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The Internet is Being Cut into Pieces, Are There Alternatives?

by Marcello Montes de Oca

15 June 2020 13:37pm

When most people think about the internet, they often do not consider a complicated web of restrictions, inequalities, and censorship. Currently, over 25% of people will encounter at least one form of censorship when using the internet. This censorship can be as simple as a country that has set widespread limitations, such as China, or more subtle such as in the United States where certain content is barred from being shown by search providers like Google.

In the latter cases, traditionally the only way to access censored content is by using an open-source browser like TOR, although critics would warn that TOR use automatically puts you in the same category as deep-web criminals. Arguably even more concerning is the censorship that is happening blatantly in the United States. In 2018, Google and Facebook infamously banned cryptocurrency advertising, causing an uproar from the decentralized community.

The ironic part about internet censorship is that while this censorship increases, consumer privacy and data rights decrease rapidly. In the US, roughly 60% of people believe that it is impossible to go through daily life without the government collecting data on them. This casual acceptance of the loss of data privacy is one of the major inspirations of a new wave of companies looking to democratize the internet and consumer data.

The Creation of a New, Better Internet

The democratization of the current internet is already moving forward. Presearch, a decentralized search engine, built a following of over 1 million users after their CEO famously took on Google a decade earlier with an FTC investigation. This momentum led to a more challenging question: can there be a new entire internet that is fully decentralized, fair, and conscious of people’s data?

Well, ThreeFold are quite far along already. ThreeFold was started by early internet pioneers with a goal of creating a new sustainable, peer-to-peer internet grid that is fully decentralized and secure. This vision attracted a community of partners that shared aligned interests in building out an internet grid that is for the people, by the people, with minimal limitations or barriers to entry.

The result of this effort has nothing short of amazing. The ThreeFold Grid, made available by hundreds of independent farmers, constitutes the largest peer-to-peer grid of storage and compute internet capacity in the world. The ThreeFold Grid is present in over 22 countries, providing over 80 million gigabytes of existing capacity, 15.000+ CPU cores, and over 600 nodes.

The company’s promise of creating a more sustainable internet has attracted supporters from around the world. They are able to do this by using pioneering open-source technologies that remove the need for centralized and power-hungry data centers, consume 90% less energy, and use 90% less international fiber network capacity.

How ThreeFold Solves Existing Internet Issues

ThreeFold’s tech approach is focused on true decentralization. To do so, they had to start from scratch and design a new architecture that is distributed rather than centralized in data centers. The result is a very flexible, efficient, and powerful setup to create and run any IT workloads in a true peer-to-peer environment. The main enabler of this simplified architecture is ThreeFold's autonomous tech that relies on its unique operating system zero OS, and its virtual system administrator, 3Bot, as well as a super-efficient blockchain database (BCDB).

Workloads and data stored on the ThreeFold Grid are managed by its smart contract for IT that ensures data hosting is achieved in a fully autonomous way, thereby ensuring your data remains fully private and secure. There are no people involved between the end-user and the storage. Data is encrypted and stored through a dispersed storage algorithm that splits and hosts user data across several locations. Only the user can retrace that information, not even ThreeFold or ThreeFold Farmers.

The autonomous technology of ThreeFold constitutes an efficient architecture that makes the solution much more sustainable and affordable than a centralized cloud provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). This means that ThreeFold has essentially eliminated many of the inefficiencies and environmental concerns produced by the traditional internet, resulting in a much more efficient architecture.

How to Get Involved with ThreeFold

On June 1, ThreeFold’s native token (TFT) was listed on Liquid exchange, allowing supporters of ThreeFold’s vision to participate in the growth of the project. A TFT represents a unit of reservation capacity of compute, storage, and application. For developers, ThreeFold already released its beta Software Development Kit that is fully compatible with Docker, Kubernetes, and S3 Storage.

Additionally, anyone interested in further building out this new internet by becoming a ThreeFold Farmer can register their interest here.

The next upcoming roadmap milestone for the company is scheduled this summer with the release of TFGrid 2.1, which is explained in more detail here. For general interest or inquiries, more information about the project is available on ThreeFold’s Wiki and Website.