FCC's reversal on net neutrality could spur even more blockchain enthusiasm, says start-up founder

  • The reversal of net neutrality rules could lead to increased enthusiasm in blockchain technology and bitcoin as people consider the benefits of decentralization.
  • "This threat goes directly against the ethos and opportunity of the blockchain, a decentralized system that no single entity can control or censor," Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover told CNBC.
Demonstrators who favor “net neutrality” gather outside an FCC meeting on the issue in Washington.
Pat Anastasi | CNBC
Demonstrators who favor “net neutrality” gather outside an FCC meeting on the issue in Washington.

The FCC's widely unpopular decision on Thursday to reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order could amp up already fierce enthusiasm around blockchain and bitcoin.

Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt founder who also runs the Weekend Fund, said the rolling back of net neutrality rules underscores the need for decentralization, which is a core tenet of blockchain technology.

Essentially, the FCC ruling serves as a reminder of the dangers of giving too much control to too few parties (in this case, the broadband companies, which are no longer required to treat all internet traffic equally and could create paid "fast lanes"), he said.

"This threat goes directly against the ethos and opportunity of the blockchain, a decentralized system that no single entity can control or censor," Hoover said, expanding on his tweet for CNBC. "Many technologists are actively working to build decentralized versions of traditional solutions (e.g. bitcoin for payments, Filecoin for storage, Golem for computing power) and events like [the FCC ruling] further encourage this movement and validate the need for decentralized technology."

Karl Floersch, an ethereum developer, also posited that the net neutrality repeal could lead to innovations in mesh networking paid for through cryptocurrency.

Conversely, there's a worry that the ruling could have the opposite effect. For example, if ISPs do end up allowing companies to pay to speed up their service, it could favor certain token sales or initial coin offerings over others.

Either way, we're not at the end of the net neutrality debate: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to lead a multistate lawsuit against the reversal.