What Is Blockchain And Will It Replace The Internet?
Blockchain, Bitcoin, De-Fi, Etherium, and many more complex words that you don’t understand whatsoever. But you keep hearing, that they’re the future, whether you like it or not. And you don’t understand what it is, or how it could be the future. I will do my best to explain everything as simply as I can.
Usually everything on the internet and in real life is controlled by some company. And you have to trust that company with all of your sensitive details, such as your banking details. And, of course, trust that they will deliver whatever you paid for. AND there will be middlemen charging fees, for example, connecting the customer with the seller. This is insane! A high level of skepticism is needed when using the internet. Since it’s so centralised. Too much is based on trusting someone you don’t know and paying people who didn’t do much in delivering the product to you.
So what’s the solution? You guessed it, blockchain. And yes, I know it already says it in the title you smartass. But what is blockchain and how could it solve this problem?
You could compare blockchain to the Internet. It is the foundation where stuff can be built on. Amazon and Google aren’t the internet, but without internet they wouldn’t exist. Similar with blockchain. Bitcoin and Uniswap aren’t the blockchain, but without blockchain technology, they wouldn’t exist.
So how’s Blockchain different from the Internet?
Well, unlike the internet, the stuff you build on the blockchain isn’t owned by one entity (centralised). There isn’t one company calling all of the shots. Instead, the blockchain does it. Well kinda. The blockchain itself can only verify that everything on there is correct. I won’t get into how it verifies it. That would mean a lot of nerdy and complicated words. But someone made a system that does it (Proof Of Work, that's how bitcoin verifies its transactions). But basically, the blockchain is a trust machine. Once you put something on there, it can’t be altered or tampered with. Since the blockchain is decentralised. Where does it ‘live’? It works thanks to a peer-to-peer system. So it ‘lives’ on all of the machines that participate in it. But what if you actually need a middleman like Amazon who can connect buyers and sellers? Then you can use a Smart Contract that is built on the blockchain.
The Smart Contract will execute by itself when certain requirements are met. For example, you could crowdfund for a house through a smart contract. People send their money to the Smart Contract. When there’s enough money to buy the agreed-upon house, then it will buy it automatically. Later, when the revenue from rent comes, it will divide and send the money back to the people. Of course, the person who spent more on the house will also receive more. This way there isn’t a middleman who takes a cut of the pie.
Other implementations of this technology could be a birth certificate, ID card, securely storing and sharing medical records of patients, music royalties, concert tickets, voting, and many more!
Will the internet be replaced?
Finally, the question of this article, will blockchain replace the internet? Shortly said, no. There are many flaws in this technology. One of the biggest is that once the data is on the blockchain, it can't be changed or deleted. So imagine that you will never be able to fix bugs in your software, never be able to make any updates. Although people are looking into how to get past this problem, and all of the other ones, I don’t think it can replace the internet, or at least not in the near future.
It will nicely accommodate it. Internet’s use cases might however change since the blockchain does do some things significantly better than the internet. But not everything. The internet is still way faster in certain tasks.
Simply said, the internet is faster but not secure and is based on a lot of trust. While on the other hand blockchain is usually slower but way more secure. So blockchain should now be used for data storage for example and the internet for data exchange.