The origins of Web3 technology and philosophy can be traced back to the 1990s cypherpunk community. This community consisted of a group of technology enthusiasts who were concerned about privacy, freedom, and openness. They opposed centralized authorities' control and abuse of personal data. The decentralized, open-source, privacy-preserving, and data-as-asset concepts adopted in Web3 infrastructure are rooted in cypherpunk community. Web3 infrastructure technology involves consensus algorithms (PoW/PoS), federation, zero-knowledge proofs (SNARKs and ring signatures), Relay Based Protocol, DID (decentralized identity authentication), trusted computing, confidential computing, operating system runtime security, software, firmware and hardware supply chain security, distributed ledger (blockchain), and many other fields. The development of these technologies has also been inspired by the cypherpunk community, aiming to give individuals and corporate users more data ownership and control, making the network more open, free, and secure. In order to promote the development of the Web3 infrastructure ecosystem, the Web3 Infrastructure Foundation (W3IF) was established in Hong Kong in February 2023 by Flomesh, Starnet, and HardenedVault. The three founding members have plans for the foundation's development. Flomesh, as an open-source software company specializing in network software infrastructure technology, will provide the network infrastructure software needed for Web3 to the foundation. Starnet plans to contribute multiple high-performance decentralized network, storage, and computing open-source projects to the foundation. HardenedVault is a company specializing in open-source infrastructure security and plans to draft node security specifications through the foundation's work to benefit the entire community. The kick-off meeting of the W3IF was held on March 18, 2023 at Hong Kong Cyberport. The Governing Board members shared their thoughts on topics such as why the foundation was established and how community collaboration to solve the problem.
The meeting also invited Prof. James Lei from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and hardware hacker Stewart Mackenzie to share their thoughts on topics related to web3 infrastructure.
Hong Kong's free port attributes and friendly regulatory environment for Web3 became external conditions for the establishment of the foundation. The foundation's establishment aims to reduce the complexity faced by individual and corporate users and invites more individuals and institutions to participate in building an open ecosystem for Web3 infrastructure. The Web3 Infrastructure Foundation will involve the following aspects:
Ecosystem construction: The foundation will promote the construction and development of the Web3 ecosystem, supporting open protocols, development tools, developer communities, and technical research.
Technical research and development: The foundation will support Web3 technology research and development, promoting the development of distributed computing, consensus mechanisms, smart contracts, privacy protection, node security, and other technologies.
Community construction: The foundation will support community construction and participation, encouraging users and developers to participate in the development, testing, and use of Web3 infrastructure.
Ecological cooperation: The foundation will actively cooperate with other institutions and projects to jointly promote the construction and development of the Web3 ecosystem.
At the same time, the Web3 Infrastructure Foundation will also promote the research and application of next-generation data center technology. Data centers are one of the core infrastructure of modern society, but traditional data centers have many problems such as centralization, resource waste, and environmental pollution. Next-generation data center technology will achieve more efficient, sustainable, and secure data processing and storage by using more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and decentralized technologies. The Web3 Infrastructure Foundation will support and promote the development of next-generation data center technology, and also showcase its application and value in the Web3 ecosystem through research and case studies.
After years of development, Web3 has gained widespread recognition and is considered the foundation of the next generation of the internet. The development of Web3 infrastructure is also influenced by technological advancements in various fields, aiming to make the network more open, free, and secure, giving individuals and users more data ownership and control. The establishment of the Web3 Infrastructure Foundation will further promote the development of the Web3 ecosystem and encourage more people to participate in it. The rise of Web3 technology and philosophy is rooted in the ideas and technological explorations of the cypherpunk community. The establishment of the Web3 Infrastructure Foundation will inject more resources and momentum into the development of the Web3 ecosystem, promote the popularization and application of technology, and build a bridge between the cypherpunk community and enterprises to explore and innovate continuously to achieve the vision of Web3.
Looking to the future, both SFC and HKMA as Hong Kong regulators will regard the Web3 industry as an important part of future development, and Hong Kong is bound to become an important pole in the Web3 world. Based on this background, a group of tech geeks stepped in the Hong Kong hope to leverage their accumulated technical capabilities in decentralization, cloud computing, and other fields to build an open, transparent, and ultimate technological ecosystem for Hong Kong's Web3 industry, which is about to take off. They decided to establish the Web3 Infrastructure Foundation in Hong Kong and hope that individuals and groups interested in Web3-related technologies and applications will actively participate.