Blockchain & Web Position Paper

Authors: Dr. Gavin Wood (Director, Ethcore), Ethcore authors

Ethcore believes there is an increasing need for a zero-trust interaction system: entrusting our information to arbitrary entities on the internet was fraught with danger. The protocols and technologies on the Web, and even at large the Internet, served as a great technology preview. The workhorses of SMTP, FTP, HTTP(S), PHP, HTML, Javascript each helped contribute to the sort of rich cloud-based applications we see today. However, much of these protocols and technologies will have to be re-engineered according to our new understandings of interactions.

Ethcore reimagines the structure of the Web for the sorts of things that we already use it for, but with a fundamentally different model for the interactions between parties, a critical portion of which is the blockchain; we call this blockchain-and-web architecture “Web 3.0”. As a user of Web 3.0, all interactions will be carried out pseudonymously, securely and trustlessly. We believe the workshop can use our architecture for a blockchain-centric web in order to frame the discussions and determine clear use-cases, specific interaction plans for those use cases and further develop these into a prototype technology set. This should allow the group to determine what needs be altered, authored and standardised in order to build a web which actually makes sense with when combined with blockchains.

Our specific position is that the “blockchain” or consensus engine will interact with another 3 components, and all deserve to be discussed. In brief:

Further discussion would include gathering and submitting dynamic but publicly available content whose provenance needs to be determined and which must be held immutably forever (there is a Javascript-based API for interacting with the consensus-engine). For gathering and submitting dynamic, potentially private, content that is necessarily volatile and subject to annihilation or lack of availability, the p2p-messaging-engine is used. We believe all of the above are important topics that should be explored in full to properly understand how the blockchain can best be amalgamated into the current web architecture.