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Colin Evran: Building the Next Wave of Web 3.0

The vision for Web 3.0 is to make all the applications, the data and the use cases of the internet completely verifiable.



Dec 26, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. UTC

Building the Next Wave of Web 3.0

“Blockchain and bitcoin point to a future, and point to a world, where content exists forever, where it’s permanent, where it doesn’t go away, where it exists forever on every single node that’s connected to it,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said recently, as he endorsed a decentralized social media standard.

In the same week, the European Union (EU) revealed it is gearing up for another challenge to Big Tech. Under the Digital Services Act regulation proposed by the bloc, the companies that preside over the vast troves of the internet’s data, platforms like Amazon and Google, would be forced to make the data collected accessible to smaller rivals.

This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2020 Year in Review – a collection of op-eds, essays and interviews about the year in crypto and beyond. Colin Evran is the Filecoin Ecosystem Lead.

It is striking to see the coordinated charge by regulators, from Ireland to the United States, in supporting antitrust action meant to make the internet a fairer place. In speaking out against the current structure of the internet, Jack Dorsey has become the latest tech entrepreneur to lend his voice to the conversation about transforming the internet as we know it. It’s a conversation that has grown steadily louder in recent months.

Today, Web 2.0, the model that determines how we locate all of the data across the internet, is failing us. We need not list the numerous data hacks and breaches, cases of government voter manipulation, and the scourge of fake news it is now near impossible to avoid online.

More problematic still is the fact that we are losing precious data each and every day. As it stands, only 7% of the data that is generated actually gets stored. And that ratio is decreasing over time – predicted to decrease to 5% in the next five years. Still, current cloud storage infrastructure proves incapable of keeping up, as the data we produce as a species increases at over 30% a year.

The vision for Web 3.0 is to make all the applications, the data and the use cases of the internet, completely verifiable. Adding the capability of verification means that a centralized intermediary, like a bank or a large tech company, that says it controls your money or your data, can be required to back up that claim and prove the actions they’re taking with this data are accurate. Web 3.0 is designed to introduce trust or verifiability into the web, and that’s where we’re headed.

On the 50th anniversary of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, expressed concerns for the future of the internet. He raised issues of increasing centralization, an imbalance of power contrary to the original design principles of the internet, which sought to achieve the goal of decentralizing information.

In recent years, Big Tech conglomerates including Facebook and Google have turned this concept on its head, caging data in closed platforms. So when you think about Web 2.0, the whole value of the ecosystem has more recently been built on the companies and the platforms that build on top of the protocols, and not necessarily the protocols themselves. Decentralizing information is one of the core tenets behind Web 3.0. The next question is how do we get there?

As Dorsey suggested, along with Ben Horowitz, and Tim Berners-Lee, who have also committed to change by putting their names and money behind blockchain technology to upgrade the web, a decentralized web (dWeb) will be the foundation of the next generation of the internet – Web 3.0.

This collective dream of a future internet, where content exists forever and error 404 is a distant memory, could become a reality if the internet’s data is successfully decentralized away from the Big Tech oligopoly.

This is, by and large, exactly what the EU regulation strives to achieve: fair distribution of the world’s knowledge and moving control away from the handful of money hungry corporations, whose corporate interests do not prioritize ensuring the dissemination of factual information or preserving humanity’s history online.

Error 404 frustration, what is known as link rot, occurs when a webpage, for example, on an old blog is deleted, and as it vanishes so does your access to it. The problem may be that whoever was paying for that particular blog on the internet has ceased doing so and so the content disappears.

This is annoying at the best of times but it becomes even more of a concern when the source you’re trying to access is a national archive or, as was the case in Turkey in 2017, when this design flaw enables a government to restrict its citizens from accessing fundamental online services such as Wikipedia. The solution to this internet light switch that allows trigger-happy corporations and governments to pull the plug, is to change how the data on the internet is addressed.

So with Web 3.0, under a decentralized system, the onus is not on the original publisher to pay for the blog to remain in the public domain, but to enable anyone who has an interest in that information to preserve it.

This distribution model grants anyone who is interested in paying to preserve specific information, any storage provider who wants to be paid to preserve said information or anyone who wants to use itthe opportunity to do so. Regardless of the actions of the original publisher, once the data is part of the public record, the network of users on this new, trusted version of the internet can continue to access it and read it.

To put that in the context of social media, as Dorsey envisions, video footage of world events would not be lost or manipulated and the memories of humanity would persist. There are thousands of projects, inspired by the decentralized movement and alarmed by the fragility of the internet we use today, working tirelessly to build solutions to revamp the internet.

As we come to the end of 2020, the signifiers of change are not lacking. Each day we are taking a step closer to Web 3.0, an internet we can trust.

Year in Review is a collection of op-eds, essays and interviews about the year in crypto and beyond.




World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona under its pilot project.



Sweden’s Riksbank said it would continue work with Accenture on a potential e-krona digital currency until next year.

(Mario Ortiz/Shutterstock)

Feb 17, 2021 at 10:12 a.m. UTC

World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

The world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, is to extend its pilot project for a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) for another 12 months.

According to a press release on Friday, the project, which is being carried out with assistance from professional services firm Accenture, will run until February 2022.

The Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona “as a complement to cash,” with the primary objective being for the bank to increase its knowledge around the technology.

For 2021, the institution will continue developing its potential digital currency offering with a focus on performance and scalability. Testing offline functions and bringing external participants into the test environment is also on the table.

The project has raised some concerns from Sweden’s commercial banking sector over the viability of a sovereign CBDC and how that would impact the entire banking system.

There is no final decision over the issuance of the e-krona despite strong lobbying from the central bank to government last year. But with traditional cash seeing falling use, even more so during the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden has been mulling a switch to the CBDC.

However, questions still remain over the digital currency’s ultimate design and underlying technology, according to Friday’s release.



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Bitcoin Mining: Wasted Energy or a Better, Greener System?

Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure on the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining fits.



Is it wasteful to use electricity mining bitcoin? As the Biden Administration settles into power with an ambitious agenda around clean energy, notably promising to eliminate carbon emissions from the US power generation sector by 2035, the question of bitcoin mining and it’s ever-growing use of energy bubbles up once more.

In this episode of ‘On Purpose, With Tyrone Ross,’ Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure joins the show to discuss the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining can fit into a sustainable energy system.

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Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage- CoinDesk

The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.



The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Feb 13, 2021 at 2:10 a.m. UTCUpdated Feb 13, 2021 at 2:18 a.m. UTC

Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage

Deutsche Bank has joined the growing ranks of large financial institutions exploring cryptocurrency custody, with aspirations to offer high-touch services to hedge funds that invest in the asset class.

The Deutsche Bank Digital Asset Custody prototype aims to develop “a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” according to a little-noticed report by the World Economic Forum, host of the annual gathering of muckety-mucks in Davos, Switzerland.

In a passage buried on page 23 of the December 2020 report, Germany’s largest bank says it plans to create a trading and token issuance platform, bridging digital assets with traditional banking services, and managing the array of digital assets and fiat holdings in one easy-to-use platform.

Big banks are now announcing plans to enter crypto custody on an almost daily basis, with Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank, joining the party earlier this week.

U.S. banks were given some regulatory clarity thanks to last year’s interpretation letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In Germany, firms are queuing up to get their hands on special crypto custody licenses from the country’s regulator, BaFIN.

Deutsche, the world’s 21st largest bank, said it aims to “ensure the safety and accessibility of assets for clients by offering an institutional-grade hot/cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.” No specific cryptocurrencies or tokens are mentioned.

The digital asset custody platform would be launched in stages. It would eventually provide clients with the ability to buy and sell digital assets via a partnership with prime brokers (which act sort of like concierges for hedge funds), issuers and vetted exchanges.

The bank says it would also provide “value-added services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and provide an open-banking platform to allow onboarding of third-party providers.”

The service would be aimed at asset managers, wealth managers, family offices, corporates and digital funds, the bank said.

In terms of a business model, the bank would start out collecting custody fees, it said, later charging fees for tokenization and trading.

Deutsche said it has completed a proof of concept and is aiming for a minimum viable product in 2021, while exploring global client interest for a pilot initiative.

The bank’s press office could not be reached for comment Friday evening. A spokesperson had declined to comment on potential plans for a digital asset custody business when contacted last week by CoinDesk.



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