Web3's current state and improvements
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June 25th, 2022

As Web3 garners more attention, pioneering developers have developed innovative protocols to meet the needs of Web3 enthusiasts. With the explosion of protocols over the recent years, many have tackled the pain points that Web2 protocols are not able to.

Addressing legitimate structural needs

The structural needs for Web3 are legitimate and successful protocols are cognizant of that. For example, Mirror Protocol is a decentralized alternative to publishing apps like Substack and Medium.

Mirror allows instant, trustless payments to enable crowdfunds, split the amounts and more. Such features closed the gap between writers and readers, allowing monetary contributions in an easy and fast method. Using block explorers like Etherscan will also help verify the funds movements so that contributors can check themselves. Blogs that are written are stored permanently on Arweave, a decentralized storage platform. This powerful combination allows writers to monetize their content and own it forever, creating a strong foundation that incentivizes writers to use Mirror.

Another real world structural need that is being tackled is decentralized voting. Snapshot is a decentralized voting system that aims to give flexibility to various organizations looking to conduct voting in a transparent manner. Through off-chain transactions, Snapshot is able to provide a gasless option both for voting and to create proposals.

Votes are also easily verifiable through Snapshot’s frontend where it is publicized. In Snapshot’s current state, it showcases a solution towards voting corruption, removing any doubt of conspiracy.

Alternatives readily available for various infrastructure

As Web3 grows, more products that offer similar features are developed. This is crucial for many reasons, one being that users have the alternative to pick when one is down. For example, both Alchemy and Infura are backend infrastructures that offer different RPC nodes that users can set up themselves.

During high network usage, this is essential as users may need to manage their on-chain positions to avoid liquidations on leverage protocols like Gearbox.

Bridging the social layer for both builders and users

Using centralized social platforms like Twitter and Facebook poses the risk where your content may be regulated wrongfully. Databases are centralized too, preventing content creators from porting over their content or followers to another platform.

Lens Protocol is one infrastructure that aims to solve that problem. Lens seeks to become a user-owned social graph where users own their data, allowing them to port it to any other platform. Posts and comments are stored on-chain, adding to the user’s collective digital footprint.

Lens also helps ease the developing process for social media builders. While Lens has only been announced a few months ago, there have already been more than 50 apps developed under Lens API. Grants are also available for developers who are looking to further Lens vision.

Necessary improvements: Prioritizing security

Developments in Web3 have been made at a breakneck speed, However, this comes at the expense of security.

2021 saw a plethora of exploits - more than 2 billion dollars were siphoned from users to exploiters. With a nascent industry like Web3, it is inevitable to make mistakes. However, this could be mitigated through early and frequent audits. Many developers ‘test in prod’ at the expense of users, where a smart contract bug may lead to millions of dollars lost.

Therefore, audits should always be prioritized if the project is dealing with user funds. By engaging reputable audit firms such as Trail of Bits and Quantstamp, bugs that could otherwise cause loss of funds could be averted. While this may be an expensive task, it is a necessary one to build trust between developers and users.

Simplifying the onboarding process

To get more users into the industry, UX design is one key factor teams must focus on before deploying to retain repeating users. As the space is still new, users may be daunted if the design is complicated. For developers looking to build on various infrastructure, local meetups between the core team and enthusiast groups could help answer queries, such as setting up build environments and a live demo.

Web3 is at the forefront of changing how users interact, transact, and communicate . The current iteration of products is nothing short of amazing, but builders as a collective need to have the same ethos of having security being paramount as we forge forward with developing the future of the internet. I strongly believe that integrations of infrastructure like the examples above will lead to a modular stack where users can enjoy decentralized services and be in control of their data.

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