Web3, the third generation of the internet, is a decentralized and distributed version of the web that utilizes blockchain technology and other decentralized techniques to give users more control, privacy, and ownership of data. It attempts to change how we interact with digital services, transitioning from traditional centralized models to decentralized peer-to-peer networks.
At the foundation, Web3 is constructed on blockchain technology, which is a shared ledger that keeps a cryptographically-protected, ever-increasing list of records referred to as blocks. This decentralized characteristic allows for direct peer-to-peer communication.
Web3 provides a range of features and capabilities that could revolutionize applications requiring large amounts of storage. These include content delivery networks (CDNs) for hosting images and other visuals, online gaming platforms, and blockchain-based websites.
Unlike conventional centralized systems, Web3 makes sure that no single entity has absolute control or ownership over data. Through its decentralized approach, the data is safeguarded from censorship, manipulation, or potential single-point-of-failure risks, thus reinforcing data integrity and accessibility.
Harrison Hines, the CEO and Co-founder of Fleek, a decentralized development platform, informed Cointelegraph that the protocols which are carefully designed to power Web3 guarantee decentralization via their network architecture, cryptography, and token-economic incentive system. He further commented.
“The advantages of this strategy mainly revolve around being trustless, permissionless, tamper-proof and immune to censorship. These are increasingly significant issues, particularly on corporate-owned Web2 cloud systems, and Web3 does an excellent job of tackling them.”
Ankur Banerjee, the Chief Technology Officer of Cheqd – a decentralized payments and identity platform – shared his opinion with Cointelegraph, stating that decentralization provides a greater degree of resiliency compared to single providers. Recent outages of Microsoft Outlook, Teams, and 365 in 2021, as well as the Facebook global outage, demonstrate the risks of relying on centralized services.
Interoperability is another key component of Web3. While blockchains are typically independent of one another, there are interoperability protocols which seek to link different blockchain networks. For instance, cross-chain bridges enable users to move assets from one blockchain to another. If utilized properly, interoperability can be utilized to create high-storage applications that are accessible across multiple blockchain networks.
Web3 integrates InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and Swarm, two distributed file systems, to provide a secure and scalable storage service for applications that require a lot of storage. These distributed file systems divide files into smaller parts, disperse them across multiple nodes, and use content-based addressing. Furthermore, by guaranteeing data redundancy and fast retrieval, they improve the dependability and effectiveness of storage systems.
Fleek gives users the ability to construct websites by hosting their documents with the IPFS protocol. Once the website is posted on the network, users obtain an IPFS hash and the websites are stored on Filecoin. There are software development kits and graphical user interfaces available for users to interact with the storage infrastructure.
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Web3 also enables the utilization of smart contracts. These are computerized agreements with predetermined rules and regulations embedded into the blockchain. They promote trustless and automated exchanges, allowing applications with large data storage to enforce rules, manage transactions, and control access for data storage and retrieval.
Web3 introduces tokenization, which uses digital assets or tokens to signify ownership or access rights. For applications that require a lot of storage, tokenization can motivate people to contribute their storage capabilities. By offering up their unused storage, users can acquire tokens, forming a cost-effective and expansive decentralized network. Tokenization adds an economic layer to the storage system, stimulating active involvement and resource distribution.
The decentralized nature, interoperability, distributed file systems, smart contracts and tokenization mechanisms of Web3 make it a great choice for high-storage applications. These features offer a secure, scalable, and incentivized infrastructure for storing and retrieving large amounts of data.
What blockchain tech needs to be ready
Blockchain technology, as it exists now, struggles to manage vast amounts of data due to scalability issues. Architectures such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are based on traditional blockchain technology, have restricted throughput and storage capabilities.
In order to facilitate high-storage applications, blockchain networks must improve their scalability. This can be accomplished through the implementation of solutions such as sharding, layer-2 protocols, or sidechains. These strategies allow for the simultaneous processing of transactions and data, thereby boosting the capacity and performance of the blockchain network.
High-storage applications necessitate the effective use of storage resources. Consequently, blockchain networks must optimize their data storage to cut down on duplicity and increase storage efficiency. Strategies such as data compression, deduplication, and data partitioning can be utilized to decrease storage needs while preserving data authenticity and availability.
Banerjee remarked that blockchains are not typically employed to store large files, as it is not the most efficient way to store and distribute them. Many applications requiring the storage of large volumes of data instead opt to store a cryptographic hash or proof on the chain, while the file itself is stored on decentralized storage platforms such as IPFS, Swarm, or Ceramic, or even on centralized storage. He further commented.
“In this manner, the ‘heavier’ files do not require breaking up and storing in blocks, and can be accessed in a format most suitable for quickly disseminating large files, while also guaranteeing that they are secure by verifying against the hash. A great illustration of this in practice is the Sidetree protocol, which leverages a mix of IPFS and Bitcoin for storage.”
Data availability is essential for applications that require large amounts of storage. To guarantee that storage nodes are consistently available and can provide data retrieval services, blockchain networks must be implemented. Incentives and punishments can be implemented to motivate storage nodes to maintain high availability. Furthermore, incorporating distributed file systems such as IPFS or Swarm can increase data availability by replicating the data across multiple nodes.
Fleek’s Hines informed Cointelegraph that scalability is still a challenge that all Web3 storage protocols need to tackle, and that Fleek Network is dedicated to resolving it. Regarding IPFS and Swarm, Hines classified IPFS in its own category, while Swarm is more comparable to Filecoin, Arweave, etc. in that those protocols guarantee the storage of files/data.
“In contrast, IPFS does not guarantee the preservation of files/data. It is better to consider IPFS more akin to HTTP, in that its primary purpose is for content addressing and routing.”
Hines is of the opinion that IPFS could possibly supersede the HTTPS protocol: “We envisage that IPFS will be employed on all storage protocols at some point, and eventually substitute HTTP, due to the fact that content addressing is more beneficial than IP address-based addressing for the internet and its ever-increasing worldwide user base.”
“Storage protocols such as Filecoin, Arweave, Swarm, etc. ensure security through their network architecture, cryptography, and token-economic incentive systems.”
Given the sensitive nature of data in high-storage applications, data privacy and security are essential. To ensure the protection of stored data, blockchain networks must incorporate strong encryption and access control methods. Additionally, privacy-centered technologies such as zero-knowledge proofs and secure multiparty computation can be integrated to enable secure and confidential data storage and retrieval.
Blockchain networks can offer cost-effective storage options by utilizing decentralized storage networks or introducing token-based economies. Furthermore, blockchain networks can build a distributed, cost-effective storage system by motivating individuals or organizations to give their unutilized storage resources.
Interoperability is essential for high-capacity applications that require data integration from multiple sources and systems. As such, blockchain networks must foster interoperability between blockchains and external systems. By implementing standards and protocols, such as cross-chain communication protocols or decentralized oracles, the blockchain network can easily incorporate data from a variety of sources.
Good governance and consensus mechanisms are indispensable for blockchain networks that handle large amounts of data. Transparent and decentralized governance models, such as on-chain or decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), can be put into practice to make collective decisions regarding storage-related policies and upgrades.
Consensus algorithms such as proof-of-stake (PoS) or delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) can be implemented to attain faster, more energy-efficient consensus for data storage transactions. Enhancing the user experience is also critical for blockchain technology in high-storage applications.
The complexities and technicalities related to blockchain should be hidden away in order to create a user-friendly interface and a smooth integration with existing applications. Furthermore, tools, libraries, and frameworks that make the development and deployment of high-storage blockchain applications easier should be readily accessible.
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Applications with high storage requirements may need to comply with certain regulatory mandates, including data security regulations or industry-specific compliance standards. Consequently, blockchain networks must offer features and mechanisms that enable adherence to such regulations.
This can encompass integrated privacy settings, auditing capabilities, or integration with identity management systems to guarantee adherence to regulations when employing blockchain-based storage.
In conclusion, to be suitable for high-storage applications, blockchain must tackle a few key elements, such as security and cost-effectiveness. If these issues are resolved and the necessary enhancements are made, blockchain technology can offer a reliable, scalable platform for high-storage applications.
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