The new startup is called Blockstack and is backed by several wealthy investors in hopes to try and reinvent web security. One of the company’s main investors is Union Square Ventures, where venture capitalist Albert Wegner is partner. Wegner recently stated, “We’re living in a time period where the new incumbents like Amazon, Google, and Facebook have firmly established themselves, and are near monopolists in their markets. If we want a long-term, open playing field for innovation, we’re going to need new, decentralized infrastructure.”
Investments from USV and others reached a whopping $4 million as they all want to see the kind of parallel universe to the web that’s being promised by Blockstack. In doing this, users will gain more control over their own data, and privacy levels will be heightened to what the average user gets now. The new companies’ intentions include releasing software that will allow you to happily surf sites and apps specially created for this new type of digital domain, all from your existing Web browser. Another great thing about Blockstack is no longer will the user have to create separate accounts for each site, such as with Facebook or Google. Now they can directly control their own identities by granting access to their information only to the sites they have chosen. And to end access to a particular site, the user can simply revoke them and take their data elsewhere.
Ryan Shea, CEO and cofounder of Blockstack, says, “We’re trying to turn the existing model on its head. You can try to work with the existing model from within, but sometimes it’s easier to step outside of it and build something new from a clean slate.” Blockstack uses blockchain and Bitcoin to make its system what it is. The blockchain is maintained by thousands of connected computers all over the world, and there is no single entity in control of it. It records domain names and usernames, and the software built on top allows people to control their own data on the sites that they want.
One company that’s already recognized the great potential that could come from this new system is Microsoft who is in talks with Blockstack currently about how they may be able to use it for their own platform. Over the years the Web has become a security nightmare, and this has even been recognized by its creator, Tim Berners-Lee. Berners-Lee previously urged IT experts to re-decentralize the Web and is at MIT currently working on his own decentralized Web project, called SOLID. The Web is now a 20-year-old technology is in long need of updating, so decentralized systems are pretty safe bet. It’s now just a case of waiting.
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