We live in an increasingly interconnected world with 4.66 billion people connected via the internet. We pay each other, share data, and communicate with each other within seconds. This is all seemingly wonderful, but the truth is we are not connected with each other. Instead, we are connected to centralized multinational companies and data merchants we are forced to trust with everything we do.
It’s a scary reality that most people are living in today; however, decentralization is the future. The transition from centralized platforms to decentralized ones is going to be the most profound and disruptive change we’ll ever see in our lives.
What Is Decentralization?
In short, it is the transfer of control and decision-making from a centralized entity, an individual, organization, government, or company to a distributed network. Decentralized networks reduce the level of trust that people have to place in each other and significantly reduce the ability of any centralized entity to exert authority or control over that Network.
One of the most well-known examples of decentralization is cryptocurrency. This feature is the key reason why it's so valued amongst the crypto community and tech Geeks. No single entity can stop you from transferring Bitcoin to another person.
However, there are numerous examples of people who have had their bank accounts shut down because they bought Bitcoin. So it seems any given bank can dictate what its customers can or cannot do with their money.
Earlier this year, HSBC in the UK is just one example of a centralized entity banning all crypto transactions using their debit or credit cards. They did it because they can and obviously don’t like crypto. That, in a nutshell, is the problem with centralization and demonstrates how easy it is to ban, confiscate, and shut off those systems at will.
The internet plays a massive role in our lives today, with a vast majority tapped into social media platforms. Facebook currently has 2.6 billion users who seem to be oblivious to its dictatorial and underlying agendas. Also, buying goods and services online has become commonplace and a preferred option in many cases, which is a bit of a worry in such centralized environments.
Centralized social media platforms are fundamentally gilded cages controlled by a CEO not only heavily incentivized to generate stellar earning reports for its shareholders but wields a judgemental partisan approach limiting free speech and liberties of the users’.
For years now, the tech giants have been data harvesting our personal details. They are notorious for de-platforming anyone who doesn’t agree or is not compliant with their overzealous ruling. So, essentially we have lost access to content and have no control over our data or how it’s used, which could endanger many people’s lives and privacy.
Our data is controlled by these data barons, which is very much a security and privacy concern. One of the biggest data barons of them all is Equifax, and in 2017, they suffered one of the most significant data breaches ever. Hackers stole the personal information of 143 million U.S. customers that included data, like Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and in some cases, driving licenses.
All the information needed to commit identity fraud and is one of the most egregious frauds in existence. The fraudsters can acquire a credit card in the name of a stolen identity and destroy their credit rating.
The fact that centralized businesses own the algorithmic black box is kind of creepy, and for some people, it could lead to harassment, stalking and could actually be a matter of life or death.
All that is particularly significant when we consider that we're living in an age where personal data can be weaponized against people. Are these platforms now so big that they are utility and not a luxury that can be just switched off at their discretion?
Internet centralization runs very deep with the likes of internet tech giants such as Amazon Web Services, Alibaba, Microsoft, etc. AWS alone hosts over 9 million websites that they can virtually “play God” with and have done earlier this year by withdrawing its services and support from an upcoming alternative platform promoting free speech. Under the guise of violating AWS terms of service, it is arguably a politicized judgment call that can incapacitate companies and their users, their right to communicate their beliefs.
Of course, there’s the issue of outages where it was touted that AWS in North Virginia temporarily “broke the internet,” affecting Downtector.com, impacting websites, cloud storage, encryption, and content delivery, leaving many in a spin, some thought the end was coming.
To illustrate another critical flaw with a centralized internet is that so-called authorities could censor the internet or suppress democratic protests by switching off the internet in their country. It has actually happened in Egypt during the Arab Spring protests in 2011 and was used more recently during the military coup in Myanmar in February this year.
What we are experiencing is all part of Web 2 and defined as the majority of today’s most-used internet platforms are controlled by only a handful of powerful companies, which profit from the data users generate. The next phase of the internet is one in which the users’ take back control from the centralized corporations.
Known as Web 3, it’s a decentralized version of the internet and essentially a way for individuals to use it without giving up their privacy and valuable data. With the utilization of Blockchain technology, no single entity can gain control as the network is distributed across many different nodes.
Also, money is native to the internet, so instead of relying on traditional financial infrastructures like banks and all the restrictions that come with them, people can transact quickly globally and in a permissionless manner via cryptocurrencies.
A few companies are working hard to make Web 3 a reality. A pioneer in the social media and marketing realm is Markethive. The company has successfully bypassed the centralized web services, like AWS and Microsoft, and operates on their own cloud system. Markethive is working on expanding its clouds, called Mining Hives, throughout the world.
This means all data pertaining to Markethive and its users will not be stored on servers owned and controlled by a centralized entity. Instead, it is a distributed database on the Markethive Blockchain with no single point of failure and no internet disruption or censoring by the likes of dictatorial authorities who may decide to shut off the internet.
With the recent news of the U.S. Senate’s proposal to onerously regulate the crypto industry, which will stifle the United States, the importance of decentralization has escalated. It shows that the government views crypto as a real threat and, of course, another way to refill its coffers. This bombshell has the crypto industry in an uproar, with U.S. companies moving offshore to more crypto-friendly countries.
To protect all Markethive associates and continue to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem to bring financial and self-sovereignty, Markethive is in the process of building a new offshore corporation for launching its decentralized exchange (DEX) and wallet. This Web 3 development is an inspiring and timely milestone that should be ready by September this year.
It is a Godsend and a blessing to have a social media and inbound marketing platform empower its community, integrating Blockchain and cryptocurrency in a decentralized environment to circumvent the ‘powers that be” in this ever-darkening world. Markethive will play a prominent role in the re-invention of the social media space to preserve and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.
Written by Deb Williams
Chief Editor and writer for Markethive.com, the social, market, broadcasting network. An avid supporter of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech and sovereignty. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people en masse, accept and move forward with enthusiasm.