Can A Blockchain-Based Search Engine Replace Google?
Google was reported to be one of the world’s most active backers of blockchain-based start-ups, leading 140 equity investments of almost $1.2 billion in the blockchain industry.
Gooogle is currently the leader in the search market, controlling almost 80% of desktop and 95% of mobile searches. Because of this, Google has a great influence over how the internet-based economy is shaped.
However, many believe that only one company should not have monopoly over this sector.
“The original purpose of the web and internet, if you recall, was to build a common neutral network which everyone can participate in equally for the betterment of humanity,” says Matthew Hodgson in TechCrunch. “But now we have Skype from Microsoft, Facetime from Apple, and Google with Duo. Each big company has its own equivalent service, each stuck in its own bubble. These services may be great, but they aren’t exactly what we imagined during the dream years when the internet was being built.”
The aforementioned companies control the access to our most important information and sensitive data. However, Hodgson says that there will be ”an emerging movement to bring the web back to this vision and it even involves some of the key figures from the birth of the web. It’s called the Decentralized Web or Web 3.0, and it describes an emerging trend to build services on the internet which do not depend on any single ‘central’ organization to function.”
Blockchain-based systems provide a number of security and efficiency advantages, storing information in a way centralized data warehouses cannot compete with.
Presearch is creating an open decentralized search engine that “rewards community members with Presearch Tokens for their usage, contribution to, and promotion of the platform.”
Its decentralized search model will use “open and transparent ranking factors, which will enable content creators to access a level playing field, and [give] users the choice of which data to utilize.” The service will enable the community’s users to vote and fund development opportunities. A project of this scale will likely disrupt the search engine market.
Blockchain-based start-ups are bound to disrupt other areas as well
IPFS (interplanetary file system) has gathered a significant amount of attention from the finteh community. The concept behind IPFS is to have web browsers store copies of the visited pages and then double as web servers. This way, if the original serves is destroyed or removed, the page visitors can still share it with others.
Wired states that in this model, publishers receive improved resilience, and readers can support their content of choice. The IPFS team along with other groups hope to build interactive apps such as Facebook which will not require any centralized servers to run.
As more consumers and companies invest in blockchain technology, it remains to be seen which projects will gain mainstream adoption the fastest. The major companies in the search market are putting in a lot of capital in bringing in new technologies.