Today, most people understand the Web 3 concept as based on the ideas of blockchain technologies and metaverses. Even though we appreciate some of these initiatives, Post-Platforms are very different.
Our Web 3.0 vision is inspired by the works of the inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee and by his SOLID project. We believe in the disrupting potential of the Semantic Web and we know exactly how we can make the fully distributed and machine-readable Internet real.
Blockchain was a great contraption which addressed a very specific task: how to build a trusted ledger of transactions between people who do not trust each other. It was done, but at a certain price:
Besides these conceptual concerns, there are also some purely technical issues:
Web 3.0 Data Space solves all these issues
Instead, we build a system where all users will be trusted because their certificates will be signed by Certificate Authorities (digital notaries in the system).
As a result, we would have:
All this makes the Web 3.0 Data Space a really secure, distributed, standardized, scalable, and sustainable system.
Yes, it is as decentralized as the real world is. Every user, organization, and many objects will have their PODs with all data related to them. This scheme will eliminate any need for large corporate or public databases.
Obviously, we don’t envision every individual to maintain their own physical server, hence some degree of centralization is created by data storage facilities. However, we developed several methods to mitigate all related risks.
It is essentially the 3rd generation of Web, and just like Web 1.0, it can be used everywhere.
The overall socio-economic and environmental impact of the Web 3.0 Data Space is always positive, and it constantly grows with the wider adoption of this technology. We are exploring how this concept can be applied in various verticals and you can read about some of them here. Each industry has its specifics but since everyone is working with data these days, the overarching principle of sharing data at source can always be applied.
Our scheme keeps all the benefits of platforms and allows to get rid of their monopolies. It disrupts markets in any industry, from hospitality to education.
The European Data Space will become one of the main vehicles for adoption and implementation of the Post-Platforms concept in various domains.
Our team is involved in discussions with the main European Data Space stakeholders and actively participates in shaping this concept.
Our team develops it in Europe and we closely cooperate with the European Data Space initiative.
At the same time, just like the existing Web, the Web 3.0 Data Space is global by definition. Even if currently the implementation of the technologies we promote is concentrated mainly in the European Union, our activities are not limited to Europe only, and the Web 3.0 Data Space concept isn’t in any manner equivalent to the EU one.
It is the Initiative led by Minstrel Technologies BV, a Dutch startup with an outstanding team located across Europe and other parts of the world. Besides promoting the products, solutions, and side-projects we develop, we are launching this non-for-profit initiative aiming to consolidate all European actors with a similar vision of the Web 3.0 Data Space.
Also, we use the term “post-platforms” to describe future Web 3.0 platforms connected to fully decentralized databases of multiple individual PODs.
The forthcoming Web 3.0 Data Space is much bigger than any organization or corporation, it's a global phenomenon, both geographically and economically. Our company and our initiative are but humble prophets and preachers of this future change, its facilitators, but we won't in any way "control" or "own" this coming Web 3.0.
Another good thing about Web 3.0 Data Space is that the majority of technologies, protocols, and formats (e.g. Solid, DID, Linked Data, PKI etc) we use have already been invented and developed to some extent, and many of them are even open source.
Our role is limited to putting them together in the right order and to adjusting them to the needs of specific industries and of the global Web 3.0 Data Space ecosystem as a whole.
We believe that our innovation is not purely technical, but mainly organizational; most of the key economic advancements in human history have always been of that nature.
From a practical standpoint, the research phase is virtually finished, we found solutions for all the bottlenecks and have functional prototypes ready to be deployed in several industries.
With our partners, we are planning to launch some commercial spin-offs in several sectors. Amongst the products and services for the Web 3.0 Data Space there are:
A POD is your dedicated digital storage. It will play the role of your SSD and cloud storage at the same time. You create it seamlessly just like you create and maintain your email account now. You will also be able to move it from one provider to another. Due to its higher level of security and reliability (it will always be backed up by several alternative hosting providers), you will forget the times when data could be lost together with a failed HDD or SSD. Internet will “backup itself”. You will totally control who can access your data.
Yes, and there will be more of them! The entry barriers will be much lower, and many new platforms will come. You will choose which one to use based on their UI/UX and on your personal preferences since their user base will be fully shared. We call such platforms “post-platforms”.
The Web 3.0 Data Space is the foundation for the Metaverse. As platforms will compete, they will quickly expand their services to new verticals, as the entry barriers will be lower. Eventually, many of them will become Metaverses based on billions of PODs.
Technically, PODs are not expensive. Keeping a POD will cost as much as it costs now for a regular cloud storage: some packages will be free, and more advanced ones will cost its owners just a few dollars annually.
In our scheme, the data is controlled and owned by users themselves, including both individuals and companies. We don’t reinvent property rights, we just eliminate the artificial content ownership claims of various platforms.
Not only will it be compliant, but much more than that: it brings GDPR to the next level. No need to control how platforms store and use your data, simply because they won’t store it anymore. PODs will already keep your data under your control. Even if more issues will emerge, legal data protection mechanisms (probably the next version of the GDPR) will certainly address them.
There is a risk that our solutions, empowering citizens and giving them further control of their lives, would be incompatible with totalitarian regimes. Most probably, such regimes might slow down their introduction. We do foresee issues here and we believe they should be discussed further.
Clearly, Tim Berners-Lee's ideas and findings have been one of the major inspirations for Post-Platforms. However, we made several steps further:
Post-Platforms Initiative is based on the same principle of connecting Original Data with Data Consumers.
However, Post-Platforms Initiative is a very specific implementation of generic IDS concepts.
One might see Post-Platforms as a mixture of IDS & Solid project.
We believe we bring both concepts further, when we address issues like:
Post-Platforms is a member of the International Data Spaces Association since 2023, and we will explore our relations with this community further.
No, it is not patent-protected and it should not be. We hope that some part of it will even become a set of open W3C standards.
Currently, we position most of our products as open source. We also try to use open-source third-party software as much as possible. However, some third-party solutions used as elements of our industry-specific products might be closed source.
Indeed, we totally understand that any introduction of major technical innovations, let alone society-wide organizational changes, takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.
We cannot predict the exact pace of its introduction, but according to our estimations, the Web 3.0 Data Space will be fully implemented at least in developed countries in the next 10 years.
At first, this small gradual revolution will happen separately in each sector and industry, till the change volume attains the critical mass, and then the transition of the remains of Web 2.0 won't take much longer.