BitPay Moves to Decentralize the Internet with Bitcoin Technology

Journalist:
October 29, 2014

At the San Francisco Bitcoin Developer Meetup, Bitpay CEO Stephen Pair announced a new project called Foxtrot. A simple, secure, and decentralized routing network based on Bitcoin cryptography. Foxtrot enables easy p2p communications and has built-in mechanisms for peer discovery, creation of services addressable by public keys, and establishing encrypted connections.

The Foxtrot project is open source and available on Github, with code released under the MIT license. Foxtrot will include other technologies developed by Bitpay: Insight, an open-source stack which interfaces with a full bitcoin node, and the multi-signature wallet Copay.

Foxtrot Could Replace TCP/IP

While the project is still in its early stages, and a lot of work remains to be done, we can imagine Foxtrot becoming one of the foundations of a new, fully distributed and decentralized Internet. Imagine: websites don’t live on central servers that can be blocked, switched off or seized, but are streamed by thousands or millions of personal devices worldwide. Pair said that he could already see Foxtrot as a way to replace TCP/IP. In the meantime, BitPay will develop Foxtrot and use it internally for better security.

Also read: Fixing The Internet With The Blockchain

Foxtrot is not the first project with similar aims. The MaidSafe team stated that their project already has many of the features that BitPay plans to implement in Foxtrot.

Foxtrot will include a payment system to permit nodes to charge for their services. For example, ISPs will be able to charge each other for network connections. Pair said that could potentially change the economics of how the Internet works.

Stephen Pair has over 20 years of experience building software systems in the financial and telecommunications industries. During the 1990s, he developed an interest in the mechanics of financial markets, economics, and monetary systems and the question of how they might evolve as the global Internet developed. He closely followed developments in cryptography along with attempts at creating new electronic money and accounting systems. This background led to the formation of Bitpay.

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Images from BitPay and Shutterstock.

Tags: bitpay
Giulio Prisco @giulioprisco

Science writer, software developer, Bitcoin/crypto enthusiast.