DIDs Built On Bitcoin Fix The Web

On October 4, 2021, Facebook, along with WhatsApp and Instagram, disappeared from the internet.

Their DNS names stopped resolving, and their infrastructure IPs were offline. They were completely disconnected from the internet. At the same time, it was reported that 1.5 billion people allegedly had their personal data stolen from Facebook and posted for sale. To make matters worse, anyone who relied on Facebook to log in on third-party services was in the dark as well. The sign-in buttons we see on so many web pages are a symptom of the problem.

And if that weren’t enough, the day prior, whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed on “60 Minutes” that Facebook has long maintained a culture that “chose to optimize for its own interests” over what was good for the public.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In recent weeks, key members of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), led by Mozilla, have stymied efforts to approve a web standard that would allow billions of people to privately and securely control their own data and identities. The proposal — now years in the making and mere months from the finish line — is known as Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs). These W3C members, in an egregiously opportunistic move, are protecting their own revenue streams, for themselves and for their political ideologies, at the expense of billions of people who would benefit from such a web standard. It seems Facebook is not alone in fostering a culture of putting internal business interests above the public interest.

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