The role of decentralized networks in a data-abundant, hyperconnected world

Humanity is producing a staggering volume of data, but the processing power of chips cannot keep pace — decentralization is the answer.
When it comes to computer data storage, it can seem like we are running out of numbers. If you are old enough, you may remember when diskette storage was measured in kilobytes in the 1980s. If you are a little younger, you are probably more familiar with the thumb drives denominated in gigabytes or hard drives that hold terabytes today.Humanity’s unfathomable data footprintBut we are now producing data at an unprecedented rate. As a result, we are going to need to be able to grasp numbers so large that they seem almost beyond human comprehension. In order to get a sense for the new realm into which we are entering, consider this: Market intelligence firm IDC estimates that the total global creation and consumption of data amounted to 59 zettabytes in 2020 — that’s 59 trillion gigabytes in old money.Yet while the total volume of data in existence is now at an almost unfathomable scale, the rate at which it is growing is even more striking. Back in 2012, IBM calculated that 90% of the world’s data had been created in the previous two years. Since then, the exponential growth in global data volume has continued apace, and the trend looks set to continue. Indeed, IDC projects that over the next three years, humanity will create more data than it did during the previous three decades.The obvious question is: …
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