Brave has just taken a step toward supporting a decentralized web by becoming the first browser to offer native integration with a peer-to-peer networking protocol that aims to fundamentally change how the internet works. The technology is called IPFS (which stands for InterPlanetary File System), a relatively obscure transport protocol that promises to improve on the dominant HTTP standard by making content faster to access and more resilient to failure and control.
This explainer from TechCrunch offers a good overview of how the protocol works. But here's the short version: while HTTP is designed for browsers to access information on central servers, IPFS accesses it on a network of distributed nodes. Vice likens it to downloading content via BitTorrent, rather than from a central server. You type in a web address like normal, and the network is able to find the nodes storing the content you want.
"IPFS GIVES USERS A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF CENTRALIZED SERVERS CREATING A CENTRAL POINT OF FAILURE FOR CONTENT ACCESS."
Benefits of the new approach include faster speeds because data can be distributed and stored closer to the people who are accessing it, as well as lower server costs for the original publisher of the content. But perhaps most importantly, IPFS has the potential to make web content much more resilient to failures and resistant to censorship.