A $2M Bounty by Mozilla to Decentralize the Internet
A decentralized network could bring the internet to those who need it the most.
In the third season of Silicon Valley, the protagonist, Richard Hendriks, abandoned his friend’s idea of creating a video chat business to create his own dream project, a new internet. Although his peers initially saw him pushing for a crazy idea, the dream of creating a decentralized internet began to become more probable.
The nonprofit Mozilla Foundation has partnered with the National Science Foundation to offer $2 million in rewards for ideas that will help create a decentralized internet a reality. Their hope is to bring reliable internet connections to those who need it most.
For most of us, we take the ability to be constantly connected to the internet for granted, however, for the majority of the world, reliable internet connection is not assured. Even in parts of rural U.S., connectivity remains a serious concern where internet is slow, unreliable, or nonexistent.
A community on Redit is beginning to grow, dedicated to the creation of a decentralized meshnet, or peer-to-peer networking protocol, in an effort to challenge the control of Internet Service Providers. Networking researchers have been developing decentralized internet solutions to bring, for example, the internet to Mars, although the efforts have been proven to be incredibly useful here as well.