Jun 6, 2024

Implementing Web3 Data Storage in 2024

For almost two decades, the personal data of billions of people has been stored on centralized servers owned by tech conglomerates like Google, Amazon, and Meta (previously Facebook). While these corporations have built massive empires by collecting copious amounts of consumer data, often without user consent or transparency, frequent security breaches have exposed significant vulnerabilities. According to IBM, the United States experiences the highest costs from data breaches, with the average impact on organizations nearing $10 million. Fortunately, a new era of data storage is on the horizon, backed by blockchain-based infrastructure.

The Rise of Decentralized Data Solutions

Data breaches aren't always executed by hackers aiming for identity theft or financial fraud. The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed how up to 87 million Facebook profiles were harvested without users' knowledge in the 2010s, leading to CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress and a $5 billion fine for Facebook from the Federal Trade Commission. Since then, various solutions have emerged to address the centralized data problem, utilizing Web3 technologies such as blockchain, zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), and self-sovereign identities (SSIs). With these technologies, users have the power to securely store and access their data without relying on third-party control or intervention.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology ensures that data is untampered with and secure once it is recorded. This is achieved through cryptographic hashing and consensus mechanisms that validate transactions. Every transaction or data entry is recorded on a public ledger, making it transparent and traceable, which increases accountability and trust among users. Solutions like IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) use blockchain to store data in a decentralized manner, ensuring that no single entity has control over the data. This prevents data monopolies and reduces the risk of data breaches.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)

Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) allow users to prove the validity of a statement without revealing the underlying data, such as proving one is over 18 without revealing their birthdate. By using ZKPs, users can authenticate themselves to a service without sharing their passwords or other sensitive information, thus reducing the risk of data breaches. In blockchain networks, ZKPs can increase scalability by allowing transactions to be verified quickly without revealing transaction details, thereby reducing the computational load on the network.

Self-Sovereign Identities (SSIs)

Self-sovereign identities (SSIs) enable users to create and manage their digital identities without relying on central authorities. Users store their identity information in digital wallets and control who can access their data. SSIs are designed to be interoperable across different platforms and services, allowing users to use a single digital identity across various applications without repeatedly sharing personal data. This enhances convenience and security, ensuring that educational institutions and employers can issue digital credentials that individuals can store and present as needed, ensuring authenticity and reducing fraud.

Core Features of Web3 Data Privacy Solutions


Elimination of single points of failure is a significant advantage of decentralized systems. Traditional centralized data storage systems, like those used by major tech companies such as Google and Meta, are vulnerable to single points of failure. If a central server is compromised, it can lead to massive data breaches, as seen in the infamous Yahoo data breach in 2013 that affected 3 billion accounts. Web3 leverages blockchain technology to distribute data across multiple nodes. For example, the Filecoin network uses a decentralized approach where data is stored across numerous nodes, making it significantly harder for hackers to compromise the entire network. Reduced dependency on trusted third parties is another benefit. In a centralized model, users must trust that the service provider will protect and manage their data appropriately. This trust has been frequently violated, as evidenced by the Cambridge Analytica scandal where Facebook users' data was misused. Web3 reduces this dependency by allowing users to manage their own data directly.


Tamper-proof records are one of the fundamental features of blockchain technology. Once data is recorded on a blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted. This ensures the integrity and trustworthiness of data. For instance, the Ethereum blockchain's use of smart contracts ensures that transactional data remains unaltered, providing a reliable record for all parties involved. Audit trails are another benefit. Blockchain creates a transparent and traceable record of all transactions. This is particularly beneficial for industries like finance and supply chain management. A real-world example is IBM's Food Trust blockchain, which uses Hyperledger technology to create an immutable audit trail of food products from farm to table, ensuring food safety and traceability.

Permissioned Blockchains

Access control is enhanced through permissioned blockchains, which restrict data access to authorized participants. This is particularly useful for private networks. For instance, the Hyperledger Fabric platform allows organizations to set permissions on who can view and interact with data on the blockchain, making it suitable for enterprise applications where privacy is crucial. Compliance with regulations is another benefit. Permissioned blockchains can be designed to comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). These blockchains can include features such as data erasure and user consent management, ensuring that they meet legal requirements while maintaining privacy.

Tokenization of Data

Granular access control is possible through data tokenization, which allows users to grant specific access rights to different pieces of their data, enhancing privacy and control. For instance, the platform Ocean Protocol enables data providers to tokenize their datasets, giving consumers granular control over data access and usage. Monetization is another benefit. Users can monetize their data by granting controlled access in a transparent manner. For example, on the Brave browser, users earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for their attention while browsing, allowing them to monetize their browsing data in a controlled and transparent way.

Interoperability and Secure Data Sharing

Secure data exchange is facilitated by blockchain, which enables secure and transparent data exchanges between different parties while maintaining data privacy. A practical application is the platform Polkadot, which enables different blockchains to transfer messages and data securely and efficiently. Interoperability standards ensure seamless and secure data sharing across different platforms and systems. The Interledger Protocol (ILP) is an example of a protocol designed to enable interoperability between different blockchain networks, allowing them to communicate and share data securely.

Incentives in the Web3 Ecosystem

Some blockchain networks experiment with incentives to ensure data privacy. Participants in these peer-to-peer networks maintain the ledger and power the network, with incentives rewarding fair and transparent behavior. Penalties are imposed on violators according to predefined rules. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are prime examples, ensuring community members adhere to privacy rules.

Bottom Line

While Web3 offers significant advancements in data privacy, it also faces multiple challenges. Implementing Web3 technologies can be expensive, requiring higher initial capital investments. Moreover, the role of governments and regulatory agencies in the adoption of Web3 could create conflicts between legal frameworks and privacy rights.

Achieving a new era of user privacy requires effort from technologists, consumers, and governments alike. Consumers need to hold companies accountable for data misuse, and governments must enforce stricter data protection regulations. Decentralized storage is still emerging, but the demand for individuals to control their data instead of corporations is enormous. Web3 represents a significant milestone in the internet's evolution, offering a secure, decentralized, and privacy-centric version of the web. As the Web3 era approaches, enhanced data privacy is within reach, provided adoption challenges and regulatory conflicts are addressed effectively.

About Chain

Chain is a blockchain infrastructure solution company that has been on a mission to enable a smarter and more connected economy since 2014. Chain offers builders in the Web3 industry services that help streamline the process of developing, and maintaining their blockchain infrastructures. Chain implements a SaaS model for its products that addresses the complexities of overall blockchain management. Chain offers a variety of products such as Ledger, Cloud, and NFTs as a service. Companies who choose to utilize Chain’s services will be able to free up resources for developers and cut costs so that clients can focus on their own products and customer experience. Learn more:

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