ZeroNet feels different, it works differently, it's opening up possibilities that weren't available before - I'm here to explore what ZeroNet is and what it can beFollow in NewsfeedFollowing
So far my experience with ZeroNet was phenomenal - most of the things that I need or expect are there, and almost everything works, and works well. This is no easy feat, ladies and gentlemen, people have poured many hours of hard work into developing this platform for me to be able to deliver these words to you as easily as we witness it.
I credit the high quality of work that goes into this project on account of the ZeroNet leadership choosing to use existing tools over trying to build everything from scratch.
While competing technologies are either being rumored or actively tested in the wild, none are even comparably as easy to use as ZeroNet, their usefulness is primarily theoretical while ZeroNet allows me to talk to thousands of people right now using the browser as the Virtual Machine that executes the content of the ZeroSites that we so easily share amongst us, while the competitors promise of Turing completeness and advanced language mechanics, ZeroNet simply works right here, right now.
What is the difference? ZeroNet uses a lot of existing tools and technologies - Data distribution/storage? Bittorent, Email? BitMessage, Identity management? Bitcoin's crypto (which is 100% compatible with bitcoin which makes it even more useful!), Virtual machine? The Browser!, Domain management? Namecoin, Anonymity? Tor Yes Sir!
You see, the developers realized that what was needed is a good tie-in between these mostly useless tools in their stand-alone model, using ZeroNet we get the benefits of all of these tools and technologies and their individual value increases orders of magnitude now that they're so well woven together into one simple use interface.
Although the devs are doing an excellent job of tying in those tools together, they not necessarily have the ability to fully extend their development skills to those tools that they're employing, and one such example is the domain name registration process which is "offloaded" to Namecoin.
Up until yesterday my interest in Namecoin was pure academic, and by that I mean I knew about its purpose and existence, planned several times on using it similarly to how ZeroNet is using it in my own projects but never actually got the opportunity to buy Namecoins or register .bit domains.
Being a long-time Bitcoin user I got used to the advancements we've made in the past 5 years in wallet technologies, with the ability to choose between a plethora of different wallets on any platform with different features that suit anyone's needs - I was taken aback when I downloaded and installed the Namecoin wallet - it's basically 2011's bitcoin wallet.
So far my experience was somewhat okay, but far more lacking than what ZeroNet is able to provide until now - I purchased 10nmc off of shapeshift.io - which took about 1 minute to setup, about 3-4 hours for the exchange to actually be executed (I guess Namecoin isn't traded as often as other crypto-currencies), and then another 2-3 minutes buying the domain names (I still haven't configured them though...).
All of that is only after I've downloaded the namecoin wallet and waited about 9 hours until it synchronized with the network, at times it felt like the progress bar is stuck on that dreaded
255 weeks behind message.
After all said and done, I think the process is fairly simple and even technically-challenged people can go through it with some persistence and focus. Furthermore I think that domain management services will be one of the first apps to be successful on ZeroNet as a business model (apart from the usual suspects - porn, piracy, and drugs) which in turn will solve the problem altogether and make the process as simple as creating a ZeroID.