Fran Villalba Segarra
CEO and Founder
Internxt
/
Startup Contributor

A Decentralized Safe Space: Web3 and The Future of Online Privacy

By Fran Villalba Segarra | Wed, 02/23/2022 - 09:00

The internet is gripped in a monumental power struggle.

On the one hand, you have the old internet, or the internet we use now, dominated by large tech corporations and ads. On the other, you have a growing number of startups developing decentralized services and tokens.

Blockchain has revolutionized the internet, and though it may not be completely noticeable to the average everyday user just yet, radical change has certainly been set into motion. It’s only a matter of time before control of many of the internet's functions switches back to end-users and small developers.

The great shift I’m talking about is the rise of Web3, a revamped version of the internet.

Web3 is as much a philosophy as it is a concrete model for a new World Wide Web. Thanks to technologies like blockchain, encryption, peer-to-peer networks, and cryptocurrencies, the internet no longer needs to rely on massive, centralized server farms to operate.

The Problem With the Internet Now

Currently, most of the internet runs on servers operated by large corporations or governments. This presents a few problems, one being that the machines that make the internet run sit in the hands of only a few companies, which isn’t very democratic. These companies can dictate terms of service with impunity and the data stored with them is subject to any deficiencies, oversights, or abuse they choose to allow.

Another problem is that a lot of very important information is stored in one place, making it an easy target for hackers, cybercriminals, and the like. Essentially, all of our data eggs are stored in the same virtual basket. One breach can have serious and devastating consequences. This leaves users with very little control over the safety of their data. Users must place a massive amount of trust in tech giants to do their due diligence with very little choice in the matter.

Also, the current system is built on a pretty awful monetary model. Right now, for a website to generate income, it usually has to rely on ad revenue. These ads are targeted for effectiveness and to create a steady return for companies investing in adverts. This makes user data a hot commodity and, more often than not, your data is being collected without much notice. If a service or information is free on the internet, you're likely paying for it with your data.

Web3 Changes Everything

The good news? Web3 and the innovative technologies behind it reorganize the internet into a denser, more decentralized web. This new blueprint will change how the internet operates and give users more say on what is done with their data.

Web3 is a game changer in the fight for privacy and fundamental digital rights. By removing the control exerted on users from corporations, it frees people to make choices. A decentralized internet levels the playing field, creating a more accessible and transparent internet filled with more competition. The openness and greater choice give users agency that just doesn’t exist in our current set up.

The benefits of decentralization are super evident in the sector of online cloud storage. Users no longer have to hand over their personal files to Google, DropBox, or Microsoft, and lay bare their data to unknown parties. Now, we can end-to-end encrypt files, scatter them across a peer-to-peer network, make them accessible anywhere, and keep ownership and access firmly in users' hands.

Rethinking Privacy and Security

Web3, with its blockchain, encryption, and peer-to-peer services, will allow for a freer and equitable internet to rise out of the ad-invested nightmare we are scrolling today. It gives smaller, ethical companies equal footing in the digital arms race.

Many forward-thinking companies are moving the internet closer to the realization of Web3. At Internxt, we do our part by building a safe and secure cloud storage service for end users while working to advance awareness of fundamental digital human rights. We do this by harnessing many of the technologies that make Web3 possible and we have built the company for Web3 with nothing but the user in mind from day one.

We don’t need to maintain massive server complexes using up enormous amounts of energy. We don’t have to sell data for revenue since we offer high-quality service and charge a fee without any hidden loopholes or surprises. We encrypt everything and hand the user the only encryption key. As a company, we could vanish and your information, files, and photos would still be safe and sound, and accessible.

Internxt is a tool to be used, not a means of gathering information. Being open-source, transparency is paramount to our success, and that will be true for almost all services and applications designed for the new web.

We call ourselves a zero-trust company, meaning users don’t need to trust us with their data because only they can access it. Someday, the rest of the internet may be able to say the same about themselves.

No one can completely predict the future, but it's safe to say that Web3 could be a very good thing, not just for the virtual world but for all of mankind. The benefits of a decentralized internet far outweigh the negatives.

Web3 will, at the very least, give people some leverage and allow everyone who participates in online life to have a say. That alone is worth building toward.

Photo by:   Fran Villalba