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How the Demise of Net Neutrality Affects Cryptocurrencies

The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of “net neutrality” last month has sparked worries in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space that cryptocurrencies could be hurt or even “shut down” altogether.

But cryptocurrencies such as ether, bitcoin and bitcoin cash are unlikely to be seriously affected—because of how the technology fundamentally works. What is more, Ethereum offers us a model for how a metered internet could work in a way that would be beneficial to users.

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Ultimately, if net neutrality is repealed, it is quite possible that the internet will become metered. The idea of a metered internet is not inherently the problem, so much as centralized control over the metering, which ISPs could use to gain unfair competitive advantage or pursue censorship. Concurrent with this conversation in the U.S. political arena, another conversation has emerged in the technology space. It’s about a user-centric, Ethereum-powered Web 3.0—and it’s picking up speed.

Ms. Gutterman is CMO of ConsenSys, which builds blockchain software on the Ethereum platform.

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