TBD – one of the Bitcoin business units at Jack Dorsey’s Block – has launched an “extra decentralized web platform” called “Web 5”. The platform’s goal is to decentralize data storage and put users back in control of their identity – by leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Future of Data Storage?
According to TBD’s website, the so-called “Web 5” will allow developers to focus on enhancing user experience, while users can retain ownership of their data and identity.
To accomplish this, it will leverage Bitcoin’s blockchain in combination with other, existing decentralized tech. One of these components is decentralized identifiers (DIDs), which uses an implementation of the emerging DIDs standard produced by the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF).
The DIF has developed a protocol called Sidetree – which can be used to build decentralized identifier networks that run atop existing decentralized anchoring systems, such as Bitcoin. Web 5 will specifically utilize ION – a layer 2 DID network that is “scalable” and “censorship evasive”.
Secondly, Web 5 will use DIF’s decentralized web node (DWN) technology – a mechanism for transmitting messages and storing data – used to locate data within a given DID. TBD plans to produce its own version of this by July 1st, 2022.
Thirdly, a Self-Sovereign Identity Service (SSIS) will allow users to create, sign, issue, and revoke verifiable credentials, among other things. Finally, the Self-Sovereign Identity SDK will provide “standards-based primitives for using decentralized Identifiers and verifiable credentials,” according to the site.
As TBD explains, such a service will allow users to securely carry their identity and data across various apps – without having to regurgitate the same data each time.
For instance, one would no longer need to create all-new profiles or playlists when moving between social media or music apps, respectively. The apps can simply connect to a user’s decentralized web node, and find all the info they need.
Sticking it to Web 3
Jack Dorsey tweeted about his company’s new project on Friday, claiming it would be their “most important contribution to the internet.”
“RIP Web 3 VCs,” he added. The billionaire has previously attacked the notion and concept of Web 3 – the idea of a new decentralized internet built using dapps on smart contract platforms.
To the Twitter co-founder, Web 3 isn’t truly “decentralized” or owned by its users, but instead by various venture capitalists and limited partners. He’s specifically called out Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) as the king of such VC funds – a software investor that’s devoted billions of dollars to Web 3.
In December, Marc Andreesen – co-founder of a16z – blocked Jack Dorsey on Twitter following his comments.