How the Decentralized Web Will Create Limitless Opportunities for Personalization and Composability
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How the Decentralized Web Will Create Limitless Opportunities for Personalization and Composability

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What kind of internet do we want? The Internet as we know it allows users to send and receive information from web-based websites and services, but these sites and services remain, for the most part, largely separate from each other. isolated.

There are several reasons for this, from technical limitations to corporate ownership imperatives, the result is that the web today is possibly made up of more closed than open networks, and users miss out on constructive network effects and synergies that could result from a network. thriving ecosystem of interoperable applications.

Return the Internet to the principle of decentralization the promise of ‘web 3.0’ can help correct today’s fragmentation of the web with permissionless and trustless innovation.

By developing a more open version of the web that runs on a shared and distributed blockchain, services can be run in parallel, with the use of self-executing smart contracts that allow interaction of decentralized applications (Dapps).

This enables a level of integration never before seen with the centralized web. What’s most interesting is that it also provides the user with a much higher degree of composability, allowing services to be freely combined in different combinations for various purposes.

The Internet Computer blockchain is already providing an early example of this. Posting on the DSCVR news aggregator website in August, a user shared a Portal live stream of himself playing an online game, Rise of the Magni, while also using OpenChat to message others and accept token donations. .

What’s important about this is that these four web-based platforms are Dapps running end-to-end on the internet computer. Their use in this context highlights how they can be combined to suit individual user preferences.

Such an example only scratches the surface of what this emerging decentralized paradigm can achieve in terms of composability and customization of web services.

Although users can run centralized applications at the same time (using Twitter while listening to Apple Music, for example), smart contracts are capable of making Dapps interact and interoperate with each other, creating new web-based experiences in the process. They provide a future in which taking an action in one application can directly enable or cause an action (or actions) in others, and so on.

As Dominic Williams, founder of the DFINITY Foundation, which developed and launched the public blockchain, recently commented on an episode of the Epicenter podcast:

“Smart contracts are composable. Therefore, each smart contract can be connected to any other smart contract, creating huge network effects. “

Describing their advantages, Williams noted that smart contracts derive much of their power from the fact that they combine the properties of both static and dynamic software.

In the past, you would have a static piece of software, such as the executable file word.exe stored on your computer’s C drive, but you would also have to have a separate dynamic piece of software, such as a Word program running. . In contrast, a smart contract is static and dynamic at the same time, allowing developers to assemble running systems in the same way that they previously assembled static software. This gives these systems much more scope to be customized and adapted to suit a large number of different uses.

Williams said,

“In the same way that you created software static software from software libraries, you can now assemble [and] they make up running systems in the same way. Each smart contract can connect to any other smart contract, and a smart contract can be part of multiple systems at the same time. So this is just a huge advantage. “

As a hypothetical example, imagine logging into a gaming app triggers live streaming through a streaming platform, or opening a messenger service or pizza order. Imagine that setting a destination in a GPS application results in your friends getting a ping on a social media platform, letting them know that you are traveling somewhere. The possibilities are virtually endless.

What’s exciting about using smart contracts in this context is that they can be defined at virtually any level of granularity, allowing the user to configure both small and large actions.

A company could set up smart contracts in a DeFi app to release freelancers’ payment after a project is completed, which would be sent through a content management Dapp. An employee could simply set up a smart contract that plays their favorite song (on a musical Dapp) after closing a work-related app at the end of the day. The list of potential combinations is limited only by the imagination of the developers, while it is also conceivable that we may see the emergence of completely new interactions and functions.

Speaking at Epicenter, Williams explained how smart contracts are responsible for implementing every feature that Dapp OpenChat messaging comprises.

Williams added,

“These smart contracts are efficient enough and work fast enough that they can actually move chat messages. And these smart contracts can also serve HTTP requests, so they provide the interactive user experience that is loaded, for example, in your browser window, allowing you as a user to send and receive messages. “

Because smart contracts are responsible for running OpenChat functions, these functions therefore become susceptible to a high level of composability and customization. They can be connected in various ways with the functions of other Dapps and services, and in turn these functions can be connected with others, assuming that permissions have been granted in the design of those Dapps.

Open services running on the Internet Computer can implement persistent APIs for data and functionality that is effectively irrevocable, supporting the growth of complementary services.

This type of personalization arguably makes the decentralized web the next logical step in the evolution of technologically mediated personal choice. the natural successor to smartphones, smart devices and other devices destined to become a mirror of its users.

Composing capability enables users to efficiently integrate multiple independent platforms into a single ‘meta-application’ one tailored to your own needs and preferences. This type of integration is facilitated by the fact that, in the case of the Internet computer, everything runs on the same blockchain with the same rules and coding language.

A shared blockchain provides the kind of standardization that makes it easy to achieve composability and interoperability across multiple applications and services. As Williams said, the great advantage of smart contracts on the Internet computer is “that they all exist within this single, unified blockchain environment.”

Despite this preference for unified blockchains, Williams also revealed that work is underway to update the cryptography of the Internet computer’s key chain, so that its smart contracts can directly interact with blockchains of Bitcoin and Ethereum. This highlights its potential to provide composability not only between your own native applications, but with other blockchains and systems as well.

Therefore, users will eventually have access to an even greater degree of customization, capable of combining the Dapps of the Internet computer with those of other ecosystems.

Ultimately, the Internet Computer exemplifies the potential of web 3.0 and the blockchain-based decentralized Internet.

In the not too distant future, organizations will be able to offer smart contract-based APIs in which other organizations can connect their own smart contracts. As a result, users will benefit from unprecedented choice, being able to mix and match their favorite applications, as well as the features and functions that comprise them. a realization of the renewed promise of the open Internet.


Simon Chandler is a freelance technology journalist signed to Wired, Digital Trends, Business Insider, Cointelegraph, Cryptonews, The New Internationalist, RT, Forbes, CCN, Daily Dot, Il Giornale, The Huffington Post, The Verge, TruthOut, AlterNet and TechCrunch, among others.

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