This article is about exploring a little bit more about web 3.0 and trying to define it independent of crypto currency and blockchain technologies. Secondly the aim is to explore what fediverse is and what role it plays in web 3.0 transition.
The backbone of the internet is both decentralised and distributed. The internet is a distributed network of autonomous systems (AS) that communicate with each other using Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). For end users it is a decentralized network consisting of many AS nodes on which devices connect using TCP/IP.
Web 2.0 Platforms
Connectivity is one thing but the usefulness of the internet comes from it being a platform hosting various applications. Today these applications or platforms rule the internet. Originally envisioned as a truly fault tolerant, interconnected and distributed network the internet ended up as a group of proprietary platforms which don’t own but operate the internet. The internet in its current form or web 2.0 is not a democracy, not a utility and not an open virtual universe for all which it could have been. Web 3.0 is supposed to revive the soul of the internet and bring the ownership back to its users.
No one doubts the good that has been done by the platforms on the internet. But the data silos and non-interoperability that they introduce is directly against the philosophy of the internet which supports free flow of information. Open inter-platform communication protocols are the answers and the good news is that they are already up and running. It is called federation which is basically a group of independent systems operating collectively on an agreed upon standard or protocol. Server-to-Server email transfer powered by SMTP protocol is the most obvious example of federation. Thankfully it was part of the internet before the internet even began and it is still here irrespective of multiple efforts to reinvent the same. Beside that there are other protocols to substitute almost all mainstream platforms.
Fediverse and Web3
There are several definitions for web3 floating around. Most of them are influenced by the advent of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. But one thing is common in all definitions and discussion which is that web3 will give the ownership back to internet users and let the information flow freely across the internet in a transparent fashion. The economy behind blockchain enables this vision with clear incentive and using a decentralized approach. But at the same time fediverse is already doing it but with no clear economic incentive. The web3 transition will see the rise of both of these technologies and hopefully will happen soon.
Introduced in 2018, the ActivityPub is a social networking protocol that enables fediverse. Some notable federated platforms powered by this standard are:
You can see the current network and their availability here : fediverse.observer and here: fedidb.org