To many, Web3 is a concept that is equal parts promising and distant. Naturally, as the conversation continues to grow, many are now confused about where Web3 can be accessed, especially with the sheer number of self-proclaimed “decentralized applications” better thrown as “dApps” that are supposedly running and available. The caveat is that many of these projects aren’t fully decentralized, as they claim, often relying heavily on components of Web2 like centralized storage. The result is that at any time, a centralized party can disable access leaving users unable to access associated applications or, in extreme cases, compromise the dApps, which may lead to loss of funds and private data.
In a recent AMA, Rachel Wolfson, a senior reporter at Cointelegraph, sits down with Serge Var, the CEO and co-founder of Point Labs. Point Labs is the company building the Point Network, which the team describes as being the world’s first real full Web3 implementation where everything is decentralized.
Looking at the historical market, Serge is quick to share “that many projects are pushing for decentralization of one thing or another, and it works really well.” To give some context, he shares the example of file sharing. “There was Napster and Mega by Kim Dotcom, which ended when the government shut down these platforms. Then someone created Bittorent, and finally, file sharing became decentralized. Many people wanted to shut it down, but they couldn’t.”
Although just one example, Serge reminds viewers that this is just the beginning. In his words, “there was always this dream that maybe we can decentralize the whole internet starting with domains and storage and extending to everything.” The implications, as he continues, are that “we can get rid of censorship and mass surveillance and all those things, that’s the idea of Web3 right there.”
Unfortunately, he goes on to admit, “we’ve been looking at other projects trying to do that, and we haven’t found anything close which is why we began working on Point Network.”
A foundation for Web3
At present, Serge points to the significant amount of hacks as an indicator of a lack of decentralization in the current infrastructure and creates a key use case that Point Network can fill. Highlighting the Point Network roadmap, Serge shares that their solution looks at both the infrastructure their team has built but also “all the projects that could be when the real Web3 is done,” which includes a completely decentralized social network, end-to-end encrypted email and a file storage system similar to Google Drive.
He relates, “right now, all the Web3 projects call themselves Web3, but the only decentralized party is the smart contract,” leaving the door open to hacking since the rest is “completely centralized.” He continues that these platforms will often say, “oh, sorry, our name servers got hacked, and they changed it.” For this reason, Point Network shares that complete decentralization is the only way that works since domains on the blockchain that point to normal browsers aren’t set up in a way that protects users.
For the audience, this raised the question, where will the apps that fill this use case reside?
In a fully decentralized fashion, the domains on the Point Network will reside on the blockchain, with storage in Arweave, a decentralized peer-to-peer storage solution. In practice, Serge shares that Point Network will become “ just another app people download.” Therefore, “inside the Point browser [users] will only be able to use Point domains and decentralized storage,” making it “completely isolated from Web2.”
Therefore, in tandem with the Web3 discussion that is top of mind to the world today, Var shares the mainnet launch date to be just a few weeks away, on September 1, 2022.
A growing web
Given that the network is about to launch, the infrastructure, although done, is described by Serge as “an experimental project,” meaning “there’s still going to be some time before the platform and API is mature.”
That being said, unlike other projects competing with each other, Serge’s hope is that Point can simply integrate all different dApps into the browser instead of engaging in isolationism.” The intent is that with a clear path to Web3, Point Network can be the starting point for bringing together everyone in true decentralization.
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