While the idea of a decentralized internet – commonly referred to as the Web 3.0 – seems attractive to many in the blockchain industry, creating an infrastructure to support it is at least one goal that needs to be completed first.
It's a challenge that Haja Networks is taking on with a new database protocol and a database network. Both of these open-source products would enable interoperability between different blockchains and allow users to sell or lease their data to businesses while maintaining control over what information is accessible to third-parties, said CEO Samuli Pöyhtäri.
The startup recently completed a funding round lead by Outlier Ventures and featuring Polychain Capital, BigchainDB and Creathor Ventures. Outlier also joined Haja as a strategic partner. The total amount raised was not disclosed.
Lawrence Lundy, Outlier's head of research, noted that solving interoperability for databases – including blockchains – is key to helping develop the new internet. And the Haja team, composed of former Protocol Labs and IPFS developers, is on its way there with OrbitDB, an open-source database project.
Pöyhtäri told CoinDesk that "we see a lot of problems with the current web, with data being settled and data being monopolized by companies. There's a problem with data being centralized, there's [infrastructure issues], there's censorship possibilities and it's inefficient."
As such, he wanted to develop a way to make databases easily communicate while maintaining a trustless, peer-to-peer framework, he said, adding: "We can't really build the user experiences that we need to [in order] to be able to compete with the current web so that's essentially what we're enabling here, by building decentralized protocols to make data secure in trustless ways."
This would just be the first step in building the infrastructure to support a decentralized web, he said, adding that this infrastructure would in turn help solve scalability issues, which can help fuel adoption.
According to Pöyhtäri:
"If we look at the usage of decentralized apps right now, it's pretty bad in a way. I think everybody would like to see a lot more adoption and usage but essentially it's not there. Part of that problem, a big part of that problem, is the scalability problem, which I believe is a topic right now ... with different projects working on it."
Server rack image via Shutterstock