In response to "My first impressions of web3"

This article by Moxie Marlinspike is intelligently written and uses the right questions to frame the discussion about the value of Web3 and blockchains. In particular it starts with the thesis that Web3 and blockchain are valuable due to the decentralization of the actors running the infrastructure and code.

In doing his research, he actually took the time to build a couple of serious and quite interesting NFT projects. His criticisms of the current state of Web3 include:

  • blockchains have a terrible interface for building DApps
  • nobody wants to run servers, so platforms that take that task away from people, companies, and developers will win, which leads to centralization
  • that these forces are already at play in Web3 where all important apps just query Infura, Alchemy, or The Graph for their data
  • If you deal with NFTs you query OpenSea for your data

The current centralization around those services (Infura, Alchemy, The Graph, OpenSea) means that Web3 is already centralized, much like Web2.

It also means that privacy suffers. He offers the example of Metamask using 1 persistent TLS connection to talk to Infura, no matter what account you’re using, so whereas those accounts might have no trace of being linked on the blockchain, Infura knows that they all belong to you.

This analysis was really great for me to read because it made the value proposition of Laconic Network crystal clear. Laconic can solve almost all of these problems, and possibly even save people time and money while doing it.

The Laconic Network value

We will solve the problems of:

  • Blockchains not having friendly data retrieval APIs for DApps. Laconic Watchers will define GraphQL endpoints for the specific data that DApps developers need. They will be hosted and operated on a decentralized network of service providers who must compete with each other on price and service quality to win your business. Watchers will be easier to write than current alternatives and will also be more flexible, and eventually, encompass more data.
  • Data not being signed or retaining cryptographic proofs: One of the key value propositions of Laconic Network is the provability of the data served. Data consumers will be able to run proofs against their data that ensure the fidelity of the data against its underlying blockchain source.
  • Not coming from decentralized providers: Laconic will offer an alternative to the centralized providers and even allow privacy concerned operators to join the network and run their own services. There will be a solution for the people who don’t want to run servers, and a solution for the people who do.

To an extent we’ll also also be solving the “nobody wants to run servers” problem by putting at least a portion of the servers’ role in the browser, in the form of incentivized pinning of IPFS/IPLD data.


Some good responses to the Moxie article out there:

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