P2P still works great. Unfortunately the well has been poisoned for alot of people, as it's widely assumed that "torrenting" of any sort must be illegal, even if it's for perfectly legitimate purposes.
ISPs killed P2P. Even if you have the upstream to seed all day, they'll just rate-limit you. There is no monetary incentive for them to allow P2P anyway.

That said.... Gnutella/Gnutella2, eDonkey2000, and others were objectively crappy designs, but still worked very well at one use case: distributing rare files. The thing is, if you have a stable high-speed mirror, the files aren't rare anymore. Hence the only files that are rare are the illegal ones, or ones that can't find a mirror to host them. There's just not much point to P2P. Sometimes there's good reason to distribute illegal files, like getting past state censorship. But the whole world isn't going to adopt a wonky solution for a rare use-case. Hence P2P has not & will not take off.

I think part of what has happened to decentralized internet systems is technological, and part of it is terminology.

It seems like we still have decentralized systems but now call them fediverse, distributed, decentralized, federated, ipfs, web 3.0, etc..

It might have been interesting if he'd looked at searches for those terms as well.

What happened to peer-to-peer as a technological concept? Actually, we still use a lot of that technology.
> Coin generation and distribution, particularly when coins can be traded for fiat currency or goods, creates an incentive mechanism to keep the P2P system running.

Ability to trade for fiat currency proved to be a mixed blessing at best, and a downfall at worst, of this approach. When a system is so lucrative as a vehicle for ponzi schemes, it inevitably gets hijacked, and becomes unable to serve its declared purpose.

ZeroTier is peer to peer but we don’t end up using the term very much. Loads of conferencing systems use P2P. WebRTC is P2P. Yet the term isn’t used there too much either. Same with games.

I think the term has just faded from the hype cycle.

I am writing a Node based P2P and messaging app for privacy. It’s mostly for linking personal devices as a single shared file system but it also has a security model for restricted sharing between trusted friends.

The application concept is difficult to explain so I have started calling it an operating system as the application is getting larger.

ELI5, why can’t we have a combination of modern P2P like WebRTC and onion routing to anonymize source and destinations?