a demographic presents ways by which service providers can manipulate people. In light of this, organizations would do just about anything to access data.”
The next step in the evolution of the internet has been enabled by blockchains and incentivized by cryptocurrencies. Blockchains run on decentralized nodes and are governed by code instead of corporations. They also let the users control their data and prove to be way more secure than cloud and internet infrastructure services provided by centralized corporations. An example of a project that aims to decentralize internet, the ThreeFold Network provides storage and processing power in a transparent manner. It will be governed by code and fueled by the token economics. Platforms like this will provide an important infrastructure layer for the decentralized internet. It will include a free marketplace for buying and selling internet storage capacity with prices determined by the market. A large decentralized grid that will self-manage with minimal human interaction.
Kristof De Spiegeleer, co-founder of the ThreeFold Foundation said:
“An Internet which goes back to where it all started – a network, connecting people who can freely communicate, who are not manipulated, and who can use this network to build out their digital lives in all freedom and neutrality. This Internet needs to be self-driving & self-healing. It’s the only way how a global network of capacity can be created. Since people are not needed to manage the network, the costs are lower and security is much stronger.”
The second layer will consist of the next generation of internet applications – Decentralized Applications (DApps). Developers have been long complaining about ruthless and often controlling policies of App Stores. But now they have a choice to develop DApps on neutral platforms. Developers will create replacements for centralized apps and eventually, users will adopt those.
The final layer is where users and devices will interact with the applications. User experience will change as everyone will be in control of how they are tracked. Devices will also form a huge part of the data flow. As the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) become a part of our life, the amount of data on the internet will increase exponentially. The infrastructure layer will be scalable enough to add capacity for this data.
Decentralization and Security
Most importantly, this storage will be cryptographically secure. Blockchains are known for being the most secure databases in the world. In the absence of a central point of attack, hackers cannot target individual nodes. Each node in blockchain stores only a piece of information. Compared to centralized cloud service providers, the decentralized way will prevent attacks like the infamous Apple iCloud hack in 2014.
Blockchain provides the perfect environment for internet infrastructure. Anyone in the world can host the nodes of the future of the internet. Anyone can add storage capacity if they find it viable. Users can buy capacity at a price that is determined by the free market with tokens that are readily available. Individuals, enterprises and apps alike can rent capacity and host their data – making it secure for themselves and their customers.
Such an internet is unrestricted by geography since nodes can be hosted across the world. With blockchain, data is stored on multiple nodes. So even if some of them are inaccessible, the entire network isn’t affected. This is an added layer of security. In a centralized server, information is stored in one place. If that server goes bust, the data is lost forever.
The decentralized web will be like Wikipedia, whereas our current internet will be like Encarta Encyclopedia. Encarta was compiled and presented by a central authority. With Wikipedia, every contributor could add/edit content and there is an army of volunteers who moderate it. Apart from the content sourcing, Wikipedia’s decentralized governance is what makes it a perfect analogy to the decentralized web that we are talking about.
66% of IT Professionals from the LogicMonitor study say that security is their main concern. Governance challenges, privacy, and vendor lock-ins were a high priority for them too. A decentralized internet infrastructure layer addresses all the problems successfully.