Right now, web3 decentralization either hasn’t made it past the drawing board, or is very partial, to say the least.
Yes, Bitcoin paved the way as a permissionless, truly decentralized blockchain ledger network.
But many other “decentralized” apps and services have legacy web chokepoints.
Serge Var and his team at Point Network are working to build what some are calling the first true comprehensively decentralized web3 application suite.
In a 15 August conversation with Cointelegraph, Var said the dream of a censorship resistant internet is an old one. He referenced apps and protocols like Napster and BitTorent as being important attempts, however prone to abuse, of countering centralized powers controlling flow of information.
“Someone created bittorrent, and finally file sharing became decentralized, and many people want to shut it down, but they cannot. In the same way, bitcoin was created, right? Even before bitcoin, there were many digital currencies. But only bitcoin was able to do a full decentralization of money. So bitcoin decentralized money. And cannot be shut down, cannot be censored, etc.
“But there was always this dream that maybe we can decentralize the whole internet. Starting with domains, and storage, and everything, right? So that we can get rid of censorship and mass surveillance, and all those things.”
Point Network eschews centralized services, while promising some of the most crucial communication and productivity apps that are currently staples of web2.
The ENS (Ethernet Naming System), meant to function as a web3 analogue to the legacy DNS system, offering domain addresses for DApps, recently revealed its current limits with regard to decentralization.
Point Networks noted in a recent post that:
“People have long been accessing thousands of Ethereum dApps via centralized eth.link domain, resolved by Cloudflare. Yesterday, ENS Foundation lost control of it because they forgot to renew the domain (turns out it was owned by one developer, Virgil Griffith), so for several hours it contained links to scammy advertisements. This reality check was another reminder for many how fragile and centralized the current ‘web3’ infrastructure is, and people increasingly start bringing up Point Network in such conversations as the solution.”
Roadmap to the First Fully Decentralized Web3 Architecture
Currently Point Network software is available for download to run as a node. The roadmap for the project divides functionalities of its architecture into core “Main Zone” node services, and then extended Web Apps.
Main Zone services include:
- The Point Node: which includes a crypto wallet, connections to various blockchains, a Point DNS service, and other features
- Point Browser: a fully decentralized fork of the Firefox browser
- Point Home: sort of the central page where users can access their Point Wallet: Explore the network, and initiate installs of software packs, etc.
- Infrastructure: which contains other components that enhance functionality, including a gateway to web2 websites, a Twitter oracle, and bundler support notes for the Arweave decentralized storage service
Extended Web Apps already available or in the build stage include:
- Point Social: a default decentralized social network
- Point Mail: End-to-end encrypted decentralized Email
- Point Drive: an analogue to Google Drive cloud storage, but utilizing Arweave decentralized storage services; Point Drive also aims to eventually support IPFS, another decentralized storage protocol
- Point Tube: Decentralized video hosting offering an alternative to Youtube and Vimeo
- Decentralized Medium: Offering blog services akin to Medium
There are many more projected Web Apps that for now remain at the very early stages of development. Some of these include Decentralized versions of a Search Engine, Ecommerce Software, Github, Forums, an NFT platform, and Enterprise Apps, to facilitate enterprise adoption.
It obviously represents an ambitious undertaking, to say the least. Point Networks fully acknowledges that it will take many coders, creatives and companies working together to realize a full vision of a true Web3 architecture.
But with core offerings being rolled out, a sensible rationale behind its objectives and reason for being, and a concrete roadmap to spur and focus building, Point Networks is doing its best not just to point the way, but to create functionalities that can make web3 a reality.