Amazon Web Services decided to pull the WikiLeaks website from its servers in 2010. They said it was a violation of their terms of service, but Amazon was also under a political pressure. This incident raised questions about freedom in independent media. Google removes 1300 sites every year by government requests from 25 countries, including Cyprus, France or Japan. The problem with Google Compute Engine or Microsoft Azure is in a monitoring system which controls its functioning. This regulation needs to be very massive, because users want to view only very limited content on their mobile platforms.
If you look at Apple, they are selling iPhones with iOs or iTunes, but they also decided to launch iPad news publication controlled by Rupert Murdoch's corporation. The readers of this iNewspaper will be able to read only texts approved by one company. Edward Snowden’s leaks brought another reason not to trust centralized cloud systems: Security Agencies were secretly collecting users’ data from data centers owned by Google or Yahoo. The fear of hidden back doors opened debates about need of truly decentralized internet network.
In centralized web all your data, used searches, messages, photos and videos are owned by corporations who know everything about you. There is no online privacy on the internet in 2013. Corporations are trying to create a new internet 2.0, where all information is stored on cloud services. So you will be able to access your files on your mobile phone, tablet and notebook. This way you are going to lose all privacy. Pakistan already implemented a mandatory biometric regime for SIM-card users. All fingerprints used for purchases can now be used for the state fingerprint database. On the other hand in Mexican village Talea de Castro was built an independent mobile network, without any control of state governments or big corporations.
There are some places where decentralized network connects some local areas. Project Guifi started in 2000s by Ramon Roca. This local network has got more than 21.000 wireless nodes, most of them from Catalonia. Its users communicate with each other P2P. This project now hosts web servers, videoconferencing services and internet radio broadcasts. This system is based on radio wireless network, so it would work also if the internet was shot down. Very similar network based in the US is Hyperboria, a virtual meshnet that runs P2P through the existing internet. So it needs internet connection, but its content is unreachable by centralized servers.
Internet is centralized thanks to ISPs' (internet service providers) switches. That's why could be protesters in Egypt unplugged on 28 January 2011. This might be prevented by decentralized systems with enabled internet connection between all computers in the network. Decentralized computing can be used for file sharing, payments and all kinds of online communication. It is based on a peer-to-peer applications running on several local computers, whose connect remotely to each other.
One of the implementation of decentralized internet is a lightweight version of the free Linux operating system invented by Jacob Cook (ArkOS). It has a big advantage of its cheap maintenance: you can run it on Raspberry Pi, a little microcomputer, cheaper and smaller than your mobile phone. It allows hosting for any data that you can access anywhere. This way users don't have to use Dropbox or Amazon, services owned by someone else.
Bitcloud will try to make anonymous internet, with invention of routing traffic in a brand new mesh network (= Proof of Bandwidth). So the internet providers won't be needed. It's already aiming for replacing YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Soundcloud or Spotify. It is quite similar to MaidSafe, which is a bitcoin for data that aspires to replace Skype, Facebook, Dropbox, Tor or Wuala.
A few years ago was created Diaspora, distributed and decentralized social network. The problem is even this project was backed by specific organization (Free Software Support Network) which means centralization. The FreedomBox brought decentralized system of encrypted voice and text communication. Anyone can anonymously talk to the media or public using FreedomBox, even from countries censored by governments. However FreedomBox foundation is a Delaware nonprofit corporation - so even this project is based on centralized group of people. Their goal was to eventually replace Facebook/Twitter/Flicker, but they didn't complete the application yet. Also using a Kickstarter and payment by Amazon for funding is very centralized way of getting to the system. Almost four years after the Kickstarter funding ($86.724) the backers still didn't obtain an application they paid for.
All these programs had a problem with getting a mass adoption. They were so specific, that they couldn't find a relevant number of users. So Identi.ca and GNU social didn’t replace Facebook, Mega, Parley, Scramble,StartMail, BitMessage, Darkmail, FlowingMail or Pond didn’t gain as many users as Gmail. That's why is important to have one solution that could easily maintain the whole decentralized internet.
Nxt solutionsIf you want to enter the game as a decentralized application, starting as a currency to obtain a wide distribution is a good place to start. All of the above mentioned projects have had problems with integration and distribution. Nxt started as the first pure Proof of Stake cryptocurrency in November 2013, and since then - in just a few short months - it has gained more than 20.000 users. The first part of BCNext’s plan, the anonymous inventor of Nxt, was spreading the monetary system among as many users as possible to create a network of decentralized P2P computers (nodes). This network is based on a lightweight client running on each connected node, so it can send data directly P2P. Thanks to the new code, it can provide up to 100 transactions per second.
Nxt uses an efficient system to maintain the network by using much lower processing power and electricity than is needed for Bitcoin and its clones. It is important to stay decentralized, by forming the Nxt network from thousands of users from all over the world, so this system cannot be censored. You cannot point to any owner of the Nxt system. Ordinary users don't own Nxt coins, they only know the passphrase to a Nxt brainwallet. This means that no legal entity can take Nxt coins from you… There is no creator to blame, no specific user to arrest, and you cannot take the Nxt network down. Nobody can censor P2P networks. Nxt also is not vulnerable to 51% attacks like Bitcoin, so even if someone owns 90% of all Nxt coins, the Nxt network is secured thanks to Transparent Forging algorithms.
Nxt evolved after the second part BCNext's plan was revealed. Nxt coins cannot only be used as currency, they can also be the building blocks to implement any other project on top of the Nxt platform. Different people may have different ideas. Nxt will provide a platform for easy creation of new currencies. Thousands of cryptocurrencies can be built on top of the Nxt network. They are maintained on Nxt blockchain, but they will have their own environment. Also, people can use assets to issue new coins, so they can easily create their own monetary system via the recently implemented asset exchange. All will be secured by Nxt’s green and attack-proof environment. It is up to the creators of those coins, whether their currency will be Proof of Work (Dogecoin), Stake (Peercoin), Bandwidth (Lakshmi, Bitcloud), Burn (Counterparty) or even Learning and Content (UNITAS project). These coins can be used for different purposes– as redeemable "points" and "credits" for businesses and organizations, as redeemable tokens for prepurchases, or local community and even national currencies. Iceland is introducing Auroracoin, when half of all coins will be sent to all of the Iceland inhabitants. Nxt could eventually replace even US Dollars.
Nxt applications similar to Twitter and Viber (messages app) are now available. Soon, the first game built on top of the Nxt network will be published: a decentralized Poker game. It is very simple to create new applications for Nxt. Nxt will be like Lego for cryptocurrencies. Developers can build anything they imagine on top of Nxt.
Nxt Arbitrary Messages lead us to the true decentralized web - torrent files have already been sent via this network. With multiple parallel blockchains running side-by-side, Nxt will be able to provide cloud storage and file sharing apps. The principle behind these applications is using different blockchains for different purposes: one for file storage, one for messages, and so on. Each app will use only a specific blockchain(s) and won't be spammed by the others. Additionally, with blockchain pruning, users will not need to download large blockchains as they do now with Bitcoin and its forks.
Other functions based on Zerocoin and mixing services can provide a completely anonymous infrastructure that was originally built in the Phantom protocol - a decentralized network that focuses on the anonymization of users. Currently, Bitcoin and Nxt are only pseudonymous - transactions from the same account can still be linked to each other. With the Zerocoin feature integrated into the NXT core, it will be mathematically infeasible to link the particular coins used by each user.
Decentralized computing systems built on the Nxt platform could locally solve all kinds of research projects. Thanks to the extremely fast Nxt network, home computers can work on mathematical projects so their owners may receive crypto coins. With built-in decentralized exchanges, such coins can be immediately exchanged for other coins. Currently being tested, the decentralized Asset Exchange allows users to transform these coins into assets for fiat currencies, shares or commodities such as silver and gold. Anyone can use these exchanges without any restrictions of high fees. Asset exchange will replace “kickstarter websites” because with Nxt you can create a kickstarter crowdfunding project without any 3rd party.
Nxt uses small fees, and these fees are always returning to the users who maintain the Nxt network. While fees in VISA or PayPal system go to the centralized corporations, in the Nxt ecosystem, they are distributed fairly between users. While Bitcoin is capable of 7 transactions per second (TPS), Nxt is going to have 100 and then even 1000 TPS, so Nxt payment network might replace VISA eventually.
Nxt will be soon cooperating with DAC (Distributed Autonomous Corporations), such as Bitcloud or ArkOS. Automated Transactions, the Turing-complete scripts, are already being developed. With Bitcloud, nodes on a mesh network can be rewarded financially for routing traffic in a brand new mesh network. This removes the need for Internet Service Providers. The goal is always same: to replace YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, Spotify, and others with decentralized, open source alternatives.
ArkOS and Nxt systems are very ecofriendly, you can run Nxt on a Raspberri Pi too. Possible merging of these projects may lead to a future of free, decentralized and green internet. Especially if the programs created on top of Nxt network used applications similar to ArkOS.
Currently, United States Federal Grants have been used to invest into installing Fiber Optic Cables. The fiber was installed and then control turned over to Kitsap County Public Utility District. Then, it was forbidden from selling access to this fiber. So instead, they have installed a free mesh network providing access to the communities of Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, and Port Orchard. NXT Cubietrucks or Odroids connected to federally funded community WIFI mesh connections will connection redundancy to the Nxt network.
Another example of the grassroots deployment of a Commotion Wireless firmware based mesh network is in Brooklyn New York following Hurricane Sandy at the request of the local authorities. This mesh network exists to this day and is served by a donated fiber optic backhaul. The network serves over 500 residents who access it with iPhones, Androids, and other WIFI client devices. The mesh network was deployed by a small group of wireless networking enthusiasts utilizing Ubiquiti Networks Picostations and Nanostations and federally unlicensed wireless spectrum.
These two examples of currently existing community wireless mesh networks are perfect candidates and examples of existing decentralized networking that can be immediately integrated into the operation of the Nxt network. The Commotion Wireless project is active is Seattle and many other major US cities. Wireless mesh networking holds the capability of creating geographic mesh networks that interconnect globally via existing fiber optic backhaul, sidestepping the stranglehold of telecommunications providers worldwide. The day the Nxt network has sufficient backhaul redundancy through mesh networking will be a glorious one indeed, as Nxt data will no longer be required to traverse legacy information channels dominated by government sanctioned communication oligopolies.
The third part of BCNext's plan will be released on April 2014. It will most likely be his idea about building all kinds of decentralized applications on top of Nxt’s green network. Since the Nxt system is democratic and users will be able to vote on all important decisions, people do not have to follow BCNext's plans and can continue with Nxt as a simple currency. This is one of the most important aspects of Nxt: the creator BCNext has no power over Nxt and he cannot control its development. All the power is in the hands of independent developers and code reviewers, with input from the community. He can only suggest new ideas, but he cannot implement them directly in the protocol. Nxt has no benevolent dictator, no sponsoring company or corporation. Instead Nxt is organized around active users and contributors. Some people have already begun to work on new coins and other implementations, so BCNext's plan will likely be fulfilled as well as inspire new ideas.
Nxt is one step ahead of all other decentralized platforms thanks to its kickstart as a cryptocurrency. It is now ready to become a new decentralized internet. Nxt provides a powerful and flexible platform for developers, allowing them to easily develop new applications for Nxt. Thanks to the great community behind it, from the participants of the now almost two thousand pages of discussion in the Nxt Bitcointalk “pub” thread, as well as other forums. Nxt has achieved so much in such little time. Anyone can join this fantastic group of open-minded individuals and make a positive contribution. You can join Nxt at http://mynxt.org / http://nxtcrypto.org / http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=345619.0 to learn more.