We live in an amazing world, an increasingly digital one that is more connected than ever before in human history.
Yet, for all the promise and enthusiasm for artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, internet of “things” (IoT), and Web 3.0, infrastructure that can help facilitate a secure data rich sharing economy is largely overlooked. In a “decentralized” application ecosystem this shouldn’t be the case.
In fact, considering Gartner is forecasting the value-add of blockchain could rise from $176 billion by 2025 to $3.1 trillion by 2030, I’d argue decentralized infrastructure will help ignite blockchain growth. Here’s why.
Decentralized infrastructure will be the hidden jewel of the immutable blockchain world. I say “decentralized” because companies offering centralized solutions are like false prophets for this amazing technology. Centralized solutions go against the moral fiber that blockchain should not have a central point of failure.
Having the opportunity to attend a multitude of blockchain industry events around the country as both a speaker and passive observer over the past year, I’ve had the immense pleasure of meeting a diverse subset of people. From newbies just wanting to learn about this thing called blockchain, to bright-eyed entrepreneurs trying to change the world, and even to cult-like superheroes moving cryptocurrency prices faster than Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, ever influenced the direction of the U.S. dollar.
Then there’s the developers - many appreciate high-level views on the future of blockchain but at that end of the day, a large amount of devs just want to code and build really useful things. To do so, will require decentralized infrastructure solutions. So the number one reason why decentralized blockchain infrastructure can kickstart the industry long-term — there is a critical need for it.
Consider this: There are roughly 30 million Ethereum web addresses (according to Etherscan) and only 16 thousand nodes to satisfy current demand (according to Ethernodes) - and those nodes are not being incentivized to offset that load imbalance - at least not yet.
To meet that demand head on decentralized blockchain infrastructure must possess the following characters: The infrastructure must be exceptional easy to use, it should be a conduit that helps mitigate risk, it should be highly secure, and it must seamlessly run 24/7 regardless of any spike in traffic.
It also must be free from the centralized infrastructure overhead - thus, for many applications the promise of cost-savings is a real benefit of decentralized infrastructure that is difficult to overlook. One specific example of this was how the CERN project tapped volunteer computing to run simulations of the ATLAS experiment.
Other desirable characteristics for the infrastructure are: it must be scalable, must be multi-chain or ideally interoperable across different chains, not power-consumption heavy for mobile devices, it should be IoT friendly, it must elastic and contain built-in API functionality capable of helping developers make their DApps better, faster to market, more polished and of course more decentralized - thus more secure when accessing the blockchain.
Keep in mind there are roughly only 1,477 DApps versus a whopping 6.5 million apps available in leading app stores (Google Play, Apple Store, Windows Stores, Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry World). Clearly there is massive upside for DApp creation based on that comparison which should bode very well for decentralized infrastructure solutions if of course the interface with blockchain was more easier to use.
The ability to make decentralized blockchain infrastructure easy available on any edge connected device is what ultimately made me interested in joining MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. Infrastructure is the real pick and axe of the blockchain space in a IoT world that could see over 500 billion connected devices by 2030 and greater real estate for smart contracts.
This is important to remember considering according to Shawn Douglass, CEO of Amberdata, Ethereum Transacting $166 Million per hour, 53% to smart contract DApps. This is great but without the appropriate infrastructure that statistic could be severely challenged.
Some may suggest that infrastructure is not as exciting as consumer facing products. This couldn’t be further from truth. Infrastructure is a long-term play which resulted in nearly a trillion and half dollars in private investments for cable, mobile, fiber, and next generation copper/fiber hybrid services.
Decentralized blockchain infrastructure is similar to foundational internet network communications, critical internet infrastructure, by being the backbone for key data services that can/will rely on secure connectivity. Perhaps this is comparable to network technology the likes of Cisco Systems and VeriSign brought the the internet age.
Those respected companies were able to not only survive the dot.com bust, but also help the generational companies like Amazon, eBay, and PayPal, scale in a secured manner. This why decentralized infrastructure ushering in Web 3.0 is so important - it can help yield the next decentralized versions of those aforementioned companies or even the likes of Facebook or Twitter.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re interested in healthcare, augmented reality, IoT, autos or even insurance. The DApps of the future, whatever the intended industry target or customer segment, needs decentralized infrastructure as a building block.
That’s not just exciting, it’s also encouraging since DApps will now have truly unbridled measure of data security - a security channel desperately needed in an age of data awakening, data transparency, and data sobriety.
That’s the very reason why decentralized infrastructure is imperative to the foundational core of blockchain and the impending boom in Web 3.0.
John Licata is the chief marketing officer of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, a middleware infrastructure solutions company bringing blockchain to the off-chain.
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