“What would happen to Cryptocurrency if Net Neutrality were repealed and Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) were able to reduce speeds, effecting crypto transactions and use?” This is a great question and has come up quite often. We tend to think that anything on the internet is fair game for ISP’s to manipulate and in some cases this is a correct assumption. But where do cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology fit in to all of this?
First, for those who are not familiar, lets give a quick description as to what Net Neutrality is. Via Wikipedia: “Net neutrality is the principle that governments should mandate Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.”
The repeal of Net Neutrality regulations, will open the door for providers to have more freedom in what they charge, based on what speeds they deliver. I could write an entire blog on Net Neutrality but lets stay with how it affects Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Because Bitcoin was designed to be impervious to human intervention, ISP’s could target centralized exchanges and wallets to slow down transactions or service, but this would not eliminate Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. So processing speeds could be an issue on centralized networks, but eliminating cryptocurrency (blockchain tech) would not. Let’s take a look at why the repeal of Net Neutrality would not pose the issue that most would assume.
In a centralized system, all users rely on a single source. So if we all were to get our news from a centralized system, the information would be stored and distributed by this single source.(“Centralized” shown below.) In a decentralized system, there is not a single source, the information is stored and distributed throughout the entire system.(Not to be confused with Centralized Distribution, where the information is spread out, but still controlled by a centralized source.) So if we get our news from a decentralized system, it would stored and distributed by multiple sources.(“Decentralized” shown below.) So if your ISP decided it didn’t want you to have access to a certain news source, within a centralized system, it would be very easy to slow down or possibly stop(however incredibly unlikely) you from being able to view that source. But in a decentralized system, they could not slow down all of the sources, as there is no centralized place that the information is stored. This is the power blockchain has over censorship.
Ironically, the repeal of Net Neutrality may be a blessing in disguise. It very well could accelerate the evolution of blockchain technology. Current tech doesn’t really offer up many solutions if Net Neutrality is repealed and ISP’s start slowing down speeds to certain sites, or increasing rates to be able to view others. Blockchain’s existence offers up more opportunities for companies to create and expand on these applications, to offer up better solutions to both consumers viewing and companies sharing the information online. Subtratum $SUB is a great example of a blockchain company already developing protocols that will help combat the issues we may experience with the repeal of Net Neutrality. Other blochchain companies are also being formed with this in mind and if the repeal does go into effect, you can be assured that blockchain and cryptocurrency will not fall, in fact, it only creates more opportunities for cryptocurrency and blockchain to succeed.