What Does it Mean to Decentralize the Internet?

In this video, Blockstack answers the question, what does it mean to decentralize the internet?

The internet was envisioned as a decentralized system and in many ways it is decentralized. The internet itself is very hard to take down if you have packets that are going from one computer to another. There are many different paths that those packets can take and so the internet is actually very resilient and there’s a lot of redundancy built into the internet infrastructure.

There are also components on top of the internet that are fairly decentralized but there are many aspects of the internet that are very centralized and components that can be under control, components that can result in downtime, components that can result in compromise. For example, there is the domain name system. The domain name system is notoriously insecure. It is also very tightly controlled by a few organizations and corporations: the domain name system, the certificate authority system, and a bunch of other components of the pieces of software that we rely on today for the internet.

When you look at companies that provide services on top of the internet (like Facebook, Google, and Amazon) they represent a very large percentage of the internet traffic. They also represent an extremely large percentage of the advertising volume and a large percentage of the logins. So in order for us to actually use the internet, we’re heavily reliant on these few mega-corporations.

In a sense, the internet is becoming these few corporations and then there’s a long tail of all these other services but we are becoming more and more dependent on the large corporations for communication. This is not how the internet was envisioned. It was not envisioned as a fiefdom where there are a few lords and we are all dependent on them. The internet was envisioned as a system where it levels the playing field of a lot of small players competing.

It is time for the internet to become decentralized again and put more power in the hands of the people and more power in the hands of everyday businesses and everyday developers. That is the vision that the blockchain is fighting for.