Web3 Foudation's mission, according to our founding charter, is "nurturing and stewarding cutting-edge
technologies and applications in the fields of cryptographically-powered decentralized software
Our ultimate goal is delivering Web 3.0, a decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data and markets prosper from network efficiency and security.
Dr. Gavin Wood
Dr. Gavin Wood is the founder and current director of Parity Technologies Ltd. He has designed state-of-the-art analysis tools and programming languages, as well as co-founded several technology startups. Dr. Wood has presented to numerous audiences around the world from keynotes at regional technology conferences to musings on the future of legal systems at Harvard. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of York.
Previously, he was the chief technology officer and co-founder of the Ethereum Project. He is the co-designer of the Ethereum Protocol, author of its formal specification, and created and wrote the first functional Ethereum implementation. Dr. Wood designed and stewarded the Solidity language, was the project chief of the IDE, and designed and implemented the Whisper protocol.
Dr. Aeron Buchanan
Dr. Aeron Buchanan has been involved with the Web 3.0 vision since its inception, joining the Ethereum project as a mathematical modeler in 2014 and going on to be head of European operations and regulatory compliance. He received his doctorate from the Robotics Department of Oxford University in the field of computer vision after working as an algorithm designer for the special-effects industry. He read engineering and computer science for his undergraduate degree.
He has designed algorithms for unmanned aerial vehicles, started tech companies building light-show controllers and blockchain technology and acted as a consultant to economics and ecological research laboratories. He is currently an advisor to several important blockchain projects that aim make advancements in consensus platform technology and more readily bring their benefits to society and the economy.
Reto Trinkler is the founder of Trinkler Software. He is also the co-founder of Melonport AG, a blockchain-based platform that enables participants to set up, manage and invest in technology-regulated digital investment funds.
With a background in mathematics from ETH Zurich, he has been developing Ethereum smart contracts since the platform’s inception. Prior to that, Mr. Trinkler developed a profitable trading algorithm for sports-betting exchanges in C++.
What Exactly is Web 3.0?
Juan Benet, founder and chief executive of Protocol Labs, talks about the Web 3.0 vision and how it relates to humanity going from a pre-computing civilization to a post-computing civilization.
The Journey to Web 3.0
Web3 Foundation founder and President Dr. Gavin Wood discusses the ethos and vision behind Web 3.0 and proposes the Web 3.0 Technology Stack as a way to measure our progress.
Web 3.0 Technology Stack
Protocol-extensible user-interface cradle (”browser”)
The top level of the stack, this includes the ability for a general user - not developer - to interact with one or more blockchains.
Protocol-extensible user-interface cradle ("browser") - A program which a user would use to interact directly with the blockchain without needing to know implementation details (as a developer might). Examples would include Status, MetaMask, or MyCrypto.
Protocol-extensible developer APIs & languages
This is the layer of human-readable languages and libraries that allow developers to create programs at the proper level of abstraction.
Protocol-extensible developer APIs & languages - There are a variety of languages which can be used to develop applications without dealing with actual bytecode, such as Solidity and Vyper (Ethereum), Plutus (Cardano), and Rust (Substrate). Additionally, there are a variety of frameworks available to make it easier to develop applications interacting with a blockchain, such as ethers.js, web3.js, and oo7.js.
Second layer protocols
This layer enhances the capabilities enumerated in Layer 1, by allowing functionality such as increased scaling, encrypted messaging, and distributed computing.
State channels - A way for a blockchain to increase scalability by having nodes communicate with each other off-chain, by "opening" and "closing" channels on the main chain, and writing only initial and final results, instead of each state transition being recorded on the chain. Examples include Bitcoin's Lightning Network and Ethereum's Raiden Network.
Plasma protocols - Plasma is another way of increasing scalability by creating a "tree" of blockchains, with the main chain being the root of the tree, and "child" blockchains interacting with higher-level chains as little as possible. Examples include Loom's PlasmaChain and OmigeGO Plasma.
Encrypted storage - The user of cryptography to mathematically encrypt and decrypt data, both at-rest (i.e., stored on a specific computer) and in-motion (i.e., being transferred from one computer to another).
Heavy computation - Providing a way to allow computation to be spread amongst many computers as well as prove that the computations were performed correctly. Examples of this include Golem and TrueBit on Ethereum.
Distributed secret management - Allowing information to be accessed only by authorized parties, including complex scenarios such as "decrypting this information requires all six signers to use their key" or "any 5 of 7 signers must agree". Examples include Parity Secret Store.
Oracles - A way to inject off-chain data (such as weather results or stock prices) onto a blockchain, generally for use by smart contracts.
This layer provides the ability to distribute and interact with data.
Zero/low trust interaction protocols - A protocol describing how different nodes can interact with each other and trust computation and information coming from each of them. Most cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and ZCash, meet the definition of a Zero/low trust interaction protocol - they describe the rules necessary for a node to follow to participate in the protocol.
Data distribution protocols - Protocols describing how data is distributed and communicated amongst the various nodes in a decentralized system. Examples include IPFS, Swarm and BigchainDB.
Zero/low trust interaction platforms (shared security) - A platform implementing a zero/low trust interaction protocol to allow all participating members to share security with each other. Polkadot is an example of this.
Transient data pub/sub messaging - Protocols describing how data which is not meant to be permanently stored, such as status updates, is communicated and how nodes are made aware of its presence. Examples include Whisper and Matrix.
This is the foundation of the Web3 technology stack, consisting of how nodes communicate and how they can be programmed at the lowest level.
Peer-to-peer (p2p) internet overlay protocols - A networking suite which allows nodes to communicate in a decentralized way. Examples include devp2p (Ethereum, Whisper, Swarm) and libp2p (IPFS, Polkadot).
Platform-neutral computation description language - A way to execute the same program on different physical platforms (architectures, OSes, etc.). Examples include EVM (Ethereum), UTXOs (Bitcoin), and Wasm (Polkadot).