Is a new decentralized internet, or Web 3.0, possible?

The time has come to battle towards the dominance of the web giants. In Europe, numerous laws have been announced that purpose to power these giants to respect extra wholesome guidelines of the sport and to be extra protecting of customers’ rights and of competitors. Some even brandish the specter of dismantling a number of the tech giants, a weapon of mass destruction not often utilized in historical past.

Is an alternate path of a very decentralized web doable?


A handful of corporations maintain a digital monopoly throughout the web in important areas of companies (search engines like google and yahoo, e-mail, and many others.), infrastructures (world transit, content material distribution networks, cloud computing companies, and many others.) and even, to some extent, web standardization (IETF, ICANN/IANA, W3C, and many others.). The equation is unprecedented, and their place has change into nearly impenetrable.

The now-famous “community impact” explains the genesis of the present domination: The larger an online participant is, the larger it will get. The extra customers it has, the extra fascinating it turns into for the next customers to affix that participant and never one other one. The companies supplied are all of the extra engaging, as they seem like “free,” however they arrive on the value of the commoditization (and typically the violation) of customers’ privateness.

Associated: The data economy is a dystopian nightmare

The web giants have additionally invested massively in their very own “pipelines” (notably, submarine cables) with the intention to deliver their content material as shut as doable to the person. 5 years in the past, these “precedence entry paths” represented 25% of the world’s net visitors. Right now, they account for 64%.

That is mirrored within the high quality of service supplied by the web giants: a latency time tremendously diminished in contrast with their (potential) rivals. Let’s take into consideration a platform that wish to compete with YouTube or Netflix, however with a loading time that’s 10 instances longer.

Ultimately, we have now all change into depending on a small group of omnipotent service suppliers.

Cloud 3.0

Decentralizing the web has change into a holy grail, and a number of other tasks have emerged to satisfy the problem (e.g., Filecoin, ThreeFold, Stable and Dfinity).

These tasks typically have the identical targets:

  • To “distribute” the cloud and provide an alternative choice to hyper-concentrated knowledge facilities and centralized cloud suppliers.
  • To ensure higher safety of person privateness and “knowledge sovereignty.”
  • Permit functions to be deployed with a degree of high quality and scalability much like what the web presents.

Associated: Web 3.0 would enable new possibilities and opportunities

The technical problem is immense, as is that of huge adoption by customers of the companies supplied by the GAFA, an acronym that stands for Google, Apple, Fb and Amazon.

Nonetheless, the means to attain these goals differ from challenge to challenge.

Stable is a specification that lets individuals retailer their knowledge securely in decentralized knowledge shops known as pods. Pods are safe, private net servers for knowledge. When knowledge is saved in somebody’s pod, they management which individuals and functions can entry it. The person can get a pod from chosen pod suppliers (some being hosted by Amazon), or the person could select to self-host a pod to be extra autonomous.

Dfinity proposes the Web Laptop Protocol, or ICP, which the challenge describes as “extending the web with serverless cloud performance, enabling safe software program and a brand new breed of open web companies.” This ICP is supplied by a worldwide community of impartial knowledge facilities.

ThreeFold deploys a peer-to-peer (P2P) grid shaped by a worldwide community of impartial farmers. What differentiates ThreeFold from the opposite serverless clouds is that they began from scratch and constructed a brand new infrastructure from the bottom up. The principle advantages of the ThreeFold Grid are:

  • Privateness: A P2P setting means no middlemen or intermediaries — knowledge travels immediately between individuals and is saved on the nodes of their selection, slightly than being despatched via and saved by a 3rd occasion.
  • Safety: Knowledge saved in knowledge facilities is vulnerable to safety breaches. In bypassing knowledge facilities and exchanging knowledge immediately between friends, larger safety may be achieved, because it reduces code and again doorways considerably.
  • Scalability: In a many-to-many system, scale is basically limitless. {Hardware} (nodes) may be added comfy in any dwelling or workplace by anybody, which isn’t the case with the present knowledge middle mannequin.
  • Value-efficiency and sustainability: Finish-to-end (direct) connection between friends implies that the system will outline essentially the most environment friendly path for knowledge. This results in far more power and price effectivity, in comparison with the centralized knowledge middle mannequin.

In each tasks, customers should purchase utility tokens that act as “gasoline” to order sovereign capability and retailer knowledge.

The Web of Common Assets

The subsequent degree could also be an precise merger of the prevailing web protocol (TCP/IP) with blockchain expertise . The end result could be an web able to carrying not solely packets of information but additionally companies in a decentralized method. This “merger” would foster a extra open, resilient and plural web that’s able to natively providing important companies similar to info search, decentralized area identify administration, digital identification, digital messaging, knowledge storage, computing energy (synthetic intelligence), confidentiality, traceability and digital signature.

These companies have change into common sources of the web and, as such, must be natively supplied by the community and managed as commons.

In technical phrases, the problem is to mix the information packet transport (TCP/IP) performance with a sure “intelligence” that permits packets to encapsulate a service marker. This service marker might be learn and interpreted by all parts of the community infrastructure (routers, switches, servers).

In doing so, companies — common or important — are introduced again to the protocol degree of the web. Certainly, the packet (routed in keeping with the principles of the protocol) “prompts” entry to those companies from a devoted node, or server.

This node is a part of a decentralized community of nodes. The operators of those nodes may be both current web service suppliers, specialised corporations (software program publishers, knowledge facilities, and many others.), or public authorities. Possession of those nodes is also hybrid, shared between these totally different actors.

Belgian public utility basis IOUR Basis promotes any such strategy and presents a set of protocols that brings the native companies right down to the decrease layer of the web. A proposal like this has elementary implications for the web’s physiognomy, notably: decentralized governance, interoperability of companies, native traceability and confidentiality.

A decentralized, native search engine

No web service is extra concentrated than the search engine (each 63% of all searches and 94% of all cellular and pill search visitors comes from Google).

This important perform may be supplied by the web community (through its augmented protocol), which might end in a extra goal, extra full and extra privacy-friendly search engine, as all search knowledge could be saved by the community in a decentralized approach and now not be centralized on personal servers. As well as, customers will have the ability to resolve whether or not or to not anonymize their search.

Becoming a member of forces

It’s actually necessary to advertise lively collaboration and complementarity between all of the aforementioned tasks (and others) that pursue the identical goals.

Synergies aren’t solely doable, they’re apparent. The ThreeFold Grid, for instance, can add tangible worth to Dfinity or Stable and different comparable tasks in the event that they wish to profit from a very decentralized and sovereign infrastructure, as a substitute of counting on present knowledge middle fashions. The long run IOUR infrastructure may — and will — additionally depend on such a grid to deploy the nodes which can be essential to make the web able to offering “native” companies.

Cooperation is of the essence within the new world we wish to construct.

This text doesn’t comprise funding recommendation or suggestions. Each funding and buying and selling transfer includes danger, and readers ought to conduct their very own analysis when making a choice.

The views, ideas and opinions expressed listed here are the writer’s alone and don’t essentially mirror or characterize the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Thibault Verbiest, an lawyer in Paris and Brussels since 1993, is a associate with Metalaw, the place he heads the division devoted to fintech, digital banking and crypto finance. He’s the co-author of a number of books, together with the primary guide on blockchain in French. He acts as an professional with the European Blockchain Observatory and Discussion board and the World Financial institution. Thibault can be an entrepreneur, as he co-founded CopyrightCoins and Parabolic Digital. In 2020, he grew to become chairman of the IOUR Basis, a public utility basis geared toward selling the adoption of a brand new web, merging TCP/IP and blockchain.