Web 3.0 ushers in Streaming Architecture and Marketplace

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Web 3.0 is an internet paradigm that is based around blockchain technology, an advanced database mechanism. Compared to Web 2.0, the current internet paradigm, Web 3.0 provides some added advantages, such as transparency and decentralized control structures. This is because Web 3.0 is designed to work over trustless and permissionless networks. Unfortunately, owing to certain technical difficulties, the implementation of Web 3.0 media streaming requires modifications to the service architecture of existing media streaming services. These difficulties include the degradation of user experience and Web 3.0’s incompatibility with certain operating softwares and browsers.

To address these issues, a team of researchers, led by Assistant Professor Gi Seok Park from Incheon National University undertook a novel project. Their findings were made available on 22 August 2023 and recently published in Volume 16, Issue 6 of the journal IEEE Transactions on Services Computing in November-December 2023. In this study, the researchers proposed an end-to-end system architecture that is specifically designed for Web 3.0 streaming services. They made use of Inter-Planetary file system (IPFS), a type of Web 3.0 peer-to-peer (P2P) data storage technology, to reduce service delays and improve user experience.

Web 3.0 services have also been implemented using the application programming interfaces of third-party service providers called IPFS pinning service. Unfortunately, they limit performance. Taking this into consideration, the team designed a system in which they were able to fully control the blockchain nodes by deploying their own IPFS nodes that ran directly on their system. They also implemented new protocols that cached content and scheduled chunks on their IPFS nodes, which enabled the nodes to collaborate with each other and quickly download data.

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The researchers found that their proposed system was compatible with IPFS nodes and still ran on IPFS P2P networks. They also launched Retriever, a media non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace that was developed using Web 3.0 technologies. Retriever allowed users to watch video content, ensure data privacy, and was found to be compatible with multiple mobile devices. “Our service can allow creators to monetize their video content and even sell their video content if they wish to. This is because each content will now be managed as an NFT. More importantly, this entire process will be fair and transparent,” says Dr. Park, while speaking about Retriever.

When asked about the real-life implications of this study, Dr. Park explains, ” Our proposed service would establish digital trust from users. Moreover, thanks to blockchain technology, web services will no longer need to force trust on users in the future. All transactions will be made fairly through smart contracts and recorded transparently through the blockchain ledger.” 

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