This year came with a lot of changes for everyone, and we weren’t the exception. After all, we kicked off 2020 by rebranding to Fleek and releasing Fleek V1 in February!
From the expected, to the extremely and globally unexpected, we’re grateful to look back at our run this 2020 and see that, since Fleek’s release in the year’s first quarter, all changes that came pushed us forward to reach new heights and better help build the Dweb.🎉🎉
What’s more, 2020 was an extremely important year for the entire Web3 ecosystem, from Filecoin’s mainnet liftoff, Ethereum’s 2.0 kickoff, IPFS’s great year (and exciting 2021 roadmap!), Textile’s rapid evolution, to the growth in ENS name adoption, DeFi, NFT’s, social tokens, and overall Dapp usage.
Without a doubt, the Dweb has crossed many milestones, and many more are yet to come.
Let’s dive deeper into what we’ve been up to this last year and celebrate a bit as we send off 2020 and take a look forward into what 2021 has in store for us.
We released Fleek in early 2020, after developing a new perspective on the path towards an Open Web (Web 3.0) and how we could best help the ecosystem get there.
At that time, we understood how important Ethereum was going to be to Web 3.0, however we realized there were a few pieces still missing that the Ethereum ecosystem and broader web ecosystem were going to need in order to build a true Open Web that was permissionless, trustless, and unstoppable. For example things like hosting, file/data storage, naming systems, content delivery, connecting to external data/api’s, querying data, etc. are still centralized for most Dapps, but great work is being done by several projects to address each one of these things.
However even with new pieces of the Web 3.0 stack coming together, a lot of them are still not user/developer friendly to use, and definitely not as plug-n-play as the equivalent Web 2.0 services are. Thus, Fleek was born! To start, we worked on making Dweb alternatives to core pillars of sites/apps and provide them via a familiar platform for deploying and hosting websites and apps that grew to become what it is today:
- IPFS/Edge Hosting
- IPFS Storage
- IPFS Gateway
- Diverse Framework Support (JamStack compatible)
Almost a year later, we can say the community’s response has been nothing short of amazing. Support has been a constant, from the day we crossed our first milestone back in February when we reached 1000 Fleek Beta users in one week, to today, with an open-to-public platform that is helping thousands of websites, apps, and Dapps to host and power their projects on the Dweb.
We are thankful for the love and feedback we get each day from the community, and the team enjoyed every bit of collaboration we’ve had this year with other close members of the Dweb, like the teams at Protocol Labs and Textile, who continue to push this space forward.
One of our first highlights of the year, and one of our earliest additions to Fleek, are ENS Domains. Not only were they added to the platform naturally, being a decentralized DNS alternative, but because we believe in the potential ENS has to make seamless web experiences by combining multiple services (billing, hosting, identity, etc.) into a single contextual address.
It truly makes us happy to see that developers are actively exploiting this potential and pushing ENS adoption forward! The impact of the community’s work was tremendous this last couple of months, and we can clearly see it in the amount of Fleek users who choose to implement it:
Today, ENS-related deployments represent over 10% of the platforms’ deployments, and registered ENS domains used in Fleek nearly doubled this December alone, and 2021 doesn’t look any different!
From our perspective, ENS plays a significant role in opening up and better integrating the Ethereum ecosystem to the rest of the Dweb stack, which is why we are looking forward to exploring new features and ENS-related implementations in 2021.
Our second big highlight of the year landed back in July, with the release of the Space Daemon, our first open source library for building Dweb applications which packages underlying protocols such as IPFS, Textile, Ethereum, and Filecoin and uses them to provide Dweb-enabled functionalities.
The @FleekHQ Space Daemon packages together @IPFS, @textileio Threads/Buckets, & Powergate into one easy to install & JS interface to make it easy to build peer to peer & privacy focused apps. Watch this Master Class w/ @SamueleAgostin5 to learn more: https://t.co/j8KWeuOkbs— Filecoin (@Filecoin) December 29, 2020
The Space Daemon is not only a result of, but the very backbone itself of Space, our upcoming distributed and user-controlled storage platform which we will talk about a bit later! As we worked our way towards creating a trustless storage app, we organized the core pieces needed for any Dweb app’s architecture, and packaged them for anyone to reuse and power their app’s functionality with.
With Fleek, our focus was to offer Dweb alternatives to the core infrastructure aspects of web/app development: hosting, storage, domains, etc. The Space Daemon, on the other hand, comes to offer Dweb alternatives for the web/app functionality itself in a ready-to-use way, approaching each feature from a Web 3.0 outlook:
For example, with features like user-controlled and distributed storage on IPFS/Textile, backup redundancy on Filecoin, peer-to-peer and end-to-end encrypted interactions, and Ethereum-based authentication for user-owned accounts.
All of these are readily available and easily usable in the Space Daemon. It’s open source, and built to make all these Dweb perks easily accessible, following our vision of eliminating as much friction as possible so that anyone can adopt Web 3.0 technologies.
What’s the next step here? In 2021, we will releasethe evolution of the Space Daemon, the Space SDK. This new open source JS library will bring all of the benefits of the Space Daemon -and more- but in a modular package that will be highly compatible with browser/mobile experiences as well.
Breaking the mobile/browser wall with these technologies and features is a big leap for us! Like we said, our vision for the Web 2.0 → Web 3.0 transition is scrapping all unnecessary frictions, and making it as easy or easier than it is today to pick up and plug these new protocols, no matter what platform you’re using.
It shouldn’t be restrictive either. Want to plug your Web 2.0 app and gradually move it to the Dweb? Sure! Part of the transition process is also understanding that we can’t have a hard reset right away.
What’s more, want to use a different storage layer instead of IPFS, or your own authentication model? The SDK allows it. By default, the SDK will use our default service hub using IPFS, Textile, etc. However, following that non-restrictive approach, the Space SDK will be a modular interface. Meaning you will be able to use it as is, or for example, connect your own storage layer and still leverage the SDK as an interface with its features. As the Dweb grows, building flexible interfaces is a must to welcome new protocols or tools as they appear.
Following the Space Daemon, comes the final highlight of this yearly review and one of our many segways into 2021: Space, a file storage, sharing, and collaboration platform we revealed we were working on in August this year!
As of last month, we reached Space’s closed alpha, and we’re on the road towards releasing an open beta in the first weeks of 2021.
Space is for us another piece of the Dweb puzzle: giving users back control over their online data and storage with a user-controlled platform. One of the major centralization points of the current web is data storage, and the fact users can’t truly control or monitor the third-parties that store -and abuse- their data.
Using the Space Daemon, we began this 2020 to build a platform to tackle just that. Instead of traditional cloud storage, it uses a combination of Textile/IPFS to give users distributed backups only they can decrypt/access; instead of having siloed accounts, it creates an open storage space that users -credentials in hand- could access from any other interface; and instead of exposing your files, Space provides a trustless storage space that can’t monitor or analyze your files or who you share them with.
As of today, we have over 1,000 users signed up for our upcoming early access, and we can’t wait to show it out in the open! It’s not only important for us in the sense of shifting the current cloud storage paradigm, where companies and not users are in control, but also to show that building trustless, user-controlled dweb platforms is possible, and that it doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice user experience or familiarity to do so.
Stay tuned -as in the next couple of weeks- because the first quarter alone of 2021 is packed with many updates from our end.
From Space’s upcoming Beta release, new updates to the Space Daemon, the release of the Space SDK for browser/mobile Dweb experiences, to new updates to Fleek’s existing suite of products, as well as setting groundwork for new surprises later on!
We’re thrilled to start the year with a bang. After this past year, and with all the great things that came with it, we’ve got nothing but thanks and excitement. So we’re up for keeping up the pace, bringing more surprises to the community, and collaborating with it to continue pushing the new web forward by creating open and trustless tools.
Best wishes from the team, and a happy new year! 🎊 Remember that, if the new year sparks some Dweb ideas, you can reach out or join our Slack community anytime. We’ll be happy to jam and discuss it, or provide any advice or help if we can 🙌
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Contact us at [email protected]