Half of the world population is entirely dependent on the internet. Smartphone users are shifting from Wi-Fi to mobile data, but still, Wi-Fi networks account for around half of usage. Wi-Fi is the first preference in emerging markets because cellular data is not yet prevalent. There is a vast availability of Wi-Fi networks in populated regions along with large quantities of underutilized wireless bandwidth.
The concept of Wi-Fi sharing has been around before smartphones were popular. Users can share their networks with the public, but the absence of incentive has stopped hosts from joining the list of thousands of hotspots. This has been a hurdle in creating a Wi-Fi sharing economy. People in residential areas keep their Wi-Fi password protected because of contractual limitations. However, enough incentivization can encourage a sharing economy.
Public hotspot providers use subscription fees to limit the access to their networks. Most public hotspots are unencrypted, and hackers can easily hack into users systems through public Wi-Fi traffic. Miscreants steal millions of dollars worth of data every year because people connect to insecure Wi-Fi networks.
Blockchain can effectively solve the issue of Wi-Fi sharing through incentivization. Organizations are working on peer-to-peer Wi-Fi marketplace where hosts earn credits for offering Wi-Fi access. Ethereum blockchain allows anyone to download and connect through a network of hosts. The platform is safe from hackers because of its cryptographic nature. The system can combine all existing networks and form a single secure Wi-Fi hotspot that can cover the entire globe.
The collaboration of the platform and the telecom providers in the United States, European Union, and global Wi-Fi aggregators has benefitted users by providing them a choice between thousands of Wi-Fi providers. Tech power players are working on implementing Wi-Fi sharing around the world. However, the solutions developed by these companies are still centralized which concentrates on control and profit toward the organization. Decentralization would genuinely benefit the community through sharing.