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The future of the internet is on the blockchain

“Lo”… and behold, the birth of the internet!

The first word ever sent over the internet (or ARPANET, as it was known in its infancy) was “login”, sent from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute. Professor Leonard Kleinrock recalls the historic moment: “At the UCLA end, they typed in the ‘l’ and asked SRI [by phone] if they received it; ‘got the l’ came the voice reply. UCLA typed in the ‘o’, asked if they got it, and received ‘got the o’. UCLA then typed in the ‘g’ and the darned system crashed! Quite a beginning. On the second attempt, it worked fine!”

It was happening on October 29th, 1969, half a century ago, and it marked the first step of one of humanity’s most crowning achievements: the internet. Never in our history have we been so connected, distances so short and human communication so readily available.

However, the anniversaries don’t stop here, as history has a knack for coincidences. 30 years ago, on (March 1989, 20 years after the birth of the internet), Tim Berners-Lee circulated a proposal for “Mesh” (later to be known as the World Wide Web) to his management at CERN.

Back then, in the pioneering years of the internet, the rapid pace of innovation was marked by a spirit of freedom and decentralization. Tim Berners-Lee used to write in his book, Weaving the Web: “From then on, interested people on the Internet provided the feedback, stimulation, ideas, source-code contributions, and moral support… The people of the Internet built the Web, in true grassroots fashion.”

Even looking further back to the works of other founding fathers, we see the same patterns emerging — the internet was designed to be a space of freedom and self-determination:

But perhaps the most well-known and striking manifesto for a decentralized internet came from John Perry Barlow, who in 1996 wrote the “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” — a wild call for self-determination in the age of information, a vision of an Internet free of the Governments’ clutch.

23 years have passed since then. The rebellion against governmental control in the cyberspace is far from won, yet the biggest threats to an independent Internet aren’t the states anymore.

We now live in a world where everybody keeps in touch with their friends on Facebook, with their professional peers on LinkedIn, buys almost anything on Amazon, and Google has such a monopoly on indexing and searching on the Internet, that “to google” is an actual verb in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook are not just titans of the IT industry, but as of 2018, the largest global companies with a combined market cap. of $3,475 trillion.

Of course, that in itself is not something bad, but a sign of the success and importance that the Internet and data play in our century.

But thwarting and crushing competition is something bad. Censorship is. Collaborating with secret services to spy on the population without a warrant is. Poaching from the (smaller) competition is. Sharing private information to third-parties that expose tens of millions of users is.

Our entire digital lives are locked inside monopolistic stockholder-serving companies with dubious ethical standards. By being the de facto gatekeepers of our internet, they can control even the most private aspects of our online experience, such as access to ideas, opinions or the values which we are being taught to cherish.

Our data, the digital fingerprint that we leave all the time on the internet, which sometimes contains some of the most private aspects of our lives became a precious commodity on which digital empires rose and now they dominate the cyberspace.

This is the exact opposite of what the founding fathers of the Internet have envisioned.

Even without the ethical conundrum, having the infrastructure of the internet depend on a few gigantic bottlenecks proves to be an unforgivable weakness of the system, as some major outages had a major impact in the past, affecting billions.

What can be done?

One approach is to detach the data the users create from the apps and to try to give full data ownership to the user. But such an attempt would raise additional walls for the developers and would not solve the deeper, underlying problem, namely the control of the storage and compute infrastructure, where big-name providers are suffocating all the smaller data centres.

This is not just an unethical competition-crushing practice. It leads to price hikes of monopolistic IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) and also to a vastly inefficient computing power resource allocation, with most major data centres using only half of their resources at any given time.

There is a way to regain the independence of the Internet — a decentralized storage and computing power marketplace, based on cutting-edge blockchain technology.

The revolution started with Satoshi’s vision for a decentralized financial system — Bitcoin. Yet, this is far from the full potential of the blockchain, as an empowering technology. There are, however, major challenges to be surmounted, top of list being:

Alas, this is not the entire picture. Stemming from the above-mentioned problems, a larger problem emerges — current blockchain infrastructures just aren’t prepared to support application layers that millions of users can use.

This is where Swazm comes into the picture. Our vision from the beginning was to offer decentralized apps a scalable infrastructure solution, one that could serve real-world, mainstream applications.

And we are proud to announce that we are one step closer to that vision.

Our blockchain infrastructure was able to reach up to 500.000 tx/s (corresponding to 3 million operations per second), as you can see in the below live technology demo:

Not only Swazm offers unprecedented scalability, but it also solves the energy consumption conundrum by eliminating PoW as a consensus algorithm and allowing for direct chain-to-chain communication.

A vision for a decentralized internet.

However, any technology is just as useful as it’s applications. Our focus is how to offer real value to our users, to build products, not just a technology.

And such a product is Swazm’s IaaS solution — a distributed storage and computing power global marketplace that can be used to host the decentralized internet of the future.

Much more than just a very fast blockchain, Swazm’s architecture rests on 4 key pillars:

The ability to host language-agnostic compute containers on the data layer, together with the above-mentioned advantages of SDSL and SDTS allow for developers and the general public alike to be able to deploy any content on SWAZM, opening the doors for a new age in the history of the internet:

Just imagine how the internet of the future could look and the advantages it could bring:

Our creed is that in order to revert the internet to the original vision of its founding fathers, we need to change the bedrock on which it is built. To strive towards a decentralized infrastructure that relies on blockchain technology. Not only this is the only way we envision to build a free internet, but perhaps this is the only way for blockchain to reach mainstream — by showing its real utility in making the world a better place.

In the end, it is not only the internet that needs blockchain. To scale up and into the mainstream, the blockchain needs a new internet.

And we are prepared to build it.

Join us on our Telegram group: t.me/swazm

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SwazmBlockchain

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SWAZM is the Next-Generation Decentralized Storage and Computing Platform.

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Adrian Stratulat

Part time philosopher and full time social entrepreneur, Adrian is Executive Director @ Romanian Blockchain Association.