TBD’s Web5 takes a different approach than Web3 on how to build a properly decentralized internet, with Bitcoin being the single blockchain used in the project.
Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin-focused TBD business unit, a subsidiary of Block Inc., announced Friday that it is building a new decentralized web: Web5.
Web5 is based on the assumption that Web3, the idea of building a decentralized web with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, has the right intentions but is using the wrong tools.
TBD’s Web5 is made up of software components and services such as decentralized identifiers (DIDs), decentralized web node (DWNs), self-sovereign identity service (SSIS) and a self-sovereign identity software development kit (ssi-sdk). These components let developers focus on building user experiences while more easily enabling decentralized identity and data storage in applications.
ION only allows DIDs to be deactivated by their owners, being hence censorship-resistant, and includes registry capabilities to support decentralized package managers and app stores. The decentralized network can in theory process thousands of DID operations per second.
According to the specification, a DWN is a mechanism for data storage and message transmission that participants can leverage to locate public or private data linked to a given DID. It enables the interaction between different entities that need to verify the identity of each other in order to transfer information to one another.
“Decentralized Web Nodes are a mesh-like datastore construction that enable an entity to operate multiple nodes that sync to the same state across one another, enabling the owning entity to secure, manage, and transact their data with others without reliance on location or provider-specific infrastructure, interfaces, or routing mechanisms,” per the specification.
TBD’s goal is to produce a first version of the current draft specification along with a reference implementation by July 1, 2022.
Web5’s SSIS is a web service that wraps the ssi-sdk.
The SSIS interacts with the standards around verifiable credentials, credential revocations, requesting credentials, exchanging credentials, data schemas for credentials and other verifiable data, messaging using DWN and usage of DIDs.
“Using these core standards, the SSIS enables robust functionality to facilitate all verifiable interactions such as creating, signing, issuing, curating, requesting, revoking, exchanging, validating, verifying credentials in varying degrees of complexity,” per its webpage.
The ssi-sdk encapsulates standards related to self-sovereign identity.
“The ssi-sdk intends to provide flexible functionality based on a set of standards-based primitives for building decentralized identity applications in a modular manner: with limited dependencies between components,” per its webpage.