Not too long ago, the World Wide Web had a humble start, with very big ideals. Central to the development and implementation of early web protocols were permissionless access, decentralization, and consensus. These fundamental ideals set forth the prolific growth of a web that enabled access for thousands, then millions, then billions of people.
The web has grown up over the years. It has become social. And mobile. With rapidly evolving technological progress from both a hardware and software perspective, a new world of glimmering opportunities became available to the masses for the first time. Opportunities for widespread organization, access to education on any topic imaginable, new markets, emerging global businesses, emerging small businesses, Instagram celebrities, and dating sites. We can learn anything, we can build anything, we can connect with anyone. The human condition has improved in immeasurable ways because of the ideals of individuals who built, tinkered and dedicated their lives to building the web.
But the web we generally know today has become increasingly more centralized and increasingly less private. We now rely on corporations to provide access to our data, rather than owning it ourselves. And while there have always been those idealists — still tinkering in the background, developing protocols and languages — there was not yet the technology or mainstream desire to enable a widespread and truly decentralized web. The past few years however, have shown a significant shift towards a new paradigm.
We support a new World Wide Web: Web 3.0. A web that holds the same vision and ideals of the first World Wide Web, but with improved software protocols that allow for a truer execution of that vision.
We’d like to introduce you to the Web3 Foundation.
The Web3 Foundation has one very clear mission — to nurture and steward technologies and applications in the fields of decentralized web software protocols, particularly those which utilize modern cryptographic methods to safeguard decentralization, to the benefit and for the stability of the Web3 ecosystem.
We seek to be an advocate of a decentralized web, and a resource and support network for those working on it. While a core focus of the Foundation will be blockchain protocols and decentralized apps, we will also seek to fund and support non-blockchain projects focused on cryptography. To that end, we will engage with a number of projects and individuals on an ongoing basis on the needs and challenges they face.
The Foundation will steward pragmatic solutions that will benefit the ecosystem as a whole. Some of those initiatives include:
General support for the education and adoption of decentralized technology.
Collaborative Community Efforts:
The Foundation looks to find alignments and solutions for decentralization. Where we discover multiple projects working towards a common solution, we aim to facilitate collaboration across teams.
The Foundation will set aside funds for research and development initiatives led by third parties that address general ecosystem issues.
Joint Funding Initiatives:
Web3 Foundation will align with other projects and Foundations who look to deploy funds towards further ecosystem research and development.
Our Foundation will build out a research team to work on topics that are central to the development of Web 3.0. Some of the initial topics we look to explore are:
Cryptography (secret transactions and contracts, succinct proofs, subjective proofs).
Policy Learning and Reputation Systems.
Statistical Modeling and Anomaly Detection.
Secure Computation Hardware.
Unique Item Identification.
Blockchain scalability technologies.
Polkadot Network: Polkadot is a protocol that will create interoperability between blockchains.
Smart Contract Development Tools.
Where are we now?
The Foundation is responsive to the needs of the community, and this proposal only represents the early stages of our planning. We are currently working to gather further insights and data from projects so we can best align on overarching ecosystem needs. In Q1 2018 we plan to determine budget allocation for a number of first initiatives. The Foundation will provide updates and transparency to the community regarding our funding deployment and will amplify findings for the benefit of all.
There’s a lot of work to be done to restore the original promise of the World Wide Web. It will take a lot of tinkering, experimenting, exploring, and sometimes failing. But as our lives become increasingly more digital, we believe the importance to construct more open, transparent, and fair societies start with a more decentralized web. We look forward to building it alongside you.
The Web3 Foundation
Join us on Riot: https://riot.im/app/#/room/#web3foundation:matrix.org