Orchid CEO Dr. Steven Waterhouse on How Decentralized Tech Fights MonopoliesMar 21, 2022
"Often, people think about decentralization as a hedge against government control," said Orchid CEO Dr. Steven Waterhouse (Seven), speaking at ETHDenver, the largest and longest-running Ethereum community event in the world. Seven's talk is featured in this week's special episode of Priv8.
"However, the same principles that make decentralized systems resilient to regulatory authority should also make them resilient to any kind of attack. And thinking about decentralization in this way gives us the opportunity to think about what kind of systems can be built."
Seven spoke about how this decentralized architecture can be used to build systems that are resistant to the monopolistic nature of today's Internet, frequently referred to as Web 2.0.
"In the early days of Web 2.0, decentralization meant connecting technological 'building blocks' that could build really cool applications. During that period, there were tens of thousands of startups in Silicon Valley that were using these Web 2 elements to build lots of amazing things.
"But something happened. Today, the consumer Internet investment space is dead. You cannot successfully start a company that goes after the consumer Internet. Why? Well, because Google, Facebook, Apple, and other tech giants have monopolized creative control of the space. Whatever you're trying to do, they'll do it instead. If you're lucky, they'll buy your ideas. Consequently, however, the innovation space has been reduced to nothing."
Still, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The growing landscape of blockchain-based technologies has given rise to a new wave of innovation that is resistant to the forces of centralization that control Web 2.0.
"What's exciting today is that there are thousands and thousands of companies in the space exploring DeFi, NFTs, and more. And just like the early days of Web 2.0, they're connecting elements of various different decentralized technologies to create new business models and new ideas.
"This method of building with decentralized technology allows for the proliferation of a lot more companies and organizations that are resilient against the centralizing forces that created the tech giants of Web 2.0."