Why is decentralized technology worth building?
It’s an important question, and one we don’t ask often enough. In the web3 world, it is an article of faith that decentralization is better than centralization, that individual sovereignty is preferable to platform monopolies, and that people have a strong and defensible right to privacy.
But it’s worth revisiting first principles every now and then if only to remind ourselves why we embarked on this adventure in the first place.
It all boils down to this: you can use a hammer to build something up or to break something down. A hammer is a tool; whether its impact is constructive or destructive depends on the person wielding it.
In my opinion, what we should really be asking is... is the blockchain a tool more likely to be used for good or for evil? And do its benefits outweigh its risks?
Why move away from centralized paradigms?
The centralized internet is a tool of immense power – one that has changed how we live, work, interact, buy and sell. But as that power has accumulated in fewer and fewer hands, it has unleashed a series of plagues on the world. Someone once said: “absolute power corrupts absolutely” – and this has certainly proven the case with Big Tech. Giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook exert an increasingly strong influence over all our lives.
They and companies controlled by them harvest data from our every digital action and interaction: information about our jobs, relationships, and passions. Even our most intimate thoughts and feelings are fair game.
All of this feeds a ravenous ad-based revenue model; we’ve known this for years. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that today’s surveillance capitalism economy acts as an accelerant – even a primary driver – of much of the discord, dysfunction, and despair that seem to hang over today’s world.
Indeed, the manipulative tactics that tech companies use are explicitly designed to stoke fear and anger in order to keep us engaged. The more time people spend in these isolated and often divisive online silos, the more they come to rely on them to meet their material, social, and emotional needs. These platforms gradually consume more and more of their time and attention – and even re-shape their identities.
Then there’s the question of what happens to that growing agglomeration of information. When so much data is gathered in one place, the risk of bad things happening multiplies. Data can be breached, corrupted, stolen, and sold to bad actors.
If we continue to accept and abide by the rules and norms of the existing system, there isn’t much we can do about any of this. We must rebuild, starting with the very code that determines our digital systems and structures.
That’s why web3 exists.
What do we hope to achieve with web3?
If centralized tech platforms are slowly poisoning society, web3 technology can be a powerful antidote. The only cure for centralization is decentralization. That’s why the Tally Ho team is joining other builders in the web3 space to establish a self-sovereign, grassroots paradigm from the ground up.
By replacing the systems that support the concentration of power, we can render obsolete the centralized platforms that control so much of our tangible and intangible property. In their place, we can build systems that support a self-sovereign economy of ownership: one in which individuals, not companies or states, control their own assets, identities, and data.
In this decentralized world, people can choose to share personal information, choose to spend time in online environments, and even choose to monetize their data. They can choose which parts of culture, business, and finance they want to participate in, and which to abstain from, based on their own needs and preferences, not those of powerful organizations.
That’s what it’s all about: self-sovereignty, privacy, freedom, and, above all, the right to choose.
In the political sphere, we call this decentralized, bottom-up model democracy, in contrast to centralized, top-down dictatorships or oligarchies. There is no reason this framework cannot also apply to technology. In fact, it gives us the chance to create a healthier, more dynamic, fairer, and freer world – an opportunity to choose to invest our resources in ourselves and our communities, rather than turning them over to the powers that be.
What about bad behavior in web3?
I think of technology – at least worthwhile technology – as chaotic neutral. It’s chaotic because it challenges orthodoxies, introduces new ways of doing things, and overturns stasis and complacency. It’s neutral because, as a tool, it can be used to achieve good or evil ends – or shades between – depending on who is using it.
And I believe that most people are inherently good. Research has proven over and over that the vast majority of us choose good over evil – even good over neutral – when faced with simple, clear ethical choices. Bad things happen in the world when concentrations of evil gain disproportionate control over centralized mechanisms and power structures.
That’s why web3 is such a powerful weapon in the war against corruption, injustice, and tyranny. No single entity can control a decentralized system. So on balance, the majority should affect good rather than evil more often than not.
This is not to say that bad things can’t or won’t be done in this new world. People will find ways to use crypto and other forms of decentralized tech for malign purposes, just as they have found ways to abuse every other tool that has ever existed.
But I strongly believe that these bad actors will be vastly outnumbered by people with good intentions and that, ultimately, web3 will be a net positive for humanity.
How is Tally Ho advancing the Web3 vision?
Web3 is here. But there’s still a long way to go before the Internet we use in our everyday lives becomes decentralized. In order for that to happen, we need the right infrastructure, and that infrastructure must itself be decentralized. After all, if we build decentralized platforms on centralized foundations, we haven’t really solved the problem.
Creating decentralized infrastructure is a critical next step toward realizing web3’s full potential. That’s why we’re building Tally Ho: a fair-launched, decentralized, community-controlled wallet created for a truly decentralized financial world.
Tally Ho is entirely owned and operated by its user community. No single authority controls any aspect of its codebase, day-to-day operations, and its native token.
And Tally Ho is live and ready to start using today. If you’re interested in becoming more involved in our community, head to our Discord server and join the conversation.
A Jagged March Forward
One final word on the subject: The great thing about technology is that it is constantly in a state of evolution. One day, web3 will itself need to make way for innovations we have not yet begun to imagine.
This cycle between growth and destruction is an inevitable part of humanity’s jagged march forward. It will never be perfect, but if we are intentional about building decentralized, open-source, community-owned infrastructure to replace today’s centralized monopolies, the future will be brighter than the present.
Let's make that happen.