After a few years studying Bitcoin I came to a unique realization that one of Bitcoins most interesting features is it the start of a new Model for data storage on networked computers (Internet). Describing Bitcoin as the Internet of Money is accurate but I find that to be a picture that is severely lacking. If you abstract things away you realize their are a number of parallels between the idea of Internet and Bitcoin.
For simplicity sake, I will be referring to my idea of the Bitcoin network as 'Bitnet' and traditional Internet as 'Internet' going forward. It is worth noting that you can't have a network with the qualities of a Bitnet without first having the current Internet infrastructure/protocols (Networking and Cryptographic) that we rely on today.
When you start to think about Bitcoin in very abstract ways, it starts to emerge as a 'new' model for the way we use the Internet. Their are a number of differences between the Bitnet and the Internet. Currently the idea that the Bitnet could be used as a replacement for the internet is laughable, however this idea is most certainly a distant reality.
In July 2015 we can abstract out that the Bitnet only has the capacity to store who has current ownership over specific digital tokens. Approximately every ten minutes the Bitnet can solidify almost 1MB worth of 'transaction data' (Where tokens are getting sent etc.). When comparing the amount of transactions the Bitnet can handle to the number of transactions that can be achieved on the Internet its pathetic. The amount of transactions per second the Bitnet can provide to us currently is very small. However the real benefit when compared to exercising transactions on the Internet is every participant in the Bitnet has a copy of all new data that's introduced and can help you verify that it will remain immutable. In the old model the transaction data is not replicated and validated by everyone in the internet.
We know that the Bitnet is a Distributed and Decentralized network. Where nodes are distributed geographically but all contain the exact same information decentralizing the head of the network. I consider the Internet to be a Centralized distributed network. Where data is centralized to a specific node in a specific, these nodes are distributed geographically and do not contain the same information. Normal nodes know nothing about any files other participants are storing on their nodes. The Bitnet knows about the "files" all participants store, the "files" in case of Bitnet are the 1mb Blocks of Bitcoin ownership.
Let us abstract away what the Bitnet is doing to give some a more concrete example. Currently the Bitnet has the ability to permanently store: 1 MB/~10 Minutes of transaction data, let us ignore this for a bit. Lets say that the transaction data we want to store is really 'Tweets'. I think it would be cool if tweets could gain the property that transactions on the Bitnet have of being immutable. 140 Characters that someone types today can be guaranteed to remain as long as the Bitnet does. The Bitnet currently can only store about 7124 Tweets every 10 minutes. Currently twitter does ~3500000 Tweets every 10 minutes. Its not yet possible for the Bitnet to even store all tweets ever that occur. At some point we will be able too store many times more than this information every 10 minutes permanently, distributed geographically.
Assume that Nielsen's Law of Internet Bandwidth and Moores Law that drive storage capacity continue to grow. In a couple years, the amount of information the Bitnet can store will grow exponentially. To the point where in one block someone could essentially store every youtube video ever posted. Or every Super Nintendo Rom in every language ever made. Creating a point in the future where all existing digital media that is untokenized will be placed in a variety of Bitcoin blocks and will be free forever to anyone willing to run software to explore this base of data.
Once the Hardware laws catch up, the Bitnet will overtake our traditional model of the Internet as you can be guaranteed your information is secured forever. Additionally the Bitnet removes the level of permission required to interact with the Internet currently. Right now you rely on third parties to store your information, this has many points of failure. You count on someone to store your information, their machines might fail and they might now have backups. Complex Bitnet explorers will be used to browse the content stored in the Bitnet, if accessing a remote datachain, downloaders can facilitate finding files of specific types.
In the future imagine this type of scenario Bitcoin could possibly store so much information that all existing Nintendo Entertainment system rom files could be posted. Then a tool could be used to query and download NES Roms from the datachain that is permanent and secured by the Bitnet. This will pose a problem for all existing copyrighted digital media that can fit into the chain in the future, as at some-point, someone will try to store it permanently and then it will be impossibly revocable.