It’s the right time to kick-start the next iteration of the web, with smart, decentralised digital services powered by blockchain and the new technologies Waves is building.
The concept of decentralization is, as a matter of fact, quite new. Surprisingly, it was first formulated around the 19th century, together with the concept of centralization itself. Before that time people did not really give much thought to the general principles of the things they built, be it society’s structure or technology. Creation of huge nation states drew attention to the general principles of society structure, and brought about suspicion that rigid vertical structures had their own drawbacks. Rigid hierarchy and chain of command do make a lot of sense in many situations, but this always creates centralized point of failure, making systems vulnerable and corruptible.
In the late 20th century technology started to have an overwhelming effect on the development of society. Computer networks became the veins through which society’s blood flows; tech that we build has a huge impact on the society we live in. The concept of decentralized technology started to take shape in the late 70s, in the form of distributed computing and consensus research.
The real breakthrough, at least in people’s minds, came with blockchain technology. For the first time in the history of human technology we were able to create truly decentralized systems controlled only by the protocol we feed into them. Blockchain is now more than 10 years old, and although we can’t do all the things we want with it just yet, we can do enough to try and go beyond prototypes and working use-cases. Mass adoption, that Holy Grail of any emerging technology, must be found ASAP, since the time has come. WEB2.0 corporations have come to hold too much power. We did not notice how they gained access to tons of sensitive and valuable big data, and now we have the kind of monopoly that just can’t last.
WEB3.0, the concept which emerged at the end of the last century, is finally shaping up in the first real products that unify a host of different technologies (Big Data, AI, IoT…) on a decentralized footing. To kick-start the revolution it is of vital importance to create retail WEB3.0 products and working enterprise applications now. We need to go beyond the crypto-community to make the ideas that emerged within it truly work.
We can’t achieve full decentralization just yet, and actually we might never achieve it. To make WEB3.0 a really useful concept we need to understand that the end-goal of WEB3.0 is the creation of robust, transparent, synergetic systems by any means necessary. Decentralizing critical business logic and using centralized tech where we can’t do without it (storage, complicated computation), we are able to create products that can gain mass adoption now, where there’s a real need in a new approach in the systems we are building. Data storage can be enhanced and allow for privacy protection. It’s time to get down to some fancy and sophisticated cryptography, such as homomorphic encryption, and really make it work. In the near future, I’m sure, we’ll also be able to use verifiable computation, using which one can outsource computation to third-parties and obtain verifiable results.
The decentralized layer, of course, has to be improved to solve scalability issues that riddle blockchain systems now. Waves’ RIDE smart contracts language update will provide a new approach to decentralized computation and business logic, which is closer to the nature of blockchain systems. It will be on the Waves mainnet by June. Waves-NG maximizes what you can get from on-chain transactions in terms of speed. To go further you need either to move off-chain or create custom sidechains, that process specific sets of transactions. The second approach is closer to our philosophy of getting the maximum from the current technology before moving forward, and it will be implemented in the second half of 2019. Future systems may (and probably should) give up on total network synchronization completely, but there’s still a long way to go, and the current technology is mature enough to disrupt WEB 2.0 architecture.
The gateway to our WEB3.0 world is going to be our Waves Keeper. Storing private keys user-side and not trusting any sensitive data to third parties is the key to WEB3, and Keeper does exactly that.
The next architecture level is the Decentralized Business logic layer. Sensitive business logic running on smart contracts, encrypted important private data, monetization through tokenization — it all goes there. Going deeper we arrive at the Centralized Layer, which soaks up WEB3 ideas as well — data is encrypted, computation is verifiable.
Based on this architecture we’re building several applications now, with mass adoption in mind.
They tap into diverse markets but are unified by the ideas of tokenization, being accessible to a mass audience, and providing an unparalleled level of transparency.
We are building a decentralized voting platform. This is one of the most promising directions for distributed tech. Its usage on the municipal level is starting to happen- and its widespread application is inevitable. Transparent, anonymous and verifiable voting can change the game completely.
We build a social network. It might seem too ambitious but this is just the right moment to do it. Privacy preserving, tokenized social network can be a huge leap forward for social interaction. We know how to do it, and you’ll see a prototype this summer.
We’re launching Vostok network, our WEB3.0 solution for enterprise. Any implementation of blockchain tech in enterprise is WEB3.0 by default, since only a combination of different technologies, on a decentralized footing, can make sense in a corporate environment. Without it blockchain is just a weird database.
We don’t solely do blockchain tech any longer; it is just a part of a bigger picture. We’re becoming the first company that focuses exclusively on monetizable WEB3.0 applications. We want to become one of the first Googles or Facebooks of the future Internet. Godspeed to us, decentralize or die!
Originally published at blog.wavesplatform.com on March 12, 2019.
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