How Friend augments Golem, SOMN, Dadi, DAOstack and other Blockchain solutions
We have now had a few weeks of ICO ratings and reviews and general feedback from the internet at large. Most of what we hear is very positive! But sometimes, Friend is compared to projects that are quite different from it — as if these were equivalent or doing the same thing. Some of the confusion may come from the term “operating system”. It’s a bit watered-down and has become somewhat wildly applicable to different layers of technology.
In this piece, I want to clear up some confusions. Friend isn’t really that difficult to understand for techies who have worked tightly with different computers over the years. But to most users, the computer is “one thing”. So let me elaborate:
We have created a technology that allows the internet to become your computer. We have created a system that connects online resources together and builds virtual computers out of these as parts. Each part is managed by a Friend server — which is a program anybody can install on their own computer. When the servers are running, they add resources or services to the Friend Network, which is where everything is going on. This can be storage space. Or access to a Golem computing service. Or anything else that has been integrated with FriendUP. The resources or services are translated to a unified format which is understood by the virtual cloud computers. They appear as disks or devices in apps or desktops used by users.
What’s an OS?
When we talk about operating systems, we talk about that which translates hardware and digital data into things that a user can interact with. An “OS” lets a human being operate a computer system.
Computers were imagined as network machines early on in history. IBM mainframes were envisioned as the future, but this vision never came to pass. Until now. Decentralization and the internet is transforming how we use computers and phones — but there’s no operating system for that yet. Users haven’t been able to use the network in any meaningful way. They’ve only accessed single services. That’s what we’re changing.
Through Friend you will finally be able to use and interact with the internet itself on a massive scale — as if it was a general purpose computer. And the Blockchain is the enabling technology that makes it all possible.
The Decentralized Virtual Computer
FriendUP is a platform that creates a “virtual computer” in a Blockchain based cloud environment. It is anchored to your personal user account. This account is just like a “Google account”. The difference is that it is using the Ethereum Blockchain and decentralization — there’s no central authority. You use your account to unlock your cloud computer. And you can access this networked “cloud machine” on any internet enabled device you possess. Just type in an url in a browser tab. Or use one of the available mobile apps.
Chrome OS is a proprietary equivalent to Friend. It is locked to the Google Cloud ecosystem. It is a system that you may or may not be able to trust. And even if you can, you won’t ever be sure — the news cycle about corporate collaboration with government agencies could make anyone paranoid..
Friend is built on “trust-less” infrastructure. This means that you don’t have to trust us for your security. The infrastructure is provided by the users themselves, who are free to participate in building and expanding the technology in a decentralized fashion.
We are freeing one of the most important technology building blocks we use these days — the underlying digital ecosystem infrastructure technology used to build clouds. We’re giving users and developers an open platform that they can depend on, a friend, hence the name. Here, they can build and deploy software and solutions. Here, they can massively distribute their apps and services to users.
No corporate restrictions
As a developer, I’ve seen operating systems come and go. Most of the time, their demise was due to bad commercial decision making, financial mismanagement or simply bad leadership. But ultimately, proprietary software dies when their dependencies disappear. And this can be due to a range of reasons; hardware, money, competition. Take your pick. And when such a dependency fails, there’s no community that can take it upon themselves to replace it. They are not allowed. They have no license.
Open source platforms like Linux and BSD remain so successful because they have fewer proprietary dependencies. They have changed the IT industry because they introduced software freedom that allowed for an unprecedented amount of experimentation and innovation.
We are following in the footsteps of giants. Blockchain doesn’t have its own OS yet. We’re fixing that. And by doing so, we’re enabling developers to build the future of cloud technology without corporate restrictions. And we’re in a great community where collaboration is celebrated. So with a little unification, we can focus all the different work that is happening all over the world into one powerful cloud network and user interface foundation.
Amplifying the Blockchain space
Our platform, which includes a marketplace — the Friend Store, has a serious shot at amplifying and accelerating the development of other projects in the Blockchain space. And the reason is that we will introduce an arena where developers and users can get acquainted with new technologies and distribute easy access to them.
Golem, Fluence, Dadi, DAOstack and others will be “plug-in” services, easily available in the Friend Store. Developers will get all the tools necessary to build clever front-ends and apps. Then they can deploy and distribute their creations through the Friend Network to all of their users, all over the world.
We urge people curious about Friend to sign up to our demo and take a look at what we have already. Then, dream a little — imagine what it will be like once the things we speak about in the whitepaper is rolled out. We will make your digital life better, and we’ll open doors you never knew existed.