FogNet: IOTA’s Attempt at a New Internet
Though some cryptocurrency companies in the modern era are more than content to apply the new blockchain technology to existing infrastructures, other companies are more outlandish and creative in their undertakings. Of all the dreamers within the crypto community, there are few dreams as progressive as IOTA’s initiative to rethink the way that we use the internet. Their most revered new project is called FogNet, and it is positioned to function as an entirely new form of the internet.
FogNet actually solves a very significant problem facing the online world in 2018: service providers. Especially with the taking away of net neutrality which happened last year, citizens in the United States are increasingly afraid that service providers are being given more powers to control what consumers can see on an ever-commercialized World Wide Web.
FogNet would sidestep this paradigm entirely, taking the power of connecting people out of the hands of the big corporations with money in mind, and placing it squarely in the hands of the people. In doing so, consumers might just be able to avoid some of the censorship, costliness, and commercialization experienced in the status quo of the internet.
A Distinguished Development in IOTA
This particular technology is not a particularly new one to IOTA. The project has already been given its fair share of accolades. Investors and experts alike were beyond excited when the project was unveiled at the first position at IOTA’s Hackaton event. Development has been relatively slow, but the company regularly comes forwards with status updates to let the public know that the project is still in the works.
As of now, the application is available for demonstration on the FogNet website, where interested developers can also find links to the original code used for the project on GitHub. The project relies heavily on the IOTA protocol, which is a web-based alternative to the blockchain.
How FogNet Works
In order to subvert Internet Service Providers (ISPs), FogNet transmits information on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) basis. This means that information is never actually stored on a central server, but exists only in the sense that it is transferred from consenting device to consenting device.
The network relies on the Bluetooth mesh, which is a unique Internet of Things (IoT) concept being rolled out by IOTA. They boast a seriously low energy output, especially when compared to the traditional electricity model required for status quo ISP-provided internet access. Users of the FogNet would connect via their FogNet router, which can distribute data in an area without having a significant internet access.
The first major benefit to using the FogNet is obvious; consumers no longer have to go through the bullying ISPs in order to access data. Though in the beginning of the process it would be unlikely to find nearly the amount of information through FogNet that one would see on the regular internet, the theory is that eventually enough people would become disenchanted enough with the status quo to switch, at which point more and more data would come to be shared on the network.
The second benefit is also relatively clear from the foundational elements which comprise FogNet. Because it uses little internet connection and very small amounts of electricity, this system could provide internet-like capabilities to areas of the world that otherwise might have trouble getting this data, such as rural parts of the United States or poor urban settings.
Only time will tell to what extent IOTA is able to make good on some of their claims in this difficult undertaking. But in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the efforts of this company to right the wrongs of the current internet business continue to be revered.