For the past four years, a Hong-Kong software engineer named Larry Salibra has been working on a decentralized internet where big companies like Facebook, Google, ad Alibaba will have no access to your personal data and browsing history. His creation is ready to come to life.
“It’s a really big change from the current internet … we [take] the value away from these big centralized companies like Facebook and Google and put data back into the users’ control…”
-Larry Salibra to the South China Morning Post
This is how the “New Internet” will operate
Salibra saw more possibilities for blockchain, and he wanted to implement those ideas into Blockstack. If you are unfamiliar with blockchains and Bitcoins, more info can be found here.
“By using bitcoin transactions and putting some special data into each transaction, we’re able to create a virtual blockchain on top of the bitcoin blockchain that just has Blockstack-specific data.”
Blockstack will enable users to buy an ID and share only the information that they want to share with the rest of the community. Everything that they want to keep private will be kept private. A decentralized internet also means that hackers won’t have access to any personal data unless they target an individual. And that would be expensive and time-consuming, according to Salibra.
Blockstack has been in development since 2013, and was created to counteract censorship. China’s government has a “great firewall” that blocks access to websites they don’t find fitting for their citizens. They can block anything from big websites like Facebook to small media outlets. Blockstack, being a decentralized internet, will not allow that; there is no way for anyone to control the flow of information on a Blockstack network.
“We envision a world where … if what they’re doing is illegal, you get a court order and you enforce that against them in the real world. You don’t want Google making its own decision about what’s acceptable or governments going to them to delete domains.”
Blockstack apps are currently distributed via regular internet domains, but once the “new internet” is up and running there will be no need for that. Blockstack will also allow software developers to earn money by creating new apps. Payments will be made with cryptocurrency only. App creators will register on a blockchain and will have full control over their creations. No one will be able to remove them except the creator.
In August it was announced that the budget for this project is 25 million USD and that Blockstack will be released for desktop computers in the first quarter of 2018. Users will access it via a browser that is developed by Salibra.
A mobile app is also being developed,but it is unclear if Google and Apple will approve the app for their devices.