Beyond Assumptions: Debunking What Urbit Isn’t

The human brain has a knack for linking new information with concepts we’re already familiar with. It’s a handy trick, but it can lead to oversimplifications and misinterpretations. To address this tendency, we’ve crafted this article to emphasize how unique and distinct Urbit really is.

Below, you’ll see topics that might seem related to Urbit at first glance. Sure, there might be some superficial resemblances, but the differences are vast and important. Before you default to a quick analogy, dive into these clarifications:

Urbit is not a blockchain

Yes, Urbit stores data permanently. But it acts more like a private server rather than a public ledger, which is the basis of a blockchain.

Urbit is not a cryptocurrency

While it’s open source, decentralized, and backed by a passionate community, there isn’t a specific cryptocurrency or governance token associated with Urbit. Within this ecosystem, developers can opt to use any cryptocurrency they prefer. So, think of Urbit as digital property, not digital money.

Urbit is not an NFT collection

Sure, Urbit has unique avatars (sigils) tied to identities, and its planets, stars, and galaxies can be traded similarly to NFTs. However, this doesn’t transform Urbit into a mere NFT collection. Urbit NFTs play a more practical role in recording and transferring ownership.

Urbit is not in competition with Ethereum or Bitcoin

Urbit’s goal isn’t to replace cryptos. Actually, users can incorporate cryptos within Urbit.

Urbit is not an IPFS rival

While both store data in a decentralized fashion, Urbit stands apart. IPFS disperses files across many computers, but with Urbit, you possess your own computer. Nothing stops an app akin to IPFS from emerging on Urbit in the future. In that scenario, the app would run on top of Urbit.

Urbit is not looking to edge out cloud servers

With Urbit, users have the flexibility to act as their own server providers. However, for those who prefer, there’s also the option to run their Urbit “ship” on a cloud server. Essentially, Urbit aims to empower users with more choices, allowing for a safer, private, and decentralized online experience.

Urbit is not a Linux substitute

Often dubbed an “operating system,” Urbit doesn’t attempt to take over all functions of an OS. Linux already expertly handles hardware interactions, so there’s no point in reinventing that wheel. But by establishing a decentralized environment with fresh rules, Urbit seeks to elevate the experience. For now, it operates under traditional OS, but brings something new to the table.

Urbit is not a web browser

Despite its aim to revolutionize online content interaction, it isn’t a browser in the vein of Chrome or Firefox. Some apps within Urbit, however, do resemble browsers.

Urbit is not a Tor network contender

While Tor offers anonymous access to the existing internet, Urbit envisions a new online realm where users command their data and apps.

Urbit is not an alternative to VPNs

VPNs prioritize connection privacy and security, but Urbit offers a fully decentralized computing framework on a fresh internet platform.

Urbit is not a social network

Interaction on the Urbit network exists, but it’s not restricted like traditional social media platforms.

To deepen your grasp on Urbit, consider reading: