Bitcloud, which calls itself a distributed autonomous corporation, thinks it can reinvent the Internet by having individual users completing computing tasks like routing, storing, or computing in exchange for cash. It's called peer-to-peer bandwidth sharing.
"If you're interested in privacy, security, ending Internet censorship, decentralizing the Internet, and creating a new mesh network to replace the Internet, then you should join or support this project," Bitcoin advocates announced on Reddit last week.
The goal of Bitcloud is to use the same practices of Bitcoin—where miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency either by completing a task or in exchange for one—so as to get out from under corporations and ISPs. The project will completely remove Internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon from the equation.
The developers hope to decentralize the Internet by replacing applications like YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify, with WeTube, a video and audio streaming service. WeTube will allow users to share content without having to be concerned with privacy and censorship. And possibly for a fee, users can opt for ad-free content.
In Bitcloud, how much bandwidth an individual user contributes to the network will determine how much they will be rewarded. This is referred to as the "proof of bandwidth," much like Bitcoin's proof of stake. But instead of remuneration being based on the solution to a complex mathematical equation, it is based on a user's share of total bandwidth used within the Bitcloud network.
To help establish the network, the developers want to use Cloudcoins as currency; you will need Cloudcoins to use Bitcloud. The hope is to monetize the system through advertisements on public videos for example or by paying for cloud storage on the network. The developers admit that donations usually only get projects so far, and they realize that allowing people to make money this way could give the project a fighting chance at success.
Bitcloud is in the very early stages of development, but the team behind the project wanted to publicize the idea in order to attract developers, programmers, financial support, guidance, and/or ideas to the project. And as Bitcoin gains traction as a widely accepted currency—even the NBA is starting to accept Bitcoin—it doesn't seem too farfetched to have the Internet structured on a similar protocol of exchanges.
[Image: Flickr user Genista]