Brave Browser takes a first step in enabling a decentralized website

Brave just made a significant step in supporting a decentralized Web by being the first browser to allow native integration with an open-source peer-to–peer networking protocol. The goal is to transform the web’s functioning. IPFS is an obscure protocol for transport that promises to enhance the existing HTTP standard. It will make content easier to find and be more reliable to control and failure.

TechCrunch gives a detailed explanation of and provides an excellent overview. This is the short version of HTTP: HTTP was designed to allow browsers to view information on central servers. IPFS, however, accesses that information via distributed nodes. Vice describes as downloading content through BitTorrent instead of from a central source. Just type in your web address as usual, and the networks will locate the servers containing the content.

IPFS solves the problem of central servers having to be down, thereby allowing content access from all locations.

There are many advantages to this new model, such as faster speed because the data can be stored and distributed closer to people who want it. Additionally, there is less cost for original content publishers. IPFS, perhaps the most important benefit of all, can help make web content resilient to failings and resistcensorship.

Brave currently has over 24 million active monthly users. Brave was an early advocate of IPFS. It worked on the standard from 2018 to date. Brave users now have version.19 access to IPFS content. They can resolve URIs beginning with ipfs ://.. A “full IPFS server” can be installed by users. This will make their browser an active member of the peer to peer network.

Brave CTO Brian Bondy announced that IPFS offers users an answer to the problem, which creates a central point for failure when content is attempted to access.

Molly Mackinlay (IPFS project manager) says that IPFS allows for the decentralization of web content and can therefore overcome government data censorship. Mackinlay said that web users all over the world cannot access restricted content today, such as parts of Wikipedia Thailand or Turkey and crucial access to COVID-19 China.

This initiative to increase web content’s resilience and flexibility comes as service and platform owner face difficult decisions on what content should remain online. In the wake of the Capitol riot, Donald Trump was silenced on Facebookand Twitter. Following this, the Parler app was removed from both Google’s and Apple App stores. Amazon pulled its centralized Web services. It would become more difficult to maintain control over the web if it were decentralized, as IPFS is part of that.