Decentralised Platforms: Blockchain for Trust and Privacy
Decentralised platforms, powered by blockchain technology, offer a solution rooted in transparency, immutability, and distributed control.
The Raiding of Centralised Data
“The intervention is just like that repressive government of Egypt. I didn’t think it could happen in America.” This alarming realisation was shared by Eric Meyer, owner and publisher of the Marion County Record, a small family-run newspaper in Kansas raided by police on August 11th. Joan Meyer, a co-owner of the newspaper and Eric’s mother, died the following day after undergoing severe stress from the incident. At 98 years old, Joan described the raids as “Hitler tactics.” Both her home and the newspaper office were raided during a heat advisory, forcing many staff into the formidable outdoor temperatures to helplessly watch their files, computers, and personal cell phones being carted away.
Why did this happen? That’s a good question. Federal law supposedly protects journalists from search and seizure by requiring a subpoena rather than a search warrant when evidence is being sought. Nevertheless, a search warrant was issued, giving police full access to all the newspaper’s inner workings, based on an alleged and questionable case of identity theft. Several sources indicate that the newspaper may have stepped on the wrong person’s foot on the local political stage and this was retribution. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for powerful entities to ignore legal protections and confiscate centralised records.
Protecting Your Organisation with Decentralised Data
What would you do if all your records and equipment were suddenly confiscated? Perhaps your work is fully remote and there is no physical office to raid, but where are your servers based? Consider the servers and online platforms you rely on. Are they impervious to political and financial pressures? Is your organisation’s vital and private data truly secure? How could your organisation continue to operate after a digital search and seizure? If you would rather avoid finding out, perhaps it is time to consider a platform that benefits from the security and control that decentralised data can offer.
Lord Acton once stated, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In a traditional centralised system, a single entity ultimately wields complete control over your data and may be influenced by even more powerful outside forces. Decentralised data networks ensure that data is distributed across a network of nodes or participants. Decentralised data solutions like Swarm ensure that you alone have control. Organisations that use a collaboration platform integrated with a decentralised data solution benefit from unparalleled data privacy and security.
Can Blockchain Be Trusted?
The key component of decentralised data is blockchain technology. Blockchain is a distributed ledger that records transactions across a network of nodes in a transparent and immutable manner. But can blockchain be trusted? The answer is a resounding yes.
Blockchain's trustworthiness stems from its inherent characteristics:
- Transparency: Every transaction on a blockchain is recorded in a public ledger, visible to all participants. This transparency reduces the chances of fraudulent activities.
- Immutability: Once a transaction is added to the blockchain, it becomes virtually impossible to alter or delete. This feature ensures the integrity of data.
- Decentralisation: Blockchains are not controlled by a single entity, making them resilient to single points of failure and less susceptible to manipulation.
- Consensus Mechanisms: Blockchain networks rely on consensus mechanisms like Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS) to validate transactions, ensuring that malicious actors cannot manipulate the system.
- Cryptography: Strong cryptographic techniques are used to secure data on the blockchain, making it highly resistant to hacking.
Is Blockchain Decentralised or Distributed?
It's important to clarify the distinction between decentralised and distributed. While blockchain is often referred to as decentralised, it is actually a form of distributed technology. Decentralisation implies a lack of a central authority, whereas distribution refers to the dispersion of data across multiple nodes or locations. Blockchain is distributed because it replicates data across a network of nodes for redundancy and fault tolerance.
The combination of decentralisation and distribution makes blockchain a powerful tool for ensuring trust and security in various applications beyond cryptocurrency. For instance, MetaProvide created Platformly, an all-in-one online workspace, and fused it with Swarm to provide organisations with collaborative spaces with decentralised data storage. With a shared commitment to create a self-sovereign digital society and better world it was a logical step for MetaProvide to integrate the Swarm Network into its platforms.
Are You Prepared for a Digital Raid?
If your organisation’s work and data are at risk on centralised platforms, you may be well past due for an upgrade. The alarming incident involving a small newspaper's raid serves as a stark reminder of the pitfalls of centralised data storage. Centralisation concentrates information, making it an easy target for those seeking control or exploitation.
Platforms powered by or integrated with blockchain technology, offer a solution imbued with transparency, immutability, and distributed control. These platforms ensure data security and integrity by design, making it difficult for unauthorised access or manipulation to occur. Beyond data protection, they can also offer the benefits of financial transactions through cryptocurrencies, offering enhanced security, privacy, and accessibility.
It's important to note that while blockchain is often termed "decentralised," it's fundamentally a distributed technology. The blend of decentralisation and distribution underpins its efficacy in various applications, including online office platforms. More than just a concept, decentralisation is a practical solution to contemporary data privacy and security concerns.
Platformly was built using the tried and tested NextCloud self-hosted data fortress approach to data security. Through the additional integration of Swarm, Platformly showcases how platforms that integrate decentralised data solutions can empower individuals and organisations to reclaim control and sovereignty. Platformly’s approach to fusing the tried and tested self-hosted data fortress of NextCloud with Swarm blockchain technology promises a future where trust and privacy remain unswayed by centralised powers. Embracing these technologies is a decisive step toward a more secure, transparent, and equitable digital landscape.