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Net Neutrality and Bitcoin – Juggling Digital Explosives

Saturday, December 16th, 2017 | bitcoin updates

Net Neutrality Ade: In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week has decided to soften its existing legislation on data neutrality on the Internet. Specifically, this means that data flow will be available in the future. In the future, providers and Internet service providers should be able to charge customers for faster data flow and reduce content. Thus, the authority intervenes in one of the democratic primal principles of Worldwideweb: the free availability of data. Critics see it as gloomy omens – even for cryptocurrencies. It is a digital political explosive: Net neutrality, a pillar of the free Internet, is on the edge. For a long time, hardly any concept was so controversial between internet idealists and competitive pragmatists as the bulky bureaucratic word. But what is behind it? At its core, the concept of net neutrality refers to the equal treatment of all data on the Internet – whether video streaming, cloud data or telephone calls, regardless of sender, recipient or other framework conditions. This was intended to secure long-term non-discriminatory competition on the Internet. However, network operators in particular have always rejected the concept and demand more control over data transmission. They want to transmit and argue data of varying quality on their networks, thus preventing data congestion. This is to be possible since this week. The end of the free Internet? Because last Thursday, the US FCC has made a big step towards the network operators, the neutrality of the network softened and thereby harvested much criticism. With a narrow majority, the telecommunications supervision behind the change in the current regulations. In future, network operators will be allowed to prefer offers according to customer tariffs and others will throttle them. Critics see red: they fear the monopolization of data access in the face of the enormous purchasing power of corporations. These could prioritize their data on payment through the veins of the network and thus displace independent offers. Thinking in the future, this could not only lead to preferential payment for wealthy customers. Triggering the free flow of data is often seen as a threat to political censorship, market manipulation and interference with press freedom.What's Europe doing After the decision on Thursday, many eyes are also on Europe. Is the old world following the principle of net neutrality in favor of the competition with American corporations? At present, in Germany and in all EU member states, a regulation that only allows a few exceptions to net neutrality applies. The "zero rating" of the streaming services, for example, allows loading without loss and data volume. However, the principle itself is repeatedly summoned by political decision makers, including in the electoral programs of currently struggling German parties over the top. Furthermore, the responsible for the digital market Vice Commissioner Andris Ansip appeased on Twitter "We will continue to protect net neutrality in Europe ". A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs also referred to the continuing European legal framework. However, critics now fear that exceptions such as the zero rating could in future also be extended in Europe. Because that one will get the American changes "indirectly felt", is about in the increased market power of US corporations thinks about Klaus Müller, CEO of the Federation of Consumer Federation, opposite the ARD. If you want to be competitive in the future, you have to follow suit. So at least the fear of critical voices.Following for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies Criticizing the FCC shimmy not least from the booming scene around cryptocurrencies and their prodigy Bitcoin. This is due to the fact that especially transaction exchanges in times of astronomical prices and unprecedented media attention are dependent on high data volumes, fast data flow and delay-free processing. Without legal frameworks guaranteeing net neutrality, network operators and Internet providers could in future have the possibility to control the data flow right there where high user activity restricts network quality elsewhere – and this is particularly the case with crypto exchanges. "The resolution of net neutrality may pose a threat to bitcoin miners and traders by restricting or blocking access to Bitcoin and crypto currency sites such as exchanges," For example, CEO of the US startup Substratum Network, Justin Tabb, told the International Business Times his concern about an end to net neutrality. He warns: "In the future, network operators may be able to control access to exchanges, the speed of transactions, and prioritize their own cryptocurrencies their access to others." Despite this pessimistic perspective, it needs to be determined whether these scenarios are somber for the crypto scene Speculation. Intervention and control as well as legal reactions in the wake of dissolution of net neutrality are hypothetical until now. Because still the US Congress can vote against the change of the FCC. This is true in view of the public echo and outcry not only in the US, but worldwide, as not unlikely.BTC-ECHOAbout David BarkhausenDavid Barkhausen has written and reported as a freelance journalist for several daily newspapers, radio, television and incidentally his own blog. Since 2017, the Master of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg has been dedicated to the topic of Blockchain. In this context, he focuses primarily on the areas of regulation, society and economic policy. All contributions by David Barkhausen


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