Even though the internet, as we know it today, has only been around for a few decades, it is impossible for most people to imagine a world without it. In fact, many are looking forward into the future, to the internet’s next stage — an improved version of what we have today, commonly known as Web 3.0.
This next step in the evolution of the internet is expected to be more democratized and decentralized, likely based on blockchain technology. For that, however, a number of things need to happen, such as interoperability between chains, higher security, and more. However, one crucial component that Web 3.0 cannot happen without is real-time data.
The Necessity of Real-Time Data for the Evolution of the Internet
Right now, the blockchain space remains scattered. Blockchain and its applications are there, floating in this new space that will become the internet of the future, but they lack certain aspects that will connect them more thoroughly and turn them into Web 3.0. In its current stage, the blockchain sector is not unlike the internet of the ‘90s. It has some of the aspects it needs, such as security, decentralization, financialization features, and more.
However, it still lacks the main component — the real-time data — that will allow it to go big, similarly to how Web 2.0 (the modern-day internet) exploded. This issue is well-known, and there are some working towards solving it. One example is Streamr, which seems to be in the best position among these projects.
What is Streamr?
Streamr is a project that builds decentralized infrastructure for real-time data. Essentially, it is exactly what Web 3.0 needs to gain the last component necessary for its birth. The project’s goal is to make data easy to share, transport, and/or monetize, and to do it all as securely and scalably as possible, without the need for intermediaries.
The project essentially does this by enabling new types of data ecosystems and pipelines, which would support and speed up the arrival of the next stage in the internet’s evolution, and make dApps secure, practical, and capable of easily exchanging data and value.
The Streamer Network comes as a middleware solution, which can be leveraged by any dApp or blockchain as an infrastructure lego. It can be particularly useful in sectors like DeFi, or the newly-emerging NFT space, which would be massively improved with the addition of real-time data functionality.
dApp developers would not have to rely on any centralized service anymore, as they still do to this day. One example is having to use AWS for message transport, which stands in the way of the sector becoming fully decentralized. DeFi growth was massive, and it came as quite a surprise last year. This year, something similar happened to NFTs, as finance, the crypto industry, and indeed, the entire internet, are slowly but surely heading towards decentralization.
It all comes almost as a natural evolution, with new solutions emerging and fitting in perfectly, to satisfy the need for community-driven services and networks, which is what blockchain is all about. Amongst all that, Streamr acts as a layer zero protocol, which empowers the decentralized Streamr pub/sub network. As such, it could have unlimited use cases in the future, some of which may include chat apps, social media, dApp metrics, industrial and public data, real-time collaboration tools, and more.
To put things quite simply — Web 2.0 became as big and as developed as it is because of the real-time data. That allowed it to evolve and grow further and further, until it eventually became the internet that we are using right now. Web 3.0 can be so much more, but it requires the same building blocks — some of which are currently lacking, including the real-time data provider.
Streamr can be that provider, and as such, it could push the internet into a new age of decentralization, where everyone would be the master of their own data and money, and would not have to depend on the trust that centralized institutions will treat them and their information fairly.