Decentralized technologies can offer a lot to humanity. This is a massive opportunity which interestingly enough, came at the almost perfect time.
In the modern time, the world’s largest institutions and companies have grown so powerful that they can easily and quite openly in fact, take advantage of normal people without any sort of legal repercussions.
Look no further than Facebook being caught for the umpteenth time to be spying on its own clients. On the side-note, surveillance states like China and the United Kingdom should really make more people take 1984 as more than a fantasy novel.
That being said, countless innovations have appeared that act as a counterbalance to the extreme consolidation of power. Blockchain technology, distributed systems and cryptography can all be used to even up the scales. Essentially, cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications are almost impossible to shut down.
One of the biggest trade-offs with distributed networks is that, the need for each computer to retain a copy of the ledger, puts a huge constraint throughout the system. Basically, the system works only as fast as the slowest computer can process transactions.
Back in 2017, bitcoin was on a huge upswing and more people tried to use the network and it reached its limitations. This resulted in an increase in the fees required to transfer BTC.
Blockchain scalability was one of the biggest debates in crypto history
Debates were sparked on the issue of scaling and 2 different camps emerged. The 1st camp wanted to focus their efforts on scaling on-chain, which basically meant increasing the block size limit. This solution would relieve the fee pressure in the short term, but would offer linear improvement and would not be sufficient to reach wide-scale mass adoption.
The other camped directed their efforts on exponential scaling off-chain by building additional protocols on higher layers. Each layered protocol would later benefit from the security of the bitcoin blockchain while simultaneously adding functionality off-chain. This approach is how the current Internet is built and developed.
Several years have passed and the bitcoin community is now unanimous of focusing their efforts on the Lightning network and second-layer scaling solutions.
In the near future, social media, transportation services and even elections will most likely be on a blockchain. This will require more than just proof-of-work.
Each consensus mechanism has its own ups and downs. In order to truly decentralize every aspect of everything, there must be many novel approaches to secure the decentralized networks.
Blockchains are essential since they bring the so needed transparency to many of our institutions. Public ledgers do have the ability to shed some light on some of the darker corners of modern day society.
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