How To Migrate a Web2 Application to Web3?
The term "Web3" was coined by Gavin Wood (founder of Polkadot & cofounder of Ethereum) in 2014 to refer to a decentralized online ecosystem based on blockchain. He envisioned that it will help us move away from a centrally hosted service provider and towards purely algorithmic governance.
Web3, with its focus on decentralization and privacy, is set to become a significant player in the coming years. Built on the concept of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, edge computing, NFT, and virtual reality, Web3 development has seen a tremendous increase in its popularity recently. And this is why businesses are now considering migrating their Web2 applications to Web3. Let's discuss the ins and outs of the process.
What Is Web2?
The second generation of the world wide web, from around 2004 till now, is known as Web2. With the arrival of Web2, the internet spread into the daily lives of people and businesses as the pages became more interactive and the variety of services offered, such as payments, shopping, etc., increased. Smartphones and social media further accelerated Web2's growth. From the static text and images of Web1, Web2 led the world to the modern internet.
Today, Web2 touches almost all aspects of your life. But while it revolutionized the Internet, it came with its challenges. It became more centralized as it grew, creating problems like digital ownership with centralized companies like Google. Apart from this, the failure to remove outdated information, internet dependency for networking, and a high number of frauds are some notable challenges in Web2. This is the part where Web3 came into the picture.
Also Read: AI and Web3 — How Are They Related
What Is Web3?
Web3 is the next generation of the web that uses blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to empower users. While it is in its early stages of development, some of its features can be defined as follows:
● Decentralized ownership: Web3, unlike its predecessor, shifts digital ownership from centralized companies to users and builders.
● Trustless: Web3 does not rely upon third parties and uses economic mechanisms to operate.
● Permissionless: There is equality of access in Web3, and no one is excluded.
● Native payments: It is community-driven through tokenomics and governance and uses cryptocurrencies for payments.
Decentralization is the need of the hour since a significant portion of the Internet is controlled by only a few centralized entities — 90% of mobile traffic goes to the cloud, signifying the gravity of the situation. Web3 embraces open standards and technologies like blockchain and distributed storage solutions to develop NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to build resilient P2P decentralized networks and applications.
Layers of Web3
There are four layers of Web3 that draw in users through the variety of services they offer. These are as follows:
The protocol layer is the bottom layer of the Web3 stack. It consists of the underlying blockchain architecture over which everything else gets built. Platforms like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana can serve as the foundation for building Web3 applications.
The infrastructure layer, composed of interoperable building blocks sits above the protocol layer. This dense layer has projects building everything from smart contract auditing software, communication protocols, and data storage to data analytics, DAO governance, and much more.
Use Case Layer
This layer sits on top of the protocol and infrastructure layer and involves financial services like trading, gaming, and content. It also includes online publishing, decentralized social media platforms, and NFT marketplaces.
The access layer sits at the top of the Web3 stack and serves as the entry point for all Web3 activities. It includes applications like wallets, browsers, and DeFi apps like DApp Radar which help you accumulate and utilize Web3 financial resources.
Advantages of Web3
While Web1 largely consisted of content consumers, Web2 opened the doors for users to generate content. However, this came at the cost of privacy concerns and centralization. Web3 provides a decentralized ecosystem that allows you to transact with other users in a P2P setup, and interact with its services in a trustless, decentralized way. Also, with the lack of centralization, these platforms offer transparency.
In the Web3 world, products are built as smart contracts. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts or programs stored on a blockchain that get executed when some preset conditions are met. Through this, you can exchange your digital assets without any third-party mediator which decreases cost and saves time.
Furthermore, ownability and composability are the fundamental qualities of Web3. It allows you to own your:
● Data: You have permanent access to your data, profile, or artwork as it isn’t hosted on someone else’s server.
● Money: You don’t have to go through a financial intermediary for handling your funds.
● Software: Unlike rentable software, open-source software is ownable.
Other advantages of Web3 over Web2 are:
● Immutable data: Web3 data cannot be altered or deleted.
● Data security: Web3 data is tamperproof and cannot be stolen without the user’s consent.
● Privacy: There is no third-party intervention, and you can control your data.
● Innovative projects: They facilitate the development of projects like Metaverse.
Migration From Web2 to Web3
The migration of Web2 to Web3 is long overdue amidst the benefits offered by the next-generation web. Let’s dive into the process.
Web3 Tech Stack
While migrating an application from Web2 to Web3, you need to understand the current Web3 tech stack consisting of:
● Layer 1 blockchains: Solana, Ethereum, NEAR, Fantom, Cosmos, Tezos.
● Layer 2s and sidechains: Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, ZK Sync.
● Developer environment: Truffle, Foundry, Hardhat, Anchor.
● APIs: Indexing and querying.
● File storage: ARweave, IPFS.
● Identity: Wallet Connect, Ceramic Self ID.
● Clients: web3.js, Anchor, Ethers.js.
What to Consider When Migrating
While migrating from web2 to web3, you need to consider the following aspects.
1. Data Storage Method
Web3 makes use of blockchain technology, where data is replicated on a decentralized network across nodes. Web3 applications have a user-centric data storage model and allow users to store application data on a distributed network. Unlike Web2 applications, Web3 applications can also write data to the client’s side.
In Web2 to Web3 migration, you need to migrate from a simple data storage method to a decentralized data storage method using the blockchain. This data storage ownership will always belong to the user, and the data is secure and immutable. Also, you will have to query the blockchain using smart contracts.
2. Payment Migration
From the payment gateways usually found in Web2 web pages, you will have to migrate to a Web3 library that interacts with the user's wallet. That will allow you to request the user's approval to interact with their assets and to let them interact with your deployed smart contracts, using the corresponding decentralized currency of the blockchain where those contracts are deployed. This decentralized currency acts, to the user, as a doorway to DeFi, several blockchain-based crypto apps, NFTs, P2P trading, and anything in between, so while a central authority controls Web2 transactions, Web3 transactions are decentralized in nature and are controlled by the user holding that currency.
Changes in User Flow
In Web3, you have total control as you digitally own the content or tokens you mint or purchase on the platform. The user interaction will be higher than Web2 because the logic that the user wants to interact with has to be executed by them. There is no centralized party to take care of it. So, even though the user is the digitally-verifiable owner of all his content, there is a lot of friction when he's interacting with Web3 platforms. A Web3 developer should thus try to make it as easy as possible to interact with his platform.
Customer-Focussed Migration From Web2 to Web3
The migration to Web3 will help you to enhance customer experiences and result in a favorable return on investment (ROI). You can simplify specific customer-centric segments that need improvement, like offering cryptocurrency payment solutions via crypto wallets. Also, Web3 migration provides data security through blockchain technology and can help you build brand loyalty by building customer trust.
Tools to Make Migration to Web3 Easier
1. Mobiles SDKs
GitHub – Boilertalk/Web3.swift
Web3.swift is a pure Swift Ethereum Web3 library. It supports iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and Linux and allows users to sign transactions and interact with smart contracts in the Ethereum network. Its significant features include portability, speed, efficiency, and modularity.
GitHub – web3j/web3j
Web3j is a lightweight, reactive Java and Android library for integration with Ethereum clients. It supports the Ethereum wallet, and Ethereum’s JSON-RPC client API is completely implemented over HTTP and IPC. Its other features include reactive functional API for working with filters, support for Parity’s Personal and Geth’s Personal client APIs, Ethereum Name Service support, support for Alchemy and Infura, for Quorum via web3j-quorum, command line tools, and Android compatibility.
GitHub – MercuryProtocol/web3.swift
Web3.js brings web3j encoding capabilities to Swift and helps the management of Geth-based accounts. It helps in creating accounts, importing accounts, creating & encoding transactions, and signing transactions.
2. Web and BackEnd SDKs
Web3 Migration With Rather Labs
The great migration from Web2 to Web3 has already begun, and Web3 is shaping up a new world of possibilities beyond everyone's imagination. In this blog, we have discussed how Web3 is the “read-write-own” mode of the internet which is decentralized, trustless, and permissionless.
Web3 is essentially based on blockchain technology. With its unique characteristics of immutability, information encryption, and decentralized storage, the migration from Web2 to Web3 will provide you with multiple benefits like compatibility, high availability, interoperability, and scalability.
If you want to migrate your application from Web2 to Web3, Rather Labs has got you covered. We have a group of expert engineers with years of experience in application migration. Get in touch with us to discuss more.