Blockchain startup Blockstack launches browser for the decentralized web
© Shutterstock / Anton Watman
Meet Blockstack, the blockchain startup which aims to create “a new internet for decentralized apps.” The startup has unveiled a browser that “allows developers everywhere to access a whole new internet.” Why do we need a new internet? Because the old one is broken, they say.
“We’re a group of open-source developers, and we feel the pain of app developers,” the founders of Blockstack wrote in a blog post announcing the browser. “Innovating on the internet should not require permission from a few mega-corporations. Our developer tools for the new, decentralized internet remove the reliance on existing infrastructure or third-party servers.”
The Blockstack browser allows developers to access a new internet which “changes the dynamic and brings the power back to the people. Developers can build apps on this new internet by downloading the Blockstack Mac or Linux app (Windows coming soon) and by using nothing more than existing browsers like Chrome or Safari or Firefox.”
Out with the old [internet], in with the new
According to the startup’s website, there are a few signs that the old internet is broken such as the mass data breaches that have become the new normal, insecure connections and platform lock-in that prevent innovation from happening. This means that we need a new internet and Blockstack is here to make it happen:
- With Blockstack apps, you truly own your data. It’s kept on your device and encrypted before backed up in the cloud. This removes the need for blind trust in 3rd parties and makes it easier to keep your data safe.
- Blockstack apps put you in control of your software. Apps are loaded via a secure domain name system and live on your devices. Independence from 3rd parties makes you more safe.
- With Blockstack apps, you own your identity. Your digital keys are seamlessly generated and kept on your device. This lets you move freely between apps and control your online experience.
SEE ALSO: Looking beyond the blockchain hype
The end of the middlemen?
Blockstack claims that since human interaction has never needed a middleman, the same should go for the internet. However, Henry Brade, CEO of Prasos Oy, a growing Finnish Bitcoin startup believes that “blockchain is not an invention that will eliminate the middleman.”
Many services that banks or payment processors now offer are also very relevant in the Bitcoin world. This leads to massive business opportunities. The key difference is that the core system does not force people to use specific third parties. It is their choice to use third parties if their services offer added value that makes it worth it.
In a call with Motherboard, Blockstack co-founder Ryan Shea said that the startup’s aim is to offer consumers more security and safety, as well as “more freedom through the ability to access better software, different types of software.”
In the Blockstack white paper, the founders write that Blockstack, which has been released as open-source, is deployed in production. “To date, 72,000 new domains have been registered on it with several companies and open-source contributors actively developing new services using Blockstack .”
They add that Blockstack’s architecture “does not put any limitations on which blockchain can be used with it. We believe that enabling the ability to migrate from one blockchain to another is important as it allows for the larger system to survive, even when the underlying blockchain is compromised.”
Check out the entire white paper here.