Users and builders need Sovereignty, diversity not only decentralization

Volodymyr Pavlyshyn
2 min readNov 21, 2023

Lates with Open AI trigger a discussion about decentralization of AI infrastructure, but what do we mean on decentralized infra?

Sometimes, we mix an idea and think and call everything apps, decentralized tech. We have a particular group of people that want to fix everything with blockchain and preferably bitcoin. I increasingly see quotes that we need more decentralization in AI and tech and a big wave of reaction from the Bitcoin community. I am sure we mix concepts.

Diversity and free choice

Suppose we look from a user perspective that is far from tech or even from the perspective of a builder or startup founder. We all want to have a choice and diversity in tools and platforms. It is a real need. I want to change an AI agent and deversify risks. I don’t want to depend on big tech's political games.

The freedom of choice and open standards are not about blockchain but about mindsets.

Sovereignty

Regular users need Sovereignty the most, even if a user is not aware of this concept. For decades we were convinced that the online and web world has a new rule where you:

  • have no choice
  • have no privacy
  • have nothing to hide
  • own nothing

We give up freedom over convenience but now we have a user movement that wants to get their rights back. Sovereignty is about total user control over data and data processing tools. Sovereignty is more about autonomous systems that are controlled by the user and have minimal dependencies. Bad news blockchains are not helping with Sovereignty. It is not about decentralization it is more about control and access to assets without a middle layer or extra services. The key concept — the user acts on behalf of himself

Decentralization

It is one more counterintuitive statement — Decentralization is not about blockchain. Decentralization is an implementation detail, not a user feature. It is not about a global state or consensus. Decentralization is about the absence of a single point of failure and a central decision-maker. It is much more than tech — it is the philosophy of decision-making.

Global state and decentralized state

Still, your data storage and data could be decentralized without a blockchain. A good example is IPFS or, for example, NOSTR relays.

Users need Sovereignty, diversity, and decentralization of decision-making to have a free choice.

The Challenges of Sovereign Infrastructure

  • We are on track with Sovereignty in data store and ownership but have yet to have anything with Sovereignty in computing. IPVM Fog and edge computing is a big hope there
  • Sovereignty in computing for AI requires specific hardware. I have no good answer for this challenge now
  • Incentives for Sovereign infrastructure — how to avoid IPFS challenges and create an ecosystem of infrastructure providers

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Volodymyr Pavlyshyn

I believe in SSI, web5 web3 and democratized open data.I make all magic happens! dream & make ideas real, read poetry, write code, cook, do mate, and love.