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Big Tech – Your Time is Up, We are Taking Our Power Back

5 mins
Updated by Nicole Buckler
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In Brief

  • There are many Web3 projects that are aiming to decentralize the web away from the Googles of the world
  • This extends to all industries – banking, social media, healthcare, cybersecurity, freelancing, publishing, and more
  • Every time you use a centralized service, you are actively supporting them
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Big Tech have way too much control over our lives, says Cyrus Taghehchian, the CEO of SHOPX.

Currently, most of the power to succeed is in the hands of those with the biggest pockets, the most media influence, or the largest army. But as the information era progresses, we are seeing a shift towards the quality of your technology. To be precise, it depends on the strength of your platform, the number of users, and how much data it has on its servers. 

When discussing ‘Big Tech,’ the field is quickly narrowed to Facebook (now called Meta)  and Google (a subsidiary of Alphabet). Amazon, the global delivery provider with a sleuth of ancillary offerings, along with Apple, are also extremely influential. The power they wield is becoming more and more apparent. 

Big tech: The problem

The problem with majorly centralized technology is manifold. There are too many ethical considerations to go into in any detail in a short piece, so let’s cover the main ones. 

First is that Big Tech is probably more powerful than governments, especially when considered as a collective. They are international companies with huge user bases and massive financial resources. They have a long and successful history of circumventing anti-trust regulations and when they do get fined, it’s not serious enough to act as a true deterrent. 

Second is the capability to skew how people view the world under the guise of objective data sharing. Facebook has the power to influence elections and has been proven to share info with political firms. It is also working on its own VR enhanced technology and was working on its own cryptocurrency (now on hold). This is quite a terrifying combination in terms of futuristic monopolies. YouTube, a Google subsidiary, censors content it views as inappropriate. The proprietary Google algorithm can even skew search results – the dominant process that enables internet users to form their opinions.

Big tech: Purchasing

For purchasing physical items, most Western citizens turn to Amazon as a global default. Its prime delivery service is second to none and its review system revolutionized the Web2 shopping experience. More worrying is its hold on servers. AWS has about 34% of cloud hosting market share, which is gigantic. It has about 6% of web hosting share, which amounts to about 9 million websites. Amazon previously confiscated the servers of the Parler free speech social media platform, which is quite a scary precedent.  

This leads to the third major problem, which is the biggest and the most overlooked. It all ties back to servers. Amazon AWS does not reveal much info about its server list, but given it has over one million enterprise customers including Netflix and Facebook, it’s safe to say that it’s a large figure. A server is just compressed data, and data is power. Most of the AWS servers are from other companies, and not their own, which reduces the potential for using the data for commercial purposes. But Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are not so inhibited. 

The Web3 Solution

The clear answer to Big Tech (alternatively termed “centralized servers”) is that of decentralized servers. With blockchains, anybody can set up their own server to maintain the ecosystem and get tokenized rewards for doing so. Nobody has your data so there is nothing to harvest, track, or steal. You don’t exist as a “customer” when using decentralized services, which is an extremely significant point.  

Every time you use the Google search engine, you are actually feeding data to the server. This is the same for Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, or other sites. They grow in size and stature by virtue of the fact that people feed them. There are decentralized alternatives for all of them.

eNFTs

SHOPX is providing a solution to the issue of centralized shopping through its NFT-As-A-Service paradigm. It facilitates the movement of online retailers from centralized Web2 to decentralized Web3 without any serious cost. These tools solve a wide range of issues created by centralized Big Tech including increasing marketing costs, decreasing brand control through product fraud and unauthorized resellers, and poor customer service experience. Most online store owners are heavily invested in Google and large eCommerce providers, along with other centralized entities. 

SHOPX offers branded NFTs brands can sell to their customers which will allow the customers to “hold their spot in line” for new product releases, preventing Automated Checkout Bots from scooping up all of the inventory and reselling it at a higher price. They also offer e-commerce NFTs (eNFTs) with their MintX product to allow easy traceability of inventory without needing to use third-party providers. All inventory is converted to an NFT for traceability. This also means that luxury items cannot be counterfeited as the history of the product will be clearly viewable.

These eNFTs are also can be plugged into ConnectX, a wider affiliate marketing system, (another area that is heavily centralized) within the distributed SHOPX ecosystem. SHOPX effectively allows online store owners to migrate to Web3 at the click of a button. In the same way that Shopify was a useful centralized interface for Web2, SHOPX is a useful decentralized interface for Web3. It makes Web3 retail effortless. It also has major benefits for customers who don’t have to pay twice the price for certain products due to centralized charges, particularly when crossing international borders. 

Big Tech BTC Bitcoin

Other Ways To Battle Big Tech

SHOPX is one example, aiming to revolutionize the online retail and eCommerce industry. There are many other Web3 projects that are aiming to decentralize the web away from the Googles of the world. And this extends to all industries – banking, social media, healthcare, cybersecurity, freelancing, publishing, and more. We need multiple solutions as Big Tech is broken up and redistributed. There is more than enough wealth to go around. 

Many fail to understand that it is indeed a battle against Big Tech. Admittedly, it sounds a little theatrical. But the business practices of Big Tech, their labor policies, and their plans to monopolize so many structures have very real consequences for our quality of life. 

Everybody can do their part by opting for Web3 projects that do not track or even store your sensitive data. You can use Brave Browser to take care of a lot of online tracking issues and DuckDuckGo for general queries. You can invest your money only in decentralized products. And, you can even quit Facebook and shop for products locally instead of going to Amazon. Or use providers that deliver the goods using decentralized networks. 

The bottom line is that every little helps, and every time you use a centralized service, you are actively supporting them. In contrast, every NFT and crypto transaction is a vote against centralization.

Got something to say about big tech or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion in our Telegram channel.

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Cyrus Taghehchian
Cyrus Taghehchian is the CEO of SHOPX.co. He was ranked in Entrepreneur’s 40 under 40 in 2018. He is a 6x founder with two portfolio companies at notable Silicon Valley VCs. Prior to SHOPX, he was a Deloitte Consultant and agile thought leader for e-commerce and digital marketing tech implementations.
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