The world has been witnessing paradigm shifts in certain ways of executing day to day activities over the past few decades. Taxis are now being hailed with a smartphone, without even communicating over voice with the driver. Food is being ordered online and delivered by delivery boys who rely on a digital map to navigate to the place of delivery. CDs and cassettes have been replaced by computers and phones. Film cameras have been replaced by DSLRs. Gone are the days when cheques were sent via post and deposited into the bank a few days (or even weeks) later. IMPS, NEFT and other methods of transferring money have become popular. The Digital Revolution has truly changed the way we do many things. While the first decade and a half of the 21st Century dealt with merely digitizing the world, in recent years "Decentralization" has become an idea that many people are embracing and promoting. The Block Chain Technology that has gone hand in glove with many aspects of Decentralization has also become popular.
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Bitcoin, the first ever decentralized cryptocurrency shot to fame a few years ago when articles with headings such as, "If you had invested $1000 in 2009, it would be worth XXXX" today sprung up.
Over the past few years, many alternate coins (altcoins) to Bitcoin have emerged; Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum and likewise. While all these coins were to be used to enhance the speed and safety in transferring money quickly, across (and within) borders, the entire Block Chain revolution has witnessed its own revolution in which the block chain technology is not only being used for monetary services but also other services.
I recently came across a company called Sphere. Sphere is a decentralized social network. Their USP is that your privacy is maintained and your personal information is not used for monetisation purposes by them. This is in contrast to today's social media giants such as FaceBook who use your search history, your usage history, likes of posts and links that you click on to advertise to you products and services that you may like (targeted advertisements). Sphere is not void of competitors. Companies like Steemit and Diaspora already offer such services. They boast of a user base of greater than 500,000 people.
While Sphere is still securing funding via their ICO (Initial Coin Offering), the idea of a decentralized social network in the making sounds innovative. The only difficulty for them would be to secure a large user base that remains loyal to them just like millions, if not more people have remained loyal to the social media giants of today. Although it is difficult, it is not impossible. The whole idea of a decentralized payment system (BTC) divided people in the financial world in to two parts; pro BTC and against. More and more people are leaning towards being pro BTC because they understand the actual value that these coins possess. This may happen in the social media industry as well. Cryptocurrencies, irrespective of the backlash received from Governments and renowned investors are surely here to stay in my opinion. If not to be used for transferring money in a cheap, fraud-less and fast way, the underlying technology of the cryptocurrency (Block Chain) can certainly be used in this world in exciting areas such as remote voting and reducing corruption, to name a few. The Block Chain technology is already being used in the regulated sector to transfer money. Ripple, a coin that was momentarily second in terms of market capitalization (it is now in the Top 10) has been adopted by multiple financial institutions to increase the speed of transactions. American Express has also adopted their technology.
A Decentralized Social network also sounds like an excellent idea provided that their user interface is easy to use and their user base grows. The rise of multiple such companies will not be beneficial to their investors as social media users prefer to use one, or a maximum of two companies (Face Book and Instagram/ Instagram and Snap Chat etc.) that a majority of people in their social circles use. Sphere could be either the next Instagram, a social media to which a huge number of people are flocking to (upon leaving Face Book) or Google+, a failed social media platform with good intentions.
Witnessing the former would mark the exciting advent of a change in people's ideology in leaning towards decentralized services and platforms.
While I do agree the regulation is important in some areas, a decentralized system, especially a payments system obviously removes a multitude of regulatory hurdles that people face while while working that results in lesser efficiency and waste of time and money.
If you want to sign up on Sphere to see their user interface or to invest, please sign up by clicking here as I will be rewarded with a small token of their appreciation if I got you to sign up. It would be the least you could do for me (only provided that you want to sign up) as a remuneration for writing this article that resulted in you possibly learning a thing or two
The author has not directly/indirectly invested any amount of money into Sphere as of when this article was published.
No loss of money via fraud, market crashes or other methods can be attributed to author of this article or this article. Invest with precaution and at your own risk.
The author has invested in other cryptocurrencies that were probably mentioned in the article.