Moxie Marlinspike, the CEO of the encrypted social networking platform Signal, has given his first impression of the next generation of the Internet dubbed “Web3.0”. In a detailed blog, Marlinspike has criticised the prevailing dependence of the Web3.0 applications on centralised platforms. The component that distinguishes Web3.0 from the previous two generations of the Internet is its “decentralised” nature. Marlinspike says that in order for the Web3.0 space to fully mature, it needs to establish itself further away from the Internet that is presently controlled and governed by regulatory authorities.
The applications built on Web3.0 either run on blockchains or decentralised networks of peer-to-per servers (nodes) or even a combination of the two. The apps are called “Dapps” (decentralised apps). For these protocols, cryptocurrencies act like a financial incentive for anyone who participates in creating, governing, contributing to, or improving one of the dapp projects themselves.
Marlinspike has noted that Web3.0 needs to be tuned in a way that it can function without any reliance on the existing monitored Internet.
“Whether it’s running on mobile or the web, a dapp needs to interact with the blockchain somehow — in order to modify or render state. That’s not really possible to do from the client, though, since the blockchain can’t live on your mobile device (or in your desktop browser realistically),” the 42-year-old entrepreneur and cryptographer said in his post
“So the only alternative is to interact with the blockchain via a node that’s running remotely on a server somewhere. But, as we know, people don’t want to run their own servers,” he added.
The Signal CEO essentially means that dapps presently are running on servers controlled and monitored under the existing Internet infrastructure, which violates the basic principle of the Web3,0, which is “decentralisation” of the Web.
As per Marlinspike, more cryptography should be involved in shaping up the Web3.0 space. The technique of cryptography secures information and communications through the use of codes to prevent unauthorised access to information.
“We should accept the premise that people will not run their own servers by designing systems that can distribute trust without having to distribute infrastructure. This means architecture that anticipates and accepts the inevitable outcome of relatively centralised client/server relationships, but uses cryptography (rather than infrastructure) to distribute trust,” the tech enthusiast noted.
Marlinspike posted a link to his blog on Twitter, to which Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin responded saying that new tech is offering people the best of both, the centralised as well as the decentralised world.
I think the status quo comes from a present-day “missing middle” where we have centralized-but-easy things and decentralized-but-hard things, but new tech (w lots of cryptography!) actually is on the cusp of giving us the best of both worlds.https://t.co/XIx8f2oiVi pic.twitter.com/phTSrGW0OR
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) January 8, 2022
Meanwhile, Marlinspike’s Signal app is also participating in integrating the crypto element in the lives of its users globally.
The app has added a payment feature that allows its users to pay with a new, privacy-focused cryptocurrency called “MobileCoin”.
In order to bring privacy protection systems to financial transactions, MobileCoin has been loaded with features that make payments and transactions hard to trace but easy to confirm, a report by Wired said.
The feature that went into testing last year has been rolling out to Signal users internationally.
MobileCoin has been lauded on Twitter for its low dependency on centralised platforms.
MobileCoin (Signal’s new integrated coin) uses Stellar’s consensus mechanism. Who is running mobilecoin nodes? Is it any less centralized than any of these other web3 services that Moxie accurately derides?
Definitely not easy to run a node. https://t.co/9Dr1tjz9Iq pic.twitter.com/k60FgjRA38
— Lyle Pratt (@lylepratt) January 8, 2022