Interoperability, Speed, Scalability And Privacy On The Blockchain 'Just Doesn’t Work'

Tim Berners-Lee
Inventor of the World Wide Web, Director of W3C

The internet has many uses. But not only it has become the most powerful tool capable of transforming the lives of billions of people as well as the global economy, the internet has also turned itself away from its original intention.

Tim Berners-Lee, the web inventor, is considered the father of the internet. And the World Wide Web was his creation, his invention, his life work, and his passion.

Seeing it evolve to become something that it isn't supposed to be, simply breaks his heart.

And what he dislikes the most here, is the centralization of the internet.

With the internet governed by tech giants and regulators around the world, users of the web are simply the commodities, whose data is being traded and commercialized.

And here, Berners-Lee wants to rescue his "dysfunctional" creation, by making it decentralized, turning the internet back to its original intention.

Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee.

But his way isn't Web3.

Web3 is the World Wide Web but based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralization and token-based economics.

It's a contrast to the Web 2.0, where data and content are centralized in a small group of "Big Tech" companies.

While this iteration of the World Wide Web holds a lot of promises and advantages, Berners-Lee prefers not to use blockchain to decentralize the web.

Instead, Berners-Lee want to build it on a platform he calls Solid, or a Web 3.0.

“We did talk about it as Web 3.0 at one point, because Web 2.0 was a term used for the dysfunction of what happens with user-generated content on the large platforms,” he said.

“People have called that Web 2.0, so if you want to call this Web 3.0, then okay.”

While the concept of his peer-to-peer internet is similar to the blockchain-based web, Berners-Lee envisions a place where internet users can control a 100% of their data, as opposed to just transparency the Web3 is offering.

Using Solid, Berners-Lee wants to create the successor of the World Wide Web, using a decentralizing architecture that still uses standard web tools and open specifications.

While the concept at a glance is similar, Berners-Lee's vision is taking a slightly different route.

Whereas Web3 is putting the power to control back to the people and away from Big Tech companies, Berners-Lee's Solid is preventing Big Tech companies from benefiting from user data.

Solid is meant to prevent tech companies from misusing user data for unsolicited purposes, and preventing data form being manipulated.

To do this, user data is stored in a place called "pods," which can be hosted wherever the user wants

Users can then choose which apps and/or web services can access their pods.

In short, Berners-Lee wants to recreate the web by making it a collaborative tool.

"I wanted to be able to solve problems when part of the solution is in my head and part of the solution is in your head, and you’re on the other side of the planet — connected by the internet,” he said. "That was the sort of thing I wanted the web for. It took off more as a publishing medium — but all is not lost."

This approach aims to provide interoperability, speed, scalability, and privacy.

“When you try to build that stuff on the blockchain, it just doesn’t work,” said Berners-Lee.

Berners-Lee has advocated a decentralized web since the moment he realized the Web 2.0 has made the web swerved far from its original intention. And through peer-to-peer method of Solid, should make the web a safer place because after all, according to Berners-Lee, the web should be regarded as a basic human right.

Companies are to make the internet affordable, to ensure the adoption of the technology, but with respect on privacy. Internet companies need to develop technology that put people - and the "public good" - as their priority.

As a whole, the internet should not be controlled by anyone, and shouldn't be governed by anything.

This is because by design, the web is already decentralized, like how it was intended to be.

And according to him, Solid should be able to make the web a better place.

Further reading: World Wide Web Inventor Sells The Web’s Original Source Code As An NFT For $5.4 Million