What do you think of when you hear the word Internet? For many, it's the websites and applications we consume online as end users. But the Internet is much more than this. And ultimately, every action we take online goes through a complex set of automated processes and protocols to store, run, and transmit data (e.g. photos, videos, messages, other files) across the global Internet infrastructure.
Today, this infrastructure consists of massive, power-hungry data centers, and is largely privatized and owned by tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon – who also happen to own the biggest online "free" platforms. But there's a catch. By owning both the infrastructure and the digital experiences we consume for free, we were actually turned into products of their business models. Our data is being collected and isn't owned by us anymore. While data has become the most valuable commodity on earth, don't you think it's wrong that we don't own the value of our data today?
"Today, every individual is worth between US $1,000 and $20,000 online, per year. The Internet and Cloud Industry is worth trillions, yet all this value is centralized to a handful of companies. This has to change."
ThreeFold's open source technology powers the peer-to-peer Internet revolution that holds the premise to disrupt the global Internet in many ways.
An Internet By the People
The ThreeFold Grid is formed by people from all around the world that connect Internet capacity to a peer-to-peer Infrastructure owned by humanity. Together, we expand a data-sovereign and planet-positive Internet infrastructure that puts people back in control of their data, and their digital lives. ThreeFold's infrastructure can store all of humanity's data – from personal data to public datasets and security archives – and can run all emerging technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and Big Data – with more efficiency and security.
ThreeFold flips the current data center model upside-down, and allows people around the globe to connect Internet capacity in the form of hardware, and earn income for it. This decentralized approach means that anyone can take part in the world's largest and fastest growing economy – the Internet and Cloud.
You can see now how this new Internet is by the people, but how about the latter? What does the ThreeFold Grid enable?
An Internet For the People
Now anyone, anywhere can connect to the ThreeFold Grid and use capacity with some key advantages:
A World Where we Own the Value of Our Data
Today, all of the data we create online sits inside of centralized data centers and we do not own it. ThreeFold turns terms & conditions on their head and gives us, the people, full control of our data rather than third parties. We can keep our data private, decide with whom to share it, and even decide on where it's stored and located. And considering that our personal data is worth between US $1,000 and $20,000 per year, ThreeFold offers a direct way for us to own our digital life and the value attached to it.
We Exchange Value Without Intermediaries
The "People's Internet" is peer-to-peer. This means connections between senders and recipients are completely end-to-end, eliminating the need for any form of intermediaries from the model. Can you imagine what the world would look like without intermediaries? Let's take an example like Airbnb.
Today, if you are looking for a place to stay on vacation, you will probably end up using the services of Airbnb. But did you know that Airbnb charges both consumers and property owners for using their service? In a peer-to-peer world, this wouldn't be necessary. You'd simply access a database of property owners (possibly through a peer-to-peer marketplace) and be able to complete the transaction yourselves. No hidden fees, just a direct exchange of value!
Applications Run on the Edge
In its essence, edge computing brings compute and storage closer to people (and the devices where it's being gathered) rather than relying on a centralized data centers located on the other side of the planet. This is the essence of the ThreeFold Grid. So, data doesn't suffer any latency issues (performance) and it's far more efficient / money-saving. Further, the distributed nature of the Grid allows for true privacy and security. Edge computing is not just a growing trend but, because of the growing number of connected devices and global Internet usage, it's becoming a real necessity.
But what about the planet?
If you've been following us, you must already know that the Internet is responsible for 10% or more of the world's energy consumption. And with decades of experience in the Internet and Cloud industry, ThreeFold co-founders knew how to turn this around. We developed a lightweight operating system and infrastructure, removing unnecessary layers of complexity from the traditional and Web3 models (actually, blockchains are making it even more complex). The ThreeFold technology is always geared towards maximum efficiency while maintaing performance. And with these advancements, we can already save up-to 90% energy on storage workloads.
Additionally, the distributed nature of the Grid uses less bandwidth (see above re: edge computing). It's been reported that Netflix alone takes up 15% of the Internet's bandwidth. What if Netflix were to leverage the ThreeFold Grid? If stored closer to watchers, we could reduce network usage considerably.
Our commitment to the planet goes beyond the technology. Through a partnership with Take Action Global (TAG), we aim to take three times more CO2 out of the air compared to what we put in. Imagine regenerating the earth while using the Internet?
At ThreeFold, we believe that it's time for us to take back control. As the world turns more and more digital due to the pandemic and even just the natural progression of technology, it's time that we not just realize the problems of today's Internet, but that we do something about it.
This will happen! So join in, and spread the word!