We’ve all been there. A curse at the internet for a dropped connection, as if your access is a basic human right and you’ve been deprived of something as simple as free speech.
That we carry in our pockets devices with a greater wealth of information than even the most encyclopaedia-stocked libraries of our parents’ generation is easy to dismiss – let alone how readily we rely on the services layered on top such as banking, shopping, food delivery and taxi services.
Attending the Blockchain for Social Impact Conference last week was a perfect moment to pause and reflect on this. Nearly a quarter of the world’s population is ‘unbanked’ and therefore is not able to participate in the digital economy – and existing technologies have so far failed to fully address this shortfall.
Those on stage at the United States Institute of Peace gave a powerful reminder of the paradigm this new technology represents. There were stories of blockchain being used in research and development to bring financial services to displaced communities, to verify supply chains for sustainable food consumption, to clamp down on human trafficking and to work in direct support of women’s rights in countries where unthinkable repression remains a feature of daily life (to name but a handful of examples).
Ours is a young industry (that at times could certainly grow up a bit), but it’s one we are proud to be involved in. For the most part, projects being built on the ‘chain seek to stand up for the founding principles of the internet by promoting collective access to - and ownership of - the services they provide.
In forgetting how easy unrestricted access to the web has made our lives, we need to remember the extent to which it is supported by open and fair practices. That means not sleepwalking into gifting irreversible control to large corporations of digital services that should at least be shared by all – or at best be a basic human right.
We are committed to make sure the DADI network is (and always will be) owned collectively by the people for the benefit of the people.
As a decentralized cloud services platform, DADI presents the opportunity for millions of us to come together and build an internet owned by us all - that distributes its revenue among the many that contribute, rather than lining pockets of individual autonomous corporations.
Our commitment to help use technology to address unequal distribution of wealth and power is why we are also launching a new initiative in support of democracy, more details of which we will be sharing next week.