An Alternate Internet and The New Peer-to-Peer Currency

An Alternate Internet and The New Peer-to-Peer Currency

Douglas Rushkoff talks about how the shutdown of WikiLeaks could prompt a new decentralized computer network, and the rise of a new virtual currency called Bitcoins.

John Ryan
  • 15 december 2010

In response to the speed and efficiency with which the WikiLeaks site and its funding were taken offline, and the failure of the anonymous hacker movement to do any significant damage to Wikileaks’ corporate foes, media commentator Douglas Rushkoff notes how the situation illustrates how centrally-controlled the internet really is. Rushkoff sees the Wikileaks debacle becoming a rallying point towards developing an new, alternate internet:

The internet’s failings as a truly decentralized network, however, merely point the way toward what a decentralized network might actually look like. Instead of being administrated by central servers, it would operate through computers that pinged one another, instead of corporate-owned server farms, and deliver web pages from anywhere, even our own computers. The FCC and other governing bodies may attempt to defang the threat of the original internet by ending net neutrality. But if they did, such a new network — a second, “people’s internet” — would almost certainly rise in its place.

What Rushkoff envisions is already underway with Bitcoin, a new, decentralized, virtual currency based on peer-to-peer technology created by Japanese programmer Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin currency is “mined” using an elaborate cloud-computing system of authentication and self-maintenance to insure the currency retains its value. Programming puts a cap on the total number of Bitcoins in existence. explains:

Bitcoins gain their value simply by the fact people are prepared to accept them as payment for services and goods. This sounds weak but this is not entirely dissimilar in nature to the major Fiat currencies such as the Dollar, Euro and Sterling. The only reason we’re prepared to accept our wage in dollars is the fact that we know that shops and service providers across the United States (and other countries) are prepared to let us spend it.

CNN: “Why Wikleaks Hackers Are A Glitch, Not A Cyberwar

CIO: “Could WIkileaks Scandal Lead To New Virtual Currency?


Flower Pencils Create Cherry Blossom Petals When Sharpened

Arts & Culture
Technology Today

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail Today

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Related Expert

Domenico Vitale

Content & Production

Entertainment Today

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Today

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important

Millennials Today

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs Today

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.