The rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is one prime example of today's decentralized trading. For the future, we might be looking at a decentralized internet.
To those who don't know what I'm talking about, decentralized internet is a type of internet connection that doesn't rely on a central server to pass information. Think of how torrents and TOR browsing work, it's called peer to peer file transfer (bluetooth, infrared). Centralized internet, on the other hand, is the common type of internet, the one that you use to browse this article on, send tweets, like pictures on Instagram, among others. Unlike centralized internet, in which government organizations and internet service providers can spy on what you're doing, decentralized internet gives you more privacy in your usage of the internet. Not only that, it can also help those who need internet the most--rural areas and disaster survivors.
The nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, with the help of the National Science Foundation, offers a $2 Million prize to anyone who can decentralize the web. Around 4 Billion people in the world have no access to the internet. And in some rural areas in the US, connectivity is often slow, if there is an internet at all. In natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, internet is really useful for communication.
However, there are people who are helping to create decentralized networks. The subreddit /r/DarkNetPlan is dedicated to creating a decentralized peer-to-peer networking protocol, to challenge ISP's control over our access to the internet. Some are even using decentralized networks to track animals in the wild.
But if a decentralized internet is going to happen, the Mozilla Foundation would be the first one to do it through open-source browsing software, together with the NSF--the original carrier of the World Wide Web. In their blog, Mozilla has plans of turning backpacks into roaming routers, repurposing old phone booths as WiFi hotspots or repeaters.
You can apply here
. Who knows, maybe you'll be the one to help connect the unconnected, plus you'll be $2 Million richer.