If you search the Internet for what is the biggest trend right now (or “buzzword” -a buzzword- some would say), the answer will be Web3. In the words of investor Packy McCormick, Web3 is “an Internet owned by developers and users, coordinated with tokens”(1). It is easy to see in this sense that Bitcoin is the spearhead of what many point to in the direction of our way of browsing and searching for information on the world wide web.
However, none of these technologies or trends would be possible without the true revolutionary germ, or disruptive in a more sophisticated jargon, which is Free Software -Open Source movement- which consists of publishing computer programs that can be used and modified at will. the user.
This idea was born there in the MIT labs, in the 1980s, with Richard Stallman and the GNU(2) manifesto. Stallman’s idea was that if I like a piece of software and it’s useful to me, then it might be useful to others, so I should allow its free and unrestricted use. The power to change and customize without having to pay for permissions, without even having to ask for permission. Simply keeping the credit to the original creator, the so-called “copyleft”, against copyright, which is the legal protection of creations.
For open source software to grow, a community contribution process is required. This means that people communicate and share their improvement proposals, as well as support for developers and users. All in the name of the proper functioning of that software.
The evolution of the revolution
In the same spirit of open source and free software, Linus Torvalds invents Linux, a 100% open source operating system. Now, engineers and the curious could work on any hardware, from machines that had already run out of support, to boards made in the garage at home.
This has brought endless possibilities to developers and technology enthusiasts in general. The thing takes on a new proportion. Linux becomes the centerpiece of the World Wide Web. The collaborative effort grows and continues to feed back. Today it is estimated that more than 90% of data servers on the Internet run Linux. (3)
There would be no Bitcoin if we had to travel with our laptops
In 2003, a group of developers decided to install and port a version of Linux on a digital camera. Android was born. The fact that Android was built on top of Linux, a platform that already had a membership and a large community at the time, allowed for the creation of an avalanche of other software, which we now know as apps, coming from all corners. From every garage, basement, attic, or a programmer’s office. This is what left BlackBerry and Nokia behind with their proprietary systems. Although iOS, Apple’s proprietary system, has resisted, Android now accounts for 75% of mobile devices and 40% of the overall computer market. (4)
Decentralized, anonymous and free
All the advantages of Free Software mentioned above apply to Bitcoin: The collaborative effort, the total openness of the code and engineering, the possibility of running on any hardware and operating system, etc., but with two more layers that “democratize” it. , which makes public access to the software even broader. It is anonymous and decentralized.
As everyone already knows, the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, is published by an anonymous under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Naturally, the better known Bitcoin is, the greater the curiosity about who this Satoshi is. However, for Bitcoin and the operation of its network, it does not matter who he is. It is part of the design of the system itself: An anonymous creation does not have a point of reference, a maximum authority over that system. In the community it is born, and as a community it is established, without organs or central characters.
Bitcoin is also a peer-to-peer (or p2p) network, which means that it works without a central data server. Everything runs on every machine present on the network. No one present on the network can “shut down” or even execute any change without the entire network recognizing that change as legitimate.
web3 is free
Mobile devices and, therefore, free software, were fundamental parts of the internet that we know today. And with the advent of Web3, they should become commonplace. The role of the collaborative effort, of dedicating machines, time and development to the contributions in a certain network, is central in the creation of this new internet made up of tokens, permissions and protection, as well as the secrecy of information. That is why it is worth remembering this author, so that the freedom won is not underestimated.
- https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/03/18/technology/web3-definition-internet.html#:~:text=Web3%20is%20the%20name%20some,the%20past%20year%20or %20so.
https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/worldwide / https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share
Fabiano Dias is an international business developer for Bitwage and has been working with cryptocurrencies since 2015. He has already participated as a speaker at Bitconf Brasil, Decentralize, and represented Bitwage at the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Prague, IMTC and Viva Tech Paris 2018.
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