Digital Currencies – Decentralization Means You Choose
By Peter H Le
Decentralization of money and payment systems has influenced the social network community. Many new social networks are popping up, but one in particular took an extra step forward and made their entire social network, decentralized. Diaspora (joindiaspora.com) is a new social network with one twist, it allows you to completely own the information that you produce and create, and gives you full control of what to share.
Unlike Facebook, Diaspora does not own any information you post or share and it is not the central authority for deciding what information should flow into the network. It lets the community members decide for themselves.
There have been stories of Facebook shutting down certain company sites or posts for providing information Facebook finds in conflict with its policies.
The founders of Diaspora believe they can help people socialize on the Internet without requiring ownership of other people’s information. Their members are allowed to decide for themselves what information they can provide and share.
Diaspora’s social network operates without any fixed servers or data centers. There are many computers and servers all over the world, connected to each other that create the network.
Diaspora claims that, unlike Facebook, even a company shutdown won’t stop their decentralized social network from running. A good analogy is to think of Diaspora as made up of member controlled mini-Facebooks, with local control of member’s shared and posted information.
Both Bitcoin and Diaspora are decentralized open-source technologies for community building and growth. Their technology continually progresses and improves.
Decentralization has even enabled communities to build up their own hubs and nodes of the Internet. Traditionally, Internet access is through Internet Service Providers (ISPs) typically communication companies such as cable and telephone providers or Google,Yahoo, or Cisco Networks.
An upstart Kansas foundation is offering a solution where groups of people can become their own ISPs, bypassing the traditional ISPs completely. The Free Network Foundation’s philosophy is:
“Anyone may join, use and expand the network, and must allow others to do the same. The Free Network Foundation envisions a world where communities build, maintain, and own their own share of the global computer network”.
Using a collection of microwave dishes, small towns, communities, or groups of people can create a wireless Internet connection, hence powering a decentralized Internet.
I like the sound of that!
Along those same lines, Mycelium (bitcoincard.org) is powering a decentralized wireless network based upon a swarm of credit card sized communication devices self-organizing into their own communication network. The cards will need to be within about 300 meters of each other, and the company claims that the network is infinitely expandable, with a minimum of a few cards per city block to keep the network active.
The cards are all powered by photovoltaic cells and communicate by radio in a license free spectrum. The current system goals include pushing personally directed advertising to potential customers, with the ability to charge the maximum the cardholders are willing to pay (price discrimination), based upon their purchase history and what other merchandise they are browsing. The cards will even let merchants know everywhere the cardholders went in their stores and how much time they spent in each place, as well as the sequence of stops.
The cards should also allow direct card to card money transfers, and payments without the customers needing to remove the cards from their wallets or purses. The system is also planned to allow passing text messages and pictures.
Decentralization is an old concept but is at the core these three aforementioned technologies: digital currency, social networking, and ultimately the Internet. Sometimes, when old school places the value of people above all else, old school doesn’t go out of style or relevance.
Keep an eye out on the early adopters of these new technologies and new paradigm shift. They could later be the new trendsetters and change how business is conducted.
Regardless of whatever new technologies come out in the next year, six months, or six minutes, technology will always change. That applies not only to technology, but also to decentralization, and ultimately life itself.
You can either surf the unforgiving wave of change feeling utterly alive, or get crushed by it and slide away in the undertow. Technological decentralization is exploding the old traditional paradigms, giving people more choices, more possibilities, and ultimately more freedom.
So go out and surf…!
Peter Le is director of Qollage, a Singapore-based company specialising in consulting and concierge services for Ripple & Bitcoin technology. Born in Vietnam and raised in California, he consulted over 15 years in Business Development & Technology Services, working internationally from Hong Kong to Silicon Valley to Central America.
His core expertise is being the liaison between the worlds of Finance, Marketing, and Technology, creating real-world solutions for institutions. His past clients include industries in Banking, Health Care, Tourism, Gaming, Retail, and Telecommunications. He holds bachelors degrees in Marketing, Finance, and Management Information Systems at the University of Arizona, and is a member of the Platinum Group for international planning and structuring.
Peter’s e-book “Bitcoin in English” is available free to all Premium Level Members of Q Wealth. To find out more about Premium Level Membership, click here: