Under a newly rolled out Ethereum standard, DApps and NFTs can be accessed by internet users without the worry of centralized censorship.
Web3 URLs – provided at the beginning of ERC-4804 – have come to Ethereum, allowing people to access Ethereum applications and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) without worrying about centralized verification.
A new Ethereum standard, called “Web3 URL and EVM Call Language Translation,” was first proposed on February 1. 14, 2022, ETHStorage founder Qi Zhou, Ethereum researcher Sam Wilson and Chao Pi helped him.
He described the feature as an “HTTP-style” URL for accessing chainable Web content, such as decentralized application interfaces (DApps) and NFTs. A year later, ERC-4804 was approved and completed on the mainnet on March 1.
Anthurine Xiang, a spokesperson for Layer 2 security protocol ETHStorage, explained that in many cases, the environment still relies on a central web server to access “decentralized” applications. “Now, all DApps like Uniswap […] claim to be decentralized applications,” explained Xiang, adding, “But how do we get to the web page? You have to -pass to DNS. You must go through GoDaddy. […] These are all central servers.
Today, most users access the Internet via the “Hypertext Transfer Protocol”, commonly known as HTTP. When someone clicks on a link or enters a website address, the computer uses HTTP to ask another computer to return the information, such as a website or image.
Under ERC-4804, Internet users have the option of typing “web3://” (as opposed to “http://”) in their browser to directly view DApps such as Uniswap or on-chain NFT . In fact, the standard allows users to run queries directly on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
All websites are accessible through these methods as long as their content is stored on the Ethereum blockchain or a compatible layer 2 protocol. However, the cost of this service is still prohibitive, according to the founder of ETHStorage, Qi Zhou.
“The critical thing here is that the cost of security on Ethereum is very, very expensive on the mainnet,” Zhou said during a recent presentation at ETDenver. For example, 1 gigabyte of on-chain data will cost about $10 million. […] This is unacceptable for many Web2 applications and even many NFTs, “Zhou added, noting that Layer 2 security solutions can help reduce some costs. Xiang suggested that, given its cost, the new URL standard makes sense for specific applications.
“Not everything needs to be collected. If you are doing a good Web2 business and you don’t worry too much about the central analysis. […] You can go there.
On the other hand, the new standard will be useful for DApps or websites with a risk of censorship, with Tornado Cash for example. “For example, for Tornado Cash, many people can’t access it through their website because there is an investigation,” Xiang explained.
“If you’re a DApp and you’re decentralized before, why are you still using a centralized website so people can contact you?”
When asked if actors could use the new material to engage in malicious activities, Xiang said:
“It’s hard to tell, like how Bitcoin started. I think bitcoin was not born for evil, but still, in the beginning, people were doing shady things like Silk Road, they were using bitcoin.
Instead, Xiang thinks that, like Bitcoin, they are giving people an irrational choice that they might not otherwise have.
The new Ethereum standard is the first of its kind for the blockchain, Xiang said, although it is not the first solution for decentralized web hosting. The Interplanetary File System (IPFS) is an example of a network designed to operate in a decentralized manner, what cloud servers currently offer. However, Xiang said that IPFS URLs can only link to static content, which cannot be edited or modified. ERC-4804 will enable “powerful data,” such as allowing people to leave comments and comments and interact with content on websites, Xiang explained. Being native to Ethereum, the standard should also be able to easily integrate with other blockchains, Xiang added.