Revised: The Problem with Web 3
Here is a revised version of our previous article. We apologize for the previous post. That was an accidental draft that got sent out. That post has now been deleted and replaced with this article.
There is currently a growing fascination among Internet users and technologists promoting the decentralization of the web via Web 3 technology. Considering how the aim is to promote redundancy and security, Web 3 enables more freedom and is, at least logically, better for the people and the network. However, as the Internet itself is not decentralized, there is a big hole in the assumption that the web can be free of centralization. The Internet covers much more than the World Wide Web, with thousands of different services and protocols being used simultaneously on the network on a daily basis.
One might argue that Web 3 is about more than the decentralization of the web. However, does it then make sense to call it Web 3? Shouldn't it be called Internet 2.0 or Internet 3.0, if the target is more than the World Wide Web itself?
In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto conceptualized the initial decentralized blockchain. Nakamoto improved upon the previous centralized designs by timestamping blocks without requiring a trusted party to sign them. Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency gaining any broader popularity. Since then, the adoption and acceptance of Bitcoin has sprawled a movement that is rapidly changing the economy and banking systems of the world through decentralized cryptocurrencies and ledgers.
In 2020, NFTs (Non-Fungible-Tokens) hit the mainstream when the digital artist Beeple sold his NFT, "The First 5000 Days", at an auction house, for $69 million. Even though the first NFT was created in 2011, they were not a broadly known commodity before this event. Since 2020, the market has exploded, with thousands of different NFT projects hitting the scene.
Having NFTs in the spotlight brings a lot of attention not only to the NFT scene itself, but also to cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects. However, it is important to note that while an NFT itself is certainly decentralized, the data it references is often connected to centralized websites, with services, images and information commonly stored in centralized locations.
That is the issue.
Seventy percent of the traffic on the Internet is routed by three big companies roughly distributed as follows:
- 40% - Amazon
- 20% - Microsoft
- 10% - Google
This centralized distribution makes a huge part of the Internet highly susceptible to service interruptions and attacks. An article written by Russ White from Public Discourse explains these and other issues in an amazingly thorough way. We highly recommend giving it a read.
The bottom line
In December of 2021 AWS (Amazon Web Services) servers had continous and repeating outages that brought down many websites across the Internet. This included two of the most important Web 3 websites, Coinbase and OpenSea. Coinbase effectively lost access to its listed cryptocurrency, while many NFTs completely disappeared from OpenSea.
Web 3 is not truly decentralized unless every tool and protocol used in conjunction with it is built on a decentralized Internet. This is the only way to keep your decentralized assets safe. If the complete vision of Unigrid and its decentralized network can be fulfilled, this would effectively stop similar outages from ever happening. Unigrid is being built to give the Internet back to the people, allowing them to empower themselves through the reward and voting system of the network.
Godspeed and see you on the other side! Let's hope it's a more decentralized side where we can put a many of these problems behind us.