Less is more — Decentralization for all

You don’t have to be a busy adult to tend to forget one of your hundreds of user name and password combinations — even the kids at this primary school would like to have less of them!

YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Xbox accounts, they all add to the list of login details they need to remember these days.

And not only that, what if someone else gets hold of your login details and accesses your online game account or emails? Or even your savings account? What if all your personal high scores are wiped out and the money from your summer holiday job is gone?

All children agree that there should be a better and safer way to access your online services and that companies should make it easier for you to use the internet.

But can we trust the internet companies to solve this problem? Why would they make our lives easier? Is that actually in their interest?

The bad news is: the companies will probably not help us solve this problem. But the good news is that we can do something about it ourselves.

With a new internet technology called the ‘blockchain’ we can now design and own our identities and use them to access the internet. The apps we use have to then ‘accept’ our identities and that is what we have software developers for. They can help us to accomplish this.

The result is that you only have to maintain one online identity, which you can then enrich with any information that you would like to share with the world (or only with your friends). With your new ID you can access a growing number of dapps (‘Decentralized Apps’). You don’t have to remember a list of passwords anymore.

And the cool thing is — we can also decide where to store our data and make the app do it for us. For example if you like to keep your data with Dropbox or Google Drive, you can just ask the app to store it on there in a very secure way.

There are a few different ‘identity’ solutions which can help you create an ID on the blockchain. Two major ones are Blockstack and uPort. It is easy to download the Blockstack Browser from the internet and go from there.
Alternatively, the uPort app can be found in the app store on your phone.

Next time I will explain how you can create an identity and how to use it with some interesting new apps.