Decentralized storage and privacy platforms Mask Network, Arweave, Nym Technologies, Meson.network and Swarm, and EthSign shared their values and outlooks on the decentralized Web 3, and the potential attributes of business models in the Web 3 ecosystem. They shared how they foresee data storage being rebuilt entirely revolving around consumer rights to lead the development of Web 3.
The speakers also discussed how app founders need to re-visualize the concept of data storage through the context of decentralization in a sustainable method that doesn’t take away user rights. They also shared their stances on user rights and the long-term vision of what a developed global decentralized network looks like and how different projects can come together and pave the pathway towards a Web 3 that reinforces better Web 3 tech.
Values Of The Privacy Infrastructures And Decentralization Services
The speakers shared a discussion regarding the values of their privacy platforms and how they manage a decentralized network. Sam William, CEO of Arweave, which is a permanent storage system, said: “[Arweave] has been fostering an ecosystem of applications around the permanent storage system, enabling base layer storage of decentralized web, by distributing data across the world.”
“We are offering not just decentralized web pages and assets, but also the opportunity to create the network as if it is a database that looks and feels like normal Web 2 services except of course they are decentralized, uncensored, and are permanently available to people.” Arweave provides permanent storage with a backed up hard drive and their permaweb, which is a community-owned web that is permanent and decentralized.
The permanent availability of Web 3 services, such as better privacy, and sustainable data via permanent storage remains the superior motives of all decentralized infrastructures. Gregor Žavcer, the operation lead of Swarm, a decentralized storage and communication service with a built-in incentive system on the Ethereum blockchain said: “Swarm is a decentralized storage and communication platform for digital self-sovereign society. Our mission is to empower digital freedom by making data sustainable. The long-term vision is to decentralize networks to operate the narrow waist of the crypto economy by incubating storage. This way, we support the new opportunities that are emerging from this prospect […]”. Swarm follows a system of peer-to-peer nodes that create a decentralised storage and communication service.
Potter Li, the co-founder of EthSign, an integrated decentralized storage infrastructure application, said: “EthSign is an integrated decentralized storage infrastructure and an application built with Web 3 technologies. We focus on decentralizing the digital agreement signing space, by leveraging decentralized identities, smart contracts, and permanent storage. EthSign tackles Web 2’s privacy and security problems by introducing the Web 3 tech.” EthSign doesn’t employ any centralized server for data storage, meaning they ensure maximum user’s data privacy.
Following a unique data encryption protocol, Claudia Diaz, chief scientist of Nym Technologies, said: “We are a privacy technology development company that provides data encryption and full-stack privacy to contribute its goals of supporting user privacy and the development of Web 3. Nym’s system protocol includes a layered surveillance infrastructure that distributes metadata across various layers, encrypting the data to become unlikely to be exposed to third parties.” Nym makes use of their mixnet to provide network-level anonymity inorder to avoid any third-party surveillance of their users’ data.
Sherlock Shi, the founder of Meson.network, a decentralized acceleration network based on Layer 2, said: “Meson.network is an open accelerated CDN network based on blockchain technology. Meson.network was created to break the monopoly in the traditional CDN market. Meson.network was created to solve the blockchain storage and data transmission problems. It aims to become the fastest network acceleration provider.”Meson.network uses Layer 2 protocols to solve data transmissions and transactions problems.
Suji Yan, CEO of Mask Network, an encrypted messaging application, and decentralized file storage portal, said: “Mask Network integrates decentralized social messaging, borderless payment network, and decentralized file storage and sharing to provide a safe and convenient portal for users to jump right into the continent of decentralized finance. We at Mask Network are strong believers in the ownership economy.” Mask follows the ideology of shifting users from Web 2 services to Web 3 services by providing various Web 3 prospects such as communication encryption, trading on decentralized exchanges, buying and selling NFTs, and data storage.
Web 3: Defined, Described, And How It Differs From Web 2
There seem to be different values around what exactly is Web 3 and the concept is not yet well defined. While there are aspects that everyone agrees on such as censorship resistance, privacy encryption, the trajectory remains blurry. Sam Williams shared his stance on Web 3 as: “There is a difference in the trajectory between Web 2 and Web 3. The decentralized web differs in terms of the financialization system. Web 3 is a change in the business model and a change in consumer rights, [regarding] consumer integrity. We believe that apps should be available to consumers even after they buy them, and their owners shouldn’t be able to take them back or modify them to make it worse like it was in Web 2”
Swarm’s Gregor voiced his agreement with Sam and said: “I resonated a lot with Sam[….] Web 3 is essentially a new take on Web 2 which avoids past mistakes, it’s an idea centralized on human rights. It has values that empower the individual. It is a game-changing environment since we are shifting the power with privacy incentives. We are starting with two incentives; storage and bandwidth.” The emphasis remains on improved user rights and privacy.
The core structure of Web 3 follows decentralized network security protocols to power smart contracts and data encryption. Potter’s take on Web 3 goes as: “My interpretation of Web 3 is that it allows all users in the network to control their own identity, money, and data in a decentralized fashion. This concept is very different from that of Web 2, in which issues regarding privacy and security have been drawing more awareness.”
EthSign achieves this by decentralizing the digital agreement signing, leveraging decentralized identities, smart contracts, and permanent storage. “For example, in Web 2 users rely on centralized servers for everything, and they don’t know if those servers could misuse their data since Web 2 companies take control of users’ username and password.”
It is really hard to integrate with other protocols in Web 2 because business models constrain companies from being open-source; every product is very siloed from one another. I believe Web 3 is not just a decentralized network where people can control their own identity and privacy, but it’s also an open network that allows different protocols and projects to interact and be integrated with each other.”
The Role Of Architecture And Business Model In Privacy Services
The infrastructures and new business models are crucial for building a decentralized economy, leveraging the future of Web 3 with them. Swarm’s Gregor referenced Swarm’s by saying: “When we speak of token economy we see that it inspires better collaborations and touchpoints where systems can start working better together. Swarm’s architecture is a chunk-based architecture, when someone offers data to be stored in the network, they become a part of a big network disk. When a file is uploaded to Swam, this data is broken up into 4 kb chunks which are distributed around the network. Swarm provides security services to protect these data chunks.” Swarm also offers censorship-proof p2p file storage and a server solution to back up their infrastructure and it also introduced Swarm 1.0 recently with their improved mainnet features.
Nym a unique layered encryption methodology. Claudia explained Nym’s privacy structure by saying: “Our system, Mixnet ensures that the user’s metadata is protected. It is done by computers all over the world arranged in 3 layers. The user’s data gets encrypted in three layers of encryption so it becomes more uniform.”
The three-layered encryption of data remains Nym’s defining protocol that ensures complete privacy. “Our technology chops data into specific packets so they are the same size. The layers mix the pieces together. This prevents anyone who is overseeing the network to see where these packets of data came from. We also use another technology, anonymous credentials, that provides anonymity for applications. These two together give holistic privacy.” Nym uses anonymous authentication credentials to enable privacy-enhanced data transfer, blockchain technology to decentralize their mixnet’s operations and they also recently introduced Nym v0.10.0, which has improved features such as directory storage on a blockchain and decentralized validators, both steps to improve their holistic data privacy.
Potter shared the internal elements of EthSign’s structure by saying: “We’ve integrated various DID protocols, EVM compatible blockchains, and decentralized storage solutions into EthSign. We really value Areave as it provides permanent decentralized storage.” EthSign’s structural integration provides decentralized identity protocols to easily onboard users to provide a more enhanced user experience. EthSign also partnered with Magic Labs, Arweave and Filecoin to implement services that shift from Web 2 to Web 3.
Bandwidth As An Incentive In A Decentralized Platform
Incentivized bandwidth is a defining attribute for cloud-based applications. Meson Network’s Sherlock addresses the issue as “In the beginning, I tried to run the nodes but ran into the problem of bandwidth because these nodes that are integrated were mostly limited and that made it hard for me to maintain a connection. However, later on, with Arweave, I solved the bandwidth problem for Meson.network since it has quite a simple design.” Meson.network deeply emphasizes bandwidth incentives, it also partnered with Arweave to provide optimal storage while it continually works on providing fast network acceleration to its users.
Etherum’s Swarm, however, uses incentivized bandwidth as a part of their accounting protocol since the network deals with chunks of distributed data. Gregor said: “Swarm offers incentivized bandwidth as part of its accounting protocol which is crucial because we deal with data chunks. This way, microtransactions don’t need to be done on blockchains.” Swarm’s built-in incentive system is enforced through smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
The Long Term Vision Of A Global Decentralised Network
The final prompt remains the future of a holistic global decentralized network which can only be achieved via collaborative efforts of these privacy infrastructures as they continued to do so as well in the past before. Mask’s collaboration with Nym and Arweave, EthSign’s partnership with Magic Labs and Arweave, and many other decentralization products all aim to fraternize and create a cloud of Web 3 that is enriched with optimal Web 3 services. Suji shared his outlook on future collaborations by saying: “Decentralized storage is rising in self-sovereign society. To ensure its success, instead of competing, we chose to empower other decentralized networks.”
In another discussion with the Nym’s CEO Harry Halpin, Suji stated: “I hope that all these networks will lead to a better future for us. I also hope that we can all understand and share this goal.”
To create a well-developed, user-friendly version of Web 3, all Web 3 infrastructure projects and dapp platforms need to come together to make people understand the novel opportunities available to them. The goal of all the applications and platforms remains the same — to build Web 3 by offering users a portal that protects their privacy and gives every innovation an opportunity to grow on Web 3.
Based in the United Kingdom and founded in 2017, Arweave is a decentralized storage network that focuses on providing users indefinite storage of data. The network uses a native cryptocurrency, AR, to pay users to store the network’s information.
About Ethereum Swarm
Ethereum Swarm is a widely distributed storage infrastructure that distributes content and aims to provide a decentralized platform for user data, blockchain, state data, and dapp code. Swarm follows a bandwidth incentivized infrastructure as part of their accounting protocol.
Meson.network is a decentralized layer 2 accelerated network based on blockchain technology. Meson.network was created to break the monopoly in the traditional CDN market. Founded in Jun 2020, Meson.network is people’s accelerated network.
EthSign is a decentralized consensus-based electronic agreements application, built with Web 3 technology that includes decentralized storage, providing the same functions as its Web 2 signing applications: uploading agreements, agreement signing, and the verification of signatures and versioning agreement in the future.
Developed in Europe, Nym Technologies provides open-source multi-layered network-level privacy against sophisticated end-to-end attackers and offers anonymous credentials for anonymous transactions using re-randomizable, decentralized credentials.
About Mask Network
The core product of Dimension, Mask Network offers a peer-to-peer encrypted messaging application and a borderless payment network for file storage in a decentralized cloud infrastructure. Integrated with decentralized finance, DAO, and NFT, the ideology of the Mask Network is to offer a platform with privacy for its users and a new introduction to the Web 3 dimension. Mask Network believes in user rights and proprietorship.