Will Blockchain Take Net Neutrality’s Place?

December 29, 2017 - 4 minutes read

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably heard about the FCC’s recent vote to repeal net neutrality rules. Many now fear for the future of freedom on the Internet, thinking the battle is now over since the voting is done. But all is not lost. The development of blockchain technology may end up thwarting the FCC’s decision to dismantle net neutrality.

The Issue At Hand

The topic of repealing net neutrality has been occupying headlines for years. If you’ve been keeping up, you’ve probably realized that it pops up sporadically in the mainstream media every time the FCC launches a full-on attempt to unravel it.

Major internet service providers and other giant corporations believe they should be able to dictate Internet traffic. Basically, they want the right to charge different amounts of money depending on what websites you’re browsing. In this version of the Internet, it would be similar to the current state of modern TV, where you only get “premium” channels after paying more.

Previous attempts by the FCC have failed after enough public backlash was generated from social media. This time, that didn’t happen. Many internet activists believe this underscores the beginning of an era where large companies rule over us through the Internet, the defining paradigm of our time. It’s easy to see why they’d think that — it seems like nobody wants this to happen except corporations that would profit.

The Foundation of the Internet

Even the pioneers of the Internet have been vocal in their disagreement with repealing net neutrality. This comes as no surprise when considering the Internet was created to be an equalized platform for everyone using it. The Internet has always been a medium that no one person could control completely. It was invented to be a place where information could flow freely, a type of “looking glass” through which we could learn about new subjects we would never have encountered in our physical reality.

Treating the Internet like a utility that companies have the right to charge for defies this fundamental characteristic of the Internet itself. Because blockchain technology is decentralized, there is no single authority that could corrupt it for their political motives. By letting the community itself be the authority, blockchain embodies what the Internet should have had all along to protect itself.

The Promise of Blockchain

Blockchain is bigger than the buzzword it has become in news headlines. It’s larger than its current utilization for transactions and cryptocurrencies. The reason it’s becoming so popular is because of its underlying philosophy, not its surface-level mechanisms. More people are starting to believe that establishing a communal trust system is the future, not a system in which three, two, or even one player dictates the rules.

This is integral to protecting the current equality we all benefit from while using the Internet as it is. The effects of repealing net neutrality go well beyond just San Francisco development communities; doing so could change the fabric of society as we know it. But with technologies like blockchain on the rise, innovation will always trump greed.

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