AKA I don't see the general public moving away from centralized web2, but I do think it would be nice if developers created a decentralized alternative to Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, etc. which being made by individuals and mostly comprised of other developers, is very similar to old-school message boards.
I don't think this decentralized platform will necessarily involve blockchain, just peer-to-peer interactions. The "web3 movement" could simply be getting more people to join a decentralized network like the Fediverse, and improving said network, so it becomes a common peer-to-peer developer version of Twitter, Youtube, etc. Blockchain makes it easy to pay people for being part of the network, but you could do the exact same thing with stablecoins or Stripe payments.
Right now most techies and developers use YouTube and Reddit and Twitter even though they publicly loath and complain about these platforms (ironically on the platforms themselves). Because it's impossible for a small group to create anything remotely competing with a large centralized platform. But a decentralized platform, just maybe, could attract enough people and produce enough content to not be obscure.
Ultimately, I think most of the interest in web3 comes from nostalgia. Old-school developers look at the rise of "Web 1.0" (the original Internet) and "Web 2.0" (Google, Facebook, YouTube). They remember everything being so new and exciting, and recognize how much opportunity they missed. Well, in the past few years the internet hasn't "really" changed much, supposedly it's been much more boring. People want more novelty and excitement and opportunity, and they think and hope it's going to happen again in something they will call "web3".
Pay people for being part of the network? Where is this money coming from?
Blockchain solutions are more expensive to maintain than centralized solutions. It’s going to cost a lot of money to put all of the photos and other data of a social network into a blockchain and keep it maintained. Certainly far more than it costs hyper-optimized centralized providers like Facebook and Twitter.
There might be a few people out there interested in paying substantially to be part of a decentralized blockchain-based social platform, but it’s certainly a far, far smaller number than the people who are happy to use Twitter or Facebook for free.
It's as fast as a centralized solution (because you have a real database!) but has all the benefits of being decentralized (own your own data! Choose replication servers! Split payment for data between data originators and app developer! Alternate models to advertising for free-to-use apps!)
I assume it's easier to calculate and submit micropayments with a cryptocurrency than to connect with a real bank and do them with real money. Plus peers can trust that they get the correct payment for the amount they contribute to the p2p network, especially if the payment is via a smart contract.
The one big advantage of blockchain I know of, is that a group of people can negotiate some sort of payment (e.g. I do X work I get Y coins), and once they agree, nobody can break the negotiation. So assuming everyone understands what they're doing, they will get automatically payed and nobody will run off with all the money (of course if people don't understand what they're doing, they can get scammed like the many many crypto scams we've seen so far).
It’s easy to imagine where the money goes out, but where does the money come in?
Obviously the answer is “the users” but that’s the problem: Not many users are going to be interested in paying ongoing fees just to exist on a social network when they can get the same thing for free.
There will always be a core group of true believers who will pay for these networks, but the networks aren’t very useful if it’s limited to a small group of people willing to go through all of the trouble and keep paying just to exist on it.
This is the big question that a lot of the web3 conversations conveniently sidestep: How much is it going to cost? Everyone seems to assume some hypothetical future blockchain that costs very little, but the bottom line is that you still have to incentivize all of the nodes and peers to keep the data and you need to do so in a decentralized manner that will always be orders of magnitude less efficient than hosting on a standard cloud server. That inefficiency is expensive.
I'm not sure I agree that it will always be orders of magnitude less efficient. I think if you have enough decentralized nodes you can get closer to the ideal painted by "edge computing". I also think people wouldn't mind storing information in a decentralized way as long as it's cheap enough to do so. It kind of reminds me of the transition of most companies to cloud computing -- "why pay a subscription for a server when I can pay a one time cost for my own?"
Although people slowly began to see the benefits of paying proportionate amounts of money for arbitrary usage patterns, having a dedicated team for hardware availability, and the ease of scaling out, it did take a while to get there. Just like those who have come to understand the benefits of cloud computing, I believe people will come around to favoring decentralized models for some use cases. I also believe the amount of data most people generate and use on the web is so minuscule that the storage costs will be so cheap to pay for that people will worry about it as much as they do a purchase from the McDonalds dollar menu.
In some cases, maybe. But I think what pays for the servers running all these services is the advertising industry. Whether you like it or not, you are paying for the services you use, but in ways that are often opaque to you. Even if you agreed to let Facebook use your data, you have no transparency into what exactly they're doing with it, and you don't benefit from it beyond access to their platform. In many instances, you'd be fine with a subset of the functionality (do we really need AI-curated news feeds designed to keep us infinitely scrolling)?
Facebook doesn’t sell user data. Google doesn’t sell user data. Twitter doesn’t sell user data. They sell ads. The user data is strictly kept internal to the company because selling it would weaken their market advantage.
This is one of those weird myths that has been propagated by fear-mongering journalists and politicians. You’d think tech people would be the first to call out this logical error, but for some reason it has been embraced as the ground truth despite being trivially easy to fact check.
> Whether you like it or not, you are paying for the services you use, but in ways that are often opaque to you.
In 2021, the trope that “If you’re not paying, you’re the product” has been repeated to everyone a thousand times over and it’s old news.
But paying for a product doesn’t mean that your data and usage patterns aren’t still being extracted for profit. Just look at smart TVs.
Blockchain doesn’t magically change this fact. It’s theoretically possible to design systems where certain types of data are obscured or encrypted, but it’s a huge leap to assume that web3 services will, by default, encrypt everything and obscure access patterns. Just look at how easy it is to track Bitcoin transactions between wallets publicly.
People vote with their feet. At least today, the answer is "yes." A compelling alternative may change their mind. A blockchain-based social media network is difficult to image doing so for the majority of people.
Take storage, for example, this is folks paying to rent space (perhaps to do backups) from folks that have excess space.
The one part I grudgingly do like with NFTs is it gives people ownership of data that escapes platforms. NFTs are imperfect at this as they lack privacy, are ruinously expensive and complex to untangle from the entities that created them. Also all the usecases so far are more about speculation than defeating platforms. The non-blockchain alternatives like Pods and so on seem more compelling to me.
But yeah to me we’ll see more decentralisation naturally when users are in charge of their own data. I also think this is going to only really take off when we solve digital identity and on boarding that isn’t horrendously technical.
NFTs are definitely in a proof of concept stage, but I 100% expect them to improve dramatically in the next 12-24 months. People are working on solutions for virtually every problem that’s been thought of - fakes, rights managements etc.
And they have already gained widespread adoption in the art world. As far as art goes NFTs are now fully adopted. NFTs are the first blockchain win. I expect gaming to be next.
And as someone part of gaming I have significant doubts that you’ll see major adoption in the next five years.
This is nothing but snakeoil trash dreamed up by people that are purely interested in get rich quick schemes. This has nothing to do with the spirit of the "old web".
*note that OP isn't saying a decentralized version would become more popular:
"But a decentralized platform, just maybe, could attract enough people and produce enough content to not be obscure."
I guess the old adage that either people complain or don't use the software still holds true.
I do, once the next major social network launches with crypto at it's core and the early adopters get an airdrop it's pretty much over for web2 social media.
A whole generation will consider it antiquated to "do work for free" posting on the old networks when the next generation rewards them.
Anyone who isn’t looking in this direction is going to get left behind over the next few years.
Play with the tools like https://eth-brownie.readthedocs.io/en/stable/
Note these are eth focused, but there is overlap with zcash/cosmos/polkadot and the many evm chains that now exist.
I’d also recommend:
and https://forum.makerdao.com/ for insight into how protocols are managed.
Both those features lean heavily on the work I do on Ganache, an Ethereum simulator that has all sorts of nice development features that a public node doesn't.
1. we're starting to see the emergence of next-gen managed crypto cloud, so one can just start building on alchemy free tier for example, i can still use truffle in my dev env, but i can also just roll the functionality i need natively to the cloud
2. solidity packs a lot of fintech logic in a concise amount of code. an experimental auction dapp came in at like 150 lines. i'm not exactly building Compound here (yet)!
Whatever you'll find under the web3 banner is, unfortunately, complete garbage.
Some high signal ones are @Bantg from Yearn Finance, @gakonst from Paradigm, @epolynya for Modular Blockchain info, @iamDCinvestor for macro view and NFTs.
You can find a lot more good ones by seeing these individuals replies. And if you like, you can follow me as well @_nd_go, I try to keep my feed fairly high signal
That's not fun. That's work. From TFA:
> Remember: The DAO — first of its kind, from which all present DAOs take their name — failed so badly it required a fork of the Ethereum blockchain.
You don't want to be stuck holding the bag on something like that.
feels crazy i have to say this on HN. this place has really changed over the years. what happened to the whole earth quotes.
"fail fast fail often"
at least Stuart Brand is still daring to explore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLGZdLpHl1w
I'm not sure if you're just being purposefully obtuse, but this is most definitely not true. Consensus protocols (which are very salient in blockchains) have been studied in distributed computing since like the 70s; the EVM is basically a distributed Turing machine; etc.
I think you're arguing against a straw man here, nowhere did I claim the blockchain is foundational to distributed computing...
> Distributed computing is pretty interesting, and even more-so when there's a code complexity resource you need to optimize for (gas).
I thought this implied an equivocation between distributed computing and web3 stuff. If that wasn't the intent, mea culpa, sorry.
I have some really expensive JPEGs I need to unload
Some would consider learning a old, outdated programming language a waste of time, but sometimes learning something new just to learn something new is just... Fun!
If anyone is interested in the decentralized web without the ponzi-like elements (I say ponzi-like though I should reiterate again that I think defi has value), I'd recommend this talk by Vitalik, "Things that matter outside of defi": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLsb7clrXMQ
Disclosure: I work at DFINITY.
Also, I read the Transitional Gains Trap paper a few years ago and really liked it, but forgot the name and couldn't find it again, so you helped me find it again, thanks!
Ethereum Foundation blog is a good read on technical detail with no price discussion: https://blog.ethereum.org/
Can't they use something "web3" even for this basic task of hosting a git repository (remembering that git itself is completely de-centralized)?
That said, it's nice to see there's some serious work going into this new stuff... driven by a non-profit foundation https://radicle.foundation/ , that does make me take it more seriously, I will check it out.
Of course, any interactions with the blockchain directly (calling methods of deployed smart contracts, or transferring tokens), are decentralized, but if you want to verify the source code of the contract you're interacting with, the most convenient way again involves relying on a centralized service (etherscan or similar for other blockchains), while the decentralized way would involve downloading the contract source yourself, compiling it, and comparing that with what's on the blockchain.
Then look for people with .ETH to their name. A lot of them are technical and Ethereum Foundation members.
> Each week you get...
> A rundown of opportunities
> A new crypto tactic to learn
> A new strategy to consider
> A recap with an action list
Absolutely zero focus on technical details...
Otherwise I generally read CoinTelegraph but it can get very bullish at times.
I'm in 2 months now and only scratched the surface.
In the Developer DAO (which is in founding) we currently plan to make all these web3 learning resources more accessible.
But right now, you can look here for resources: https://github.com/Developer-DAO/resources
The resources themselves, when created, should reach as many people as possible.
To be honest, I hope it fails. Developer communities are one of the very few places in crypto that aren't totally infested by Ponzi grifters and where you can find honest conversation, so I wasn't exactly thrilled when I saw this pop up. We don't need more wonky centrally-managed incentives. Incentives can be harmful. It most often reduces to a simple Ponzi.
It feels like a refreshing alternative to the run of the mill VC/startup model.
I would have expected OR instead of AND. :)
Web2 isn't going anywhere. It's not about some ephemeral future of web3, but more about stuff most people care about works in web2. Which is mainly, stream a flick, buy a pair of pants, watch football, order food. Web3 really doesn't influence any of those basic needs. And social networks? web3+Facebook would be EVEN WORSE. Hard pass.
Tokenizing humanity is _not_ the way to go.
You could do all those things in the 80's, too. Cable, mail-order catalogs, pizza delivery. It's just gotten a lot better. Web3 will have to make things a lot better, and the only big openings I'm seeing are around management of personal data, but I don't think blockchains really help with that compared to even public cloud providers.
EDIT: I also wanted to add in that the smart contract that supports an NFT can be made in a way that allows the original developers to collect fees on every transfer of the asset. This means it might even be in my best interest as the original developer to endorse other games using my in-game NFTs because the longer I can get people transacting with my asset, the longer I can keep collecting revenue. I might even pay other game developers to integrate my item into their game to make this happen.
So the likelihood of an item living on in another game could be quite tenuous. Not least because you have to hope the game developer supports your items and there isn't a strong incentive to do that.
The other side of it is whether these will have any meaning beyond being a nice reminder. In that sense you don't really need a token but to own your own data about the game. In this sense we can already see people holding onto the meaning of their previous gaming adventures, through maintaining friendships, keeping screenshots, diaries and other media about them and so on.
It feels like a lot of you guys have no idea what is going on here and just want to be mad at something.
I don't hate blockchain or NFT's or BTC or any of it.
I will say this though. If you think anyone is anonymous even on the dark web, I have an invisible bridge over lake michigan to sell you. The NSA I'm sure knows every single transaction, including the who's and the what's. Corporate America isn't far behind identifying blockchain transactions.
The interoperability is what we've lost in the Web 2.0 era. Even such quintessential thing as a web API has no well defined standard or protocol, just a very vague concept of REST or RPC.
I want Web 3.0 to get interoperability back. We badly need commonly accepted standards and decentralized protocols: for web APIs, for identity management, for message queuing, for web callbacks (webhooks), for online transactions, for semantic web and ontology, etc.
Take, for instance, web APIs. It's barely usable nowadays. Imagine if you had to write a special browser every time you need to connect to a new website. But this is what already happens with APIs. Accessing programmatically any web-service requires custom coding an API. Insane!
This is a huge claim that doesn't match reality. We still use browsers, HTTP clients still respect mediatypes, and websites still return HTML. We have even more standards now than we did at the beginning of Web 2.0, with things like microdata, opengraph, etc. Even non-HTML HTTP APIs are even more standard with things like grpc, json-api.org, and graphql.
Maybe since my job is to literally do this I have a different take.
You have a point that the interoperability that existed pre-Web 2.0 is still here and wasn't taken away (except for things like RSS).
My point is that we didn't move significantly ahead with interoperability and stuck with centralized proprietary services and niche protocols.
>grpc, json-api.org, and graphql.
You're totally missing the point. With an email client I can connect to any IMAP service (and there are tens of thousands of them). With an SFTP client I can connect to any SFTP server (and there are thousands of them) and download files. Again, without coding, just by configuring the connection.
What public service can I connect to with a GraphQL client (do they even exist?) without coding, just by configuring the connection settings like with an email client?
What public service can I connect to with a GraphQL client (do they even exist?) without coding
This is especially true for public user generated content. Any public content should be accessible without limits, but that is not the case with web2(twitter, public Instagram, forums etc).
ofcourse, there are some server costs but the primary reason the walled-gardens do this is more business related than to reduce costs.
> Any public content should be accessible without limits,
This is not related to the discussion, even if I did agree with it.
> but that is not the case with web2(twitter, public Instagram, forums etc).
Twitter and "forums" are all completely accessible via a browser, which is literally what the original claim suggests we've "lost". You don't need to read twitter with a special twitter client, you read it with the any HATEOAS client.
I urge developers to actually read some history.
That's not the point. having massive improvements since 90s does not imply that we are going to continue from the same path from here on.
> completely accessible via a browser
accessible via a browser is not the same as accessible / interoperable broadly.
> You don't need to read twitter with a special twitter client
YES, some people want to. or maybe I want to do some data analytics, maybe I want to create a localized twitter, or I want to do take public social graphs and do something with it.
web2.0 was about standardizing transport level protocols, web3 is(imo) about standardizing application level protocols using commitment guarantees.
When I use some web2 service, there is almost no commitment guarantees(you can get censored, your data might be access gated or deleted, banks can stop you from doing certain transactions).
Crypto and web3 is about fixing these issues. If Bitcoin promises to work in a certain way today, it will more likely than not work in the same way 10 years from now.
Twitter is accessible except "this nitter instance has been rate limited", and don't forget instagram...
The definition of web 3.0 changes depending on who I am talking to and how deep into crypto they are.
> semantic web
That's Web 2.0, it exists just fine now and hasn't gone away like the original poster claimed.
> Twitter is accessible
Okay, glad we agree on reality.
> "this nitter instance has been rate limited"
If you think there won't be rate limiting in whatever "web 3.0" distributed service is out there, I have a bridge to sell you.
> and don't forget instagram
Multiple "web 3.0" services that exist today have their content gatekeeped to those who have accounts.
"Okay, glad we agree on reality."
In the same way torrents are not rate limited.
As far as I understand Web3 is mostly presented with descentralisation in mind.
> We badly need commonly accepted standards and decentralized protocols
In my opinion "standard" and "descentralization" does not work good to support the same argument.
Here is one among many possible ways the future might unfold: a totally descentralized internet might be completely controller by few corporations. The reason is simple in my opinion: The normal user does not care about this. The normal user cares to talk with their family and their family are all using the web3-chat from BigOrg. Because BigOrg can give it for free and it works on all devices. Now as everything is descentralized BigOrg is also pushing a new browser. But this browser is showing only content from BigOrg through BigOrg descentralized servers. They have their own Web3-Smart-Blockchain-Ready-NoNSdeletion-DNS that is used only by their own browser that displays only websites that are registered there.
Now try to switch that normal user to another provider. That will be hard thing to do.
I think users will be _more_ captive than they are now as switching between descentralized services is hard. No business yet has an incentive to make a descentralized service and in the same time use a standard.
Of course I am missing maybe some web3 tech and I am in no way an expert in what web3 is or it will be.
Check out Homescreen: https://homescreen.hns.siasky.net/
It's a decentralized front-end in a decentralized cloud for Web3.0 apps.
Pretty much every app we use, system integration, anything really that has to communicate with third-parties, is driven by web APIs. If you think that they are barely usable, then I don't know what usable means to you.
Maybe , but there's a bunch of protocols today that make everything work quite nicely:
* authorization/delegation between third-parties: OAuth
* identity: OpenID Connect
* data exchange format: JSON and many other media-types like XML, protobuffers, messagepack etc.
* presentation layer format: HTML5
* data schemas: JSON-Schema, GraphQL, RDF...
Integrating decentralization stacks with these technologies is totally possible, and that's what, e.g. Solid is trying to do: https://solidproject.org/developers/tools/
The desire to "start from scratch" and invent new protocols for "web3" is understandable, as the OP mentions in the blog post... but that's highly unlikely to be the best way to go about it, and inventing new technologies and throwing away all of the experience we've gained over the first few decades of Internet history is bound to fail everytime, IMHO.
> Imagine if you had to write a special browser every time you need to connect to a new website. But this is what already happens with APIs.
Well, browsers only work because they are user agents. If your API required an user agent, it would not need a special client: just assume a user-agent is on the other side and it will work exactly was with any website. However, people seem to think it's possible to automate any API like that: that's patently false. Have you tried to use REST as it's actually meant to, with hypermedia-driven discovery, zero-knowledge clients which only need to be pointed at an URL and nothing else, to implement your common backend-to-backend interactions? Do you think it's even possible to do it?
I am currently working on something on those lines, but when you think a little bit about that, you quickly realize clients need to be written specifically to know what to do with the data they are given in a pretty hard-coded way. Until we have "intelligen" clients that can think like a human , only user-agents can benefit from hypermedia-driven flows, which explains why only browsers (and a few special-purpose user applications that are analogous to web browsers, but for very specific domains) are designed on those lines to this day.
That, and utilizing wallets as proof of identity, is so mindnumbingly simple compared to OAuth+OIDC for authentication and varying strategies for authorization. Granted the project is a small scale project, but with web3 architectural changes, it is empowering me to create a 2 person project (I am the only engineer too), that would be much more daunting of a project in traditional web architecture.
It's very exciting stuff, and I hope that people are able to see the tech for the possibilities it provides, especially when it comes to the NFT space. An NFT is just simply a single issue token, it can do whatever the developer wants, despite the common misperception being it is solely a link to a static image file on arweave / IPFS. Unfortunately the market is completely saturated with low-effort projects so it is very, very difficult to get eyes on innovative projects, but I hope that can change, and hope that I can create a project that allows even a small amount of people to see that there is so much more to the technology than what people have considered in 2021.
It's so fascinating to me to realize that users being owners of their own private keys allows for us to create websites that don't rely on traditional registration flows, SSO, email addresses, password handling, or anything. It almost feels like cheating compared to the pain I've had to deal with in the corporate world implementing services like IdentityServer4 or Keycloak.
Have you also looked into Zero Knowledge?
It lets someone prove that they know or have something without giving up any information about what they know or have.
Not Boring did a good piece on it. https://www.notboring.co/p/zero-knowledge
Adding to OP's comment a bit of context:
As someone deep into ZKPs related to blockchain I should note that ZKPs have nothing to do with blockchain in their origin; the cryptography behind them was developed in the 80s (even protocols like zkSNARKs). Many applications are also not specific to blockchain and a lot of work on their mathematics does not relate directly to blockchain either
That said, a decent chunk is now directly for applications in that field. For instance, key decisions around the cryptography used by Circom (a zkSNARK language) are predicated on the idea they will be used in EVM smart contracts. Same is true of snarkjs that exports Solidity verifiers.
Had to work on an old project for a client that was using oauth2 and it felt so archaic.
For the authentication side:
authentication, is simply connecting your wallet. Since each user has to have a wallet to interact with blockchain tech, that just simply means each user is the owner of their own private key. You can utilize this fact by connecting user's wallets. Once a user connects their wallet, you have proof of identity. If you need to verify it further, you can also have them sign a message and validate the signature on your backend.
I've been working with Solana, and some of the wallet providers I've been integrating with (specifically Phantom wallet) have very easy to use APIs that allow for requests to sign a message. It uses Ed25519 for signing, so it is an incredibly quick operation to verify that the signed message is a legitimate message signed by the wallet they claim to be. You can even add something like a timestamp or whatever to the message, to avoid static message signatures phished from other sites.
Once you have verified their identity by connecting their wallet, you can simply use these facts to retrieve whatever data they require.
On the authorization side:
I can really only use the example for my NFT project for authorization, but there are certainly many other ways to implement authorization. I have a service that I've created that I wanted to lock down to only be accessible to owners of a specific NFT. Since NFTs are essentially a proof of ownership concept natively, to provide access to my service I decided to implement the following:
1. Authenticate the user via connecting their wallet
2. Using the same signature method I mentioned above, sign a message, and verify the signature.
3. Once I have verified the user is who they claim to be, I check the token balance for the NFT that exists in their token account. Since NFTs are single issue, all I need to do is verify the user is holding the token they are attempting to use for accessing this service.
For example, if a user X is attempting to access the service for token Y, it's as simple as:
1. Verify the user is who they say they are
2. Verify the user holds the token they claim to be holding.
This is how I've been implementing authentication and authorization on my project. I think it's been really fun to architect this solution, we haven't gone live yet but I think that it'll work how I am expecting.
Solana works completely, and entirely different than ethereum. Like almost nothing works the same lol. In Solana, on-chain programs cannot store tokens in the same way that smart contracts can in Ethereum. Instead, you create essentially temporary wallets (these are wallets with public keys that fall outside of the Ed25519 curve), which act as temporary storage for whatever transaction you are performing. This is an important difference that is very unintuitive when coming from Ethereum.
Likewise, Solana has a solution for limiting amounts of computation in a single transaction. Having an upper bound on the amount of computational complexity that can occur in a single transaction I believe is a really smart limit to have, as it forces developers to be very aware of the computational complexity of their code. Ethereum of course is the same in the sense that it strongly encourages optimized code, however, poorly optimized code punishes the end user by charging higher gas fees. With the cap on Solana, if you attempt to execute a transaction that is beyond this threshold, it fails the transaction and returns any assets to the respective parties. Of course, if you are doing something that exceeds this threshold computationally, then you can make multiple transactions (check the Solana wormhole bridge for a very valid example of this.)
Ethereum is also a more mature development ecosystem at the moment. There are tons of different tooling and projects available that really allow you to build applications in a truly innovative fashion. My personal favorite project on Ethereum is The Graph - which allows for you to index any data/events that are executed on a smart contract, and then access that indexed data via GraphQL APIs. It's incredibly powerful, and with some creativity will allow for you to write decentralized applications using this as your decentralized database. It's quite a fascinating project.
However, I cannot recommend currently developing on Ethereum directly. It is experiencing terrible scalability issues (I am aware that they are working on different techniques and proposals to address this, however right now to use Ethereum directly is financially impractical). Simple transactions as of today often will cost $100 or more, and take ~30seconds to a minute to transact. Solana on the other hand is designed in a way that transaction costs should never exceed 1 cent (IIRC). They currently cost a fraction of a cent, and execute in seconds.
There are of course different layers that you can work with in the Ethereum ecosystem, and if you are interested in working in the space, I strongly recommend checking out other Layer 2 EVM solutions. There are a lot of different layer 2 chains that let you leverage Solidity and most of the Ethereum tooling while avoiding the absolutely insane transaction costs.
At the end of the day though, if you are interested in a project in the space, I recommend checking out the different chains strengths and weaknesses, play around with a few different ideas, maybe enter some hackathons to get some hands on experience. Each chain has their strengths and weaknesses. For my current project I chose Solana because I believe it has the best scalability solution for all programmable chains today, and I can release a unique project on there, charge a low price for minting our tokens, and not worry about users being unable to afford the mint due to transaction costs. If I wanted to create a more complex dapp, I'd likely use an EVM chain, so I can leverage The Graph and truly decentralize every aspect of my app.
If you don't mind answering two more questions:
- Why did you choose Solana instead of Polygon/Avalanche/Fantom/Harmony or any of the other EVM compatible chains? I realize you mentioned Eth's scalability issues as a barrier, but I believe Fantom, Polygon, Harmony are roughly the same as Solana in speed/cost. (Fantom is more expensive than harmony, but a bit faster. Harmony transactions cost pennies but take 3-4 seconds to resolve, and Polygon is usually a fraction of a penny, but seems to take 4-6 seconds for finality)
- Can smart contracts written in Solidity really be ported over to Solana using some tool I've heard mention of? Or is that really just more of a quickstart helper? From what you described it sounds like a lot of the contract logic would have to change
For as to why Solana - it's a combination of me being very impressed by their tech as a user, engineering curiousity, and market research as to why I decided to use it for my project. I think that despite Solana having exponential growth this year, that it's likely we are still early in that specific ecosystem. I have no doubt that they are in it for the long run, and there are already some pretty impressive projects in the ecosystem and a lot more upcoming.
This is my first real independent venture since leaving the corporate world, so my personal belief from evaluating the ecosystems is that I'll put my bets on Solana. I want to both charge a low mint cost, and if I'm successful in building a small community and raising enough capitol to prevent me from having to go back and get a traditional job next year, support a longer term gaming project, and a lot of upcoming gaming projects seem to be converging on the chain. So, it's pretty much that. I don't have the same faith that these ETH L2 solutions will be heavily used 5 years from now that I do with Solana, and honestly the NFT market has been exploding lately there. Nothing's certain of course in this space, so I had to put my chips in some bag.
I also had some very poor experiences in both ETH, as well as Polygon, and wanted to just try something different. Polygon is very cheap and works well when it works, however it seems to be suffering from congestion issues on the validator nodes. I had a transaction stuck in essentially a traffic jam unable to do anything other than wait a half hour for it to clear, and did a little bit of investigation in social channels and saw I wasn't the only one that was having periodic issues with the chain. For other chains, I have only had positive experiences with AVAX, so there is that.
And yeah, there is the ability to use Solidity contracts to Solana apparently. I've never used this tool, but heard about it the other week and seems like it will be a pretty cool project to follow - https://neon-labs.org/ - They seem to be an EVM for Solana, they were I believe unveiled at the recent Solana conference. I've not looked into them more beyond this, but yeah they might be a good project to look into if you are interested in porting some Solidity contracts to Solana.
Authorizing the service itself to act on the users behalf is a little trickier and usually involves contract signing.
I'm hoping that my project will be able to be featured on one of these marketplaces, but it's been rough out there. I think once I finish up and polish our roadmap and goals for the project, in addition to the already existing website and short video preview, we'll be able to get in on one of those. Fingers crossed, at least :)
Now it seems it is something vaguely related to blockchain. At the moment blockchain is directly tied to crypto currency, which to almost everybody looks like a giant Ponzi scheme.
Until the concept of blockchain is completely divorced from crypto currencies they can name this nonsence whatever they want. It won't stick. Nobody cares except for the few people already making money off this.
DAOs, NFTs, tokens, decentralized file storage, decentralized identity via public keys and smart contracts, tokens as authentication, on-chain reputation systems, oracles, fundraising with no third parties or gatekeepers, etc are all here to stay and will evolve further and faster than your bias will let you see.
If you have an alternative to the monopolistic web and mobile dystopia we find ourselves in, wherein we can only speak within the narrow band of corporately acceptable speech and expression, and we can only transact with the blessings of PayPal's overlords, that doesn't involve crypto or blockchain, I suggest you quit your job to build it.
Otherwise, I fear you might be too late at disrupting the establishment, as the builders are well under way, working on Web3 powered by crypto (in both senses of the word).
Your giant list of of terminology isn't making much of an impact on me. In fact many of those sounds terrible.
So giving your post the benefit of the doubt, when can I expect to be disrupted out of a job by even a single item on your list?
We now have a better, faster, cheaper (by orders of magnitude) way to move not goods but value through a network.
Obviously neither of us know how long it'll take for the legacy systems to completely die off, but they will. So I'll simplify the bet to: when, not if. Still game?
Companies can run their own private execution and data availability layer and have full control while not needing to worry about settlement.
No. You don't. because you also have to verify that the person who is selling tickets actually has the right to do so.
An NFT can store on-chain metadata. A simple boolean flag would let you mark it as resellable or not. In minting the tickets you can create a validator that checks authenticity but you can check these things yourself: that it originates from the organization for example. The metadata is immutable so if it's come from the organization it's authentic. Because NFTs are tokens are money you can transfer USDC for BackstreetBoysGig#Ticket1021 where O2ArenaTicketVerifier authenticates the ticket as part of the transaction only confirming it if the ticket is resellable and authentic.
How does a company know their tickets have been resold, if they don't want that to happen? Well you look at the tx history of the NFT - if it's been traded > 1 time it's been resold.
Compare these potential benefits with the existing ticket industry (including resale sites) and you see several benefits. You can remove intermediary companies meaning people pay less in fees and you can avoid ticket fraud. Is this an issue? Yes: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/feb/24/touts-who-made...
You, yourself, you: who is this "you". How do you verify that a particular resellable ticket actually comes from an org authorized to sell tickets? Who's to stop me from selling counterfeit tickets?
> where O2ArenaTicketVerifier authenticates the ticket as part of the transaction
So. In the end the org itself verifies it. You know that they can easily do it now, without the overhead of blockchain?
> How does a company know their tickets have been resold, if they don't want that to happen? Well you look at the tx history of the NFT - if it's been traded > 1 time it's been resold.
Because people will always put all their transactions for resold tickets on the blockchain, right
> Compare these potential benefits
You haven't listed "potential benefits" except maybe tracking reselling of tickets.
> You, yourself, you: who is this "you". How do you verify that a particular resellable ticket actually comes from an org authorized to sell tickets? Who's to stop me from selling counterfeit tickets?
The organisation selling the tickets can create the verifier.
> So. In the end the org itself verifies it. You know that they can easily do it now, without the overhead of blockchain?
Yep absolutely! But it's very hard for someone who's buying the ticket from a third-party to verify the ticket.
> Because people will always put all their transactions for resold tickets on the blockchain, right
The NFT is the ticket. To transfer it is a transaction. If you were to resell the ticket offline and give someone your private key to access the ticket then fair enough but all you need to do here is have a hash of the buyers name as metadata and that resolves that.
Edit: If this isn't a problem, how would you buy a ticket from me to a gig with the information purely available to you about me right now? What would be the process? With a blockchain I could share a link to a transaction where you'd see a ticket is available for $10 USDC, you could put that ticket into the gigs site to verify it or look at the ticket origin and see it's from the organisers account, and send me the 10USDC immediately receiving a valid ticket into your wallet. If you're worried it's not allowed to be resold you can check the policy metadata embedded into the ticket saying "Resales are allowed".
This is pure demagoguery.
> There's a well-known issue of third-party ticket sales and this method allows you to have digital proof that a ticket is authentic
You still haven't said how exactly we know the ticket is authentic: who verifies it's issued by the authorized org (not to mention resellers), who verifies it's authentic when the person shows up with it etc.
> The organisation selling the tickets can create the verifier.
The already do that, without blockchain.
For all the talk of "you don't understand technology" and "there are benefits", you come back to something that already exists and is already implemented: a central organization issues tickets and verifies them.
What exactly does blockchain bring into the picture?
> But it's very hard for someone who's buying the ticket from a third-party to verify the ticket.
How would they verify it form a "first party"? Who's to say who is "first party" and who's not? And that's before we get to the question of authorized resellers, people buying tickets for friends etc.
> If you're worried it's not allowed to be resold you can check the policy metadata embedded into the ticket saying "Resales are allowed".
Once again, there's some unknown "you" who somehow magically verifies some data.
The company creating the tickets will say if it’s resellable etc, these are purely properties of an object.
Verifiers may well exist but how do you know someone hasn’t sold a ticket to two people? How do you know the ticket you receive is the one you see?
Also there may be some language context issues here. With NFT tickets I’m saying it’s possible to essentially use an API provided by an organization to verify a ticket. You can trust O2 Arena will know if a ticket to their own venue is authentic or not. They could provide an API that takes a ticket and returns a Boolean. A monetary transaction can be written that will only complete if the O2 Arena API confirms the ticket being traded is an authentic resellable ticket, otherwise it’d fail. That’s the thing here - we’re talking about programmable money and digital items can be seen as extensions of money with NFTs.
Another example - resellable digital games. You could have a game license that is resellable - any user account can play any game that they own the license for, and NFTs allow you to model this (it allows for trusted trading, it avoids double spend issues, with here cannot not be one instance of an NFT on a chain, etc…)
So, passport checks, covid certificate checks, ticket checks. The ticket is non-resellable, non-refundable, non-transferrable to another person.
Guess how many of those steps required a blockchain. Also guess how many of those steps simply worked, and didn't need a blockchain.
Edit: Also worth noting: I bought the ticket through what is essentially a reseller (an aggregator site), and I could verify the ticket's authenticity with the organizer (the air company). Guess how many of these steps needed a blockchain to work.
See, the problem with all you're describing (and the problem with any attempt to apply blockchains to anything) is that:
- it barely manages to cover the simplest of cases that already exist without any blockchain
- it makes a great many other cases needlessly complicated and complex
- for anything beyond the simplest cases (and often for the simplest case itself) it reverts back to approaches that already exist without a blockchain. And if those approaches don't exist, no idea why they would suddenly appear if you throw blockchain into the mix
So, back to your ticketing examples.
# The absolute simplest case: The organiser sells the ticket to a person.
1. Organisers generally don't care whether the person holding the ticket is the person who bought the ticket
You show up with a QR code, the QR code passes, you're through. That's it. For the rather rare cases where a person's authenticity needs to be verified, checking a person's id is more than sufficient.
In the case of blockchain, what is the exact process at the point of entry to the venue to both check that the ticket is valid and that the person is the one who bought it? The moment you say "yeah, the organiser will provide some external validator to check something", you lost: it can be done and is being done already, and you don't need blockchain for this.
2. To verify ticket authenticity the organiser or the ticket "it's possible to use an API", "O2 Arena could provide an API" etc.
"Possible", "could". They could do that already. Do they provide that API now? If not, why? And if not, why will they suddenly decide to provide the API when the tickets are on the blockchain?
So, blockchain brings literally nothing into this: to verify that a ticket is authentic you still have to rely on some third party external to the blockchain to provide some means of verification entirely external to the blockchain. Why do you need blockchain in this case? You can verify a QR code just as easily, and yet O2 Arena doesn't provide an API to do that, go figure.
3. They could provide an API that takes a ticket and returns a Boolean. A monetary transaction can be written that will only complete if the O2 Arena API confirms the ticket being traded is an authentic resellable ticket
So, a party external to the blockchain has to provide an API external to the blockchain that relies on non-standard object metadata recognisable only by that API external to the blockchain to ... write some transaction onto blockchain.
Why is blockchain needed at all in this case? To "make sure that if an object is marked as non-resellable we have a transaction log"? Well, maybe there's value in that, but it relies exclusively on non-existent APIs outside the blockchain that will maybe possibly perhaps appear.
And this "it's non-resellable, so no transactions can be written beyond the original one" preclude or make harder other very simple but very common cases:
# Other very simple but very common cases that are not taken into consideration because crypto-proponents have no idea how the real world works
- tickets are bought as gifts
- tickets are just given away because the person who bought them can't go
- tickets are bought in bulk for a group of people (so as gifts or given away)
- tickets are offered in bulk to orgs or bought in bulk by orgs to distribute between members of the org (corporate events, fan clubs etc.)
- tickets are re-sold by a chain of authorised resellers (chain being the key word here: a shop selling tickets in lower Manhattan could be on step 5 of the reseller ladder)
In the absolute vast majority of cases these cases are immediate and painless now. You buy a ticket and you hand it to another person.
In case of blockchain? Oh. "It's not resellable by the object metadata, so it will be invalid at the point of entry"? Or will you add more and more fields to the object metadata such as "gift, non-monetary transfer, corporate, reseller max steps 3" etc.? All of those fields non-standard, and relying on some external party to come up with an API that successfully deals with all these situations?
Why? And what exactly does it give anyone involved: both the organisers and the people who go to an event?
And, more importantly: how does it improve the current existing situation? Not in the simplest case that you came up with, but in all cases?
> Another example
No. Let's figure out one example first
See my response here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29277622
This... This can already be done and is already being done now, without any blockchains. There's literally nothing difficult in doing this.
99% scam. The remaining 1% is either more efficient and scalable in literally any other tech, or are busy re-inventing all the centralised institutions that come from, you know, the need to operate in reality.
> Otherwise, I fear you might be too late at disrupting the establishment
By saying "too late at disrupting the establishment" you're implying that the establishment is already disrupted. It's objectively not.
However I still have yet to be convinced of any real value or need of an NFT. For example let say I am the owner of a famous “Tweet”. This NFT shows exactly what … a unique token saying it’s mine ? A token with no legal recourse to stop others from using what I purchased? If you think about it from an opposing viewpoint in many ways you really own nothing except what people believe you own … which in this case is a small minority of people. A very small subset of people will currently even recognize what an NFT is and an even smaller subset will acknowledge and believe I own anything … reducing its value. Further the information and value of the “Tweet” (or digital art, or whatever) is not contained in the NFT at all.
Let’s say I buy the NFT to some cool digital artwork. Nothing is stopping anyone else from using this artwork… I have no legal recourse to say “heh I own this”. Only a small subset of people will recognize this as any form od ownership at all.
Sorry from my point of view NFT’s seem like a get rich quick fad… maybe am just a grumpy old dude at this point but honestly just don’t much real lasting value here.
Don't paper over history.
The Semantic Web was the first that dreamed of distributed, decentralized taxonomies of data shared p2p. Facebook and Google sidelined it.
I do. I am working on it as a side project. It isn’t blockchain or IPFS.
That is the best explanation of Web3, it is like one of those Reddit April's folks events, just a social game.
I think it captures a lot of the current culture with crypto and NFTs. A lot of it reminds me of when reality TV began. Suddenly we had a new class of celebrities who weren't singers or actors. Reality TV stars, famous people whose claim to fame was being famous.
Circular logic. Positive fedback loops. You should "invest" in this NFT collection because look at how many other people are buying this NFT collection.
Web3 is more than speculative NFTs and I expect we'll see some important things come out of it, just with a lot of surprises and broken expectations along the way.
It’s been almost 15 years, you’re getting left behind.
However I don't want a Web3 built around "pay-to-play" which rejects the idea that anyone can read, write, and publish without paying for the privilege. The web I want is closer to Gemini (a simple transfer protocol and a hypertext format built around user-chosen presentation), instead of HTML's complex element hierarchies often unreadable without CSS's author-dictated formatting, JS's drive-by code execution by design, or Ethereum's rejection of permissionless access.
- Residential Internet connections are asymmetrical. That's a problem and renders many clients as leeches.
- It is unreliable for long tail files. If a file is never read, it will never be replicated and will eventually disappear.
- Once the universities started cracking down on BitTorrent usage, it was game over. Dorms were practically the CDNs of the torrent world.
It's also way more efficient to use CDNs. I doubt the internet has the bandwidth for a decentralized Youtube.
Imagine (granted, a ideal world and maybe not actually possible) a world where every routes and computer is a node that both serves and receives data. Suddenly, your ISP can start to aggressively serve traffic from their edge-nodes. If a video goes viral, your local network can fetch it directly from your neighbors network instead of reaching out to the internet to fetch it. We'll be reducing the traffic massively.
But yes, it's a ideal world and probably not possible to execute in reality as the market forces behind paying for bandwidth is so strong.
My understanding is that Hypercore is the successor to dat and also operates along similar lines, but I'll admit that the details are over my head. https://hypercore-protocol.org/
Beaker Browser originally built on top of dat, underwent a significant rewrite and now uses Hypercore instead. https://beakerbrowser.com/
If it works how I think it works, then I can pay a one time fee to host my application, migrate the few APIs that my next.js app is using to be purely onchain Solana programs, then figure out some DNS solution to point it to the right place, and then I don't have to pay monthly hosting, and users can be sure that the value my app provides won't be taken down because I decided to no longer pay for hosting.
It's all theory at least for me right now, but I think it is possible.
I'm not talking about filling it up with useless or silly content though, running a Chia node will cause a hard drive to fail after a very short time. This isn't due to any legitimate usage for storing content, it results from how they implement proof of space. It's been a while since I read about this in-depth, but basically it amounts to having the nodes fill the drive with junk data and then prove they're participating by regurgitating some section of that data on request. Then on successive blocks, it gets rewritten with new data.
The irony is, I believe this was intended to address the environmental concerns of proof of work mining, and perhaps it does. But turning hard drives which require resources to create, into landfill, isn't really environmentally friendly either.
edit: To clarify, I'm not judging people using or participating in the Chia network (many participants apparently didn't even know it would destroy their hard drives). I am judging Chia's consensus mechanism for being wasteful however.
"Plotting" is the act of filling the hard drive with the random data. It only needs to be done once, after which the data can be used to "farm" indefinitely.
Farming is very low on energy requirements and doesn't damage the drives.
Plotting can be accelerated by doing it on a fast SSD, and transferring the plot data on large capacity HDDs for farming. This saves time at the cost of writing a lot of data on the dedicated plotting SSD, which trashes consumer grades SSDs if done continuously.
Plotting can also be done on the HDDs themselves. It's slower but won't noticeably reduce the HDD's lifespan.
When Chia was launched, there was a lot of speculation and farmers were competing to be first to finish as many plots as possible, so most were plotting on SSDs, and many on consumer SSDs. That's were the "Chia destroys hard drives" myth came from.
Can we add group #3, people who are profoundly uninterested in this version of Web3 even despite all the money in it?
I was a fan of decentralisation when it stood for federated software and the idea that the web should generally be the same for hobbyists and professionals.
I really can't see a desirable vision of the future with a web based on artificial scarcity, intentional resource waste and anarchocapitalism.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., are hugely centralized platforms because they successfully attracted hundreds of millions—in Facebook's case, billions—of users. Users are incentivized to be on those platforms because they like what those platforms offer. The internet has massive centralized platforms because users like those platforms.
A cryptonetwork-based challenger to Facebook isn't going to win by just adding tokens; any challenger, regardless of technology, needs to be a better Facebook than Facebook is, and it needs to be a lot better. But that's also the Catch-22 here: if our hypothetical "CryptoFacebook" finds a way to succeed economically, there's nothing intrinsic to the cryptonetwork that keeps CryptoFacebook from being a huge centralized platform. Big companies can use tokens, too!
In fact, I actually think the linked article casts some doubt on whether Dixon really understands "decentralization," as he compares Encarto to Wikipedia and sees Wikipedia as a decentralization success story. It's a "cathedral vs. bazaar" success story, to be sure, but Wikipedia is not a decentralized platform! It's a big monolithic system that one organization has massive control over. At the end of the day, the Wikimedia Foundation gets to set the rules for what happens at the wikipedia.org domain. If the community doesn't like it, they can try and fork it and create a replacement, sure. But that's a huge challenge—and it's also not really relevant to decentralization. It's more like LibreOffice supplanting OpenOffice as "premiere open source alternative to Microsoft Office"; the "center" moved from one project to the other.
So, TL;DR: I appreciate the link, and it's a good read. But it just doesn't make a convincing case that "build it on the blockchain" improves on what we have in material ways.
What made the early web great was all the weird stuff people did for fun and self-expression and what made it worse was when lots and lots of money got involved.
I don't see how getting more monetization involved would make anything better.
I wonder about this, because an awful lot of post-2008ish technology simply seems to be "like before, but different enough that we think we can be the first movers of the Next Big Thing, and therefore make a killing."
When you really get down to it, a lot of the popular technology isn't all that different from IRC, Usenet, etc., just app-ified and Web-ified (and emoji-ified, of course). I'm not sure moving to a "Web3" paradigm is going to be all that different, just with a new set of Very Important People driving it.
I have no doubt the future successful decentralized networks will use or evolve from cryptocurrencies, but not being inspired by the current crypto landscape is completely understandable. The Ponzis drown everything out these days, they cloud the judgment of too many, making the public discourse around this field unpalatable. In percentage terms, almost nobody in crypto today care about what they're actually building or what for. It's all about raising money, or pushing a Ponzi in which they are invested.
Doesn't matter if it's PoW, PoS, PoWhatever - fundamentally, crypto is about ensuring that there is a certain group of participants (miners) that can alter the shared state, while everyone who does not belong to this group cannot.
Furthermore, the group must become ever more entrenched over time because security relies on the fact that getting into this group is hard - so supposedly, those who are in the group have no interest in acting harmfully to the network. (Which is a big assumption by itself, btw)
I find it a bit weird that blockchain tech has pretty much captured the term "decentralisation" for itself, as it has some fundamental drive to centralisation built into its core.
Yes, it's decentralised in the sense that in theory everyone can become a miner. Except this is not true: If everyone could become a miner, so could adversaries and the append-only property would be gone.
This and the specific assumptions how a monetary system and an economy should work, which are also deeply baked into the tech.
When a miner finds a block, they can put transactions in it and submit it to the other miners, in order to acquire the transaction fees and the block reward for themselves.
These transactions are signed, miners can't impersonate participants. They are also incentivized to include actual transactions instead of their own thanks to the miner fee. If they try to censor a transaction, the next miner to find a block could include the transaction in the chain anyway, so they have little incentive to withhold transactions for non-economical reasons.
They can't rewrite the history, they can only push one block on top of it.
If I understand you correctly, the "centralization" you're talking about is the whole point of a consensus protocol: to get 'decentralized' participants to agree on a single 'centralized' state.
You've got my vote on that one.
web3 isn't all tokens and NFTs. There's a huge distributed computing piece.
The increased investment is being used to build important infra.
I want to like IPFS but it has a lot of serious problems. It's got the same inherent problem as BitTorrent in that availability of content follows a power law distribution of popularity. Popular content is readily available but best of luck accessing anything that's not popular. It's link rot taken to the extreme.
It also has the very real limitation of the wildly asymmetric nature of consumer Internet connections. Not only do most connections have a fraction of their downstream bandwidth as upstream bandwidth but ISPs also regularly block ports and event packet types. On mobile the situation is even worse as CGNAT largely prevents devices from hosting content without reflecting off some third party.
These issues just makes the availability problems of distributed storage worse. They're also on top of other practical things like actual host availability (being powered on), how much storage is reliably available on the network, and actually recouping real costs for running nodes.
It most certainly does. But there are other options if you want decentralized storage, like SkyNet: https://siasky.net
Unfortunately the foul smell seems to be coming from the direction of ethereum.. like the devs have an incentive to keep e.g. discoverability crippled so that ethereum is less useless. shrug
In other words, the prerequisite is that you already believe web3 is a real technology and not just bs.
Really, why are developers wasting their time? Plenty of real “decentralised web” technologies and opportunities are begging for your acquaintance!
With that said the crypto folks have had some legitimate heavy hitters quietly building another generation of the technology and it’s just now starting to go live. Take a look at the Haskell / distributed systems bench at IO-HK: Standard Chartered would love to employ that group of people. And while it’s still a little early, Substrate is powering Kusama-bonded chains on delegated PoS + finality gadget in the wild, today. The Parity people are also not screwing around.
It will be at a minimum interesting to see how mature technology alters the fundamental “crypto” equation.
P.S. If you want to point web3.is at a modern chain, Moonriver seems like your best bet right now, but it’s early days.
Yes it does, look at rollups.
What possible motivation could I have for shilling a coin?
You're better than this, and HN is too.
And to your point, centralized services do have better performance.
I'm not trying to be a downer- I think centralization can be incredibly valuable for building trusted systems. But they are not to be confused with trustless networks like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Chia.
Ethereum in 2016 had the famous attack where 12 million ETH were stolen, and a rather centralized foundation was able to perform a hard fork to undo the transaction and recover the funds. This of course led to the split of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
Nowadays, I believe that such a fork would be nearly impossible for Ethereum to pull off, due to the decentralization of the hash rate and the differences in the power the Ethereum Foundation has on the chain, due to the maturity of the chain. Whether or not that is a good thing that it could not roll back such a transaction is almost a philosophical question lol.
In my mind, Solana is in a somewhat similar state to how early ETH was in terms of centralized power and control of the chain. It would not surprise me that as time marches on, Solana naturally decentralizes. It's not guaranteed by any means of course, but that is what I am expecting.
And to be quite honest, for most applications, I would rather have a degree of centralization than pay > $100 for gas fees. I am aware of the existence of Layer 2 solutions, but I'm not too sure that by making a somewhat complicated layering solution to solve scalability concerns on the network that it can achieve mass long-term adoption.
We'll see of course, just wanted to share my opinion on this.
the base layers always get expensive because of demand for block space. but zkrollups get cheaper as more people use them and the share of the writing to the L1 is split between more parties.
solana has the exact same scaling strategy as eth, L2 rollups. but its harder for people to run on their own hardware for the L1. maybe thats something people care about, maybe not. time will tell.
The point is that the data about the assets should outlast the interest of the current owner. It should outlast the physical assets themselves.
Hard to get another architecture which can manage data beyond the lifetime of any given market actor.
The application is B2B trading of assets between dealers, so they don't have to mess around with devaulting every time the assets change ownership, introducing risk of fraud every time.
There is also a lot of insurance involved, to answer your probably next question: if the vault loses something or an employee accidentally drives a forklift over it, the NFT holder gets paid.
It works. Pilots right now, but it works.
Why? What does this accomplish?
One of them is half a million years old, but still made by human(ish) hands.
Preserving the data for future generations is part of the job.
It's a fixable problem.
To me it was just yesterday that the idea of that curated list of web links called Yahoo seemed neat, ebay is some social experiment from across the bay, and then this ugly looking Google kid comes in and blows everyone away with actual relevant search results. Or those SMS messages from that SMS service Twitter or finding old friends on friendster... I can't recall any recent high impact "new thing" except maybe crypto.
Uber is literally life-changing. Remember needing to call people and ask them for a ride when something unexpected happened?
> I cannot begin to understand what it's like for a 20 year old to have been born in a world where Google is already established, Social networks are mainstream, and Amazon is our all encompassing commerce overlords.
20-year-olds have had life-changing technology adopted around them multiple times. It's just not on your radar because you weren't 10 years old in 2011.
Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite are examples. As people are saying: the metaverse already exists to some extent, and young people have been living in it daily since they were small children.
I might be only 26 years old, but even I have memories of my parents easily flagging down taxis in Manhattan. More convenient? Absolutely. "Literally life changing" seems a bit much, though.
In New Orleans, when you wanted to get a ride home from a bar, you'd need to try calling taxi services for 30+ minutes, because most of them didn't answer, or their lines were busy. If you got in contact with one, you'd need to wait 30+ minutes for them to show up, if they ever did.
In San Francisco, when the bars would let out, none of the services answered their phones. You'd have to stand outside and try to flag one down, and most of the time they'd roll their window down and ask where you're going, and decide whether or not they want to take you. You could easily spend an hour outside waiting for a taxi.
Where I live, the only form of non-personal (your own car or bike) transport was the bus, which comes by 5 times a day, only once on saturdays, and never on sundays. Uber and its local equivalents have allowed me to participate in social events that the long and restrictive bus rides would not allow, and which taxis would be too much of a luxury.
I think that for me it is fair to say it was life-changing. Maybe not as life-changing as other things, but if it wasn't for this kind of service, I wouldn't have some of my best friends.
As someone from Manhattan, you live(d) one of the most unusual existences in human history.
And maybe you have lived places where this wouldn't mean anything to you, but you couldn't do this in most of the US before Uber.
Even in some well-known cities, your chances of getting a cab in < 30 min (if you could get one at all) were close to zero. There wasn't a single number to call -- you had to call many numbers and hope someone actually showed up. You couldn't track progress.
Where I grew up, my parents couldn't even get to the airport without asking a relative (and this is the biggest city in our home state).
A functioning, 24/7, predictable taxi system was absolutely not available in most of the US before Uber.
I find this quite surprising. I've lived in 3 countries (including the US but limited to San Francisco) and calling a cab was always a reliable thing. I know my scope of experience is still limited, but Uber being the silver bullet of taxies seems to me like an overstatement. They are great, I like them, but to me they are just a better version of something else, most times. At least that statement explains more their level of success.
I can still remember pretty well my life before I was always connected. My earlier life was quieter, calmer. I have fun memories of my old Nokia 5800 :)
I am not sure I live modern technology that much different than older people. Just like many people grew up with home appliances or cars being the norm.
I think the underlying direction is the right way, I just really dislike how it moves more towards more capital and commerce focused than social good.