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Huddle01 CEO explains why communications tech must be decentralized

Huddle01 CEO explains why communications tech must be decentralized

The means by which humans communicate and coordinate are ever-evolving. People went from sending smoke signals and messengers on horseback to sending letters and telegrams, and since the dawn of the digital era, the pace of innovation has exploded.

Today, hundreds or even thousands of people from around the world can gather in a Twitter Space or Zoom call and communicate in practically real-time. But people still primarily communicate via centralized platforms that retain and monetize user data, suffer from outages, have the power to censor speech, and face problems such as severe lag.

So, what would a decentralized Web3 version of a communications and meeting platform like Zoom or Google Meet look like? To find out, Jonathan DeYoung and Ray Salmond sat down with Ayush Ranjan, co-founder and CEO of Huddle01 — a Web3 meetings and communications platform — on Episode 24 of The Agenda podcast.

The problem with centralized communications

Huddle01 offers a built-in set of Web3-native tools people can use when planning their meetings. For example, users can connect their wallets and use their nonfungible token (NFT) profile pictures as avatars, and meetings can be token-gated. In addition, video recordings can be stored on the InterPlanetary File System. However, according to Ranjan, the company’s core focus is to make communications and coordination easier and more reliable through decentralization.

The major problem with tools such as Zoom is that they are “built with a very top-down approach,” meaning that every call from all around the world is routed through centralized servers. “Let’s suppose we are doing a call in India,” Ranjan posited. “The calls are still routed through a central server in North Virginia. That means all the audio and video packets are routed all the way from India to the U.S., and then coming back via speed of light via the [fiberoptic] cables. The more distance it travels, it leads to latency. It leads to jitter and buffer, and that’s why you get these robotic voices.”

Ranjan shared that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, when schooling went remote, his cousin could barely participate in his Zoom-based…

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