- October 21, 2016
- Posted by: Lantre Barr
- Category: Articles
WebRTC continues to be used in unique and innovative ways. Indeed, the WebRTC environment is currently primed for innovation, which makes the technology all the more exciting to work with. As a hot & innovative technology, WebRTC is also being merged with other groundbreaking technologies, including blockchain technology.
So what is blockchain technology, and how does it relate to WebRTC? To understand how blockchains work, it helps to have a basic understanding of bitcoin, an all-digital, peer-to-peer (P2P) currency. Bitcoin is an emerging payment system and currency that is completely government free. Unlike traditional currencies, there is no government, nor even a centralized authority controlling bitcoin.
Instead, it is community driven, and uses a technology called “blockchain”. This blockchain technology, in turn, is revolutionizing several web development and technology spaces.
Digging Into the Blockchain
In order to process payments and to sustain the bitcoin system, the bitcoin community uses blockchain. The details are rather complex, but essentially people use their computers to solve complex algorithms.
When these algorithms are solved, the person (or persons) who used their processing power to solve it are rewarded with bitcoins. A “block” is then added to the blockchain. This blockchain, in turn, is a public ledger that tracks and traces all transactions. Now the blockchain technology that makes this digital currency possible is being adapted in new and interesting ways.
There are two key components to blockchain tech. First, there is a ledger that allows the public and/or other parties to verify work and contributions. Second, processing is decentralized, allowing for vast networks of computers to be linked together. The two go hand-in-hand. The ledger for verification makes it much easier to create a network of computers, and this network makes it possible to maintain the ledger.
So what does all of this have to do with WebRTC? Let’s dig into that next.
Blockchain Tech & WebRTC & WebTorrent
Blockchain technology can be used for more than “just” creating a p2p currency, and now developers are adapting it to WebRTC. In fact, the developers behind WebTorrent are doing just that, having created a p2p file sharing system using WebRTC that works right in a person’s browser.
With WebTorrent you don’t have to download and process every file on your computer, but instead can tap into the blockchain. This can be used for a wide range of applications, including streaming videos. Google has to spend a lot of money on servers to run its YouTube service, as do other companies supporting streaming services. With WebTorrent, processing power and storage can be decentralized, and community users can contribute their own processing power.
The merger of decentralized blockchain processing with WebRTC makes a lot of sense. Already, WebRTC developers working in the space are developing a server system that will allow people to host serverless and domainless websites. This service is being developed under the “Web2Web” banner as part of WebTorrent.
Further, developers are hopeful that decentralized processing will allow non-profits like Wikipedia to lower the amount of money they spend on servers by allowing users to contribute processing power.
How serious are these developments? Netflix is already looking into blockchain and WebRTC technology for content delivery. Soon, WebRTC and blockchain technology could make streaming cheaper for companies and more reliable and faster for consumers.
None of this should come as a surprise. Both blockchain tech and WebRTC represent the future, offering great opportunities for innovation. As more content is delivered online and through web browsers, demand for reliable and cheap streaming services will only grow. Together, blockchain and WebRTC will be able to meet this rising demand.
About Blacc Spot Media, Inc.
Blacc Spot Media focuses on Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) development across web, mobile, native desktop and telephony implementations. Our team works on strategic projects developing custom applications, enterprise platforms and mobile applications for a wide array of clients. If you are interested developing your own WebRTC product or service, let us know how we can help you.