Battle for the Internet
Ninety percent of data on the internet has been created in the past two years.
We upload family photos to a photo-sharing app; save travel plans on a travel app; store notes and articles in a note-taking app. Almost every app we use asks us to save our debit or credit card details at some point. We trust others to keep our data secure, but there is no way to verify who else is accessing our data online. As soon as we upload our data, we cede control.
In the wrong hands, a little piece of data can go a long way. Early in 2017, an attack on Equifax, a credit-scoring firm in the US, compromised the account details and social security numbers of 143 million Americans. Most of this data has already been sold to other black market firms who will use the stolen information to commit fraud.
As more of our data is stored in blackbox central databases, the success rate and impact of these data breaches will continue to scale. According to Karthik Swarnam, AT&T Vice President of Security Architecture, “Cybercrime damages are expected to rise to USD 6 trillion annually by 2021”. With enough successful attacks, our trust in the internet will crumble.
“Cybercrime damages are expected to rise to $6 trillion annually by 2021.”
But a fringe community of Libertarian programmers and activist hackers believe they have found a solution to restore trust in the internet, introducing a new paradigm for transacting online in the process.
What began as a passion project of tech diehards has transformed, with breathtaking speed, into a wave of innovation that is sweeping through the digital community. This movement is touching off a surge in new ventures, investments, and solutions that, if realised at scale, have the potential to fundamentally change how we interact with the internet.
How did an idea pioneered by anti-authoritarian punks and championed by drug dealers, become the darling of governments, banks, and global corporations?
The story of Blockchain is the story of a persistent human quest for trust, autonomy, and safety.