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How Net Neutrality Will Affect Cryptocurrency

March 19th, 2018

By Henry Benjamin, 10x Management Guest Writer

There has been a fight for the internet to be unregulated for years, and we’ve just seen the first instance of a state pushing back against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fight federal net neutrality laws. Once again, net neutrality is thrust under the spotlight.

Net neutrality rules will have an effect on many aspects of the internet and businesses that operate online. One area of concern is how it will affect the future of cryptocurrency. At 10x Management, we represent some of the greatest cryptocurrency talent in the world, so we’re always monitoring the topic.

Background

All traffic on the internet was once upon a time treated equally, also known as net neutrality. In December of 2017, however, the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, and any government protections that were in place to make sure ISPs treated all internet traffic equally were removed. In other words, ISPs can now prioritize certain content to its users, or slow down other content.

Net neutrality regulations were in place partly to protect small businesses and content providers from any restrictions so they could have an equal share of internet bandwidth as much as anyone else. With the new rules, ISPs can now restrict and throttle bandwidth should they so choose.

Net Repeal and Cryptos

Certain ISPs have links to the US government, and they can influence the internet in several ways. The government could make it difficult for cryptocoins to flourish by restricting or throttling bandwidth for any given crypto exchange.

The government and ISPs could also provide preferential treatment to one coin or exchange over another. ISPs could increase prices to customers if they wish to continue having access to fast traffic.

What Can Cryptocurrencies Do?

Certain cryptocurrencies and altcoins are built on decentralized networks using blockchain technology, meaning they can bypass the bandwidth restrictions that an ISP might wish to impose against a coin. For these currencies, the future could be bright. Coins that are based on conventional, centralized network types, however, might have a struggle on their hands.

An added benefit of running on a decentralized network is the amount of privacy offered to end users. Let’s take a look at a few currencies running on decentralized networks:

Substratum Coin and Net Neutrality

Substratum runs on top of the substratum network, which is open source, and is seeking to change the way we operate on the internet.

Substratum network will be powered by nodes, much the same way Bitcoin miners operate. The operators of these nodes will be paid for the running of the equipment. This, in turn, builds interest in the network and gives value to the Substratum Coin.

MaidSafeCoin

The infrastructure for the MaidSafeCoin (Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access For Everyone) is decentralized in the same way as Substratum.

The end users are the ones who make up the network and provide additional storage, computing power and forwarding bandwidth to other users on the mesh network.

High priority data on this network is broken into chunks and stored in separate locations which are unknown to anyone apart from the application and the network.

If any user is offline or a piece is damaged, a new copy is made from the remaining fragments. All connected nodes are in continual contact for to maintain the network. In other words, this is what we call an “autonomous system.”

Skycoin

Skycoin operates on a decentralized network called Skywire and is also not overly affected by net neutrality.

Skywire miners perform the hosting and forwarding of the network at various nodes. Skycoin and the network it runs on can operate separately.

Skycoin has no mining of coins, so transactions happen in seconds. Mining pools cannot be formed, so there is no possibility of a 51% attack, with the Obelisk algorithm making sure transactions are processed in the fastest and most secure way.

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