Bitcloud: can hackers use bitcoin to replace Facebook and YouTube?

bitcloud22 Jan 2014 / The Guardian – Programmers famously have to balance their technical concepts with the needs of the human beings on which their projects rely. Too often, an engineer’s tunnel-vision means they end up focusing on the stuff that can be fixed, and abstract away the rest.

The latest example can be found in Bitcloud, a software project announced breathlessly to Reddit as aiming to “replace YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, Spotify, ISPs, and more with decentralised apps”.

Nobody can accuse the Bitcloud team of aiming low. Their proposal – which currently exists only in draft form – is nothing less than an entire shadow internet, built using a heavily modified version of the bitcoin protocol.

Where bitcoin uses a “proof of work” system, requiring users to demonstrate that they have spent processing power before they can verify transactions, Bitcloud proposes a “proof of bandwidth” equivalent, rewarding users for providing capacity to the network.

The Bitcloud project is in such early days that it has yet to decide quite what proof of bandwidth actually entails, but the team is confident they will flesh out the white spaces.

In principle, there’s little reason why they shouldn’t succeed. The biggest leap has already been made by bitcoin, which demonstrates that a network with no centralisation can work even without any trust between members.

Bitcloud promises to “replace many of the centralised applications on the current internet, such as YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, Spotify, and others with decentralised, open-source alternatives…. Read more

Follow Twitter

Exchange Rate