Introducing PKT, the Network that Plans to Bring the Next Billion People Online

The internet has impacted the lives of millions around the world. Access to information has advanced medicine, technology, and education, connecting cultures and businesses in ways never imagined. However, more than 1/3rd of the world still doesn’t have internet access.

Often Internet Service Providers (ISP) monopolize local regions. As a result, people are dependent on paying exorbitant fees for poor quality connections. Many regions don’t offer internet services at all. This is where PKT has emerged to expand internet access worldwide. PKT is free, open source software that enables open access to the internet via mesh networking.

Launched in 2019, PKT is revolutionizing the concept of internet connectivity. Instead of  relying only on a traditional monopolistic ISP for access, PKT enables people to privately and securely share internet connectivity with their neighbors. However, PKT routes the users through a VPN, which ensures end-to-end encryption and mitigates any legal or privacy risks to the bandwidth provider.

PKT is the brainchild of lead developer Caleb James DeLisle. Caleb is a networking and cryptography expert who is best known for launching the cjdns mesh networking protocol in 2011. Among other features, cjdns became well known for enabling people to privately connect to the internet peer to peer via mesh networking. This builds an always-on network that is resilient to adversarial nodes.

Current PKT Network development has two phases. The first phase is a live mainnet in which people earnPKT Cash (Symbol: PKT) every 60 seconds for connecting their unused internet bandwidth to the network. Currently, the connected bandwidth is unused, but each connected node helps form a global decentralized network powered by the people who connect.

The second phase will enable people to easily offer or gain access to high-speed, low-cost internet connectivity through WiFi-Sharing. WiFi-Sharing will launch in 2023 and paves the way for alternative access points to the internet. This technology is not only useful in rural areas, but also metropolitan and suburban areas that suffer from over priced, congested or unavailable services.

PKT is also the first and only layer-1 blockchain for bandwidth. Similar to Bitcoin, the project is fully decentralized, with no company, no investors, and no pre-mined tokens. People who connect to the network are economically incentivized to provide high-speed resources to power the network. This design ensures the network can provide unstoppable internet services 24/7.

Since its launch, PKT has grown exponentially, building a dedicated community of users and developers. As of April 2022, the PKT Network is currently pushing more than 115 GB/s of sustained bandwidth, with more than 20,000 connected nodes and over 200,000 cores of processing power. The Network saw a steep rise in mining difficulty increasing from 10,000 in January 2021 to over 18,000,000 in Q1 2022.

Building a global mesh network with no outside investment can be quite challenging. For the roadmap to be accomplished, the network depends on technology development from individual contributors and companies within the ecosystem. The project does have an internal funding mechanism called the Network Steward that receives 20% of every mined block. In turn, the Network Steward grants 100% of its treasury to fund network development. This grant structure serves as a resource for contributors who choose to build key technology on the roadmap.

PKT is building on the ethos that nobody should have the power to turn off the internet. Access to information and connectivity is vital. The PKT project is on a mission to provide an alternative to traditional ISPs and offer unstoppable internet access that will connect the next billion people to the world wide web.

LA Weekly