The world needs a truly decentralized internet, as freedom of information and freedom of speech is a human right. What is currently defined as web3 is nowhere near our vision to bring it to the masses. Today, you can see only individual technologies like BitTorrent, IPFS, TOR, Hypercore, GunDB, and economies/blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Sia.
Lume aims to unify the dWeb. Make it real, Web3.
The decentralized web is a community of users that want internet freedom but often take different routes to get there. Most approaches don’t include blockchain.
To accomplish that, Lume is working with the Sia and Handshake communities. It relies on the Sia network because web3 requires decentralized storage to exist. Lume uses Skynet to enable Sia to act as the internet.
Our focus is on data ownership, web freedom, accessibility, and, most importantly, anti-censorship to the end user in a low to no-friction experience.
The project is requesting $80,000 USD for the year 2023.
The justification is as follows:
- $50,000 USD for the full-time salary of Derrick Hammer
- The project’s company also owns Sia miners, which sometimes enable it to operate the portal at a discount. Those miners are budgeted and are part of the salary.
- $30,000 USD for external project costs
- Plans to contract for UI/UX and web design work for the numerous community sites, relay software, and extension software (significant for adoption, and thus the growth of Sia)
- Potential project marketing efforts.
This project will not be a 1-off bounty type effort. Instead, it will require ongoing funding, ideally from the foundation and other community grant programs or community donors. The project will also be offering services in the future to have funding to self-sustain itself and pay the Karma it has received forward to other community projects as a Funder.
The project hopes to open a 503(c) entity like the foundation to support its efforts and other community projects in the entire web3 ecosystem when it makes sense. Right now, though, it is a small fish in a large pond and needs the community to support it.
The project requests this as a lump sum for the year to operate and deliver most effectively.
Presently in development is a Firefox browser extension. It utilizes the still experimental Skynet Kernel to enable browsing web3 websites that can use regular servers/IPs, Skynet-hosted content (Skylinks), and IPFS content. All user data is encrypted and stored on the Skynet network using the user’s “MySky” seed (a 15-word seed), a “wallet”-like entity used for data and identity, not money.
Due to technical restrictions, including Google’s Manifest V3 Initiative, it is not technologically feasible to have a Chrome-based browser extension.
The Firefox extension in development isn’t the first version, though. A much older browser extension (v1 based on different tech, GunDB & Skynet) is currently served through https://web3extension.com.
The Lume Web network relies on the Skynet registry, WebSockets subscriptions, and Skylinks for its discovery, data management, and user uploads. But for DNS, a new dWeb-only network is used. By dWeb, this means the relay operators do not get paid. This network is based on the Hypercore P2P network technology. Hypercore is a lightweight P2P network that is very similar to what powers BitTorrent and will allow secure and encrypted communication for users to request information from relays and communicate with each other.
The following blockchain networks operate domain registries that Lume currently supports.
- HNS (Handshake)
- ENS (Ethereum)
- ALGO (Algorand)
- AVAX (Avalanche @ Avvy Domains)
- SOL (Solana)
This Hypercore-based P2P network also is used for streaming IPFS content and future content from other networks in the future, like Arweave. It is a general-purpose modular RPC over DHT network software. The DNS is one use-case that uses the wisdom of the crowd approach via a future community network of relays (aka nodes). The wisdom of the crowd is defined as contacting a group of relays and getting higher confidence in the answer by ensuring a majority gives the same response.
The user can use dWeb tech and rely partially on altruism because relays are not paid and will not be storing any data persistently and serving resources and requests for free. Still, any data that needs to be saved will be stored on a user’s “web3” account, on Skynet, and thus on the Sia network.
This dual-network setup combines the best of altruism resources. It’s much faster than relying on only paid resources which have an economic overhead. Still, at the same time, it doesn’t have to be reliable 100% of the time to ensure the data is secured for the end user. Altruism for this project is volunteering time and resources for an ideally mutually beneficial goal to the network participants.
While we understand that Lume will be initially limited to the Firefox userbase, we expect that users who want web3 will adopt Firefox as a secondary or even their main browser to use web3 and the features Lume provides. While Lume would also be potentially interested in forking Chromium and/or Firefox, Firefox provides an ideal testing ground to bootstrap Lume’s technology. It will help Lume eventually evolve into a full community-developed and maintained browser fork, removing the need to depend on any current browser software company.
We also expect that the awareness of Web3 will drive users to a Web3-ready browser such as Lume. The many users who share and value the web3/cyberpunk ethos will be happy to adopt Lume as a browser to add or replace what they are using now. At this point, mass support of Lume is not a concern since the technology overall is still experimental.
The evolution of Lume to a full-featured browser fork in the future will enable new possibilities, such as direct access to content at custom protocols and DANE SSL.
We also plan on a network storage drive/filesystem, website-building tools, and ecosystem education, as well as building a community by unifying the various tribes.
For the past year, the project code has been at https://github.com/LumeWeb.
We decided to ensure it retains control of its code and data to prevent overzealous reactions to controversies and future vendor-lockin operations.
All code is currently MIT, and most websites will be either CC or MIT. The portal presently has app customizations. When further portal work is done after the v2 release, the active portal website + any other changes will also be opened up.
- Browser Extension (2022-forward) - continue building, testing, and evolving.
- Portal Optimization - making web3portal.com the primary community Skynet portal and improving how usage and costs are tracked and ease of use.
- Educational Sites - design, plan, and launch community-managed sites with the provision of assets that have been already secured for the project (cryptoguide.org, web3guide.org, web3storage.com, getweb3.io, and others - feel free to contact us if you’re a writer with expertise and willing to contribute)
- Web Browser Fork - because decentralized internet needs and deserves its browser. Starting on the browser in 2023 depends on the maturity of the extension.
- Storage Drive & Filesystem - similar to vup.app (excellent dropbox-like Skynet-powered product by @redsolver), but have different goals and focuses. We will start in 2023 based on the time available.
As mentioned, Lume depends primarily on Sia and Skynet and their further updates. As a result of those relationships, Lume had to be nearly completely rebuilt over the last six months, as it was affected mainly by the development of Skynet Kernel and GunDB not serving Lume’s needs and limiting its potential. That means the above priorities are subject to change and may adapt based on macro events and community needs.
A more detailed timeline cannot be provided due to unknown unknowns and the need to have the flexibility to focus on a goal rather than a specific set of tasks or routes taken to achieve it.
There are two short to mid-term risks related to Mozilla and Skynet. It has not happened yet, but Mozilla could technically reject (or cause trouble) for our browser extension. We mention it because it cannot be ruled out and must be dealt with if it happens, as the most likely case is violating a coding guideline.
The second risk is more critical but can be avoided entirely. It’s about Lume’s dependency on Sia’s Skynet technology. Without keeping compatibility, Skynet’s network would break and nuke the chances of Sia being used as the foundation for the open, web3 internet. The good news is that its future depends on the decision of the same organization that this proposal appeals to, the Sia Foundation. So if this proposal is received positively, it will make sense only if the Sia Foundation can ensure that Skynet software will remain fully compatible with subsequent releases of Sia.
The project will let the community and committee decide how it feels Lume Web should be held accountable for its efforts.
Lume Web is in a very fortunate and grateful position. It has received community funding from many sources, such as Gitcoin, and has been building and running for nearly a year. It is also actively involved in the Sia, Skynet, Handshake, and other web3 communities. The evidence of the efforts already done should speak for themselves on the engineering, innovation, and just plain BUIDL’ing that has already happened and will continue. This project is not a theoretical idea but has working prototypes that you can test on-demand if you request to be involved in the project’s Discord server.
Also, note this project has deliberately avoided any VC or equity funding and thus has not “sold out” with its company, Hammer Technologies LLC. We firmly believe in the web3 ethos of a user-owned/operated internet. We feel that efforts MUST come from the community to fully and independently realize what we all desire, not from web2-style VC companies who want to revisit the 1990s and 2000s. The project is aware it could evolve faster (with a large team of devs) doing a “tech startup” route. Still, it would irrevocably compromise its ethos and principles. The community that wants to control its data and web must fund it. Otherwise, it will be built for us, and we will, once again, be enslaved people inside a new matrix.