Smart contracts running on the blockchain can provide anti-censorship and continuous operation capabilities, but how can users ensure that the front-end experience can also provide the same decentralized features before accessing these smart contracts?
Last week, Uniswap Labs, the development team behind the Uniswap agreement, under regulatory pressure, announced that it would review the front-end of the official website and take the initiative to delist tokens with regulatory risks, especially the sTSLA token that tracks the price of Tesla’s stock. US SEC Chairman Gary Gensler “named” “stock tokens”, “securities-backed stable value tokens” and “provided virtual products with synthetic risks of underlying securities”.
The regulatory time for “decentralization” has officially arrived, but has “decentralization” failed because of this?
The answer may be no. Because even if the Uniswap official website entry is unable to conduct some token transactions, the Uniswap protocol itself is “no permission”, which means that it is still neutral as the “protocol layer”, and users can still interact with the protocol itself to complete Any required transactions.
To take a more extreme example, even if all front-end web pages in the future face regulatory risks, users can still conduct any transactions as long as they run an Ethereum node, as long as the number of miners is sufficient.
But this is far from enough. Wouldn’t it be better if the front-end was also resistant to censorship? In fact, we already have some solutions.
The “front-end centralization” of DeFi applications is widespread
Many blockchain-based applications are now implementing core business logic through smart contracts. For example, the exchange of funds in DeFi applications and the call of assets in the game or NFT market, etc., all need to be completed on the chain.
The business executed through smart contracts can ensure its decentralized characteristics, especially the ability to resist censorship and provide continuous uninterrupted business. Any transaction can be executed safely and without error, and the business will run permanently on the blockchain Go down. Only a small number of applications that integrate censorship capabilities directly in smart contracts are exceptions. For example, the US dollar stable currency USDT and USDC have included some Ethereum addresses on the blacklist, but most DeFi applications do not have this condition.
However, unlike the core logic that is generally decentralized, the front-end presentation of most on-chain applications still widely uses mobile apps or web pages and other forms of the Internet era. In addition to assisting users to submit on-chain transactions, these web front-ends also have some pure front-end functions and positioning, such as whether the product is “easy to use”, and can also provide more display-level functions to assist users in making decisions (data, Chart).
However, since most of the web front ends are still implemented through traditional Internet architecture, this leads to the emergence of “front-end centralization” pain points. The most typical components include domain names, network services, servers, storage services, etc. They are all easily targets of supervision.
Can the front end be decentralized?
Of course it can, but due to the need to consider the “compatibility” with the current Internet architecture, a small part of centralized services will still be introduced to achieve a better user experience. However, with the continuous upgrade of the infrastructure, it is possible to achieve both “fully decentralized front-end” and “better user experience”.
A simple example, although XAUT cannot be traded by visiting app.uniswap.org, it is possible to submit an on-chain transaction to exchange XAUT by visiting uniswap.eth.link. (The Uniswap team stated that XAUT was banned because of contract loopholes)
What is “uniswap.eth.link” ?
To put it simply, it combines “Decentralized Domain Name ENS”, “Decentralized Storage IPFS” and “Centralized Access Port (Cloudflare or eth.link, etc.)” to enable direct access to Uniswap in all browsers. Centralized version of the front end.
The core difference between “decentralized front-end” and “centralized front-end” is that the “decentralized version” can be deployed by anyone. It does not have a single node responsible for the deployment and maintenance of the page. These pages are The network is shared, which means that it can provide the ability to resist censorship.
As for why the “centralized access port (Cloudflare or eth.link, etc.) should be added, it is because the current web browsers have not yet natively supported the access capabilities of “decentralized domain names” and “decentralized storage”, so This type of centralized service can improve the user experience of existing Internet users.
However, some browsers have been working hard in this field, gradually providing native access capabilities for decentralized services.
The composition of the decentralized front end
If you use the existing Internet as an analogy, the decentralized version can also be divided into components such as browser, domain name, storage, and computing.
As the entry-level tool for users to access the Internet, web browsers are almost the core application after the operating system. Most browsers have adopted a multi-platform strategy to support as many users as possible, including Linux and macOS. , Windows, even iOS and Android.
Of course, from the broad field of cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency wallets are also browsers, because most wallets are not only a private key manager, but also an entrance to provide various applications and services.
Among all web browsers, Opera and Brave have the best support for decentralized services. Some of the platform versions of the two have already supported the native access capabilities of IPFS and ENS domain names, and will continue to expand to more platforms in the future And more services. The two browsers, Chrome and Firefox, which have a larger installed capacity, also provide better adaptability by virtue of a rich plug-in ecosystem.
Decentralized domain name and domain name resolution
The traditional domain name is the ability to provide an access service. For example, users knowing that they can visit google.com in a browser can access Google’s search service. However, this access capability is fully centrally managed and maintained, and is managed uniformly by ICANN.
The “decentralized domain name” service is to completely run the domain name in a decentralized network, and anyone can complete the registration of the domain name fairly and without being censored. Therefore, the blockchain is a solution for decentralized domain names. For example, since the earliest Namecoin, many teams have begun attempts in this area.
At present, the most widely used is the “Ethereum Domain Name Service” (ENS) running on the Ethereum network. Among them, ENS domain name registration, registration information, change information, renewal and other services are all realized through smart contracts on Ethereum. The domain name chosen by ENS is “.eth”, which is consistent with the token symbol of Ethereum.
Since ENS data is stored in the Ethereum network, the safest way for the browser to read this data is to obtain it through the Ethereum full node. However, due to the slightly higher cost, the aforementioned “center The access port (Cloudflare or eth.link, etc.)” is to help current Web2 users solve experience problems.
In other words, when the browser does not natively support the resolution of “.eth”, the traditional domain name eth.link purchased by the ENS team (that is, ordinary browsers can resolve eth.link) can be used for all eth domain names. Parsing.
Reference reading: “A Name Resolver for the Distributed Web”
This path is: any user——>any browser——>uniswap.eth.link——>uniswap.eth resources.
The above path is through the “centralized access port” to achieve integration with existing Web facilities. In addition to ENS, teams such as Handshake, Unstoppable Domains, and DAS are also providing similar functions.
Of course, in the future, it is possible to realize the possibility of removing the “centralized access point”. One way is to provide more and more companies with such services (indirectly gaining anti-censorship capabilities), and one way is that browsers can Obtain these data through the Ethereum full node that you run (directly obtain anti-censorship capabilities).
Decentralized storage and computing
Storage and computing will gradually achieve decentralization, but for current decentralized applications, “decentralized storage” may be the most urgent, because lightweight computing can be implemented by browsers.
In this field, IPFS is widely used, because there is no token at all in this protocol, and there is no blockchain, which is purer than Filecoin. In order to ensure the long-term and effective storage, solutions such as Filecoin and Arweave can also be considered. Currently, the web pages parsed by uniswap.eth are stored in the IPFS network.
Reference reading: “Uniswap Interface + IPFS”
At present, Opera and Brave have also achieved IPFS access capabilities through some cooperative “centralized access points”. However, the service cost of running an IPFS is much lower than running an Ethereum node. That is, the access speed needs to be improved. At this stage, it still needs to rely on the “centralized access port.”
So to add is: any user -> any browser -> uniswap.eth.link (achieved through a centralized service) -> uniswap.eth resources on IPFS (achieved through a centralized service).
These front-end web pages generally do not require a lot of storage and network bandwidth, but if there is a need for greater bandwidth network access capabilities to provide more types of services in the future, they can also be implemented through services such as Meson or Theta.
For heavy “decentralized computing”, there are currently some solutions, such as DFINITY’s “Internet computer”, GOLEM and other services, but it is still in the early stage.
The above solutions are enough to combine some decentralized web front ends. In addition to Uniswap.eth, Synthetix (synthex.snx.eth) and many other Ethereum DeFi applications have also deployed decentralized front ends. Version, which can be used to realize anti-censorship.
In addition to this set of solutions, there are actually some other solutions, such as the full-stack DFINITY, which implements a full set of services from blockchain, transactions, and servers, but these solutions are still in an earlier stage.
For the existing team, through the combination of ENS, IPFS and other components, the front-end decentralization can be realized faster, and the current urgent need can be solved.
Of course, the intensity of supervision may continue to be strengthened, and it is not clear what other tactics can be used in the future. Perhaps, as long as the speed of innovation is faster, then supervision can only be relatively slow.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/decentralized-finance-has-become-a-regulatory-center-how-to-decentralize-the-defi-front-end/
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