What if you could connect to the internet without an expensive, nosy ISP? What if you could do it at a fraction of the cost?RightMesh, a blockchain-based project, is attempting to do that by applying blockchain technology to the concept of mesh networks.
This article is sponsored by the Vanbex Group
Mesh networks are exciting to many in the crypto space, as they represent a way to decentralize the internet itself — an appealing notion to a community whose core value centers around disintermediation.
Numerous projects have centered around mesh networks, with one of the most successful of them being FireChat, the peer-to-peer smartphone app that works even without internet access.
Recently, projects powered by cryptocurrency have also been on the rise, including RightMesh, which attempt to use blockchains to incentivize participation within mesh networks.
RightMesh: Connecting the Unconnected
RightMesh wants to do to connectivity what Uber did to transport and Airbnb did to lodging and room rentals.
Just as Airbnb and Uber allow people to make money from their underutilized time, vehicle usage, or space in the home, RightMesh will allow people to do the same with their underutilized connectivity, storage, and processing capabilities.
They think that by using everyday devices — like mobile phones — as access points they will be able to connect far more people than is currently possible, or will be possible in the near future.
This is because by leveraging cheap and affordable devices they could allow people in developing nations to enjoy the benefits of internet access as well.
For the same reason, RightMesh could also be helpful to the IoT revolution by making it easier for devices to connect to one another and the internet.
Additionally, by using blockchain tech, the RightMesh team thinks that it could make networks more trustless, secure, and help remove inefficiencies.
Building a Mesh Network on Ethereum
Probably the most notable aspect of RightMesh will be its potential to completely displace ISPs and other intermediaries like telecoms.
“The key principle is that the RightMesh network is self-forming, self-healing, and self-regulating, using whatever it has at its disposal. It runs on devices most of the world already uses and can easily afford. No additional hardware or infrastructure is required, and no longer will people be beholden to ISPs.”
“In the RightMesh network, the mobile devices themselves provide the infrastructure in place of ISPs,” the team continued.
The platform will be built on top of the Ethereum blockchain and is planning to introduce a token at some point in the future. The token will follow the ERC20 standard and will be interoperable with other DAPPs that use the same token.
The team did not provide a timetable for the project’s development, saying they wanted to prioritize the technology and the economics of the mesh before committing to a definite roadmap.
A Quick Look at Mesh Networks
A computer network is a web of electronic devices that are wired together, allowing said devices to share information between each other.
Networks can have different topologies or ways in which the different parts are physically arranged within in it.
A mesh network is a specific kind of computer network where every device is connected to all other devices, which act as “nodes,” access points to the rest of the network.
The internet consists of smaller computer networks that communicate with one another through centralized gateways known as Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
So, in a way, the internet itself is a mesh network, as local devices connect to an ISP, forming a network, that ultimately provides the infrastructure to then connect to all other networks.
However, the key difference between a mesh and the current structure of the internet is that mesh’s connect people organically, on a peer-to-peer basis.
A mesh network enables an entirely peer-to-peer internet the same way that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency — giving people internet access without relying on middlemen.
Barriers to Building Reliable Mesh Networks
Despite their exciting appeal, there are a few reasons why mesh networks have not yet become standard — and it isn’t from a lack of trying.
Voluntary mesh networks don’t give people a reason to share their internet access, which limits their scope and prevents them from ever becoming legitimate alternatives to ISPs.
Still, problems even exist with paid networks, as the RightMesh team explains, many previous attempts required people to jailbreak their phones or required technical expertise on the part of the user to work.
“Many other mesh projects focus on hardware. Others which support devices like phones require rooting the device (which is not particularly user friendly). Others may work without rooting, but require lots of user intervention in order to make the connections between devices.”
This is where RightMesh thinks it can distinguish itself from past project, finally creating a long-lasting and reliable mesh network that will actually become a disrupting force.
What do you think of RightMesh’s blockchain-based platform? Let us know in the comments below.
Images Via MakeUseOf, RightMesh, Slideshare
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