Liam Zebedee, a former developer at DeFi protocol Synthetix, has created a way to allow crypto users to access blockchain protocols like Tornado Cash, which has been made largely inaccessible.
Zebedee has introduced an application network called Dappnet. It purports to provide access to decentralized applications through a combination of IPFS — a decentralized hosting service — and the Ethereum Name Service, which provides names and web domains for crypto addresses.
While blockchain applications can be interacted with directly, their front-end services (the website that you use to interact with the protocol) can be shut off. In the case of Tornado Cash, its front-end website was disabled after the U.S. Treasury placed sanctions on it. The result is that while developers can still interact with it, it’s largely inaccessible for the average person.
Dappnet is designed to solve this by essentially creating a decentralized front end for any blockchain application.
“All of this put together, means that for the first time ever we can own a place on the Internet that can’t be taken away from us, and doesn’t rely on a single host who dictates what is allowed. I think that will have a profound impact for the web,” said Zebedee on Twitter.
How Dappnet works for the user is they click the application on their computer and it takes them to a version that’s hosted on IPFS. It runs the Ethereum Name Service domain locally on the user’s computer and it runs an IPFS node in the background, sharing the data in a peer-to-peer fashion with other IPFS nodes.
“I have not tested it, but it looks like a promising way to access web3 dapps ‘locally’ without the need of a trusted third party (ie a hosting service which we know can and would be taken down by legal order),” said Ouriel Ohayon, CEO of crypto wallet ZenGo, via a direct message on Twitter.
Zebedee acknowledged that there are still a few issues with this approach, mostly related to IPFS. He said that IPFS nodes could be improved if they were lighter and that it should be much easier to deploy a website to IPFS.
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Tim is a News Editor at The Block who focuses on DeFi, NFTs and DAOs. Prior to joining The Block, Tim was a News Editor at Decrypt. He has earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of York and studied News Journalism at the Press Association. Follow him on Twitter @Timccopeland.