Fluence Labs
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Fluence Labs

Decentralized Web Developer Report 2020


Summary of Report

  • Most of the projects surveyed were created less than 2 years ago, confirming that the DWeb space is still immature and emerging
  • DWeb is mostly ideologically driven, but not yet understood by a general user, said three-quarters of the respondents
  • Data privacy, data sovereignty, and tech resilience are the most expected features from the DWeb
  • Biggest technical challenges preventing from developing for DWeb are peer-to-peer connectivity and tech immaturity
  • Among the existing internet protocols, DNS worries people the most, followed by communication layer and HTTP
  • Business models in the DWeb ecosystem are lacking, with more than half of projects having no monetization method
  • IPFS and Ethereum are by far leaders among underlying technologies respondents use to create DWeb applications
  • DWeb interest among developers is high, but the road to adoption is an uphill struggle as the infrastructure needs to improve and users need to be educated on the advantages of using the DWeb over centralized counterparts.
ContentsWeb 3.0 vs DWebStudy Participants & DemographicsThe Current Web
3.1 Pain Points
3.2 Web Protocols
The DWeb
4.1 The Meaning of Decentralization
4.2 Values and Mission
4.3 Technical Challenges
4.4 DWeb Tech Usage in the Future
Adoption of the DWeb
5.1 Biggest Obstacles
5.2 The Missing Piece
5.3 The Role of the Blockchain
DWeb Projects Profile
6.1 Categories
6.2 Motivation
6.3 Status and Team
6.4 Technology
6.5 Business

Web 3.0 vs DWeb

Study Participants & Demographics

Biggest Pain Points

Web Protocols

The Meaning of Decentralization

Values and Mission

The Technical Challenges of the DWeb

Using DWeb Technologies in the Future

Biggest Obstacles

The missing piece to the DWeb?

Role of the Blockchain



Status & Team




Monthly users

  1. The DWeb’s definition among its proponents is mostly subject to semantics, and the broader goals of decentralization, data sovereignty, privacy, censorship-resistance, and their concomitant developments appear to be the primary theme and channel for growth.
  2. Many of the projects and interested respondents are driven by an ideological preference for DWeb. Preferences range from stifling government surveillance to severing the advertising/user data hegemony abused by major tech firms.
  3. Developers are excited about the DWeb, but mainstream recognition of DWeb tech and applications is subpar at best. Educational material is lacking, and the problems of data sovereignty and privacy are only in their early stages of public awareness. Developers face myriad hurdles ranging from a lack of developer documentation and tools to the incompatibility of DWeb tech with existing infrastructure.
  4. Most users would tend to agree with the premise of the DWeb, but technical limitations hindering developers and poor user-facing applications, whether from performance or complexity, are prohibitive factors in the broader adoption of DWeb tech.
  5. Governments and big tech firms are demonstrating palpable resistance to the emergence of decentralized technologies, whether in finance, data privacy, or censorship-resistance. Big tech firms will not relinquish control over their vast user data moats easily. However, the technology of the DWeb has the potential to supplant them. The foundation is there and it has a strong grassroots movement behind it, now it’s just about building out the tech’s infrastructure, providing more educational material, and appealing to the mainstream web user.
  6. Monetization and funding are critical problems for DWeb technologies right now. Access to capital will surely be thrown into flux following the COVID-19 fallout, and DWeb projects need to explore new ways to extend their financial runways besides VC/Angel funding options. Their centralized competition, in the form of Google, Facebook, etc., hold troves of cash and have shown a penchant for suppressing competition. Without adequate monetization, DWeb projects will struggle immensely to remain relevant and appeal to mainstream users.
  • A surging global sentiment towards better privacy following the revealing of government surveillance, big tech privacy abuses, and massive consumer data leaks. Users want control over their data and digital privacy is now at a premium. DWeb can show them the way.
  • Uncertain economic and monetary policy during the fallout of COVID-19 may push many users towards crypto-specific technologies, introducing them to the DWeb.
  • The global surge in open-source development, projects, tools, and licenses is accumulating influence and applying pressure to major industries to ease barriers to access and unlock the Internet’s decentralized potential.
  • Major web browsers integrating DWeb protocols (Opera) and new emerging browsers (Brave) can make the switch to decentralized technologies seamless and almost invisible for end-users.




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