Understanding Web3 from the perspective of World Wide Web iteration: an era of self-certified agreements

When it comes to Web3.0, most people think of concepts such as blockchain, token, Metaverse, and so on. Undoubtedly, Web3.0 includes all of this, but how do we see the full picture of Web3.0?

First, we need to disassemble the Web and 3.0 to understand. Web, short for World Wide Web, is an information system responsible for identifying network resources. 3.0 represents the third iteration.

Why do we need to iterate? Because there is a problem with the existing version. When people find that there are problems with Web2.0, different solutions will appear for all kinds of problems. Blockchain is one of many solutions to Web2.0 problems, so blockchain is part of the Web3.0 iteration. When the problems of Web2.0 are solved by different means, we have entered the next network era, Web3.0.

This article is from Jay Graber, the leader of the well-known online community Bluesky. It briefly describes the iteration of the World Wide Web and introduces Web3.0 from the perspective of self-certified protocols. Rhythm BlockBeats translated the full text:

Understanding Web3 from the perspective of World Wide Web iteration: an era of self-certified agreements

Recently, everyone is discussing what is Web3, and my definition of it is: Web3 is a user-generated right, and it is realized through a self-certified network protocol. These agreements are not only a superset of technologies including blockchain technology, but they are also far from limited to this. Do others view “Web3” this way? Maybe not, but please listen to me to finish.

The rights on the Internet determine who ultimately has control over the content. In the early days of network development, there was not too much distinction between “users” and host operators, that is to say, the custodian of the website is often the publisher of the website content. When the Internet developed to the so-called “Web 2.0”, various websites began to become popular, and users could open accounts and create content on them. But in Web 2.0, the final decision is still in the hands of website hosts, who can unilaterally modify any content-this is basically the current operating mode of the web. In the process of network development to Web3, users can prove their identity through Crypto means and publish verifiable content, and their website has no right to modify these content, because the root of trust exists In the data itself, not in its location.

Let us review the entire development context of the network together:

Web 1.0-host content, host generation rights. People who want to publish content on the Internet must use their own servers to host the website. Most of these websites are read-only, and there is basically no interface that allows users to create content or participate in interaction. 

Web 2.0-user-generated content, host-generated rights. Users can create their own personal accounts on the website, so they don’t have to host their own servers in order to publish content on the web. At the same time, more and more interactive content generated by users has been born. However, these websites have gradually developed into powerful platforms. They still have absolute control over the user’s account and the content they publish, and this will also cause many problems. 

Web 3.0-user-generated content, user-generated rights. In the new model, people no longer need to host a server or create an account in someone else’s database when they want to publish content. Although servers can choose whether to host someone’s account or content, they do not have the final rights to it. “Self-certifying protocols” (self-certifying protocols) can achieve this, which is a technology based on Crypto signature and hash value.

In short, these three stages are “hosted network, publishing network, and signature network.”

So what is a “self-certification agreement”? This is a general term that I use to describe data protocols with Crypto user identifiers and content addressing. Among them, the “Crypto User Identifier” can associate the user with the public key, and the user can use the corresponding private key to sign, and this is also the root of trust that proves that the user has control over his account, not for recording the user’s login status Database entries. “Content addressing data” means that the content can be referenced by its Crypto hash value, which is also the unique digital “fingerprint” of each piece of data.Using these two technologies, the content hash signed by the user’s key can directly prove the user’s authorization to the content, without the need for intermediary agencies to verify it. Data that can be self-authenticated allows trust to reside in the data itself, rather than where it is located. This allows programs to be transferred from the client-server architecture and makes “user-generated rights” possible.

If Web3 is a self-certified protocol, what is the role of blockchain in Web3? Blockchain is a self-authenticating protocol that can create a consensus on the global state. It can simulate a centralized database without being controlled by any party. The “user account” on the blockchain is a Crypto key pair, which is used to sign transactions, while the “content” is the hash value of the transaction bundled in the block. These blocks themselves also have their own hashes and are linked Together. Bitcoin (the first blockchain) introduced a new consensus mechanism that allows parties who do not trust each other to reach agreement when conducting transactions-which is essential for digital currencies without intermediaries.

So what are the protocols that have self-authentication characteristics, but are not part of the blockchain? Git, PGP, BitTorrent, and Tahoe-LAFs that appeared before Bitcoin all fall into this category. In the current batch of non-blockchain self-certification protocols, IPFS, Hypercore, SSB, Pergos and Spritely all have user key and content addressing functions. In these agreements, if you can prove that a certain user “owns” a certain piece of content, then you can also show that this user is the publisher of this piece of content. The emergence of the blockchain has further clarified the concept of ownership. It has established a global consensus time-stamped ledger, in which attributes such as global order and uniqueness have also been confirmed. In this way, we can prove that at the same time There is only one person “holding” a Bitcoin or an NFT work. From the architectural point of view, the blockchain can be considered as a type of data storage in Web3. It can be very practical for some applications, but it can be quite cumbersome for other applications. From a financial and social point of view, blockchain has shifted attention and resources to this field. The important Web3 infrastructure established by the blockchain includes not only wallets and applications that can distribute key pairs to millions of users, but also zero-knowledge proof, a new type of Crypto primitive that brings unlimited possibilities to Web3 tool. Although the current discussion on Web3 has surpassed any other topics, if we want to realize the full vision of Web3, we also need to develop other types of self-certification protocols.

If a self-certified protocol allows users to use keys and content addressing functions to directly prove the identity of the content author, then a self-certified network protocol also has content linking and discovery functions. The network we use today is inseparable from the support of content discovery algorithms, but if Web3 wants to improve its user experience, it needs to further refine its algorithm functions. In my opinion, the following are the things that do not exist or are immature in Web3, including social graphs, user profiles, identity and reputation certification, content aggregation, indexing and discovery, and curation and regulation methods. But what is confusing is that the Web3 currently applied to blockchain technology is still a mess, with a lot of features that we expect to see on the Internet.

I hope that in the future, Web3 will have a broader definition, which will be recognized by more people and include all types of self-certification protocols, and all blockchains will be just a branch of Web3. However, instead of paying attention to these terms, it is better to pay more attention to the attributes and characteristics that have played an important role in the development of the Internet. At the same time, I also hope that the future network can put users in the first place, so that people can control the decision-making power of content creation by themselves, without being restricted by any centralized services. If you agree with me, but for some reason you don’t want to use the term “Web3”, then we can also call it “Self-Authenticated Network Protocol”, or SCWP for short. The name can be more specifically summarized These emerging technologies. 

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/understanding-web3-from-the-perspective-of-world-wide-web-iteration-an-era-of-self-certified-agreements/
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