Last week, the Federal Communications Commission decided to totally ignore the fact that almost 85% of Americans are opposed to the overregulation of the internet when it decided to end the era of net neutrality by a vote of 3-2. After casting the deciding tally, FCC chairman Ajit Pai immediately faced legal challenges from attorney generals around the country in addition to the creator of the “Harlem Shake,” because 2017 is doing literally everything it can to remind us we live in the stupidest timeline before the year ends.
Millions of words have already been spilled concerning the potential fallout from this decision, but there are a few primary concerns that have people the most worried. The end of net neutrality makes it possible for ISPs to give preference to certain websites or services while throttling the speeds of others, resulting in “fast-lanes” that have the potential to turn the internet into a virtual toll road when it comes to getting where you want to go. Others have theorized that this could usher in an area of internet “cableization” in which you would have to subscribe to bundles of websites in order to gain access to them.
Thankfully, everyone loves cable companies and they’ve never done anything to screw over consumers in the past, so I’m sure we have nothing to worry about.
The end of net neutrality could have an enormous effect on everything from streaming to e-commerce, but its potential impact is essentially endless. If you’re one of the many people who’s recently decided to get into the cryptocurrency game, there’s a very good chance these new regulations could put a kink in your plan to become rich enough to give you a reason to go to your high school reunion.
Substratum Network CEO Justin Tabb spoke with the International Business Times and laid out reasons cryptocurrency trading could be negatively impacted:
“ISPs could potentially have the power to control access to exchanges, the speed of transactions, and even create and prioritize accessibility to their own cryptocurrencies, which is not such a crazy idea when you think of all the places in this country where a single ISP has a monopoly.”
Marvin Ammori, who represents the Fight for the Future advocacy group, echoed this sentiment while speaking to Motherboard:
“The average person goes to Coinbase to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin—the average on-ramp is an exchange, and those are easy to block. If Comcast is the monopoly provider in an area, the provider could decide there’s a preferred Bitcoin exchange.”
This could potentially spell disaster for the non-preferred exchanges as well as the people who use them. The creators of Ethereum are already hard at work on a way to counter any negative changes, so it appears this is at least a glimmer of hope in the potential darkness. Let’s just hope they’re not the only ones getting ready for the potential storm.