Building Networks for Web 3.0

Building Networks for Web 3.0

ConsenSys is building the next generation of products and tools based on distributed Web for Web 3.0

מאת: Joseph Lubin
Blockchain טכנולוגיה והייטק

When someone asks me, “What is blockchain”, I usually begin by describing the three inventions that Satoshi Nakamoto came up with in 2009. The first was blockchain, which at its simplest is a protocol for a shared, synchronized distributed database housed by a decentralized network of computers, or nodes. The second invention was the first application on blockchain: a money and payments system which could exchange and store value but did not rely on a centralized issuer or controller of the money supply. At present, many around the world are appreciating bitcoin for its “Gold 2.0” application — a better gold than gold for some uses.

The third invention was more esoteric: crypto economics. Crypto economics incentivizes people to share their resources bringing many computers to join the decentralized network by rewarding actors for validating transactions and providing security to the blockchain.

While initial users were excited about the money application on this new shared and trustworthy infrastructure, it was extremely difficult to build other applications on or around the Bitcoin protocol until late 2013, when a young Canadian, Vitalik Buterin, wrote a white paper which offered a simple solution for making a more powerful and scalable system. This system is called Ethereum. By separating the protocol layer from the application layer and providing developer’s with powerful and familiar tooling like the Truffle Suite, millions of coders around the world could begin to identify their own problems, and build their own solutions on the Ethereum decentralized application platform.

A new network of trust

While much of the focus on blockchain has been on the valuations of the new digital currencies like Bitcoin, digital commodities like Ether, and other digital assets, the profound significance of blockchain lies in its role as a new network of trust that can enable actors who may not have anything in common—or may compete with one another—to collaborate fluidly in protocol-based open network platforms built at the application layer of the Ethereum network. UjoMusic.com is an example of one of these platforms that proposes an adjacent music industry. Civil does the same for journalism.

Ethereum’s significance will not only reside in programmable money, but in creating shared, tamper-resistant business logic through the use of “smart contracts” — programs on the blockchain that enable trusted transactions, automated agreements, and more complex application architectures that are guaranteed to execute on the Ethereum world computer.

Smart contracts and practical applications

Around three years ago ConsenSys was founded to continue and support the vision of Mr. Buterin and the Ethereum Project team, and help build out the ecosystem by developing various infrastructural pieces and a wide variety of decentralized applications for consumers, businesses, governments, and other kinds of organizations. We are presently comprised of 676 members in 30 countries with various regional offices on 6 continents.

We are technologists and creators building the next generation of tools and platforms to enable Web 3.0, the decentralized World Wide Web. We are creating decentralized atomic swap protocols and exchanges, tokenizing real estate assets, creating self-sovereign identity and reputation systems, bounty networks and open source development incentivization platforms, decentralized governance tools, accounting on the blockchain, applications in the legal industry and supply chain, the energy industry, music, media, and more.

Already, the applications being built with Ethereum smart contracts are hinting at how we can transform the relationship between users and big Internet service providers (think Google, Facebook, and Amazon). The decentralized web represents a new way of creating, delivering, and using applications. Instead of the client/server application architecture where one company has banks of servers and we pay for the use of their valuable services by giving them access to monetize our valuable personal data and communications, the new online services paradigm will employ decentralized computer networks as the backend to all the applications you use on a regular basis: Ethereum for the application logic, but also other protocols for decentralized storage, bandwidth and heavy compute, paid for with either ether or with their own cryptocommodity assets.

Instead of all your information being stored on a Google server, for instance, tens of thousands of computers will cryptographically provide security, cryptographic privacy and inexpensive storage, and enable you to fully retain ownership of the digital trails of personal information you currently leave throughout the internet every day. No single actor will be in control, and no one company will overly monopolize the value created from this information. Intermediaries will still provide value on these platforms, adding information, sourcing opportunities or reducing costs or frictions in transactional flows. But since these platforms will be open, radically decentralized free markets, they will serve as efficient price discovery mechanisms for the value of intermediation, so such intermediaries will be able to be paid reasonably for the value that they add.

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Establishing the presence in Israel

In Tel Aviv, there are companies already building software solutions using the Ethereum network. The sheer amount of research and development funding in Israel has created a nation of startups, and has encouraged the world’s largest technology companies to set up offices.

In May, ConsenSys will be bringing its top talent to get to know the Israeli blockchain community by hosting a community day for developers, founders, students, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in learning more about ConsenSys and the true potential of this disruptive technology.

ConsenSys will also be exploring business opportunities with startups in the fintech and crytpo space, meeting with large enterprises that are looking to work on the Ethereum network, and exploring partnerships with government entities.

We will focus on educating the different parties about Ethereum, our consulting arm ConsenSys Solutions, and our incubated projects developing unique applications and use cases for blockchain. We are excited to begin establishing a presence in Israel to attract ideas and talent and help the Israeli blockchain ecosystem grow.


 ConsenSys is coming to Tel Aviv; stay tuned by reading our newsletter at consensys.net. For details: [email protected]

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Returning the control to the individual

Currently, our identity on the Internet is broken. We spray aspects of our identity around the web, enabling it to be controlled and monetized by corporations. And in many cases it isn’t even securely controlled as we have seen many high-profile hacks leading to the loss of sensitive personal information. ConsenSys built uPort for self sovereign identity to enable us to control encrypted aspects of our identity, and disclose certain elements of the identity when we choose. For other spaces, like healthcare, we are building systems that return control to the individual and allow you to permission data to healthcare providers, research institutions, companies—or keep it private.

And significantly for businesses and back-offices across the world, the digitizing of agreements on a trustworthy network will streamline business processes and value creation. Ask any transactional lawyer about their work and they’ll lament the countless hours they spend drafting and managing legal agreements, collecting relevant information from each side, negotiating routine terms, and sending out and following-up with parties to collect signatures. The process is slow, tedious, and laborious. OpenLaw, is reimagining the transactional legal process by giving lawyers and their clients the ability to use the Ethereum blockchain as a common infrastructure to manage and execute hybrid legal agreements, consisting of both prose and programmatic elements, in a trusted manner.

What will be the tipping point for blockchain to be understood by the masses? The depths of blockchain won’t need to be understood by regular people in the same way that understanding the first protocol for the World Wide Web was not needed to be able to use email. Consumers will keep using the Web as we know it; they will just have a different and better relationship to the services we use and to one another.

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Joseph Lubin
(Photo: PR)

Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of blockchain computing platform Ethereum and the founder of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys), a blockchain venture studio. ConsenSys is one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the blockchain technology space, building developer tools, decentralized applications, and solutions for enterprises and governments that harness the power of Ethereum.

Headquartered in New York, ConsenSys also has a global presence, employing top entrepreneurs, computer scientists, software developers, and experts in enterprise delivery worldwide.

Lubin graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He worked in the Princeton Robotics Lab, at tomandandy music developing an autonomous music composition tool, and at private research firm Vision Applications Inc. building autonomous mobile robots.

As a software engineer and consultant, Lubin worked with eMagine on the Identrus project and was involved in the founding and operation of a hedge fund with a partner. He held positions as Director of the New York office of Blacksmith Software Consulting, and VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. Through these posts, Lubin focused on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance.

Switching gears, Lubin moved to Kingston, Jamaica to work on projects in the music industry. Two years into his musical endeavors, Lubin co-founded the Ethereum Project and has been working on Ethereum and ConsenSys since January 2014.

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