How are blockchain technology and the wider battle for '#FreedomontheInternet' related? Why is a decentralized index the future of the Web? What are “walled gardens” and why does the “Web 3.0” need to replace them? Finally, how can we code our values in cyberspace?
To talk about these issues, Amy and Devon James from Alexandria Labs joined the UAE Tech Podcast to discuss their pioneering work on the Open Index Protocol and a more fun, sovereign and creative Internet.
“Right now the power is centralized, as we were talking about, in Web 2. What’s going to happen in Web 3 is that power is going to get pushed out to the ends of the network, to the individual users”
The Open Index Protocol (OIP) is an open-source specification allowing for decentralized peer-to-peer data publishing, file distribution and the facilitation of micro-payments. Alexandria Labs is the first platform built on OIP, with the idea of creating a searchable index for decentralized content.
The conversation begins with a speed-reading of Satoshi Nakamoto's famous White Paper some years ago. It then evolves into a discussion on why proprietary 'walled-garden' platforms are extremely popular, but are also leading to practices such as data-mining, shadow-banning, down-ranking and power-concentration. According to the Alexandria Labs team, the structure of a proprietary-domain Internet is hurting creators, audiences.... and could even be hurting democracy, too.
OIP propose an "open-index" in which the world's knowledge and much of the worlds networks are available on trust-less and decentralized systems
Instead, OIP propose an "open-index" in which the world's knowledge and much of the worlds networks are available on trust-less and decentralized systems. Anyone can build a library, anyone can write a book; but all of us have access to the library catalogue, or index. They argue this system would unlock the potential of a generation of creators, remove barriers to entry for entrepreneurial talent and change incentive structures - be it feeding the algorithm, or becoming the product.
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Full disclosure: Al Bawaba Group is experimenting with the Open Index Protocol.
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