The Emerging “Web 3”
To date, we haven’t done much with Bitcoin, or the underlying blockchain platforms. While the digital coinage may promise a revolution in currency, such revolutions are not in our bailiwick.
But, over the past two years, we’ve been hearing more about how developers can actually build applications on a blockchain, and app dev is indeed our jam. Even more promising is how the blockchain, as implemented on platforms like Ethereum, provided the promise of distributed computing. Distributed applications (“DApps”) don’t rely on cloud providers or fleets of servers to run. Instead, the apps can be put on the blockchain, and accessed through GraphQL APIs from anywhere, given that they are collectively hosted by all the companies that choose to run Graph Nodes for profit, or for some other reason. No longer would we rely on Facebook to keep our family photos. We’ll put them on a peer-to-peer blockchain, where they would be collectively served globally, with a chief difference being we can decide for ourselves how, and to who, these photos are shared.
In theory, this is how it works anyway. We are sorting out how this will work, and what technologies are being used.
This week, our science reporter Kimberly Mok posted a story about one of these new “Web 3.0” technologies, the Interplanetary File System. IPFS is a decentralized data storage system that leverages a peer-to-peer (p2p) network architecture. With IPFS, “Anyone in the world can make data available in the network, and anyone in the world can receive that data from them or from anyone else securely,” explained Mikeal Rogers, the engineering manager for Protocol Labs, which initially developed the open source file system.
Check out Mok’s post, it is a great read. And keep an eye out on The New Stack for more “Web 3.0” technologies, or whatever they will be called in the future.