The New Internet – CoinGeek

Or, as Latif Ladid put it, we are approaching the age of IPv6 and, with it, the more colloquially called age of web3. If you haven’t already caught her speak at the recent Global Blockchain Convention in Dubaiwhat the advent of web3 promises is the final realization of the internet dream of a true peer-to-peer network.

What do we mean by peer-to-peer?

Well, unless you were born before the age of Bon Jovi, you wouldn’t know that the internet wasn’t always a welcome idea among government policy makers and big IT companies when it was introduced.

Originally, it was a military network, and even after the protocol technology spread around the world, the introduction of an open computer network caused a lot of political reactions. Many incumbents in the industry, such as large telecommunications and computer companies with monopolies in computer communications, were in danger of losing their influence. But with the advent of the home PC and the distribution of computing resources to individual households, the ability to connect these nodes together in some way was a great opportunity. But because of lobbyists, governments (including the US) were against an open internet until 1991, and popularizing the internet was one of the few things we can really give Al Gore credit for. . It was only then that the development of the World Wide Web and the open Internet began to gain popularity over the proprietary networking technologies that companies like Novell, IBM, and AT&T were pushing.

We now live in this time, where we have generations of young people who have grown up in the world that began in 1991: the information age. Where information is always “at your fingertips” and floats in the airspace all around us. But the Internet has been around for so long now and has become so ubiquitous that many have lost sight of the original dream it exalted: peer-to-peer communications.

When the tech giants lost control of network technologies and hardware markets, they moved into the role of communication intermediaries. Few people understand that when you use the Internet today, you are not communicating directly with your peers. You communicate with a proxy company, its Internet service provider or its ISP, which then forwards these messages to the recipient. It is very similar to the current banking system. When Alice transfers money to Bob, she simply initiates a transfer request to her bank, which then sends instructions to Bob’s bank, and debits and credits are made accordingly. There’s actually no involvement from Bob. Bob’s money is deposited in an account at Bob’s bank.

Although banks are not legally able to take Bob’s money, they may refuse to accept incoming transactions to Bob under certain circumstances.

Banks are analogous to ISPs. You rarely, if ever, communicate directly with another peer in the network. Your ISP could block access to your PC or home devices if legally required to do so. This is why currently, when the internet is open, it’s not really peer-to-peer. This is because people do not have their own publicly addressable Internet address because the IPv4 address space is entirely staked by large corporations and ISPs. With a total address space of just over 4 billion unique addresses and large swaths of the space reserved for private networks, it is impossible to give an address to every person on the planet, let alone every electronic device.

IPv4 is akin to real estate on Hong Kong Island. Every square inch of the island has already been claimed, and it is the role of large corporations to rent space to individuals through the use of network address translation (NAT). While you are reading this article downloaded from the publisher, the publisher’s host server is actually at an internal address on their ISP, and your PC or mobile phone is talking through your Public Internet address of the ISP. You both use the Internet indirectly through the service of your respective ISP. Your ISPs are the real nodes on the Internet, not you or the editor of this article.

For a long time no one cared because people only cared about the messages and whether or not they reached their destination. But for real commerce, we need more than just messaging. We need provable legal identities verifiable at the network level.

If IPv4 is like trying to get real estate on Hong Kong Island, then IPv6 is real estate on the surface of a Dysan Sphere.

As Latif said:

“If we were to distribute ten million addresses every second, it would take 58,000 years to exhaust all possible unique IPv6 addresses.”

Enough addresses for every person on the planet(s) for all of our communicating devices for the foreseeable future. The key point is that with each person and each device having their own unique address, we can finally realize the dream of the Internet. Have real peer-to-peer communications and be able to conduct trusted commerce without intermediaries.

If you’ve been following this far, you may have realized how similar this notion of unique addresses is with the IPv6 internet and Bitcoin. In fact, bitcoin, as designed and released in 2009, solved the problem of having unique addresses for every possible transaction and exchange. With this innovation, bitcoin was the first truly successful implementation of digital money, which is also a peer-to-peer transaction (unlike the bank account analog, which has intermediaries). And although Bitcoin the coin (if used correctly) is peer-to-peer, the coins themselves always passed through the intermediaries1 of our existing IPv4 Internet, the ISPs. But with IPv6, we finally have the possibility to go fully equals. This means that we will be able to trade, having complete trust in the other party because they have identified themselves and have a verifiable unique Internet address that is registered for themselves, a natural person. And with the addition of bitcoin addresses, we can have verifiable unique addresses for every unique transaction between every person/device.

Imagine what the future of commerce could look like

Alice in Canada wants to buy something from Bob, who lives in South Africa. They exchange communications over the new Internet, using their IPv6 addresses. This, along with sufficient third-party certificate authorities, which can verify and validate Bob’s identity with his IPv6 address for Alice, means she can be sure that this address is indeed Bob’s and vice versa. Then using their identity addresses, through a Diffie Hellman process, they construct a joint pair of one-time-use (OT) bitcoin addresses that they will use for this transaction. Alice funds her OT address, then sends the bitcoins to Bob’s OT address by transmitting the signed transaction directly over the Internet to Bob’s client.

There is no ISP in the middle of internet routing, and there is no bank in the middle of coin transfer. The transaction is private. There is no way for anyone other than Alice or Bob to know that the OT transaction addresses used were for this purpose. But above all, if they are forced by the judicial authorities to reveal the nature of the trade, one of them will be able to show and prove it because the addresses can be deterministically generated from Alice and Bob’s personal IPv6 addresses and the transaction invoice, which was split between them.

This can be done if you need to show that this transaction was for certain goods, for example for tax reporting. If you need to prove it wasn’t for something else or with someone else, you can. If Bob wanted to falsely accuse Alice of theft, Alice could reveal this transaction to the public. As long as both parties remain honest and the transaction is not illegal, it remains perfectly private. That’s what we want: total confidentiality, but with total transparency.

Most people, when confronted with the idea that everyone will have exactly one internet identity address, like a passport or personal identification number, fear that it will lead to government abuse. Of course, we have all heard of the social credit system in place in China. But if used correctly, with IPv6-powered identity addresses and signed ownership of devices (each with their own IPv6 addresses), we can envision a system where any device can talk directly to anyone. any other, where each party can demonstrably know the physical person on the other end of the wire they are communicating with.

This will lead to a drastic drop in internet fraud and wire fraud cases, and honest people generally won’t want to communicate with parties who don’t want to verify their identity in a provable way.

Additionally, if common one-time use Bitcoin addresses are used for transactions, all transactions are private and cannot be discerned unless one of the parties decides to reveal details of a transaction. The simple fact of knowing the identity address of a person does not make it possible to see the transactions in which he participates.

It is a more connected and more honest future, which will see an increase of an order of magnitude in the number of digital transactions and the exchange of goods and services on a global scale. This is the true promise of Web3, enabled by scalable bitcoin, used in a peer-to-peer fashion and integrated with legal and identity systems, all using IPv6 addresses as network identifiers. This is the new internet, the connected commercial world.

end of life
jerry chan
Wall Street Technologist


[1] Additionally, for the BTC corenet, they further engage in the use of intermediaries on the bitcoin network itself, designing wallets that post signed transactions to the nodenet and for the recipient to receive its payment via the network of nodes as an intermediary.

Watch: Latif Ladid’s keynote: 5G/6g based on IPv6, IoT and Blockchain

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