Web3 has been steadily evolving despite the bearish crypto market, as many new and innovative blockchain applications have been entering the ecosystem and providing new tools for decentralizing the internet and returning its control to users.
Keep reading to explore some exciting infrastructure trends that you can expect to see in 2023.
Top 10 Web3 infrastructure trends:
- Decentralized Identities (DIDs)
- Privacy protocols
- Decentralized social media apps
- NFT utilities
- Decentralized data storage
- Decentralized data marketplaces
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
- Interoperability solutions
- Scalability solutions
- Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePINs)
Decentralized identities/identifiers (DIDs) are an important Web3 building block because they give users full control over their own data and identity rather than handing it over to be controlled and managed by centralized organizations.
DIDs are created, stored, and verified on a blockchain, which allows the same DID to be used for verification across various services and apps.
The possible use-cases of DIDs are massive since they can be verified in order to authorize the user for access to virtually any service or apps. For instance, MetaBlox’s decentralized WiFi OpenRoaming network authenticates users for access by verifying DIDs. To access this global WiFi network, anyone can create a DID for their device from the MetaBlox app, which is available for free for Android or IoS.
DIDs could also be used to access things like bank accounts and services, government services and accounts, insurance services, and pretty much any type of online account. They can also prove any particular trait about a person, so they hold great potential for the full digitization of government IDs that are used to access regulated services, such as passports and driver’s licenses.
DID-based authentication also improves user experiences by automating the credential-verification process. DIDs can be integrated with the back-end of apps which will automatically request their on-chain verification whenever the DID-enabled device comes within range of a blockchain network node.
Privacy protocols refer to sets of methods, technologies, and standards designed to protect user-privacy across Web3, specifically for on-chain transactions where data is recorded in a publicly viewable, open-ledger format.
These protocols often involve zero-knowledge proofs, decentralized identities (discussed above), and other specifally designed data formats which enable anonymous blockchain transactions that cannot be traced to specific users.
Protocols using DIDs allow users to select, during any given use-case, what information stored on their identifier they want authenticated, enabling customizable privacy-protection. For instance, MetaBlox Protocol uses DIDs to ensure that users’ personal info is not exposed to the blockchain during verifications for WiFi OpenRoaming access.
Privacy protocols also include technologies like privacy-protecting smart contracts as well as homomorphic encryption that allows for sensitive on-chain data to be processed securely.
Decentralized Social Media Apps
Decentralized apps (dApps) run on blockchain networks rather than centralized servers, which means activity on them is not controlled by any single entity, returning administrative and moderation power to the users.
When content is added to these platforms via blockchain, however, it cannot be deleted or censored. Like traditional social media apps, social media dApps let users create, share, and interact with their favourite content and build communities around shared interests.
Users interact with dApps on browsers that allows them to connect with the blockchain and interact with the smart contract that governs the dApp. Some popular blockchain browsers include Osiris, Opera, and Brave.
Moreover, users can earn rewards for their contributions through a token-based economy where users are awarded crypto tokens for creating and curating content. These rewards can typically be used to access the platform features, or traded on crypto exchanges for other tokens or fiat money.
Another way platform contributors can be rewarded is through token pools funded by the platform’s revenue or donations. The pool is then distributed among the users in proportion to their contributions.
Token-based incentives aim to align the interests of users with the success of the platform, enabling a decentralized profit model while encouraging users to create quality content, interact with others, and build a strong community. This model helps create a more equitable distribution of value within the platform by rewarding users rather than just platform owners.
Thanks in part to a bear crypto market, Web3 has recently seen the maturation of the NFT space as impressive new utilities have emerged.
While collectibles and PFP projects have begun to wane, other, often overlooked NFT use cases began to grow in popularity. Moreover, many of these features will improve NFT integration with the broader Web3 ecosystem.
Some exciting NFT utilities that will integrate NFTs with Web3 in 2023:
Cloud Mining: One emerging NFT utility is cloud mining, which delivers holders the token yields produced by an NFT-pegged rig.
For instance, MetaBlox’s cloud-mining NFT delivers all $MBLX token yields from a pegged miner to NFT holders. MetaBlox maintains and covers the costs of the miners, so NFT holders can sit back and watch their profits grow.
Certificates: NFTs are being used to digitally represent certifications. For instance ticket-NFTs are authorizing holders to access concerts and other events. At NFT NYC 2022, NFTs were used as passes to Coolcats’ Cooltopia event.
Certificate NFTs are also being used in DeFi: Web3 company Airswift tokenizes companies’ asset and cash flow reports in order to help them secure loans.
Social Media: NFTs can be used to represent ownership of social media content contributed to dApps.
Virtual Real Estate: NFTs can represent ownership of virtual properties such as virtual land and virtual buildings in virtual worlds like the Metaverse as well as on gaming platforms like Axie Infinity.
Soulbound NFTs: These are tokens that cannot be transferred, which makes them appropriate for representing permanent data like financial, health and academic records, for instance. The permanence and immutability of these NFTs deliver a Web3-native means of protecting online identities.
Decentralized Data Storage
Decentralized storage simply entails storing data on the blockchain in a decentralized and distributed manner, rather than on centralized servers controlled by single entities.
Such storage solutions provide individuals and businesses more control over their data and increased privacy and security. They also aim to provide more resilient and fault-tolerant storage systems by distributing data across multiple nodes.
One example of decentralized storage is cloud storage platform Storj, which lets users store their files across a distributed network of nodes. The platform uses special encryption techniques to ensure the security and privacy of on-chain data.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Decentralized finance solutions carry out banking transactions via smart-contract, enabling the creation of decentralized, peer-to-peer, and crypto-integrated financial services.
By using Web3 technologies such as smart contracts and decentralized storage, DeFi allows users to access financial services in a trustless, transparent, and secure way.
DeFi allows users to access services like lending, borrowing, trading, and insurance without the need for intermediaries. It also lets consumers and businesses use cryptocurrency for their financial activities rather than fiat currencies.
For instance, Airswift’s decentralized payment gateway lets merchants accept crypto payments both online and in-store. In addition, decentralized exchanges allow users to trade cryptocurrencies via smart contract. These platforms are not controlled by any central authority, allowing for greater transparency and security in trading, as well as access to a wider range of assets.
Decentralized Data Marketplaces
Decentralized data marketplaces allow organizations and individuals to sell and purchase data in a trustless and decentralized way. These platforms allow for data transactions to be carried out transparently and securely via blockchain smart contract.
In a decentralized data marketplace, data providers can sell their data to various buyers, including researchers, businesses, and governments, in a secure and transparent way. The buyers can also be sure that the data they are getting is genuine and accurate, as the data is recorded in a tamper-proof and immutable format on the blockchain.
The data on decentralized marketplaces are often anonymized to protect use-privacy, and it is used to train AI models, conduct research, and many other use cases.
Examples of data sold on decentralized marketplaces include data from IoT sensors (weather, traffic, air quality), social media engagement, location, finances, business activities, demographic, and much more.
Web3 interoperability solutions refers to the ability of different dApps and blockchain networks to seamlessly communicate and work together.
Interoperability is crucial for Web3 because it enables the creation of a more connected and open ecosystem.
There are several types of interoperability solutions in Web3:
Cross-chain interoperability, which allows different blockchain networks to communicate and interact with each other, enabling the transfer of value and data between them.
Inter-protocol interoperability allows blockchain networks (and their associated dApps) operating on different protocols to exchange data and interact, enabling the creation of new use cases and possibilities.
Sidechains: Also called ‘parachains’, these are separate blockchain networks that connect to a main blockchain network and allow for the transfer of data and value between them.
Bridge protocols connect different blockchain networks and allow for the transfer of assets and data between them.
Oracles are 3rd-party services that provide external data to smart contracts on the blockchain, allowing for the integration of off-chain data with on-chain applications.
One popular blockchain network with strong interoperability is Polkadot, which uses two independent side chains that are connected to the main network. These sidechains operate on different consensus mechanisms and are employed for different use-cases; at the same time, their integration with the main Polkadot network provides security for the sidechains.
Web3 scaling solutions are methods and technologies designed to enhance the performance and capacity of blockchain-based decentralized networks in order to support a greater quantity of transactions and users.
There are several different types of Web3 scaling solutions:
Sharding: a technique where a large network is split up into smaller, more manageable pieces or ‘shards’. Each shard can process its own set of transactions independently, which allows for increased transaction speeds and processing capacity for blockchain networks and the dApps they support.
Off-chain scaling: the movement of processing power and data storage off-chain in order to create space for primary blockchain-based tasks. For example, the information flow for crypto payment systems can be supported by central servers, while the actual transfer of crypto is conducted on-chain. This reduces blockchain traffic as well as transaction costs.
Plasma: a scaling solution that facilitates the generation of ‘child’ chains that run parallel with the main blockchain. Child chains can process their own transactions, while they need to interact with the main blockchain only occasionally, allowing for heightened scalability.
Rollups: a scaling solution that processes off-chain transactions and then bundles them into single transactions recorded on the blockchain, reducing the amount of transactions that must be verified and processed on-chain.
Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePINs)
DePINs use blockchain networks to create and improve various physical infrastructure such as transportation, communication, and energy networks.
By incorporating decentralized networking into physical infrastructures, DePINs can provide more robust and secure systems that aren’t controlled by any single entity.
Blockchains, smart contracts, and decentralized storage are all being used to create DePINs. For instance, MetaBlox’s DID-verification protocol is implemented by its physical WiFi OpenRoaming infrastructure: MetaBlox routers deployed worldwide provide seamless and automatic connections by working together as blockchain nodes to verify devices’ DIDs.
When a DID-enabled device comes within range of any MetaBlox router, that router establishes a connection for the device after its DID has been checked by all other MetaBlox routers. This WiFi connection mechanism results in mining opportunities for MetaBlox’s network hosts and users.
Anyone can access WiFi through MetaBlox’s OpenRoaming network by downloading the MetaBlox app, which generates a decentralized ID credential. Download it now for free for Android or IoS.
The Web3 community is gearing up for an exciting 2023, with a diverse range of projects promising to bring decentralized networking and blockchain applications to the masses. These initiatives will enhance user-experiences while increasing capacities and interoperability, preparing decentralized networks for the coming bull market and halvening.
Stay tuned to MetaBlox’s social media channels and websites for updates on how its building Web3!