Bob Metcalfe, creator of Ethernet: Web3 will have all sorts of “network effects”

When Bob Metcalfe marketed Ethernet as a new networking technology to the world in the 1980s at 3Com, he had a smart argument: You get more value out of a product if you buy more.

What was once a brash argument concealed a deeper truth: networks are more valuable the more things they connect.

Bob Metcalfe later elaborated on what he was talking about by formulating what has been called “Metcalfe’s Law”. This law states that “the value of the network increases with the square of the number of entities participating in the network”, the entities can be computers, but also people, as in the case of Facebook. The value is squared because it is the number of connections that can be formed.

According to Bob Metcalfe, things that get better this way have what he calls a “network effect,” a kind of centripetal force where more and more participants cause even more participation in the virtuous cycle. Facebook is proof of this: the more members, the more other members.

“The main thing is connection”

Bob Metcalfe is still finalizing his case for his law and learning as he goes. “There will be all sorts of network effects in Web3,” Bob Metcalfe said at a chance meeting in New York City on the sidelines of the Knowledge Graph Conference, a conference where enthusiasts share technologies, methods, and best practices.

“For the first time, I’m trying to say exactly what value networks create,” Bob Metcalfe told at the event. “Today I learned that knowledge graphs can go much further if they are decentralized,” said Bob Metcalfe. “The key is communication.”

Earlier in the day, he gave a talk on the KGC main stage titled “Network Effects in Web3”. In this presentation, Bob Metcalfe explained that “networks are valuable” in many ways. They provide the value of “data collection”, the ability to get data from many participants. They also have sharing value, such as sharing hard drives or files. Netflix, according to Bob Metcalfe, has “distribution value – they distribute content and it has value.”

According to Bob Metcalfe, there will be new forms of value creation based on start-ups that combine knowledge graphs with connectivity. The event was hosted by one such startup, OriginTrail, founded in 2013, with official headquarters in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and offices in Gibraltar and the US. Bob Metcalfe is an OriginTrail consultant.

Decentralized Knowledge Graph

OriginTrail creates the so-called first “decentralized” knowledge graph, whose nodes can be networked.

The basic idea is that while blockchain “layer 1” technologies authenticate items, OriginTrail’s “layer 2” distributed knowledge graph technology allows you to query and interact with elements that have been authenticated. Anything unique has a Universal Asset Locator (UAL), similar to URLs on the web. UALs must comply with the W3C specification for “decentralized identifiers”. The form looks like an HTTP address preceded by a “dkg://” identifying tag for a “distributed knowledge graph” followed by the address of a specific element.

Transactions can occur when people “publish” something on the Internet using a unique UAL—via a simple “create” statement—which is then written to by a decentralized knowledge graph of nodes, which currently stands at two thousand.

All published materials are a single asset, a digital twin, so it can represent real-world objects such as sneakers or whiskey. It can be sold to another party who “takes control of the fortune of this graph,” as Rakic ​​explains, by handing over the NFT to the person who has the UAL.

Each node has graph databases that contain parts of a collective graph, and they all operate without permissions, on a peer-to-peer network, similar to how blockchains work. As with blockchains, those who run nodes to verify published items are rewarded by the people who publish those items.

Semantic Web3

The OriginTrail knowledge graph relies on several first-tier blockchains, but the company will soon introduce its own blockchain, functioning as a function of the Polkadot blockchain. As co-founder and CTO Branimir Rakic ​​explained during a technical presentation, “blockchains are not good databases.” Blockchains can be requested, but only in a limited way, Branimir Rakic ​​said.

What is needed, argues Branimir Rakic, is a “semantic web” on top of blockchains, which is what the company offers with its distributed knowledge graph.

By combining Tim Berners-Lee’s Semantic Web concept with Web3, you get “Semantic Web3,” said Branimir Rakic.

OriginTrail Approach Welcomed by Ethernet Creator

“I love the OriginTrail approach,” Metcalfe said. “All these elements — DeFi, DOA, cryptocurrencies — all of the decentralized elements of Web3 are going in the direction of cost sharing,” said Bob Metcalfe.

Bob Metcalfe has also pointed out that decentralized knowledge graphs will make possible a kind of perpetual spring for artificial intelligence. “AI was invented around 1968 when I was a graduate student,” he said. “And for years, AI was up and then down, and it was down because AI was running out of data,” explained Bob Metcalfe, “AI is data.”

“Well, it won’t fall, it will continue to grow because decentralized knowledge graphs will give AI more and more data. »

Bob Metcalfe, who has been a start-up competition judge for ten years, asked how he thinks OriginTrail’s chances of success in business. “The weakness of technology is that it is too difficult to explain” to ordinary people, Bob Metcalfe said of the technology. OriginTrail technology is somewhat similar to middleware, a category that tends to be of interest to only a small number of people. “Yes, and I am one of them,” he added.

Despite the complexity of the technology, “what they are doing keeps pace with the development of things.” More importantly, he accepted the role of consultant because he is learning from what the company is doing, learning about the new forms of value that will be there.

Source: .com

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