Relational databases, commonly known for its universal SQL (Structured Query Language) undoubtedly propelled the boring, static internet into a thriving worldwide network of information exchange. As we begin to venture into the exciting era of Web 3.0, projects are now looking to relational blockchains to usher in the next era of the decentralized web.
How Relational Databases Shaped the Web As We Know It Today
Relational databases is not a new concept conceived by the internet boom in the 90’s and early 2000’s. IBM conceptualized the first relational system database, called System R in 1974 — decades before the internet began to gain traction. System R was the first implementation of SQL, with basic — but crucial — operations known as CRUD: CREATE, READ, UPDATE, and DELETE. These four simple operations would change the world in the decades to come, giving birth to countless RDBMS (relational database management systems).
Web 0.1 — The Birth of the Internet
Most of those in the tech / blockchain industry probably have heard of ARPANET — the first “internet” which was basically a network of four university computers that could send transmissions to each other.
Over time, more universities and institutions joined the network, laying the groundwork and foundation of what powers the Internet to this day, from TCP/IP to HTTP. Admittedly, the network was difficult to use, it was not pretty, and UI/UX weren’t even a field of study at the time. Almost everything in the early stages were command line based and intimidating for those uninitiated with these new giant machines they called computers.
Web 1.0 — Static, Non-Interactive Mediums of Information Exchange
With the rise of personal home PCs and dial-up internet, things began to get interesting… sort of. The 90’s really kicked off the beginning of the mainstream adoption of the internet, with “mind-blowing” GUI (graphical user interfaces) and consumer ability to send emails almost instantly to the select few friends and relatives that were early adopters. Every house was bombarded with AOL “Free Trial” CDs, The distinct noise of the dial-up modem connecting to the internet as well as the “You’ve got mail!” soundwave would be embedded in every internet user to this day.
There wasn’t much you could do on the internet. There were a couple news sites, some niche directory of links, chat rooms, email, and of course — porn and GeoCities. Still, the internet continued to develop.
Web 2.0 — Dynamic, Interactive Websites!
However, there is one significant piece of the puzzle that largely remained unchanged, and arguably helped the Web 2.0 growth the most — relational databases. PHP and MySQL dominated the early days of Web 2.0, and still does to this day. Let’s take a quick look at our favorite sites and software from the early days:
- Xanga — PHP & MySQL
- Newgrounds — PHP & MySQL
- DeviantArt — PHP & MySQL
- Photobucket — PHP & MySQL
- AddictingGames — PHP & MySQL
- All your favorite forums (vBulletin, phpBB, SMF) — all PHP & MySQL
Relational databases, specifically MySQL, completely changed the landscape, and is still the most dominant RDBMS to this day. Relational DBs organize data into tables, which contain columns and rows with a unique key identifying each record. This allows for easy, efficient, and logical ways in which data can be stored, updated, and retrieved. Without this seemingly simple, yet so powerful piece of data storage technology, the internet would look completely different today.
Web 3.0 — The Race for Mass Adoption of Decentralized Apps
We can all agree that blockchain technology is an amazing and fascinating gift to not only the tech world, but across all sorts of industries. However, there are undeniable deficiencies when it comes to certain things.
Blockchain by definition is an immutable ledger agreed upon by the network participants in which all transactions are recorded. This is great for certain use-cases, but can be clunky and overwhelming for others. These blockchains can get massive in size (Bitcoin’s nearly 160 GB), retrieving data can be slow, costly, and very inefficient. If a single dapp like CryptoKitties can grind a network to a halt, that network is simply not ready for mass dApp adoption.
Now let’s take a step back and remind ourselves why and how Web 2.0 grew so rapidly. Relational databases. Websites and users could store, update, delete, access the exact piece of data that they need almost instantaneously. In order for true mainstream adoption of dApps to be possible, the blockchain industry needs something of similar or better method of achieving these results.
The Birth of Relational Blockchains
Yes, you read that correctly — relational blockchains. ChromaWay is a Swedish company known mostly for its blockchain research and humanitarian efforts since 2013. Last year the company made a huge breakthrough by developing the world’s first relational blockchain, named Postchain.
Postchain is a convergence of a relational database and a blockchain which is SQL-based, flexible, secure, and easy to use. In other words, it offers the best of both worlds.
Chromia, set to launch its IEO on Kucoin’s Spotlight on May 28th, utilizes Postchain and Rell, a simplified querying and programming language as its backbone to allow developers with zero prior blockchain development experience to easily create dApps that is not only scalable, but very flexible and familiar to regular app development.
The Chromia Network boasts impressive near real-time 1 second confirmation times, 500+ transactions per second per dApp, and 100K+ read/write updates per second using Postchain. It also gives the developers freedom in how they want to monetize (or not monetize) the dApp, allowing them to choose from classic model, subscription model, freemium model, subsidized, donation-based, etc.
Spearheaded by CTO Alex Mizrahi — who was the first person to tokenize assets on top of Bitcoin through the colored coins project and subsequently inspired Vitalik Buterin to begin the Ethereum project — the Chromia team has decades worth of combined experience in blockchain development and research. ChromaWay, the parent company of Chromia, has an impressive advisor list including Charlie Lee of Litecoin, and Vinny Lingham of Civic.
Originally published at Lunar Digital Assets.