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The State of the Decentralized Web (DWeb): Key Industry Insights

The decentralized or distributed web (DWeb) is widely slated as the natural evolution of the web thanks to its potential to claw back power from the centralized entities that currently…

The post The State of the Decentralized Web (DWeb): Key Industry Insights appeared first on CoinCentral.

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The decentralized or distributed web (DWeb) is widely slated as the natural evolution of the web thanks to its potential to claw back power from the centralized entities that currently dominate the internet landscape and return it to us—the users. 

A recent paradigm shift has seen users demand control of their data, while an incredible uptick in open-source developments has given rise to a medley of technologies like Tor, BitTorrent, and blockchain, which many see as the fundamental building blocks of the DWeb. 

To better understand the current state of this rapidly emerging set of technologies, we at Fluence took up the task of surveying more than 600 individuals, two-thirds of which cited a direct tech background, and 231 were actively working on DWeb projects. From these responses, we distilled some interesting and sometimes sobering insights and opinions about the current states of the DWeb. 

Editor’s note: The following article is a guest post from Evgeny Ponomarev of  Fluence Network and Polygrowth.io. The article frequently references a 2020 Decentralized Web Development Report by Fluence Network. 

As with many potentially disruptive technologies, a great deal of work usually needs to go into building out a variety of other precursors, and synergistic technologies before the full capabilities of a newer technology are entirely made clear. 

Source: Fluence Decentralized Web Report 2020

Source: Fluence Decentralized Web Report 2020

This is undoubtedly the case with the DWeb, which will likely be formed from a wide array of accessory technologies, which might include P2P communication protocols, privacy-focused networks, and decentralized DNS, among others. However, many of these are still in an early stage of development, while some significant technical challenges for the DWeb are yet to be solved.

dweb study

More than half of survey respondents agreed that P2P file sharing, content-addressable storage, and P2P communication protocols would be necessary to achieve DWeb. Conversely, this figure drops to just 40.5% for data-ownership protocols like Solid and 35% for blockchain.

Despite this, similar to the results of our 2019 Dapp Survey, almost half (44%) of those in the DWeb sphere highlights a lack of documentation and learning resources as the most frustrating thing about DWeb tech. This was closely followed by the difficulties involved in applying (42%) and integrating (40%) the technology. Curiously, a small minority of respondents (11%) believe the technology simply doesn’t work. 

Nonetheless, some current open-source DWeb projects have managed to gain significant traction among respondents—of these, IPFS and Ethereum are used by 36% and 25% of respondents respectively, whereas Dat (14%), ActivityPub (13%), WebTorrent (12%), and Libp2p (12%) also stand out as popular platforms and protocols for DWeb development. 

Overall, like many emerging innovations, technical challenges combined with the simple fragmentation of resources and information make up the majority of the issues faced by DWeb developers. 

Although technical challenges are a significant obstacle to the development and growth of the DWeb, around 70% of respondents believe that a general lack of user understanding is another significant roadblock. Comparatively, 49% believe that tech immaturity is one of the biggest obstacles, while 42% cited the resistance from tech giants as one of the biggest obstacles moving towards the DWeb. 

decentralized web

Scaling further in, we asked projects about their challenges in achieving mass user adoption, to which 59% cited a lack of maturity, 35.5% found it challenging to onboard and educate new users, and 24% believe the low number of total DWeb users is a significant factor. One respondent puts it like this:

“The biggest barrier to adoption is making the tech easy to use. Right now, for non-techy people, it’s difficult even to understand what DWeb is, let alone use the tech.”

These challenges might explain why many DWeb products have failed to achieve significant user adoption, with only 2% of 228 respondents saying their project has between 10,000 and 100,000 monthly users. In comparison, 35% haven’t launched yet, and around 21% have under 100 monthly users.

Although growing pains are to be expected with new technologies, challenges resulting from complicated user experiences and stiff competition from more fleshed out centralized options have proven to be significant obstacles to growth. 

While a one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges of developing the DWeb would undoubtedly be a welcome development, the issues are so multiplex that this is unlikely to be the case. 

Instead, our survey indicates that 75.5% of respondents believe data sovereignty issues with the current web implementation should be tackled first. In comparison, data privacy (59%), tech resilience and resistance to interruption (56%) and security issues (51%) were also popular picks for the first lines of development. 

These results fit firmly with the burgeoning narrative of users increasingly looking to take their privacy and security into their own hands, shunning the data mines and centralized hubs that underlie many of the biggest gripes with the current web—such as censorship, covert data monetization, and privacy abuse. 

Though blockchains represent perhaps the most versatile peer-to-peer system in current usage and are frequently touted as the solution to data privacy, interference, and centralization concerns suffered by many systems, the majority of survey respondents (58%) believe that the technology isn’t a silver bullet solution to the challenges associated with the DWeb.

decentralized web

Opinions of the blockchain from the study.

Nonetheless, we found that many respondents do believe blockchain has its uses, as 54% agreed that it’s useful for decentralized currency, 36% said it’s useful for decentralized identity applications, and 33% believe the technology has a variety of use cases related to the DWeb. 14% believed that blockchain is a “waste of time.”

This tells us that there is still a stark divide on the potential of blockchain—a technology that remains unproven in many aspects but still widely lauded as the future of many industries. Two quotes we received perfectly sum up the wildly contrasting opinions of our respondents. 

“Interesting solution, but not practical due to its massive energy needs. It also does not scale!” said one respondent. “Possibly useful for P2P systems where people can contribute resources (e.g. storage) to a pool or pay to use it,” said another. 

We found that the business models surrounding the DWeb remain one of the major hurdles for developers, many of which have struggled to identify a viable way to monetize their projects.

decentralized web

Decentralized web report

Overall, only 15% of respondents cited their project included a paid product, whereas just 1% gets by with advertising revenue—drastically different from that seen by centralized data monetization methods. Instead, a whopping 30% do not extract money from their project at all and a further 22.5% plans to figure out monetization at a later date.

Accordingly, more than half of these Decentralized Web projects are self-funded, while almost a fifth are VC/Angel funded.

All-in-all, though it is clear that there is a great need for DWeb technologies and significant support lying in wait, a range of technical hurdles, UX challenges, and roadblocks will need to be addressed to truly compete with the simplicity and functionality offered by the centralized models in popular usage today. Nonetheless, the vision of DWeb is certainly one worth pursuing, and the foundations are slowly, but surely being laid today.

Source: https://coincentral.com/state-of-the-decentralized-web-2020/

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India’s Crypto Ban Uncertain as Finance Minister Touts a Window for Experiments

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India’s Finance Minister told CNBC that the country’s reserve bank is not shutting out cryptocurrencies entirely. She said that while the Reserve Bank of India will decide which unofficial cryptocurrencies will be used and regulated, there will be “a window for experiments” in the industry.

New Lease Of Life For Bitcoin In India

India’s minister of finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, spoke briefly on the country’s standpoint on digital assets in a CNBC virtual townhall. She said that several negotiations are being held with the Reserve Bank of India regarding an impending ban.

A lower parliament in India raised a bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies in January. It said that the move was to facilitate the development of the country’s CBDC, which the RBI will issue and regulate. This did not go down well with cryptocurrency enthusiasts and industry stakeholders in the country. In response, they started an online campaign tagged #IndiaWantsBitcoin to get the RBI to reconsider its stance.

Sitharaman’s remarks suggest that the campaign was quite impactful. She said:

“A lot of negotiations and discussions are happening around the cryptocurrency with the Reserve Bank of India. RBI will be taking a call on what kind of unofficial cryptocurrency will have to be planned and how it has to be regulated. However we want to make sure that there is a window available for all kinds of experiments which will have to take place in the crypto world. There will be a very calibrated position taken. A lot of mixed messages are coming from across the world. World is moving fast with technology, we cannot pretend that we don’t want it.”

Sitting On The Fence

India is renowned for its controversial stance on bitcoin after several “back and forth” regulations. The government had initially banned cryptocurrencies in 2018 after warning investors. The halt was later overturned by the Supreme court. The apex court described the ban as “unconstitutional.”

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India’s lower parliament received backlash from the global crypto community for what seemed like a ridiculous exception to its proposed cryptocurrency ban. It said it will “allow for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.” Regulatory bodies in the country had severally pushed the motion to advance blockchain technology adoption while banning cryptocurrencies.

Its non-committal approach has raised question marks regarding the country’s future in the digital asset space.

Digital Rupee Still In The Picture

Although Sitharaman did not discuss the progress of the digital rupee, the second most populous nation may take a cue from its neighbors, China.

China has continued trials of its digital yuan and has distributed millions of dollars in the digital currency to its citizens.

India’s Reserve bank governor, Shaktikanta Das, said last month that although there is no set date for the launch, the digital rupee was “receiving full attention.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/indias-crypto-ban-uncertain-as-finance-minister-touts-a-window-for-experiments/

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Cardano Price Analysis: 07 March

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The cryptocurrency market has been constantly forming crusts and troughs as it strives towards stability. Cardano’s market witnessed a similar trend wherein the price surged towards the end of February but has been correcting since.

At the time of writing, Cardano was trading at $1.13 with a market capitalization of $35.68 billion.

Cardano six-hour chart

Source: ADAUSD on TradingView

The above chart noted that the current market movement had formed a descending triangle and the price was sloping lower. The price has been supported at $1.06 as the trend becomes bearish.

This downwards trending price has been indicating a further drop making its way into the ADA market.

Reasoning

After witnessing increased volatility in the recent past, the ADA market is now seeing the volatility reduce. However, it has not yet shrunk to a level where a price swing was not possible. Since the descending triangle was a bearish trend, a price drop could make the market more volatile.

The signal line and the 50 moving average were also moving above the price candles and were acting as a point of resistance. Meanwhile, market momentum has turned negative due to the rising selling pressure in the market.

Despite the shift in momentum, the Relative Strength Index has remained close to the equilibrium zone. This could be a sign for the consolidation of the price at the current level but as bearishness increases, the consolidation phase may lead to the price breaking down.

Crucial levels

Entry-level: $1.07
Stop-level: $1.17
Take profit: $0.91
Risk to Reward: 1.53

Conclusion

The current ADA market has been seeing the price drop to its $1.06 support. As the price tests the support, the indicators have been highlighting an incoming fall. This fall could push the digital asset under the support and could bring the value under $1.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/cardano-price-analysis-07-march

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HODLing early leads to relationship troubles? Redditors share their stories

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Crypto investments have reportedly been a source of strife in relationships, sometimes leading to breakups and even divorce. 

According to a Reddit post from February 2015, a then 28-year-old woman using a throwaway account claimed that she was incredibly upset at her husband, who had not stopped purchasing Bitcoin (BTC) since 2013 without consulting her. She estimated that he had bought more than $22,000 in the crypto asset in the two years prior to the post, when the price reached a high of more than $1,000 but also dipped under $200.

“I kept telling him to sell as the price was rising and he promised me a big year in 2014,” she said. “The price kept falling and he continued to buy more. He makes more money than I do but we are building a future together and we have a shared bank account. He kept telling me this was for our kids’ college fund, to buy a house, etc.”

In the early days of Bitcoin and crypto when digital currencies were often used as a running joke for late night talk shows and comedians, many considered investing in the technology financially immature at the very least. Some people still do, even with the BTC price at more than $50,000 again.

The Redditor referred to her husband as “brainwashed,” saying he was “robbing [her] of happiness” and ruining her job by bringing up Bitcoin at her marketing events.

“After a recent price crash, he actually bought more using our vacation fund that I have been saving away for and planning. All gone, in Bitcoin never to be seen again.”

It’s unclear whether the couple stayed together following the response from the post, or if the husband sold some or all of the Bitcoin to ameliorate his wife’s financial concerns. The user compared her spouse to a drug addict and considered “staying in a hotel for a few weeks” to think about whether divorce was an option.

However, with the benefit of hindsight, the husband’s early investment could have easily paid off in the millions of dollars. Even assuming he purchased BTC after the price surge to $1,000 in November 2013, the 22 coins would now be worth more than $1 million.

Because the story was posted on the r/relationships subreddit rather than a pro-crypto group like r/Bitcoin or r/cryptocurrency, many of the Redditors encouraged the user to separate her finances and consider divorce proceedings. Few crypto enthusiasts jumped on the thread to comment, but one predicted that the BTC would one day be “worth fortunes” and recommended the husband continue to HODL.

Another story from a Redditor following the 2017 bull run — which brought in many newbies to the crypto space — claimed that his girlfriend was considering breaking up with him following “a huge investment in cryptocurrencies.” However, digital currencies seem to have played less of a role in his story, as the user said he crashed a car while driving drunk and was pressuring his significant other to leave her job.

Though many crypto traders know the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies will likely continue to be volatile, the adoption and investment from major companies have helped push the technology closer to the mainstream, and made it seemingly more responsible for investors to get in on the action earlier rather than later. Already Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has claimed to have increased his stake in Bitcoin while asset management firm Third Point CEO Dan Loeb recently said he had been doing a “deep dive into crypto.”

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/hodling-early-leads-to-relationship-troubles-redditors-share-their-stories

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