Meet Vitalik Buterin, the 20-Year-Old Who Is Decentralizing Everything - Shareable
"Let’s talk about net neutrality and Internet service providers — that example is fun. Right now, all Internet traffic flows through a few ISPs. They overcharge, they don’t really innovate, and they give preferential treatment to big business. For about 10 years, there has been the alternative idea of mesh networking, where we get rid of ISPs and, instead, have Internet messages relayed directly — person-to-person, laptop-to-phone-to-laptop. Theoretically, this completely solves the problems caused by ISPs. So, why hasn’t it succeeded?
The reason is that inside of one city, it works fine; but when you need to send a message, say, from Toronto to Sydney, that’s 15,000 kilometers, or 45,000 cell phone and laptop hops, even with optimal hardware. Even that assumes there are nodes going all along the ocean. It’s obviously far too slow and expensive. We need large, undersea cables and professional infrastructure for international routing. So, here’s the new solution: incentivized mesh networking. Anyone can join the network as a node. Anyone can charge for being a relay node for other people’s messages. And if I want to send a request to some server, I run a graph-search algorithm to find the shortest, cheapest path. So, if you pay a few microcents per kilobyte, your messages get transferred. If you have a phone, you can participate in the network and get a few cents an hour. Large companies can also participate. I could start a company whose sole purpose is to run and maintain a single wire going from Vancouver to Melbourne and collect fees off that. If my wire is the fastest, cheapest way to get messages over, people will use it. If I filter traffic from Wikileaks, then Wikileaks users can just use someone else’s wire instead.
The result is maximum modularity, minimum barrier to entry, an optimal marketplace. This allows you to incorporate satellites, undersea cables, intercity cables, phones, and more all into one network. That’s how we fix the Internet’s issues of monopoly and net neutrality."
Credit: Lightcoin on Ethereum.org. Just before last New Year’s, 19-year-old Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian college dropout and Bitcoin enthusiast, had an idea. By the end of last week, that idea had attracted more than $5 million in the first week of its pre-sale — a new kind of crowdfunding that crypto-currency makes possible. Not bad, especially considering that nobody knows whether the idea will really work.