In a major leap forward for the decentralization of the internet, TBD, a subsidiary of Jack Dorsey’s fintech company Block, has introduced an open-source toolkit for its ambitious web5 project.
The toolkit’s release precedes the full launch of the web5 protocol, scheduled for later this year.
Web5, as described by the project’s official website, is a decentralized platform designed to endow users with self-owned identities, unhooking them from the need to rely on centralized entities for authentication.
The framework, which utilizes decentralized identifiers (DIDs), verifiable credentials, and decentralized web nodes, is set to transform the way internet applications are developed and experienced.
Decentralized identifiers (DIDs), a core component of the web5 structure, are user-owned identifiers constructed with a standardized structure that includes a scheme, DID method, and DID method-specific string.
These identifiers are generally stored on the ION network, a Layer 2 DID network built on the bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.
Complementing DIDs are verifiable credentials, another emerging standard in decentralized technology. Verifiable Credentials foster trustless interactions by enabling the verification of claims made about a DID subject, thus eliminating the need for mutual trust among interacting parties.
Web5’s third pillar, decentralized web nodes (DWNs), enables individuals to separate their data from applications. This technology allows users to host their personal data stores anywhere and synchronize data across various devices and clouds.
The underlying data within these DWNs are JSON objects, abiding by a universal standard, thus enabling any application to process the data based on its semantic type.
One of the first applications to use the platform is expected to be a remittance app, called TBDex, primarily targeting users in Africa and Mexico. The open-source toolkit release allows developers to start building decentralized applications using the web5 platform.
Applications of web5 technology can range from travel reservations to music playlists, promising a more efficient and user-friendly experience. In a practical illustration, music applications such as Groove and Tidal can interact with a user’s decentralized web node.
The interactivity allows, for example, a playlist created in Groove to be readily available in Tidal.
The team behind web5 encourages individuals to participate in the development of this technology by contributing to GitHub projects or joining their community.
TBD’s open-source toolkit is a significant stride in the pursuit of a decentralized internet, empowering individuals to control their data, free from centralized entities. The complete launch of the web5 protocol is expected to take place in 2023.