Bitcoin Use-cases: Turning Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, and the Blockchain into a Fully Functional Peer-to-Peer Internet

A lot of non-Bitcoin investors and people with little knowledge of Bitcoin are freaking out right now about the fall of Bitcoin’s value in the last 24 hours due to China forbidding deposits into their main Bitcoin exchange. I’m actually kind of excited about it, because I think of Bitcoin as more a protocol than I do a currency. This means it has long-term sustainability. It also means my investment into it is a much more long-term investment into the future of the internet, as a whole. It means I now have an even greater opportunity to buy until the world grasps onto this concept. One of these use-cases is the possibility of completely replacing the internet as we know it. Let me explain.

DNS

Let me start with an example. An exact duplicate of the Bitcoin protocol with a separate blockchain, Namecoin (read all about it here), was created to prove some of the points I’m making here. Namecoin was invented to allow the use of its own Blockchain (remember, the worldwide, public accounting ledger for tracking transactions) to track ownership of domains on the .bit namespace.

Domains and DNS are in essence based on a peer-to-peer network of their own, with one major flaw. They rely on a central authority called the Internet Consortium for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN) to tell other DNS nodes who owns the domain being queried. When you type in a URL into your browser, it likely searches your ISP’s DNS servers (your computer is in essence itself a DNS node that knows to talk to your ISP and other DNS nodes on the internet). Those DNS servers communicate with other DNS servers and so on until they find out who the owner of the domain is. Once the owner is determined through ICANN, your browser knows to pull content from “X Server” and you are delivered a webpage from that server. With Namecoin, however, ICANN isn’t needed because the ownership is recorded on the blockchain.

Namecoin, in essence, is replacing the need for ICANN in domain distribution for the .bit top level domain. They do it by storing the domain names in digest form on the blockchain (and suggest you can do this with other types of documents and text, as well), giving a permanent place to look up ownership with guaranteed authenticity. Currently they’re integrating this with existing DNS architecture, providing translation of those blockchain records in a way ICANN can understand, but in the future, the DNS protocol could be updated to accept blockchain records as sufficient ownership as well. This could be done with something as simple as a browser extension or plugin on most current browsers that overrides the browser looking at DNS servers for ownership, instead looking at the blockchain for ownership.

This is a powerful concept, which shows one use-case in this potential “internet replacement”. And it’s already in place, and it’s already working! You can invest in Namecoin now, and even convert your Bitcoin into Namecoin through exchanges like btc-e.com. (and guess what, the Chinese now don’t have this opportunity, at least not to the scale they used to!)

Storage

So now we have a way to tell where to retrieve content on the internet through a peer-to-peer, Bitcoin protocol-based architecture. Now we just need a way to deliver that data in a distributed manner. What if you could use Bittorrent as the storage for a Bitcoin-powered internet? We’re already headed there.

Recently, a bittorrent client called Frostwire announced they’re working to integrate Bitcoin into their Bittorrent client, allowing seeders of Torrents (which don’t all have to be illegal, by the way – Bittorrent, too, is just a P2P protocol, this one focused on storage) to pay and receive Bitcoin for files. I think this could go further though. What happens when you can associate something like Namecoin with an address of an HTML file on the Bittorrent network? Now, entirely server free, a document can be served (no server-side code required in this case – JavaScript has become quite powerful of recent on client machines, and could be extended even further to more powerful functions within the browser itself to embrace the blockchain and even bittorrent for more info) across a peer-to-peer network delivering documents to your browser at speeds potentially even faster than your current internet can.

As for a database, there are already distributed, file-based databases (see Hadoop, for instance). Instead of owning your own servers to store those files, why not store them across the P2P Bittorrent, or similar network? There are details to be worked out, but the technology is definitely almost there.

The Network Infrastructure

Now the only thing left is the ISP, and infrastructure for giving you bandwidth and access to your internet. What if we made this peer-to-peer as well? There are already many plans in foreign countries for “mesh” wireless networks. What if we took a concept like this, allowing anyone who wanted internet access to set up a wireless receiver of some sort, and that receiver would “pay” into the network to get access using Bitcoin or similar. These payments (this would be the equivalent of “mining” in current Bitcoin) would then go to those willing to provide longer distance wireless access using things like Ham Radio towers and the like to provide access over this entirely wireless, peer-to-peer internet. The bandwidth each node provides to the network would in essence “mine” new tokens and recycle those paid into the network in the process.

Of course, details of how all this can work still need to be worked out. Hopefully now you can see the potential though, and we’re really not that far from something like this happening with very little needing to be done by any central entity (perhaps wireless laws in the USA and other countries would need to be opened up a little to the public). Many of these protocols are already being used. But once they’re all put together, we have an internet that works without central authority, no need for ISPs, no need for server hosting. The entire internet experience is 100% controlled by the user, and companies will need to adapt to this.

This will all lead towards new forms of commerce. My friend Jeremiah Owyang talks about “The Collaborative Economy“, which is already occurring. The idea is that the future of commerce is moving towards more social, consumer-to-consumer models instead of business-to-consumer. Businesses now become facilitators of these transactions instead of sellers of a single product that a consumer can buy.

In “The Chain” era it works the same way – no longer will we need DNS, hosting, or even storage. Ownership records will all be stored on “The Chain”, all delegated to the proper owners of the content and storage and names. Businesses will need to start preparing for this in order to adapt to this new model – I’m actually seeing some of the smart ones do this now, which I’ll talk about later on this blog.

Bitcoin is not just a currency as you can see. If you’re seeing it as just a currency that goes up and down, you’re looking at it wrong. Instead, you should be looking at it as a new paradigm. It’s a paradigm shift in not just currency, but the entire internet as we know it, and you should be looking to hop on, pay in, and get on board. Those that do so now will be the leaders of this new era in the next 5 years.

My company helps businesses adapt to these new paradigm changes such as Bitcoin, strategizing new innovation and marketing shifts to gain an edge on their competitors. If you think we can help, contact us (contact@staynalive.com) – we even take Bitcoin!

Like this article and want more like it? Consider a donation! Here’s my Bitcoin address:

Address: 19AdCAbjshRuEFhx4py1Ny7i48s1d6RFi

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jessestay

Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

12 thoughts on “Bitcoin Use-cases: Turning Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, and the Blockchain into a Fully Functional Peer-to-Peer Internet”

  1. A currency that doesn't need an attachment to other currency is a wonderful idea.

    What trouble me about speculation in any currency is the consequences that come from it not being universal.

    Used to be that a person living in one country all their life didn't need to worry about international exchange. I learned that even a small bit of foreign currency had effects when I lived in Thailand. The rate didn't change much, but I could always make a difference to someone living on a few baht a day with what I consider paupers wealth in Amercan dollars

    Fast forward to the exchange difference 20 years late. I could have bought twice as much had I been back in Thailand. Had I gone ahead with an importing deal I'd though up, I'd be paying well and doubling my income

    This is the tiniest of deals.

    Now we have wide changes coming taste than ever. More money is made in speculation than producing products or providing services. And the are union tended consequences everywhere.

    Unless you can completely close the markets, these remain. Especially when ther is no hard assets or army to control things.

    I oft dream abou a world of abundance and no currencies like Doktrow described in “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom”. But remember that we wre ready to live a law of consecration.

  2. You already know, we've got sure find out a good deal with regards to merchants that accept Bitcoin within the media, the way the understood benefit or maybe inbuilt benefit of your bitcoin provides consequently easily improved, gotten rear and then kept regular. Some point out the actual volatility was an indicator of your systemic problem, but maybe that isn't the important problem by any means.

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    There are lots of information about hadoop have spread around the web, but this is a unique one according to me. The strategy you have updated here will make me to get to the next level in big data. Thanks for sharing this.

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