According to MIT Technology Review, more trends on creating a new, decentralize internet are emerging.
For example, tech company Cloudfare is instituting a gateway for the internet, which will enable users to connect to a website and serve data stored in the Interplanetary File System. Also called IFPS, the system is a peer-to-peer file-sharing network; Cloudfare’s goal with IFPS is to make it become a legitimized alternative to the well-known acronym that appears before every web address, HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol).
MIT Technology Review says that HTTP is “a set of rules for governing the way information is delivered to internet users.” IFPS separates itself from HTTP by how it identifies data with “unique cryptographic fingerprints” that can’t be fabricated: “Instead of requesting content by referring to the IP address of the server where it is stored, IPFS users must request the content’s fingerprint.”
Head of cryptography at Cloudfare, Nick Sullivan, told MIT Review that IFPS makes the internet “more trustworthy” for users, especially since this solution makes it so that users don’t have to depend on third parties to deliver any requested content.
As a result, IFPS works similar to other peer-to-peer file-sharing services: “As long someone on the network is sharing a digital asset like a video file or a webpage, the protocol can make it available to users who request it,” reports MIT Technology Review. Cloudfare also has 154 data centers around the world, which store caches of popular pages, files and other content. Through this network, the company is able to quickly deliver those requested files to users, and at a massive scale.
Keep in mind – it’s not fully decentralized.
However, MIT Technology Review says that IFPS is not a true blue decentralized solution for the internet; that’s because its processes and content are controlled by Cloudfare. But, the company has worked on IPFS enough so that neither users nor site owners are forced to rely on it to “serve correct data;” and Cloudfare isn’t able to change or remove content from the IFPS network. “So while it’s not a fully decentralized experience, it’s at least incrementally less centralized than before,” MIT Technology Review says.