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The internet has been a realm that has evened the playing field for many. It has made it possible for mom and pop shops to compete on a global level with multi-billion-dollar brands. It has allowed for an idea with no capital to find funding, based on its own merits, and has made anyone with access to it equal in its use. It has also lead to the rise of a decentralized currency, that according to Bitcoin Play facts and statistics, are not controlled or governed by big business or governments. That currency is Bitcoin and net-neutrality has been a key building block for this emerging technology. This all could change with the recent proposed changes in net neutrality being debated by US lawmakers. These laws, in essence, would make it possible for traffic to be biasedly routed or for specific sites or platforms to be boycotted by the big telecoms, creating a monopoly on who and where they send traffic. This potential has big and grave repercussions for Bitcoin. Here is why losing net-neutrality might be the downfall of the Bitcoin revolution.

How Bitcoin Works Online

To understand why Bitcoin will be highly affected by the potential new laws, we first must understand how it works. Bitcoin operates on a blockchain architecture that is not stored in any place, but rather uses the internet as a whole to verify and ensure transactions are valid. This means that when you use Bitcoin, all the other computers that make up the Bitcoin network must agree that the coin is valid, that the transaction is valid and that the transaction has been added to the blockchain. This process relies on the fact that all traffic is equal and can be verified across the internet.

How Does Net-Neutrality Change That?

Imagine that Bitcoin is a group of friends. For any transaction to be completed, all the friends have to make sure they adjust their own records to reflect any changes. In the current internet world, this is easy because everyone is online and available to validate and adjust his or her database. In the event that one or more of these people are blocked or out of reach, this process is impossible as the people missing won’t be able to make the changes to their ledgers and the histories of the entire users won’t match. This makes verifying the entire block impossible as a part of the block, in this case one friend from the group, is missing and can’t give his consensus to the transaction.

What About Using VPN’s or TOR

Though these technologies can be used to sidestep any of the blocks associated with net-neutrality, the truth is the general marketplace will not adopt it. Bitcoin is mainly enjoying its rapid rise due to a large increase in market adoption. With the general internet user unlikely to use a VPN or TOR browser to mask and circumvent any blocks, Bitcoin will be hit with a decrease in market adopters for the first time since its creation. Though a segment of the most internet savvy will be able to circumvent these blocks with the use of these tools, the average user won’t, and Bitcoin will suffer tremendously.

Is There Another Way?

There is a few emerging technologies that are showing great potential in combating this type of legislation. For example, a company from Finland recently began beaming blockchain via radio waves and a few others are looking at merging VPN and blockchain protocols in an attempt to prevent this actuality. These are great options and might be able to save Bitcoin to some degree. Other companies, like Byteball, are looking to use a kind of work-around to ensure censorship can’t affect Bitcoin. But again, the technology is in its infancy and won’t be ready to the mass market before the legislation is set to be voted on. The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is for the people to contact their representatives and force them to vote against this type of legislation or risk not just losing Bitcoin, but the even playing ground of the internet as a whole.

Josh Wardini

Written By Josh Wardini

Josh Wardini, Editorial Contributor and Community Manager at With a preliminary background in communication and expertise in community development, Josh works day-to-day to reshape the human resource management of digitally based companies. When his focus trails outside of community engagement, Josh enjoys the indulgences of writing amidst the nature conservations of Portland, Oregon.

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