Five aspects to look at the current status of Web3 infrastructure

In 2014, Polkadot founder Gavin Wood created the term “Web 3.0” (hereinafter abbreviated as Web3), and in a series of articles “complained” the Internet economic model in the Web2 era, such as “The Internet is like a giant baby , They are aging before they grow up”, “Internet giants may not have malicious in themselves, but at the same time they have no kindness and principles. They use our loyalty to make money, but cut off contact when it is inconvenient for them.”

Seven years ago, these remarks may seem too avant-garde, but they are very realistic in 2021. On the one hand, the growth of major Internet companies around the world is weak, and on the other hand, under the blessing of blockchain technology, storage , Domain name, payment, social communication, content platform, these elements of the Web2 era can all be presented in a decentralized manner. Even at present, these projects are still extremely unfriendly, and even the cost of use is too high.

Web2 is being replaced by Web3, which is beginning to take shape. This is the general trend of the times.

In Web3, the payment tools include Metamask, the domain name system includes ENS and TNS, the storage work is done by Filecoin and Arweave, the content is distributed on content platforms such as Mirror, and the decentralized social tools include Telegram and Discord. It can be considered that Web3 has begun to take shape.

Payment tool represented by Metamask

In the field of decentralized payment, applications can be divided into broad sense and narrow sense. Narrow applications include the most well-known payment-focused tools such as Metamask, Polkadot{.js}, Ronin Wallet, imToken, etc., and broad applications are everything that supports on-chain payment functions. Infrastructure, including various Bitcoin and Ethereum encrypted wallets, the “bridge” between the Layer 2 platform and the Layer 1 public chain, and even the transfer window between centralized platforms.

The most revolutionary of these is undoubtedly applications such as Metamask. MetaMask is known as the best and most useful Ethereum open source wallet in the world, which can help investors manage their Ethereum assets easily and simply. There is no need to download the client to use MetaMask, just add it to the browser extension to use it.

Five aspects to look at the current status of Web3 infrastructure

According to a report by ConsenSys, the parent company of MetaMask, in October this year, the number of active users of MetaMask wallet exceeded 10 million in August, reaching 10,354,279, an increase of 19 times compared to a year ago. As of August 2021, the top 8 countries that use MetaMask the most are the Philippines, the United States, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, China, India, Russia, and Brazil. In other words, almost all active traders of crypto assets are almost all users of MetaMask wallet.

It is worth noting that ConsenSys was founded by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin and is known as one of the “three pillars” of the blockchain giant. ConsenSys has incubated more than 50 well-known names that contribute to the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem over the years since its establishment. Projects, covering core integrated components, services, developer tools, infrastructure projects, B2C dapps, enterprise solutions, multi-platform applications, etc. At the same time, through the establishment of close cooperative relations with government departments, financial institutions, Internet giants, etc., Ethereum will be promoted to the mainstream world. The other two pillars are Microsoft Visual Studio and the consulting business known as McKinsey in the blockchain industry.

In the wave of DeFi and NFT, Metamask seizes the opportunity to quickly occupy major browsers with its excellent functions and become the most convenient tool for web payment.

Review the development history of MetaMask.

2019 is a year of significant progress in the development of the Ethereum ecosystem. DeFi has begun to take shape, with more than 520 new Dapps on the Ethereum network, more than 20 million new accounts, and more than 400,000 new active addresses. At the same time, the popular concepts of NFT and DAO in 2021 also laid the groundwork in 2019. The prosperity of the Ethereum ecosystem promoted the development of MetaMask. According to public data, in 2019 alone, the number of MetaMask users exceeded 1.3 million.

2020 is a year when DeFi has blossomed. As COMP tokens skyrocketed overnight, “trading is mining” quickly went out of the circle, and the era of DeFi officially kicked off. The lock-up amount in the DeFi agreement has risen from USD 700 million in early 2020. Increased to 15 billion U.S. dollars in December. In October 2020, the monthly life of MetaMask web and mobile exceeded 1 million. Compared with the 264,000 in 2019, the monthly life increased by more than 400%.

Up to now, the amount of DeFi agreements has reached hundreds of billions of dollars, and the number of active MetaMask users has exceeded 10 million.

It can be said that MetaMask is the most direct beneficiary of the prosperity of the Ethereum ecosystem, and it is also a facilitator in the transformation of Web2 to Web3. After all, you can break through the encirclement of Web2 and enter the world of Web3 with a “click” on the existing web page.

Decentralized storage and domain name system

In the Web2 era, huge amounts of data formed by the online footprints and works of massive users are stored in the centralized servers of giants such as Google, Ali, Tencent, and the Web2 world has created an incredible data kingdom.

How to save these data in the Web3 era? How to ensure that this data kingdom relies on a reliable, stable and secure data storage network? If the virtual items of the meta-universe world being monetized are continuously stored in a centralized server, the metadata will inevitably face the danger of invalidation or tampering. Once a similar event occurs, the meta-universe will lose its necessity and value for existence.

Therefore, decentralized storage projects such as Filecoin, Arweave, and Storj based on IPFS have become necessary. IPFS pioneered the introduction of the incentive layer Filecoin to ensure the reliable storage of data within the agreed period, while Arweave through technological innovation to achieve permanent storage of data on the chain, to achieve “save data like a cloud document”, Storj is A decentralized blockchain-based distributed cloud storage system, which can ensure that the content uploaded by users to the blockchain is encrypted at any time.

Take Filecoin based on IPFS as an example.

Let’s first look at IFPS. The project is a centralized storage solution proposed in 2015. Filecoin is the incentive layer of IPFS. The token incentive mechanism is used to ensure the reliable storage of files within the agreed period. Filecoin allows any individual to use free hard disk space and bandwidth to provide data storage and retrieval services on the open market, monetize unused hard disk capacity, and use PoRep (Proof of Replication) and Post (Proof of Time and Space) to ensure that miners actually store files In this case, users find suitable storage miners by issuing orders, and the data is encrypted and divided and sent to the miners. The miners add the information to the storage block for storage and continue to prove their work to obtain rewards. The above is how it works.

Imagine you OpenSea purchased $ 400,000 worth of CryptoPunks , if any are stored in a centralized server, you will feel at ease it?

Obviously, the development of decentralized storage is an indispensable infrastructure before the arrival of the Web3 era.

About the domain name.

As we all know, domain names are private homepages on the Internet and are “online real estate” fully controlled by individuals and companies. Domain names can be fictitious or transparent, and can be used for everything from personal blogs to public websites of multinational companies. The domain name can be very small, it can be a collection of personal works, or it can be shopping websites and social media with millions of daily visits.

However, in the Web2 era, everything runs on a centralized network. Even if there is ownership of a domain name, the domain name is still stored on a centralized server and is easily controlled by humans.

The emergence of decentralized domain name systems such as ENS and TNS will change this status quo.

ENS is the abbreviation of Ethereum Name Service. The Chinese name is ” Ethereum Domain Name Service”. It is a scalable, distributed and open naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain , mainly serving human-readable mapping names. ENS maps human-readable names, such as tb.eth, to machine-readable identifiers, and has the function of reading Ethereum addresses, content hashes, and metadata. TNS is the abbreviation of Terra Name Service. It is a scalable, distributed and open naming system based on Terra blockchain, similar in function to ENS.

So, what is the difference between a centralized domain name and a decentralized domain name?

Take ENS as an example. To a certain extent, the positioning of ENS and DNS are very similar, and their functions are almost the same, except that DNS resolves domain names into IP addresses, while ENS resolves .eth domain names into Ethereum addresses. Unlike DNS, ENS is more decentralized. ENS mainly includes two components: registry and resolver. The ENS registry is a smart contract that maintains a list of all domain names and subdomains; the resolver is responsible for converting domain names into addresses. At present, ENS only supports the analysis of digital currency addresses, and it is difficult to connect the traditional information Internet and the bottom layer of the blockchain.

In addition, ENS resolves the .eth domain name to an Ethereum address. On-chain transfer requires only one .eth domain name, and the Ethereum address will be greatly simplified.

In short, the decentralized domain name service system is built on the underlying protocols of decentralized blockchains such as Ethereum and Terra. The ownership of domain names is absolute, which can also greatly reduce the complexity of the payment address, which is Web3 Lay the foundation for the arrival of.

Content platform and decentralized social tools

When we describe the influence of the Internet on the world, the phrase “the Internet has ironed the world” is probably the most appropriate expression. The Internet has turned the world into a global village, and people can unlimitedly obtain and send free information to anyone in real time. However, this has also brought new problems-original content has become cheap, and when copying and pasting does not require any price, copyright is difficult to guarantee, so fast food culture has become the mainstream.

However, the advent of the blockchain has brought scarcity and value back. Copyright hopes to exist in the form of “hash” and “secret key”, and the content can also be stored in open source decentralized storage projects such as Filecoin, Arweave, and Storj.

Take the recently launched content platform Mirror as an example. Since the beginning of the project, the project has integrated encrypted native currency and allowed creators to have more control and ownership by binding digital identities. These features have allowed Mirror to have multiple attributes of digital native information carriers that many Internet applications lack since its birth, including programmability, interoperability, composability, virus transmission, and transferability, thereby realizing its value exchange. possible.

In terms of content interaction, Mirror can be regarded as a native application of Web3.

For example, in terms of content storage, Mirror uses the decentralized data storage protocol Arweave to store data, achieving permanent storage, including the content released by the creator and all related changes, and all the information needed to verify the authenticity of the author. In terms of data storage costs, as far as the author’s experience is concerned, users can currently upload text and picture information almost for free (in fact, they need to pay less than US$0.001 in AR tokens, which can be ignored). Stored permanently in Arweave.

In addition, Mirror also integrates the decentralized domain name service ENS to realize creator rights. Every author’s blog domain can be bound to its own ENS domain name, and a subdomain name of headed by the ENS domain name will be generated as its own content publishing platform. Homepage.

After the content is released, the user uses the key to sign and confirm, so every piece of content published on Mirror has a copyright statement to prove the ownership of an item. In addition, the created content will also trigger comments, that is, user-generated content.

I believe there will be more native Web3 content publishing platforms similar to Mirror in the future.

About decentralized social tools.

Although Telegram has most of the attributes of a decentralized social application, for example, Telegram uses end-to-end encryption, all content will not pass through its server, and its private chat function can automatically delete the chat history when the user logs out. These features make Telegram one of the most popular communication tools in the currency circle.

However, in October 2019, the SEC ordered Telegram to stop selling its cryptocurrency (named Gram), which means that Telegram has lost the key attribute of Web3’s “decentralized autonomy” and cannot be called a native Web3 application.

Standing at the moment, it can be considered that Web3 has begun to take shape. I believe that with the development of blockchain technology, all the territory of the Web3 empire will be supplemented.

Just as Gavin Wood described in “Why Do We Need Web 3.0”, as technology matures, traditional enterprises will inevitably slow down their innovation speed and regard products as a cash cow (such as Microsoft) and the advantage of Web 3.0 Will continue to strengthen, and cities and countries ban Uber, Airbnb, Grindr and Wikipedia, Web3.0 is impossible to be banned. 

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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