La decentralization is one of the pillars of the construction of Web3 services in order to coBuild services that take advantage of new technologies such as blockchain, and thus provide us with total control of the content, better security and privacy.

La Web3, Semantic Web or Decentralized Web, is a construction in which blockchain technology and smart contracts they are the protagonists. Thus, Web3 is a new evolution of the Web that allows us to read-write-appropriate what we write in these Web services. Services that, in turn, evolve from a centralized system to a completely decentralized one.

La Web3 is the union of technologies such as the Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence, the introduction of 3D technology, virtual reality, as well as the arrival of blockchain technology, networks and services P2P to access these powerful new applications.

Thus, the basis of the operation of Web3 is decentralization and it is there that blockchain technology makes its appearance. The ability of the blockchain to serve as a decentralized database allows Web applications to interact with users. In this way, users can carry out operations that would be recorded in the blockchain in such a way that at all times we would have the following:

  1. A history of every user action.
  2. A pseudo-identity linked to that user.
  3. The ability for users to acquire, transmit, create, and modify anything within the app securely through the use of cryptography.
  4. Thus, with each operation in a Web3 application, we would actually be making a transaction that is recorded in the blockchain.

To allow integration between the Web world and the blockchain, it was necessary to create a bridge that would allow both worlds to be united. This bridge uses, on the one hand, Web technologies already known as JavaScript to design interfaces and logic so that users can interact with the application from their browser or smartphone. On the other hand, from the blockchain, there are the smart contracts capable of creating and managing all the blockchain logic.

Why is decentralization necessary in Web3?

Decentralization in Web3 is essential in order to build services that can be accessed without any hindrance. Thus, interacting with Web3 applications (or DApps) can be as simple as opening a desktop, mobile or Web application, which connects to a blockchain network or to its own P2P network, in order to make available the products and services provided by said application.

In all that relationship, your interaction with said application makes you part of that decentralized network. This way, the network cannot completely censor or ban you from accessing that network. Take, for example, the network BitTorrent, which, although it is not an example of Web3, is a clear example of decentralization.

Sharing data through this network is as simple as sharing a .torrent file or “magnet” link. Thus, from anywhere in the world to have access to said file, download it and continue sharing the same file with others who want access to it. In the BitTorrent network, peer banning or blacklisting is possible, but it is so frowned upon and its incidence so small that its practice can be overlooked. This makes one thing clear: BitTorrent will let you download the file you want, without asking anything about it.

With blockchain, the possibilities of creating applications like BitTorrent grow exponentially. The ability to create applications that run in a decentralized manner. Applications that are always active and that we can access without impediments, is one more step towards decentralization. An example of this can be seen in applications such as Aether, which works as a kind of totally decentralized Reddit. Other examples can be seen in DTube (a decentralized YouTube), Web3Torrent, among others that allow us something very important: to have control of access to said application at all times.

Decentralization on the Web3

Decentralization in Web3 and its relationship with the metaverse

One point where Web3 decentralization plays a key role is the construction of metaverses. Metaverses are nothing new in the world, however, their construction as such has always been limited and above all centralized. Projects like Habbo Hotel or Second Life are an example of the enormous interest and potential of metaverses, but also of the limitations that centralization exerts on them.

However, the arrival of blockchain and its ability to decentralize the world has completely changed the scope of this type of construction. First of all, accessing decentralized metaverses is possible for anyone. Additionally, these decentralized metaverses are generally built by means of Free Software and organizations with community governance, which watches over the development of the metaverse and its functional and technological expansion. Thus, basically decentralized metaverses guarantee free interactions and development around the community.

At this point, Web3 decentralization is essential, because it not only provides tools to build the metaverse as such, but also other elements that are added to it. For example, you can build a metaverse like Decentraland on top of blockchain technology, smart contracts, and keep it decentralized.

But thanks to that nature, anyone can build a special app or feature that can interface with Decentraland and add a feature that is well (or poorly) received by the community. Basically, Web3 decentralization gives the community the ability to create new spaces and functions that can interact and even interconnect with other metaverses, on other chains, and much more. Thus, the innovation and construction of these spaces can grow exponentially and benefit both concepts without any limits.

Web3 decentralization and its relationship with the metaverse

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Is total decentralization impossible to achieve in Web3?

FALSE!

Achieving full decentralization in Web3 is not impossible. However, if it is hard work for which many steps still need to be taken. Projects like Ankr are just a small step forward, but a step in the right direction.

Is the current Web3 really decentralized?

However, at this point where we can already interact with many Web3 applications, we must ask ourselves the question: Is the current Web3 really decentralized? The short answer is: No. And as shocking as it may be, that is the reality today, a reality that must be accepted, reviewed and overcome.

Let's put for example OpenSea. This acquaintance market of NFTs is considered one of the most important DApps (Decentralized Applications) in the ecosystem Ethereum, Polygon y Solarium. And we say “DApp”, although the truth is that OpenSea as it is, is far from decentralization. If you try to access OpenSea from a country banned by the United States, you will not be able to enter and enjoy its services, which, by the way, are neither military nor espionage nor anything malicious. A simple market NFTs vetoes access to its users because it depends on third-party infrastructures created in order to filter who can and who cannot access said website and therefore the DApp, all because of the wishes of a third party.

Faced with this reality, many in the community tend to respond that OpenSea's "DApp" is in Ethereum and their smart contracts are available to everyone. The latter is true, but they forget that interacting with a smart contract is not easy at all, and for a novice, it is the same as handling a passenger plane in a dive, with engines off and without flight controls. OpenSea is not just “the smart contracts on Ethereum”, it is its interface and all the amount of work that makes using OpenSea easy for everyone who uses the application.

A core problem to be overcome

On the other hand, the problems of Web3 decentralization today are much larger and more central. For example, Dappradar it is a very easy to use Web3 wallet and opens the door to many DApps on different networks. But the truth is, that its use is the most centralized thing that exists at this point. if you use Dappradar On the Ethereum network, everything you do goes through the hands of ConsenSys. This includes its Infura service infrastructure, its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. In fact, on one occasion “by mistake” they vetoed access to several countries around the world. Relationship? All the blocked countries have a veto imposed by the United States and, understandably, ConsenSys is an American company.

It is clear at this point that the current Web3 is not fully decentralized and, although there is much progress in achieving it, we still have a long way to go to achieve true decentralization in Web3.