Is it possible to have free speech without censorship?
Recent events related to the U.S Elections as you all know have led to the giant tech corporations shutting down, denying access & removing hosting rights from various figures and entities.
From the outset this author would like to make clear I am not a U.S citizen and have zero political persuasions. This article is about how the current mess can be avoided in the future using new technology.
There are those that call themselves “social media experts” but most of these experts also use the very social media and hosting services they are reporting on so there is always inclusive bias.
1. Peer to Peer Hosting of Applications
Before you even begin to look at the giant social media companies and their policies,terms and conditions and any perceived or real bias you have to look at where they live.
And by live I mean where they are hosted.
As you would have seen recently in probably the first time in history Amazon (AWS) revoked the hosting contract that was being used by a social media platform.
I am not going to address whether or not that removal was warranted but I do want to highlight the fact that AWS or any other provider can do so.
AWS, Google, Microsoft, IMB etc make up the biggest cloud providers in the world in a multi Billion dollar business and with the power to pull the plug at any time you can now never be sure if your data is safe, protected and not going to disappear overnight.
Peer to Peer or P2P is computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers in a network are known as nodes.
If I was downloading a torrent or uploading a torrent file I would be called either a Seed (uploading) or a Leech (Downloading) and I myself would technically be classed as a node.
Previously this was only possible for torrent files many of which are associated with Viruses, Trojans and illicit content.
There is now a new startup company which has just completed proof of concept stage that will use this same technology to allow everyday people like you and me to be our own AWS or Microsoft.
This company is called Holo.
2. Own Your Data
Imagine waking up one day only to find out that all of your data has been removed from a particular social media site, how would that sit with you?
You may have spent countless hours putting time into building either a reputation, public persona or any other creative work that you feel is a part of you and something you created therefore you own forever.
Then one-day boom, its gone.
Social media and hosting companies have this power over you, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Holochain is a new framework that allows the creation of decentralized applications as I said above, but what is even more important is that in its own DNA, you keep and own your data on your device.
No matter what happens to any application, game, social media site or even bank or accounting firm, if they are using this technology your data always lives with you, forever.
Everyone knows by now that your personal data is something that is used by the big social media techs to track you, pitch to you, is sold to others and your habits and life are sold to the devil in exchange for the right to use certain platforms for free.
This is wrong, it has to be changed to where you yourself are in control of your data, you decide who to share it with, and you can revoke that sharing at any time and be in complete control.
Maybe you are okay with your browsing habits being shared with certain other applications or websites, this can still happen but you should have the choice right?
That is what Holochain does.
3. How Does it Work?
Believe it or not it is really quite simple.
As you know Apple and Google both have their own App stores, Holo hosting will be no different.
Lets say I decide I want to create my own version of Twitter and the name for it will be Glitter. all that glitters is gold :-)
So I build my application named Glitter on Holochain (this is the framework or architecture for the platform) and then once its built Glitter will be hosted by Holo the company which provides through users (like you and me) the distributed web hosting system.
A simple analogy might be to use the human body.
Imagine Holochain is the skeleton and all Holo applications are body parts that all live on the same bones, have the same DNA, follow the same rules but are also each their own individual parts of the body with different functions and designs (different applications).
So my Glitter Twitter clone is built now ready to go live, and just like any other publisher or creator, I need hosting, traditional hosting like maybe AWS or Google Cloud etc.
But Glitter is built on Holochain, it still functions the same as Twitter, it is faster and has higher security and still I can log in on my phone using the App or via desktop.
One feature that Holo hosting has which even the large Hyperscale data centers cannot compete with is that it is as I mentioned earlier, similar to a torrent meaning that the more people using it, the faster it becomes.
This is the total opposite of data centers which struggle to scale, Holo hosting scales better when it is under more pressure, the more load it is under the better it operates.
My Glitter app has been tested and tried and now sits on the Holo App store, which will be called a “hApp Store” h for Holo.
4. Ready to find Hosts
This is where you, your business, your family or your friends can make money on the side by utilizing spare processing power in your device.
This isn’t some kind of Blockchain based thing with cryptocurrency mining, it is a dedicated hosting application that will allow publishers to save money instead of paying AWS or Azure millions per year I can pay thousands of randomly selected hosts in micropayments that are automated.
So because my Glitter app is large and spread across the globe I will need thousands of hosts around the globe. This is where you can either purchase a Holoport from Holo to have it as a dedicated host or you can when available download the software and use your own device.
As you can see from the image below, Data hosting is a big business, they are just a few of the big companies and their monthly cloud spend.
Now imagine those companies and new companies to come if they were paying their users/followers/supporters/customers to securely host their data, what would that world look like?
It would mean more money for the average person and not for the shareholders of big corporations. This is why Holo hosting has the ability to change the hosting landscape as we know it.
For those of you who were not aware, Holo started as an Indiegogo campaign.
So now I am up and running my Glitter application is being hosted around the globe and I do not have to worry about latency because of the spread out nature of the hosts, this is an area where big data centers fail.
Lets look at it from another perspective, I might own an application that is not social media related but a supply chain or a retail or banking corporation.
I don’t have to use public hosts if I choose not to, even though through the method of sharding where each data hosts random small packages of data which is encrypted they cannot access it my application is secure I may choose to only allow my other branches or my staff become hosts, it is up to both the publishers and the hosts to choose who hosts their data.
Going back to the recent take-down of websites, if they were hosted on Holochain then those aligned with those ideals and thoughts would be able to host such an application, and those who are against what something stands for can choose not to.
Holo hosting empowers people with decisions. I can choose as a publisher or creator who hosts my data and as a host I can also choose to host something or not.
Creators will be able to choose between thousands of random people or those aligned with their ideals.
As far as legality goes, let me explain this in the next chapter.
5. Legalities and Final Thoughts
Before we talk legal lets quickly cover payments.
The way Holo hosting works is it has its own internal currency known as HoloFuel.
It is NOT a Blockchain, you do not have all of the scams and associated dramas of volatile cryptocurrencies with Holofuel. It will be available for purchase via many different foreign currencies when live.
It is a tool that is used for hosts and publishers to interact with payments which are invoiced and automated. There is a dynamic supply of Holofuel and the volatility that cryptocurrency suffers from is mitigated by an algorithm creating and reducing supply 24/7. This makes it value stable but not price static as the more it is used the more the demand the more valuable it will become.
Holo host is like the Airbnb or Uber of Web hosting and if you are so inclined you can buy one unit of Holofuel now for $0.0008302 and considering many in the industry believes it will one day reach USD $1.00 it is actually like being able to buy Airbnb or Uber shares before their launch.
Holo hosting uses unique technology in how your data is stored and also how applications manage it.
For example if I am a Glitter user and I have the app on my phone and also use it via its website when I do, all of my data remains on my device until if and when I decide to share it.
Right now with Twitter your data (All of your posts) lives on giant Amazon and other servers, you down own it, they do, you don't control it, they do but with the Holochain DNA all Applications built require individuals to own there data.
The way it works is via a distributed hash table (DHT), each application has its own DHT.
So for example I am a Glitter user, I am not a host or publisher, just someone who downloaded the hApp or signed up through the website.
If I publish something a Glit (Tweet) that says “There needs to be more love in the world” what will happen then is the nodes (hosts on the network/random peers) will go, okay this account is valid and has posted these words, and at the same time check with other random nodes who will say okay this account is legitimate we also validate this and the post will be then published/broadcast over the internet.
This all happens in milliseconds, it is a way of ensuring data integrity.
So I may have just shared that with 5 Million other users but there is also a permanent copy for me, which no one can delete or remove because I own my data.
So moving on to legality.
Firstly Holo the hosting company will have terms and conditions, and application publishers are not anonymous there is a KYC (Know your customer) process for all hosts and this is at varying levels.
Obviously Holo hosting will not want to be hosting any Silk Road or child exploitation sites or anything like that, but they will host and allow for free speech, this is where the hosts come into play, rather than just be shutdown by Amazon you can still remain with Holo hosting.
Each individual jurisdiction may approach different applications in different ways but the bottom line is, you are hosted by your peers not by big data, each user is responsible for their actions and each publisher will have their own sets of rules, terms and conditions.
As a side note it should also be pointed out that Holochain (remember the skeleton) his bones are open source, so if you wanted to build an application or a website using his bones only but without Holo providing the skin and muscle (hosting) you can, this would mean though that you would need to use your own hosting provider.
And any data that is not hosted by Holo hosting, Holo has no control over.
Also please keep in mind that Holo hosting, even though it is peer to peer it is not targeting anyone in particular, it is a hosting market for developers from small a small country cooperative selling at the local markets to small business to large enterprise scale options but the common message from Holo is that you will control your data and you will decide what you host or do not.
If the hApp built is a clone of Twitter, Telegram, Youtube, Medium or anything else, it can still function as the current models for the end user but with more protections in place for your own data and a cheaper option for hosting.
It is a really fine line at the moment between what is ethical, moral, legal and a matter of opinion, those things should be looked individually as a case by case thing and it will be up to the hApp publishers to deal with authorities if they believe something has crossed the line or committed or enabled offenses.
If you want to see a perfect use case of Holo hosting at work in Retail please check out the story below.
Finally, the scope of thinking by the Holochain creators stretches beyond those who create a product for a market or those who create a product in search of a market.
When you incorporate a way of thinking that can not only improve the way the world does things but also empowers so many people in so many ways from creator to end user to general public who can benefit by hosting it truly is a display of a holistic view that incorporates revolutionary creation and innovation.
Holochain will be as big as Microsoft and Google in the future but the difference will be that you own your data and decide who hosts it and where it is shared.
Thanks for reading.