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Bitcloud project plans to ‘replace' the Internet

A bold new project based on similar principles to that of Bitcoin has launched, with the hope of eventually decentralising the Internet.

Bitcloud aims to replace "every single major layer" of the Internet and provide services that are currently controlled by governments, corporations and Internet service providers (ISPs).

"We will start by decentralising the current internet, and then we can create a new Internet to replace it," the developers told the BBC (opens in new tab).

"If you're interested in privacy, security, ending internet censorship, decentralising the Internet and creating a new mesh network to replace the internet, then you should join or support this project."

The white paper (opens in new tab) presented by the developers explains how Bitcloud would be available to everyone without the need for special tools or software.

Financial incentives would also be offered to those users that share their bandwidth with the network, in a similar way to the rewards received for mining Bitcoin (opens in new tab).

The profitable element, underpinned by a virtual currency called Cloudcoins, sets the project apart from similar efforts that have ultimately failed.

"Adding the profit motive to the equation gives this project a chance to succeed where many others have failed in the past," the white paper reads.

The network works by following a set of premises, referred to as 'laws' (BCL), which would adapt and change over time as Bitcloud (opens in new tab) evolves.

"The laws in the software ensure that the system is running smooth without spammers and selfish serving, so everybody can trust the system," the paper explains. "These laws are initially imposed by the programmers and can dynamically change over versions."

The anonymous developers have acknowledged that Bitcloud is still in the very early stages of development, and are currently looking for anyone capable and willing to help push the project forward.

"There are still many key decisions that need to be made in the Bitcloud protocol," they said.

"We have a basic idea of how everything will work, but we need assistance from programmers and thinkers from around the world who want to help."