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Jun 06, 2021

▦ 2 → Protocols & Clients

by: Shahruz Shaukat

A lot of “decentralizing” a communications protocol seems to be about designing a format for information to be shared between a broadcaster and a receiver, and allowing anyone to create “clients” to use that format.

A client can be anything that interacts with one protocol, multiple protocols, or just a part of a protocol. It can also extend a protocol.

Something can be a client without using decentralized protocols: Facebook’s app and website would be considered Facebook clients. The Telegram and WhatsApp apps are both clients that support messaging but can’t talk to each other because they don’t use the same protocol.

Decentralized communications protocols theoretically put a lot of control into the hands of the users: if you can delete one app, install another, and still have all your stuff (your media, your messages, your social graph, etc), then monopolies on these kinds of apps shouldn’t be able to exist.

How it seems to usually play out though doesn’t support that argument.

So decentralization alone doesn’t necessarily mean a well funded corporation can’t find some leverage to have significant control over it.

Some things that feel different about Web3 / Ethereum today compared to those examples:


𖨆 // I'm not sure where to end this post and it can kind of just keep going forever, so I'm stopping here for now.


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