Discover more from Peerbase
The day you lost all your digital services
And why neutral digital platforms and data ownership are so important
It's 2022 and, suddenly, almost everything that has value is digital and lives on the Internet.
All your friends and your social media audience and even your digital identity are online.
All your money is on apps, and you can't even remember the last time you withdrew cash.
Your professional and personal documents are in the cloud.
Most of your purchases are made online.
The news, the political movements you support, your courses, movies, music, are all on the Internet.
Even your transportation relies on digital apps, whether to call a Uber or to navigate in the city with Waze as guidance.
It’s a massive and almost unbelievable improvement from the pre-Internet era.
Now, imagine for a second waking up one day and losing access to all these technologies and assets.
Your social media account was blocked. Your bank account was frozen. Your access to documents on the cloud was denied.
What would you do?
Probably, the first thing you would do is go to the bank, talk to someone and try to get some cash. You try to call a Uber, but then you remember your bank is frozen including your credit card.
You can't even borrow money, because, since no one has cash anymore, you would need a transfer, and god, you can’t access your bank account.
You can’t complain either because you’ve lost your social media accounts. There is no Twitter, no hashtag to boost, no youtube to upload videos, no messaging app, nothing.
Can you feel the despair? Sounds like a nightmare, right?
But this is exactly the life of billions of people around the World.
+2 billion people are unbanked and have no access to any financial services whatsoever, living just in a cash-only economy.
Millions of pro-human rights activists who, by fighting against authoritarian governments, became targets of digital censorship and constantly have their accounts frozen.
Or just sex workers that are constantly excluded from financial services and are not allowed to make a living online, for example.
Also, many people who talk about mildly controversial subjects see their online channels being shut down without any transparency about which policy was violated.
And despite the human rights problems being the most critical ones, there are several issues in the business environment as well.
Companies that rely on Government or Big Tech data are many times vulnerable to one-sided and arbitrary decisions, whether on APIs and algorithms changes or even a complete lack of access, very common in the public sector.
All these cases happen every single day and have one thing in common: centralized services with total control over your data.
Banks/Fintech, Social Media, Cloud Services, Governments, Marketplaces.
This architecture, as you can see, is the source of a lot of unfairness and inequality around the World.
The Internet solved many problems of society with awesome services, but at the same time, the rise of Web2 brought a lot of fragility and power centralization to the system.
That’s why Web3 is so important. A completely new digital era, where the user has ownership over their data and the platforms are neutral and permissionless.
We are early yet, but we’ve never seen such exponential growth in any other innovation before.
Society’s change will be massive.