The current internet infrastructure was built for a simple purpose: sharing information. The information superhighway was launched by academics to allow researchers on various projects around the world to collaborate.
But as you know, the internet is now used for much more than sharing ideas.
We send money. We log in into bank accounts. We enter our social security numbers. We make video conference calls with colleagues.
Clearly these new tasks require an upgrade right?
Yet the infrastructure of the internet hasn’t been upgraded since its inception. We all know the result: a cybersecurity nightmare.
There were a billion breaches on the internet last year. A billion breaches of private data.
Of course, the various vendors don’t like when this happens. But it’s only an inconvenience for them. The true burden falls on the consumer.
You’re in charge of replacing credit cards, switching accounts, and dealing with the fallout.
So there’s no incentive for the Googles, the Facebooks, the Amazons, of the world to change.
But this is all going to change sooner than you think, thanks to a new technology that’s creating an explosion of new possibilities for advancement.
But in order to appreciate everything Internet 2.0 will provide, I need to reveal why the current system is so fundamentally flawed…
To understand the massive security nightmare that the internet currently represents, we need to take a step back. In order for information to be shared across the internet, it must be copied. Yes, the internet is a gigantic copying machine. And it’s very efficient for sharing data and documents.
But when transactions entered the picture — actually sending money across the internet — this insecure net couldn’t protect property rights, defend privacy, host safe and efficient transactions, permit micropayments to halt spam, or establish sure identities.
So outside intermediaries became involved. Banks, credit card companies, digital certificate suppliers, etc. Now, when these transaction entities communicate across the internet, they ultimately have to be translated in to readable forms. As in forms of communication that can potentially be captured by hackers.
Of course, this structure was so vulnerable that the big companies doing transactions — Google, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay — created walled gardens for their own commercial domains. There they could accommodate commerce among their mostly locked-in users. All secured with an individual login and password.
So now we have the internet dividing into these pyramids regulated by a few giant companies across the net.
This caused increasing segmentation. Within the segments, the big companies collected more and more private data and protected them with firewalls and encryption. But as time passed, they discovered that centralization is not safe either.
Instead, it actually solved the biggest problem that hackers face. It tells them exactly what’s important, and where it is, putting the entire internet at risk. That’s like storing your entire nest egg in a giant safe with a blinking sign — in your front yard.
This is the fundamental vulnerability of all centralized security and classification systems that are associated with it. Centralized security is not the answer. The solution?
The ability to implement distributed security was not even possible before. It’s only achievable because of the fabulous advances in solid state memory that we have in our devices today.
Back when I started in the ‘90s, computers had a megabyte of memory and they were considered to be super computers. Now there are gigabytes of memory in every smartphone, and it’s connected to terabytes of memory in the cloud.
And here’s where the solution comes in — the new infrastructure of the internet.
Thanks to these advancements, we can distribute a compressed version of all the transactions that are conducted, and put them into a particular blockchain. Now, most people associate blockchain with bitcoin. But it’s much more than that.
It’s a ledger that distributes all the personal information across the network, just as human intelligence is distributed across the world. It’s not agglomerated in giant data clumps. It provides a timestamped, immutable record of all the transactions that have occurred in a particular transactional arena.
And here’s why that’s a major breakthrough for security…
Because the record is distributed to every node in the network, the information isn’t in one place — where it is surrounded by hackable surfaces. Instead, a hacker would have to attack all the records of the transactions across the whole internet before they can change anything or steal anything.
That’s the big breakthrough that’s made possible by the blockchain.
An immutable record of timestamped transactions or important documents or classified data, all made secure by distributing it across the entire internet rather than putting it all in one “safe.”
What will this new internet infrastructure look like for you?
It means that you won’t have to worry about being in charge of security. You won’t have to learn a separate username and password for all the various vendors on the internet No sets of security questions. No remembering your mother’s maiden name. No entering the last four digits of your social security number.
The massive amounts of security data that you need to master to navigate through the different walled gardens in the internet all go away. Instead, they get resolved to your own identity.
Instead, the burden now falls to the companies.
All those vendors on the internet have to respect your own identity. They’ve got to deal with you. They’ve got to know all the numbers. They need to master all of the private keys of all their customers. Not the other way around. Because data, including your identity, is being verified and distributed everywhere. Not just in a particular walled garden.
You’ll be in charge of who can access your data. In fact, you’ll be able to charge people for using your immediate data. No more watching ads on YouTube without receiving something in return.
Plus, micropayments will be rendered possible by this technology, which will mean hassle-free small payments for small goods and services on the net.
And the whole system becomes more secure and more responsive to your own needs and your own security. In fact, the blockchain will become so fundamental to the new system that its very name will be derived from it. I call it the “Cryptocosm.”
And this isn’t just going to be a benefit for consumers. Investors will have several ways to profit as this internet shift emerges.
It’s already in the works. It’s being developed right now, and it will have the power to create vast fortunes for early investors.
for The Daily Reckoning