I want to be 100% decentralized
I'm not just talking my website. I want all of my online communication, professionally, social interactions, entertainment, etc. All of it. I dont want anybody snooping around my personal private messages, my files, no government official, police or some jackass sitting in his moms basement to go through my stuff. But I'm good. I'm decentralized since I'm on the fediverse right? At least my social stuff is on the fediverse. So I'm safe? Umm, turns out not so much.
I was wrong. I admit it!
All this time I was thinking that "I'm on the fediverse, I'm decentralized." But after my recent foray into the world of dapps and crypto I see that I wasn't. There is a flaw with the fediverse that is preventing it from being decentralized. You say yes it is decentralized and Im gonna have to disagree.
Fediverse is decentralized but still has some flaws.
- The apps can be self hosted and interact with each other. But not everybody can afford to go out and get their own vps, set up a home server or carry one around in their pocket. Yes there is Freedombox and Yunohost's Internet Cube. But again those require you to purchase a decvice and/or to do some level of technical knowledge. (Not that what I am about to go over doesnt require some technical knowledge but it's much easier to set up and go.)
-This causes the masses to join somebody else's server or instance and that ends up still creating the same problem as with the big centralized services such as Google and Facebook. You are reliant on someone else and must put your trust in them to not take the server offline, to not get thier database hacked, to not delete your account because you say something that they dont agree with.
When it clicked in my brain, Dapps dummy!
I kept seeing all these dapps search results I was getting for "decentralized". Dapps stands for "decentralized applications" and they are mostly webapps, desktop and mobile apps that you log into and use with an identity. They are all associated with some ecosystem and come with some form of cryptocurrency. Whether there is any actual monetary value is beyond my understanding and I'm not at all interested in trying to figure that out. There are literally hundreds of different ecosytems out there already. Just look up nearly any cryptocurrency and you will find some level of ecosytem around it. LBRY, Tron, Steem, Hive, Ethereum, EOS, EOIS, BitTorrent and even the one that started it all, BitCoin. But the drawback (or so I thought) was if joined one and nobody is using it chances are the developers will eventually abandon it. And so there you inherently have to put some level of trust into somebody else to keep developing it.
To understand more about dapps I'm going to point you to this at BlockGeeks.
So, I joined Blockstack. It is cool as hell. Over 100 apps and with a browser extension I could sign into all of them with a single id. There is even an email dapp. You can download the BlockStack browser and never have to open chrome or firefox. It's awesome. So I started checking these dapps out. From what I found on the history BlockStacks been around for awhile so there must be thousands of people on the social media stuff. Right? Hmmm, nope. All the posts I seen are just devs doing test posts. So I thought yeah, either somebody needs to do better at marketing dapps to the masses or BlockStack just isnt that popular.
But my mind was blown, because the secret to being truly decentralized isn't just using a decentralized dapp ecosystem. It's you the user being decentralized. You can have as many different identities across several or even all of these ecosystems if you want. That is even closer to true decentralization than what exists in the fediverse at this point in time.
So I pushed on
I had heard of DTube and Steemit but never realized that they were part of the Steem dapp ecosystem. And as far as social media they were killing it. That is until some dude named Justin Sun killed it. To make a long story short he tried to centralize it and ended up destroying the community. But the community jumped into action and created Hive. Now here I am, wanting to get into this thriving social media ecosystem on a blockchain in the middle of all this drama. What do I choose? Go with the tried and true Steem, switch to the new born Hive and get in on the ground floor or try to do both? Well after a loooooooonnnng(dripping with sarcasm here) consideration and reading the philosophy of both projects I went with Hive. Yeah they dont have the full complete mindblowing dapp ecosystem yet but they have what I'm interested in.
Now as of this post Hive literally just finalized the split and is completely independendt of Steem. All of the apps were given the choice on which one they wanted to be on. Unfortunately DTube was not one of them that made the switch because I wanted to try it. But Hive does have 3Speak which seems to be just as good. And you might even be watching this on it. I dont know. But dont worry I will never leave LBRY.
I found this little site called State of Dapps that lists all of the dapps in their respective ecosystems. Gives rankings and usage stats. Hive currently has 18 apps while Steem has 74. But you can find some more Hive dapps by going to Hive Projects.
So over the next several episodes we are going to explore more of Hive and how to get into it and use it. For more than just investing in a cryptocurrency.