Towards a More Human Web3 🚀

3Box has spun out of uPort to become an independent project focused on building a social data network for dapps and users

3Box is now an independent project and community!

  • 3Box has spun out of uPort to become an independent organization within Consensys.
  • We are building social infrastructure that helps people establish trust and connection online.
  • 3Box currently offers 3box.io, a social profiles app for Ethereum users and communities; and 3box-js, an API for web3 developers to onboard users and set/get data to a profile.
  • We aim to continue being community-driven: building with developers, projects and partners in our ecosystem.

Infrastructure for Trust and Connection Online

Our collective vision for web3 is of a more p2p, user-controlled, and people-friendly internet, yet the current dapp ecosystem is a cold and unforgiving place for users. By asking normal people to interact with, or send value to, long credit-card-number-looking-things (with a zero-tolerance policy for user error), we have erected tremendous barriers to user adoption. More than just being confused, users currently don’t trust the entire crypto ecosystem. Most find it unfamiliar and incongruous with normal life. Not only have we failed to support new and less-technical users, but in doing so we have also failed to attract a mainstream community to amplify our purpose.

Simply put, humans don’t think in hex codes.

On top of that, even for the few users that have taken the leap into our dapp ecosystem — they have unfortunately found that in most instances their data is stored on a central server controlled by a single dapp (just as in the old web), or on a public ledger where it can never be deleted (ouch).

The web3 of today is less human than web2, not more.

3Box builds the social infrastructure that helps people establish trust and connection online. We are committed to enabling the realization of an improved web3 experience that lives up to its potential of being more social, user-centric, and human. In the long term, we we believe this type of social infrastructure will yield the emergence of a decentralized social graph that connects users, communities and dapps — and helps support trusted interactions and relationships across all members of the community!

Social Profiles for Digital Communities

3Box has created a user profiles network for Ethereum which simplifies user onboarding and makes dapp experiences more friendly and rewarding.

3Box profiles provide users with a place to store and share information about themselves, including basic profile details and other information. The 3Box.js API provides dapps with a way to easily get relevant information about an Ethereum account, as well as a secure user-controlled place to store data for future use without compromising privacy.

3Box allows our ecosystem to finally move away from hex addresses and centralized user data storage towards more human web3 experiences capable of actually onboarding millions of real users.

Ethereum Profiles Application

The 3box-dapp allows users to create and manage their social profile, sign in to dapps, interact with other users, build a reputation, store data, and more. 3Box.io is live and can be used wherever users already access web3 dapps –with all standard web3-enabled browsers such as MetaMask and Status.

Ethereum Profiles allow users to keep public and private information about their Ethereum account off-chain. Removing the need to store user content hashes on a blockchain or a server greatly improves the overall usability, security, and privacy of the web3 application ecosystem.

3Box.js API

The 3box-js JavaScript API allows developers to easily interact (set, get, remove data) with 3Box profiles, including getting information during onboarding.

As a web3 developer, 3box-js provides you the ability to…

  • Get public profiles for one or more Ethereum accounts
  • Onboard social user profiles with one click
  • Create new profiles seamlessly when needed
  • Store data/content with the user, in the user’s control
  • Share data between apps for shared user reputation
  • Store communication keys, such as public encryption keys, for a PKI
  • Store and request private, encrypted information

We think these capabilities will make it extremely easy to build the next generation of more social apps on Ethereum, and contribute to making web3 a more safe and familiar place for our users and communities.

Call getProfile and see for yourself how easy it is to look up an Ethereum address today!

Why separate from uPort?

3Box and its contributors got their start building decentralized identity systems with uPort, the self-sovereign identity initiative that has been incubating within ConsenSys for the last 3 years. Michael Sena, Joel Torstensson, Christian Lundkvist, and Zach Ferland were among the original uPort team that sought to deliver a mobile, privacy-preserving, self-sovereign identity solution to everyone from governments to dapp users. Danny Zuckerman and Cristóbal Castillo also joined uPort a bit later.

While we admire the mission of uPort and worked tirelessly at it for years, we found ourselves increasingly driven to explore a gap in social-human connection present in the broader web3 ecosystem — a direction heavily informed through discussions with many partners and community members.

As we released the first versions of 3Box to much community excitement, we realized that the product vision that 3Box needed to focus on delivering in the near-term to medium-term was starting to look less and less like the mobile, privacy-preserving, self-sovereign identity system that uPort is focused on building at the moment.

For those reasons 3Box and uPort decided to split into two separate initiatives and communities, allowing each team to pursue their purpose and mission with uninhibited enthusiasm. We feel deep gratitude to uPort and Consensys for enabling such a fertile environment for radical thinking and change.

🌀 A Promise to Community and Culture 🦄

A social profiles network for the distributed web should deeply embody the values of the web3 community. At the first 3Box team offsite last month, we agreed that part of our purpose is to cultivate and spread the culture of our ecosystem: the special mix of values, intentions, interests, and energy required to create the next great social collaboration. We promise to capture that spirit in everything we do.

For us, community is everything. We aim to learn from our developers and users every single week, and to grow our active community. We welcome all kinds of contributions — bring your technical questions, share what you’re working on, join our book club, give us feedback, anything — most of all we want to get to know you and your project so we can help you achieve your dapp’s goals!

Want to join or contribute?

There are many ways to get involved with 3Box!

Chat: Join 3Box community discord to get involved in the conversation

Code: https://github.com/3box/3box

We’re Hiring: Distributed Systems Engineer, Technical Community Developer

App Feedback: https://3box.io on the profile page

Dev Feedback: #feedback channel on 3Box Discord