SkyeNet.tech was Arc enabled! What is Arc, and why should you care?

SkyeNet.tech was Arc enabled! What is Arc, and why should you care?

Arc.io

Earlier today, this site was temporarily enrolled in the Arc.io peer-to-peer Content Delivery Network for testing:

As per Arc's site:

Sites with Arc load faster because their content is fetched from people's devices near you instead of from data centers far away. In return, Arc lets your device share content with others.Delivering video, audio, and other data on centralized networks is expensive and inefficient. Instead of building wasteful new data centers, it's more responsible to use what we already have. Almost everybody has spare bandwidth. Arc creates value by unlocking this under-utilized resource.
Until now, most websites have sustained themselves by showing you ads and compromising your privacy. We believe thereโ€™s a better way.Arc is a powerful Content Delivery Network (CDN) built with the unused bandwidth of everyday people. Instead of ads, Arc lets you safely support the websites you love by sharing a bit of your unused bandwidth. Just by visiting a website with Arc, you contribute to a faster internet with fewer ads.

I don't totally agree with business model though...


Content Delivery Networks

While traditional legacy CDN solutions like Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks have straightforward monolithic business model of deploying servers around the globe and then renting out the storage and bandwidth of them to their end customers, Arc solely relies on unknowingly serving JavaScript code to site visitors which in turn triggers those machines to pool a portion of their available bandwidth into a distributed CDN for the duration of their stay on the site. Due to the nature of the web and behaviour of modern browsers, this does not even require permission from the end user before enrolling, and takes two clicks to opt out.

Buiness models like this are parasitic in nature, and should not have a place in Web 3.0.


Web 3.0

I am much more in favour of decentralised and mathematically secured CDN protocols like THETA and FIL:

THETA CDN Architecture 

Theta Network specifically allows anybody to pool their spare resources into a decentralised CDN powerful enough for even large scale Video Streaming:

Even though the project is still young, Theta already being supported by the likes of Google, Sony and Samsung.

Arc also fully relies on the ignorance of it's hosts, as a majority of viewers would not otherwise explicitly consent to running such scripts on their local machine. While I could be potentially incentivised into complying with this business model (by joining this network and serving such scripts), I much prefer protocols like BAT that reward users for their opt-in engagement.

On that note, I note that SkyeNet.tech is Brave Rewards enabled:

Brave Rewards on SkyeNet.tech

This is a completely opt-in protocol that allows the Brave Browser to accumulate amounts of the BAT cryptocurrency for being served advertisements, effectively sharing advertisement revenue with the end viewers. These users can then repay these accumulated coins to their favourite sites, either automatically or manually, or can simply keep their BAT for themselves, which can then be easily exchanged for other cryptocurrencies or fiat money on exchanges like Binance.

I have since unenrolled SkyeNet.tech from the Arc network, and that is one less piece of JavaScript code running on your machine ๐Ÿ˜Š


To find out more about any of the projects and platforms mentioned in their piece, do check out their sites as hyperlinked in the above post. I have no relationship with Arc.io and the above post is purely my thoughts on their service after some brief research.

Thanks for reading!

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