The Way to Web3 -#2, From Lens Protocol to my ideal Web3 personal data solution
March 11th, 2022

Thanks for Aave team to create Lens Protocol -- a great on-chain personal data solution! Here are some thoughts about it and beyond it.

As I mentioned in my last article "the final version of personal data system should be an on-chain + off-chain structure ", that's why I want this article and discuss my ideal solution with Lens Protocol.           P.S. Pls regret me to write this so late.
As I mentioned in my last article "the final version of personal data system should be an on-chain + off-chain structure ", that's why I want this article and discuss my ideal solution with Lens Protocol.    P.S. Pls regret me to write this so late.


  • An Ideal web3 personal data solution (Will name it as ‘the solution’ in this article) should be easy to read& write, on-chain & off-chain integration, data access control and low cost
  • Lens Protocol is a great on-chain personal data solution and the cost and data privacy are where more development might be needed
  • Structure of my ideal web3 personal data solution (pls see the diagram, sry i can’t summary it)
  • Small add-ins can almost expand Lens Protocol to the solution, except low cost
  • Don’t miss AMA Collections, you will find amazing ideas from amazing builders

Great features of an ideal web3 personal data solution

Before dive into discussing personal data system relevant targets such as Lens Protocol, Ceramic, etc., I would like to share what an ideal Web3 era personal data solution should look like in my mind:

  • Easy to read and write >>> every application can leverage users’ database easily, and users can accumulate their own database no matter what application they visit
  • Great integration across on-chain and off-chain data >>> the solution can cover any scenario not matter it is on-chain or off-chain
  • Data that is private and with authorities management >>> users’ database are stored in a place where everyone can see it without owner’s permission
  • Transactable properties of the data >>> give database owners a auxiliary equipment to facilitate trading their data
  • Low maintenance costs >>> to read/ write/ maintain this database won’t cost a lot, especially in scenarios for high frequency operations

Great Functions of Lens Protocol

(If you know Lens Protocol pretty well, pls skip this part)

Also, in order to make the comparison part easy to understand, clarifying what modules Lens Protocol provides with the NFT as the core framework is very necessary :

  • Social basic proto language: Profile/ Publication/ Comment/ Mirror/ Collect/ Follow (from the official developer documentation)
  • SocialFi in the original language of Fi: Fee Collect Module / Limited Timed Fee Collect Module / Fee Follow Module (refer to the following screenshot of the content of the local running process)
  • Permissions settings: Permissions management must exist from the Fee Collect Module.

Where we still may modify on Lens Protocol

About Lens Protocol, as a SocialFi, we will discuss from social and fi two parts seperately and only include social part in this paper.

Social part, Lens offers solution that makes on-chain data concentrated and easy to carry. And the follow graph is to compare lens with the ideal model that mentioned above:

  • Explanation 1: Once data consumer access the original data after meeting the pre-requirements, ’how to use data’ can’t be known and limit from data provider side;
  • Explanation 2: Executing one follow transaction will cost 0.01 matic under current situation and the cost will increase when polygon network becomes more crowded and matic price increase.

Structure of my ideal web3 personal data solution

To meet the ideal web3 personal data solution, people can perfect the solution based on Lens Protocol, but can also have some new thoughts without Lens Protocol. And I want to discuss both of them in the following part:

A. New thoughts without Lens Protocol

All two-way arrows means two parties can interact with each other. And one-way arrows means the interaction/control can only be down from one party.
All two-way arrows means two parties can interact with each other. And one-way arrows means the interaction/control can only be down from one party.
  • Universal ID:

Universal ID is the ID that everybody can use to interact with any application in web3.

Universal ID is an aggregation of all user’s IDs, but the link between universal ID and each practical ID is agnostic, which means when someone/some machine interact with on-chain ID/web2 ID, they can’t know anything about universal ID.

Ceramic ID, .bit and Login with Ethereum are some good chioces for this part:

Ceramic ID and Login with Ethereum still need some add-in to ensure the agnostic of links between different ID.

.bit can ensure the agnostic of links between different ID but still need to modify its compatibity, especially for ethereum eco-system.

  • Profile NFT:

Every on-chain ID will have its own profile NFT as an on-chain folder that aggregate all of his/her on-chain info (agree with Lens on this part, since NFT is original in blockchain system and won’t need additional add-in when someone wants leverage it)

Profile NFT will contain links to user’s database in storage layer.

  • Database on Arweave:

Since Arweave more performs as a permanent hard drive and hard to achieve privacy, data stored in this part is no privacy required, easy-verified and will need to be called by High frequency.

  • Database on IPFS:

Data stored here is privacy required. And access permission will be required when someone wants to visit these data.

To protect personal privacy as much as possible, the access right can be temporary, or data demand side can only get the result with Zero-knowledge technology help.

  • Database based on Web2 behavior:

This database will also have private feature and web2 application can’t visit it without owner’s permission.

  • Universal Database:

This is an aggregation of every individual database. And only universal ID has the control of this database.

To reduce unnecessary data cleaning time, every individual database better to be built with one design. (e.g. Database in IPFS and Database based on Web2 behavior should have the same format)

Every individual database can’t access data stored in universal database.

Ceramic with streams is the best choice for this part while it also has great Ceramic ID. But to protect personal privacy as much as possible, more privacy features will be needed, especially Zero-knowledge Proof technology.

B. Optimize Lens Protocol

As a great on-chain personal data solution, Lens Protocol can almost represent the left part—on-chain part of the ideal web3 personal data solution. And here is one thought to make ‘almost’ become ‘totally’ from my point of view:

  • Not every connect/follow behavior should be update into Profile NFT while those application are not all on-chain. Just update those behaviors as a rollup and in a certain frequency. This is not only for cost but also for privacy.

A not perfect but very practical suggestion

Lens Protocol + Login with ethereum + IPFS is a good combination to offer web3 personal data solution.

We have to acknowledge that users doesnt’ care about privacy that much (this is true in current crypto world, while only crypto users will become the seed user for our web3 personal data solution). And also, We need to consider a. Ceramic is not ready as a blockchain network and it’s hard to grab user data on web2 application.

AMA Collections (can also be your thoughts, pls join us)

P.S. Either correction or confirmation in the future will be good for our self-growth

  • During the process of data accumulation, is the generation of data deliberate, unsensitive, or both? (Opinion from Twitter @OwnershipLabs)

    Both, in addition to the active curate action, can also automatically help users to synchronize their personal browsing history.

    At the level of data granularity, regular sites can synchronize url/title/content, etc., while mainstream sites can do fine grabs through the plugin, such as dwell time, click entries. Partners can also use these basic data to do fine processing on their own. ref: swash plugin, users get the benefit of their browsing history.

  • How can web3 be accepted by mainstream users? Lowering entry barriers V.S Atrractive applications which is more important? (Opinion from Lukas @SchorLukas)

    Some of the key drivers for mainstream adoption will be (prioritized list):

    • Compelling use-cases
    • Easy onboarding (not having to deal with seed phrases, crypto jargon)
    • Scalable blockchain networks
    • Safety guarantees (prevention of human-error, attacks, phishing, semi-custodial regimes)
    • Recovery fallbacks
    • Localization (language, etc.)
  • Will the real Web3 application happens in Ethereum?

    Most of the creative talents with deep understanding about what blockchain can help on web3 are in Ethereum community, and also, projects live in Ethereum has the highest premium, which means most of innovation on web3 might happen in Ethereum eco-system in next 1~2 years.
    But considering Ethereum‘s framework (EVM as the most) are not suitable for high frequency transaction and multi-type data, the real Web3 application with the scalability to cover mainstream users will happen in blockchain outside EVMs. (Lens choosing polygon instead of ethereum mainnetwork won’t be the only one, but is the start). Great cross-chain tools had release limitation ‘we can only choose EVMs‘ .
    Also, the ideal personal data solution is blockchain (or we can say application chain) agnostic.

Arweave TX
Ethereum Address
Content Digest