Is the Dream for a Decentralized Internet Dead?

Michael K. Spencer
Jul 15 · 3 min read

The DWeb has been obliterated, like all good dreams for the internet.

Much of the spirit of Ethereum and decentralized blockchain appears to have subsided, that is, the future of the internet is more centralized, not more decentralized.

This is the reality we live in.

Libra is getting more press than Bitcoin, Facebook could have more power than before.

Was Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web a lie, or simply something the world isn’t ready for?

As crypto content has been dismantled from Medium, I wonder. Young software engineers still value open-source software development tools and free internet, but the way tech giants are going — there’s nothing free or open about it.

In 2019, it appears national rivalry is bringing a centralized shade of mass surveillance to the internet and the Internet of Things. The cold tech wars could inhibit the implementation of a decentralized internet by 30 years. What amounts to a dark age of technology.

So forget decentralization in the 2020s, we may have to wait for the 2060s to really see what it can actually become. I’m not sure humanity is ready for it.

The bold vision to improve the internet is being suppressed by Silicon Valley, China and the U.S. in their will to keep a monopolistic control over the future of the internet.

The global community has been killed, as platforms like Reddit, Twitter and Facebook are all in decline. All that is left will be the super apps of China, YouTube and niche apps that are more addictive than decentralized, more monetizable for corporate giants than innovative.

Surveillance architecture is all about centralization, community is all about decentralization. Surveillance has killed community on the internet, as of 2019. Internet giants became too dominant for the profit motive. Centralized private servers and centralized blockchains all aim to exist to the same end.

The idealism of Technologists for the D-web (decentralized) is doomed by monopolies. There’s no freedom in the monoply middleman who takes the large cut of earnings, hoards the data and decides who to censor and who to promote.

Decentralized tech is a nice idea, but Capitalism and the world wide web keep us in the past, a 25-year old dogmatic version of how the internet has evolved. A Matrix in the making.

Libra will kill Ethereum. Bitcoin will remain a digital asset of storage. The decentralized web, or DWeb, could be a chance to take back control of our data from the big tech firms. But it’s doomed because of wealth inequality and the influence of the Billionaire class (the 0.001%) that already has too much power.

Ironically this also means the Western internet is doomed to resist the innovation powered state-backed organism of the Chinese internet and what it will become. When Silicon Valley chose centralization it put into motion a cascade of events that means the 21st century will have a considerably long dark age of technology.

I believe 2019 is the beginning of that. This is why I write on Medium about the future of technology, in spite of censorship. This is why I created publications like Utopia Press and Future Sin.

It’s too Late for Decentralization, or Too Early

The DWeb has very little chance for mass adoption since the announcement of Libra that could lead to a global digital currency. The DWeb can be destroyed before it hits the socialist mainstream of young people because it’s all about the control over our future.

Without a neural interface, the DWeb doesn’t have the possibility to manifest. That technology is at least two decades away from mass adoption.

If you don’t see cryptocurrency or blockchain articles on Medium, it isn’t by accident. If ICOs were discredited, that’s not by chance. If only Bitcoin survives the dark age of technology, that is also by design. Decentralization will become a rumor of a bygone era when we were allowed to dream of a better internet.

As Silicon Valley fails to compete with China’s tech dynasty, the dream of decentralization will be completely erased from history. In that world, on that internet, this article wouldn’t even be able to exist.

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Futurism articles bent on cultivating an awareness of exponential technologies while exploring the 4th industrial revolution.

Michael K. Spencer

Written by

Blockchain Mark Consultant, tech Futurist, a prolific writer. Always writing. 🌞 DM me on Twitter for quotes:



Futurism articles bent on cultivating an awareness of exponential technologies while exploring the 4th industrial revolution.

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