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How Akash Network is taking on Amazon AWS

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Greg Osuri, Akash Network CEO, joins Yahoo Finance to chat about decentralized cloud computing, as former President Donald Trump launches his own social media network.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back into Yahoo Finance Live. We've been keeping our eyes glued on the action in the Trump attached SPAC, DWAC, as it's known. Digital World Acquisition Corp. planning to merge with former President Trump's efforts there in the social media space, of course, digital arm as well. And in that investor deck, President Trump raised a few different points about de-platforming when it comes to social media.

Of course, we saw some of those issues with Parler earlier on in the year when we talked about Amazon pulling hosting that conservative social media app, as well as the App Store, when you look at Apple, restricting access to that app as well. So there are a lot of questions about what it looks like for de-platforming some of these social media companies when it comes to hosting them.

But some of those issues might be solved by new efforts in cryptocurrency, specifically Web 3.0, as it's called, when it comes to decentralized cloud computing, an effort at Akash Network, which is looking to take on Amazon Web Services in that space.

And for more on that push, very happy to welcome in the CEO of Akash Network here with us today. Greg Osuri joins us on the show. And Greg, I mean, when we look at it, explain to our viewers, because a lot of people might not know exactly how the internet works or how some of these sites were de-platformed in the past, taken off AWS. So how does Akash maybe solve some of that in, I guess, trying to prevent a fight against free speech?

GREG OSURI: Yeah, just a little, you know, a little short history lesson. The internet was created as a decentralized network to fight against centralization, right, the threat of a central entity going down and affecting the communications network. But over time, it got increasingly centralized, and now the landscape looks like 80% or so of the cloud computing, which is a backbone for the internet, is controlled by four companies, right? Amazon being the biggest one.

And the outcome is obvious. You know, so much power concentrated into a single entity gives a way for people to behave in ways they want to behave. And the result is censorship. So we are seeing increasingly de-platforming becoming a threat to our civil liberties. And in the latest example, Parler being a victim. It's not so much about what side of the political spectrum you fall under, but the fact that there is a single company or single individual or entity that has so much power on civil liberties is what's concerning.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, yeah, and I don't want to get in the politics of it. I mean, it's a reality of kind of what we saw play out. But when you look at maybe what companies might be turning to, I suppose there are security questions around maybe using Akash over an AWS, and cost another one as well. But it sounds like you guys are basically using servers that are down or, I guess, available capacity here for companies to turn to in a peer-to-peer way. Talk to me about how that works.

GREG OSURI: Yeah, so Akash works like a traditional cloud. The only difference is the computing-- the Akash sources is not owned by a single company or a single individual, but rather, comes from a distributed network of cloud computing data centers all over the world. So companies like Equinix, which is the largest data center network in the world, which actually provides compute to Amazon, is a big provider on Akash.

So, on Akash, being an open marketplace as permissionless and self-sovereign and censorship resistant, offers access to that previously unaccessible computing power, the raw computing power, which powers the cloud today, in an open way. And the security, it's probably more secure than your traditional Amazon because Akash, being open source, all our source code is actually open for public audit. So it offers the similar levels, if not better levels, of security guarantees Amazon's big cloud offers.

And growth has been phenomenal. We launched the platform about six months ago. And so far, we have about 500 applications live, active applications, over 30,000 deployments that happened over the last six months. And we are only seeing the numbers go up. Until last month, we were actually doubling in terms of workloads applications coming online to Akash Network. And, you know, it's phenomenal to see so much adoption at such an early stage.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, some might say Amazon-like growth in an Amazon competitor in the web3 decentralized cloud here. When we talk about maybe some of those risks, though, right, and everyone can talk about free speech here, I guess, you know, the pushback in some communities might be that there's no potential way, I guess, once this is hosted to, kind of, unhost it.

How do you look at that? Because I guess, there could be-- you talk about hate speech and what may have been on Parler and some other platforms in the past. And Facebook and Twitter, everyone else deals with this, too. But if there is no kind of way to police it, what does that maybe open up in terms of future possibilities?

GREG OSURI: So I'm a strong believer of speech being free, no matter how harsh or smooth it is, right? If we silence voices, we don't address the core problem. But then, again, platforms need to self-moderate, all right? Really comes down to the type of users they serve. So, and hate speech or speech is a spectrum of things. Like, you know, a big question that I get asked is, what happens if something really bad goes on Akash Network, and there's no way to take it down? Yeah, there's a chance that could happen.

But the way Akash Network operates is self-moderation. That means providers on Akash Network choose who they want to serve. So if something like Parler or something where half the country, you know, is for and half the country is against, but as long as there's a provider that's willing to serve Parler, Akash-- you know, Parler can run on Akash, right? But if there are no providers willing to serve something like, let's say, child pornography or something really bad, when nobody wants to really serve, that website won't be served on Akash platform.

So it really comes down to a community that's self-moderating, who to serve, who not to serve. So, I'm a firm believer that people will act up in good faith and will serve, you know, what they feel is right. And of course, I mean, the nature of, like, hate speech being spread, I think unless if you do not expose people that are doing these things, and there's no way to know who's actually, you know, behind these things, right? I'd rather be transparent than not.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, I mean, transparency, everything else that we've seen take off here in web 3.0, it's very interesting to see Akash get built out here in taking on AWS. You got to keep us posted on the growth over there. Greg Osuri, the CEO of Akash Network, appreciate you coming on here to chat with us.