TBD Unveils Tech Preview of Web5
With Decentralized Web Nodes (DWNs), developers can now build apps that return ownership of identity and data to individuals.
TBD, a developer-focused business from Block founded to make a decentralized future accessible to everyone, announced that the first tools for its open source Web5 platform are now available for developers to begin building apps that return ownership and control over identity and data to individuals. With today’s release, developers will be able to experiment with an early version of the Web5 software development kit that contains the basic elements to create decentralized web applications.
Web5 brings decentralized identity, decentralized data storage to applications
The internet democratized access to information, but with the rise of intermediaries increasingly controlling more of the internet’s data, individuals lost control of their personal data and identities to centralized third parties.
Web5 is reinventing the account model of the internet to empower people to truly own their data and identities, unlock access to financial services, and regain privacy and control over how their personal data is used. Key components of Web5 consist of:
Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs): An open standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), DIDs are self-generated and self-owned identifiers that enable identity authentication in a decentralized world. They are comparable to an email address or username, yet are not owned and controlled by a company or stored on centralized servers. They cannot be deleted or altered by anyone except for the individual who owns them.
Verified Credentials (VCs): Verified credentials (VCs) are digital certificates of claims that are easily shared in a private and secure way. They can prove your legal name, age, ownership of an asset, or anything, really. These can convey the same information as physical credentials like a driver’s license or membership card, but in a more tamper-resistant, digital format.
Decentralized Web Nodes (DWNs/ DWeb Nodes): With DWeb Nodes, the world now has access to an emerging standard for decentralized storage of app and personal data. This technology, developed by TBD and other contributors in open source organizations, serves as the foundation for Web5. DWeb Nodes enable developers to build decentralized apps and protocols where individuals truly own and control their data.
Web5 does not employ utility tokens or blockchain-based smart contracts. With Web5, individuals have direct control of their identity and data that can be stored in DWeb Nodes, where access can be granted or revoked at will.
“Web5 is a group of technologies that enhance the Web with decentralized identity, personal data storage and verifiable data exchange capabilities,” said Daniel Buchner, Head of Decentralized Identity of TBD. “HTML5 was the last major effort to evolve the Web that made websites more app-like and interactive. We believe the technologies of Web5 help unlock the next evolution of the Web; one that puts individuals in control of their data and identity. In the approaching age of AI, the technologies of Web5 will act as an important identity and trust layer for the Web, bringing greater security and verifiability to our exchanges of information and value.”
Following this preview release, TBD will continue to add developer tooling over Q2 and Q3 that makes it easier to create more complex decentralized applications using open standards developed in DIF and the W3C by TBD and a growing community of contributors. The full Web5 platform will launch later in 2023, and the community can follow TBD’s progress at: https://areweweb5yet.com.
Developers are invited to start building decentralized applications on Web5; they can learn more and access the Web5 Tech Preview at developer.tbd.website.
TBD’s open source strategy and community commitment
TBD’s mission to advance privacy and self-sovereign identity on the Web requires global trust and collaborative innovation found only in open protocols and software. Web5 is an open source project, built as a public good.
“Web5 adheres to the ethos of decentralization; developing it in public as an open source initiative guarantees that no single party can limit its impact for their own aims,” said Andrew Lee Rubinger, Head of Open Source Programs. “This is foundational technology that makes a more secure, private Web and creates value for all.”
Individuals and organizations may propose new Web5 components as part of the TBD Incubation Program at developer.tbd.website/open-source/incubation/. All are welcome to join the conversation in Discord at https://discord.com/invite/tbd.
As one of four businesses at Block (fka Square), TBD is focused on creating a decentralized future that returns ownership and control over your finances, data, and identity. Guided by this vision, TBD is building an open source developer platform and infrastructure that enables everyone to access and participate in the global economy.