Building Blocks: How Web3 Goes Beyond Blockchain

// February 05, 2024

Generational wealth creation, new money systems, a radical overhaul of our tired bureaucracies. A revolution, a renaissance - a reckoning. The third stage of the internet - Web3 - is many things to many people. 

Nakamoto’s death note, written aghast as response to a UK chancellor’s quantitative easing (see: the genesis block) has become so, so much more. It’s evolved to techno-savant clarion call over the centralized systems that rule our digital realms, which are not just unacceptable, but unconscionable. To stop the insidious creeping phantoms of control taking over a society that has inexorably surrendered itself to cyberspace, we have so much to break, and so much more to make.

Why True Decentralization Matters

Decentralization is not a marketing buzzword. Although, as we will later see, to many people that’s exactly what it is - and all it is. Decentralization means creating the architecture upon which the sysadmin of our digital daily lives runs without any single entity having fiefdom over it. 

As it stands, you ask Google for permission to have your data back, every time you log in. They can revoke it if they choose. You get AWS to host your website, and hope they will keep letting people visit it. You hope Microsoft doesn’t lose your files. And this is all just at the consumer level. For developers, every SQL database, every server request, every auth - all of them run through corporate clutches. 

This is not to slander these companies. Big Tech, for all their power accumulation, has done wonders to weave the fast-paced digital highways upon which we once surfed. Of course, most modern internet users get force fed news feeds, like pigs fattened for advertising slaughter, addicted to the endless scroll of doom. Big Tech piggybacked off academic and government research, but no one can doubt the work they have done in delivering an internet that is now as usable as it is indispensable. 

Yet, in making it easy to use, they robbed it of the very freedom that made it so special. Walling up these pristine digital gardens and forcing us all to file through the same gates to access them. The problem is, as our data becomes the central currency of our exchange and as our private lives are laid out on the silicon operating table for everyone to see, their dominion becomes a stranglehold we must break. 

How Crypto Awakened a New Consciousness

And with the advent of the blockchain, and through the development of decentralized infrastructure, such as what we at Source Network are feverishly creating, it can be broken. We have seen Bitcoin engender a new narrative of money, and Ethereum a new concept of finance, and we have seen widespread acceptance and understanding that by having protocols, not people, govern systems - then everyone gets to play fair. From these concepts of decentralization, the ideas of trustlessness, permissionless-ness, self-sovereignty and privacy become more vivid in the mind of the mainstream.

Simply put, crypto has blasted a gaping hole in the current understanding of how we run our world. Blockchain has given us the technology to do it differently. And Web3 has grown to encapsulate far more than just money, but everything in between: governance, art, identity, asset markets, physical infrastructure, et al. The principles of collective, trustless authority extended and mapped over every aspect of our techno-sapien lives. 

Why DINOs still Walk the Earth

Well, that would be the desire. That should be how it works. The truth, sadly, is far from it. One blockchain does not a revolution make. If you, dApp developer, are merely hashing the odd transaction on the blockchain, or merely doing representative transactions of off-chain activity that otherwise runs on the same architecture you’ve used since grad school, or are using transactions as auth-keys to centralized databases that exist on centralized servers, then you, dear dApp developer, are not decentralized yet. You are - and we mean this politely - a dinosaur. And for the most part and in most cases, it’s absolutely not your fault. And in some cases - and you know who you are - it is.

Let’s be real: blockchain tech sells. Web3 sells. These are the sexiest words in tech (although one fancies that ‘AI’ is the current poster child). Of course, your product manager blithers at his latest product call, your stack is decentralized. Yes, we do our accounting on-chain, who doesn’t? Nakamoto’s vision is being strangled in the crib by marketing suits who smell a good opportunity when they see it. And who can blame them, people are buying.

At Source Network, though, we believe that a truly open, free, permissionless web - Web 3.0 - needs decentralization, sovereignty, trustlessness, and privacy across the entire product stack. That means databases, that means infrastructure, that means authenticators. It includes file storage, payment processors, and DNS services. Heck, even social media.  

How Source Gives Developers the Tools to Decentralize

Full stack decentralization is the only way to ensure that our internet stays out of the clutches of those who seek to rule it. We may sound like panicky prophets, but once the data-trawling capabilities of AI become total, and their ability to execute tasks online fully realized, you won’t enjoy privacy anymore, and you won’t have any control. If the computer says no, it’ll really mean it. And it’ll be too late to do anything about it. Monopolistic control by corporate AIs will be total, and they will have total control over censorship, your data, and who gets to access what and when.

Let’s circle back to the more optimistic present. Source Network’s burgeoning development community is creating all the tools dApp developers need to decentralize their stack. We know developers out there want to achieve greater decentralization, but don’t have the tools to do it easily, and are stuck in thrall to centralized providers. We have made the tools, from our database DefraDB, our data transformation tool LensVM, our Secrets Management Engine Orbis, and yes, our blockchain, SourceHub, which acts as a trustless glue to our ecosystem. 

We want you to understand just how important your next decisions are, and that we, at Source Network, are here to help dinos go extinct. Let’s build the open web, remove  the shackles of data tyranny, and help create the trustless, sovereign, and open digital environments that will let our civilization thrive.

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