Blog Insight

GLG Trend Report Excerpt:
The Distributed Web

One unnerving reality of a centralized internet is that the entirety of the web—including content, access, and security—could someday fall into the hands of a few. In this final excerpt from the GLG Trend Report: The Impact of Cryptocurrency, I’ll explore another likely evolution of the web, one that distributes the wealth, so to speak, and ensures unfettered and uninterrupted access.

Read the final excerpt below, or download the full report here.

What It Is

Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralized finance (“DeFi”) are based on a distributed model rather than centralized. Centralized assets, such as servers and storage nodes that have been in existence for a very long time, function on a centralized file system. While this centralized system has certainly evolved (at times very quickly), it remains extremely inefficient and subject to catastrophic failures.

The ability for peer-to-peer storage (a decentralized model) to enhance resilience, lower costs, and create more competitive markets for commoditized resources (such as storage) is changing the way we think about the concept of “the web.” (Remember the deliberate points of redundancy we discussed earlier.) The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is building a file system designed specifically for decentralized, peer-to-peer storage. The mission of IPFS is to provide long-term resiliency to what exists on the internet by leveraging the blockchain to create distributed and versioned copies of content of all types.

Why It Matters

Whether IPFS wins out in its quest to create the de facto distributed file system may not matter in the long run. Someone will. (IPFS has a good start with a solid Filecoin relationship and an evolving roadmap that has been in play for several years.) In IPFS’s own words, “IPFS delivers deduplication, high performance, and clustered persistence.”

These are three of the major goals that storage and cloud providers have been trying to provide at significant cost to businesses for decades. In short, large data sets, performance requirements, resilience of data (keeping those links alive permanently), and time-stamped and secure links to content will provide significant value in situations where there are high volumes of data and a need for speed.

Big data will be continually reimagined (already underway in many ways) to evolve with the distributed and decentralized nature of a new file system and new and evolving protocols for the artist we currently call the web.

When Opportunity Knocks

There’s a lot going on, and the technologies will surely be making their way through to the martech stack in pretty short order. If you would like to discuss some of these opportunities, please contact us at 206.223.5548 or