From Brady Dale writing at Observer.com:
A lot of weird stuff has been happening to data inside the internet’s walled gardens. It has been getting shut down by the people who own the sites we all depend on. There’s a protest going on at Facebook over the issue right now. One Turkish journalist is saying that his account has been blocked inside the country, at his government’s request; Palestinian journalists have a similar problem. YouTubers believe that their videos have been getting unfairly de-monetized by mindless robots.
A Union Square Ventures and Y Combinator backed startup called Blockstack, just barely out of stealth mode, has been designing an alternative browser for what could be fairly described as another internet, one powered by the bitcoin blockchain. “They are in it for the long run,” Muneeb Ali, a CTO and Cofounder, said of his investors, during an interview with the Observer at his office. “They actually believe that this is the future.” In other words, even if a different kind of internet undermines past investments, investors still want to be positioned well for the next ones.
Ali spoke on the TEDxNewYork 2016 stage, describing an internet that couldn’t be censored. In that talk, he said, “The new internet takes away power from these large companies and takes it to where it always belonged, with the people.” The architecture the team has built is completely open source.
The Blockstack approach should make shutting down the internet or blocking a particular site considerably more challenging. Domain registration is turned over to a blockchain (right now, that’s the original bitcoin blockchain), and no private interest needs to be involved. There’s no single point to tell computers where to look to find a site. There’s lots of places, and the more people use it, the more places there will be. If one path to information is shut down, another can found.
On this internet, no one would need to log in to websites, because your browser would use its built in public-private key pair to validate you on each site you visited. Online payments would not need a middleman like PayPal, either, because they would be made using the cryptocurrency wallet built into the browser. All of this, by the way, also makes building websites easier, according to Ali and Shea, because developers aren’t responsible for securing your data or your passwords.
Read the rest of the story at Observer.
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