On January 26, the Internet stopped completely on most of the east coast. Electronic services refused. The YouTube video flashed by half. Probably millions of people were affected, at least temporarily. But the traffic disruption underscores widespread vulnerabilities in how much of the world does business, uses entertainment and communicates.
The implications of such disruptions should be seen as particularly worrying for those in the crypto country: especially for the ever-increasing number of participants in the new decentralized peer-to-peer value transfer ecosystem using Bitcoin (BTC) that creates smart contracts Ethereum. … Or launch any number of platforms and tokens that perform countless functions and services.
In fact, these gaps pose a major challenge in building the long-awaited future of a safer, more reliable and secure decentralized network.
Every time Gmail or Telegram crashes due to such disruptions on today’s internet, it is a reminder of how much this emerging decentralized world is exposed to great vulnerabilities. This is a type of Achilles heel that has not yet been properly treated.
In short, full prosperity for blockchain and other decentralized systems depends on the robustness of the current web architecture, which is not only highly centralized, but also needs to be updated.
Internet: Beauty and the Beast
As beautiful as the original architecture – and believe me it’s amazing – the internet as we know it has become useless. Decades have passed since its inception, and it shows its infamous era. Evidence of this is the growing number of outages that disrupt major cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, as well as business-critical messaging platforms such as Slack. As a result, losses for businesses, as well as for regular Internet users and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, could run into billions.
For example, Cloudflare plunged last year, and as a result there was a noticeable decline in bitcoin transactions. It is noteworthy that the Bitcoin network itself was not disrupted. The peer-to-peer consensus building infrastructure has always been completely unchanged, but the decline in the number of completed transactions indicates a serious weakness in the system, as many cryptocurrencies rely on centralized storage and exchange options. And many of these services were in turn dependent on Cloudflare.
The example above shows how the viability of these services in many cases boils down to a single fault – in contrast to why Bitcoin and blockchain generally exist.
Unfortunately, this problem has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as the Internet has become more important in our work and personal lives. Global cyberbullying has risen due to the outbreak of the pandemic last year, according to the latest figures released by network information company ThousandEyes. Increased utilization was mentioned as the reason for the interruptions, which increased 63% in March compared with the pre-pandemic. In June, there were 44% more riots than at the beginning of last year.
It is safe to say that with a staggering 25% of all Ethereum workloads in the world running on Amazon’s web services, it’s more than a break to worry about. Today, all blockchain-based applications, be it Bitcoin, Polkadot or Cosmos, are completely disabled without the help of many centralized Internet services and infrastructure.
It is a solution
However, this does not mean an expression of pessimism or despair, because there are solutions to the problem that can be implemented relatively quickly and without a radical reform of what is already in use. One is to harness the power of the Internet as it is today and harness the mechanisms that support it, focusing on the abundance of nodes and the redundancy of data already embedded in the system.
Think of a node as a channel for the data it depends on. For example, by using a smarter and more dynamic routing protocol that can be easily placed on top of the existing Internet, we can more efficiently route transmissions around blocked or congested nodes, and instead retrieve data from nodes through which data can flow more freely. … …
In addition, there is a problem solving basic security issues. In particular, it reveals vulnerabilities that are currently being exploited by organized attackers with potentially far-reaching implications for all forms of Internet applications, when examining standard Internet routing technology known as Border Gateway Protocol or BGP.