The World Wide Web today is controlled by a handful of companies. While this centralisation decides what should and should not be allowed on the Internet, it has also helped onboard billions of people.
The answer to this dilemma is Web 3.0, which is the future of Web. It all started in the 1990s when Web 1.0 was created, characterised by static websites with close to zero interaction between users. In the next iteration, termed Web 2.0, we saw the emergence of social media companies that provided platforms to share user-generated content and engage in user-to-user interactions.
Now, in the third phase of the Internet, called Web 3.0, the Internet has evolved to read-write-own. At its core, Web3 uses blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to give power back to the users in the form of ownership.
The core principles guiding Web3 creation include open-sourced, decentralisation, trustless, permissionless, ownership, and censorship resistance.
Web3 has been gaining momentum, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, which devastated industries like automobiles, hospitals, and retail. According to Market Research Future, the Web3 sector will be worth more than $6 trillion in 2023. It is further expected to grow at a CAGR of 44.6% from 2023 to 2030.
Despite the numerous benefits of Web3 and the potential for substantial growth, there are still many limitations in the form of accessibility, infrastructure, education, and user experience that need to be addressed for it to flourish.
Cartesi is one such platform that is helping millions of new startups and their developers onboard Web3 through its groundbreaking virtual machine, optimistic rollups, and side-chains, allowing developers to build the next generation of blockchain apps.
What is Cartesi?
With its unique design, Cartesi aims to move beyond Solidity, a programming language designed for developing smart contracts that run on Ethereum and coding smart contracts with rich software tools, libraries, and services developers are used to. The Blockchain OS further enables the use of mainstream languages and tools like C++, Python, and SQLite.
At the same time, the blockchain is free from scalability limits as Cartesi provides more than a 10,000x increase to a blockchain’s computational scalability. Additionally, it supports all EVM chains, preserves privacy on applications, and offers the same levels of security guarantees achieved by the underlying blockchain.
Overall, the Blockchain OS allows for much more sophisticated decentralised applications (dApps), which would otherwise be impossible on layer-1s.
The Blockchain OS was actually founded to bridge the best of two worlds — intense computational jobs as we know them in the world today with the independence of central authorities in the decentralised world of tomorrow.
The Cartesi Foundation maintains the promising and advanced Cartesi network, supports its technology, and ensures its decentralisation. To ensure the network’s decentralisation, where no single entity controls the features, upgrades, and rules where everyone can have a say, the Cartesi Foundation has introduced a Cartesi Improvement Proposal (CIP).
It is through this CIP that new features will be proposed for Cartesi, community feedback is gathered, and design decisions documented. A formalised design document for the Cartesi community, the CIP process will allow mainstream developers the flexibility to help shape the OS they want to use by proposing the feature or update to the community.
The non-profit organisation’s mission is to be a supporting member of the Cartesi community, alongside its devoted contributors and participants that give Cartesi life through education, funding, grants, strategic alliances, and other activities.
The Foundation is committed to supporting the development of the first operating system (OS) for blockchains, bringing mainstream scalability and convenience to developers and users of dApps.
Challenges in Moving From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0
With the amount of buzz cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DAOs, and GameFi has been getting, a record number of developers have been entering the Web3 industry. This number is actually at an all-time high and “growing faster than ever.”
However, compared to the global total of software engineers, which stands in multi-millions, only thousands of developers are working in Web3. While it can be argued that Web3 is at its beginning phase, this chasm needs to close for the realisation of Web3’s promises.
While one of the reasons for this impediment is that every Web2 company hasn’t figured out how Web3 can help them, the challenges to moving from Web2 to Web3 have been a significant factor.
Many are excited about blockchain technologies, but the transition and product management in Web3 are not as well documented as in Web2. Not to mention, the challenges in both the hardware and software are keeping the interested talent away too.
The products need to be seamless, affordable, and user-friendly in terms of hardware. As for software, security, scalability, and interoperability need special attention.
Interoperability is particularly important in today’s multi-chain world because, without it, we will not be able to interact with or transfer assets between different blockchains. The space needs enhanced mobility and transferability.
When it comes to security, besides the bugs, scams, ponzis, and rug pulls, Web3 also remains vulnerable to certain types of attacks like sniping bots, DNS hijack, DDoS, hard fork, and 51% attack due to the trustless nature of blockchain technology.
Another significant difficulty impeding Web3 adoption is that many self-proclaimed decentralised applications are far from really decentralised. Many blockchain networks are being hosted on Amazon Web Services or comparable centralised corporate clouds, which is true even in the case of Ethereum. This defeats the core purpose of blockchain technology. After all, hosting blockchain networks on centralised clouds gives birth to a single point of failure, which is precisely what blockchain was built to avoid. Thus, the current arrangement is simply not sustainable.
Currently, the most popular blockchain is Ethereum, on which the majority of DeFi, NFT, and GameFi applications are built. The blockchain, however, is notorious for limited throughput, high transaction fees, and scalability issues.
When relying on a particular blockchain, a developer can be slow in adapting new features, and today there are thousands of blockchains with their own ecosystems. Not only the third-party tools used to develop solutions may introduce weaknesses, but testing, debugging, and auditing also require time and resources.
Additional fundamental challenges faced by Web3 include the development complexity of dApps. They are inherently complex because they often require a deep understanding of the logic behind each smart contract, the consensus approach of every blockchain. And a single bug could result in the loss of all the funds in millions and billions.
For Web3 to become a reality, from front end to back end, everything must be housed on-chain so that there are no gatekeepers and little downtime. All of this doesn’t mean we aren’t making any progress. New platforms in development intend to decouple themselves completely from Web2 standards.
How Does Cartesi Help?
There are certainly several issues with the development of Web3, but that doesn’t mean no one is working on removing these roadblocks to Web3 adoption. Cartesi is working on eliminating these issues through The Blockchain OS.
The Blockchain OS is a layer-2 platform for developing and deploying scalable dApps. Cartesi allows dApps to be developed in familiar programming languages like Python through a Linux operating system coupled with blockchain infrastructure.
This way, developers can use all the programming languages, tools, libraries, software, and services they are already familiar with. In this way, Cartesi removes most of the complex logic of dApps to portable off-chain components. By freeing developers from the limitations and idiosyncrasies imposed by blockchains, Cartesi empowers them to select the best run-time environment to host each part of their dApps.
The Blockchain OS consists of a virtual machine called the Cartesi Machine and Cartesi Rollups, which is a complete solution for scaling blockchains. Cartesi also offers a computational oracle solution called Descartes.
Cartesi is currently helping thousands of developers onboard Web3 seamlessly and hassle-free.
“The moment when we realised that this OS was a game changer was when we started the first decentralised application using an SQLite database. We could transfer most of the logic we normally do into the Cartesi Machine and store transactions in an SQLite database which makes it immediately interesting for business cases,” noted Kamil Zawadzki, who built trusted Casino Slot Machines and a Memorabilia Marketplace with the help of Cartesi Network.
In another instance, a group of students and their professor are using “The Blockchain OS” to build two separate apps — one for public transport to flow more efficiently and the other to create transparency on data storage while enforcing privacy to improve the lives of millions of people across Brazil.
Simply put, Cartesi offers a full operating system for blockchain applications with low fees but without requiring one to learn and use a specific language while solving the scalability problem.