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Since 2014, IPFS has been used to distribute exabytes of data across the globe, with 250k+ public p2p nodes, and over 11M weekly users to HTTP gateways.

We’re thrilled to see many projects in both Web3 and Web2.5 powered by IPFS. These include dapp frontends like Uniswap, Audius digital music streaming, dClimate’s decentralized marketplace for climate data, Anytime’s rich desktop application for content creation, and Gala’s game asset distribution. IPFS development was founded and forged in Protocol Labs, but the project is maturing with:

  1. Establishing an independent IPFS Protocol Foundation
  2. Graduating a core engineering team with over 25 years IPFS development experience from Protocol Labs.

We, the IPFS Shipyard team, will be an independent engineering team running hard at making the next 1 billion websites and web apps faster, resilient, and more open.

How do we make IPFS & IPFS-based tools the first choice for anyone publishing apps or data on the web?

  • Remove any overhead of retrieving and serving content addressable bytes by leveraging existing web infrastructure for moving and caching bytes with HTTP.
  • Add world-class support for the existing content addressable data with support for large blocks.
  • Make Kubo and Boxo SDK radically more developer-friendly, with features chunked into better abstractions.
  • Develop better tools for operating IPFS with request tracing, debugging, and denylist handling.

To underpin this all, we’ll continue to maintain key common goods software and services for IPFS such as Kubo, Helia, the Amino public DHT network, and the ipfs.io (+dweb.link/trustless-gateway.link) HTTP gateway.

This is purely illustrative, and doesn’t represent all consumers nor depict exact dependencies (
This is purely illustrative, and doesn’t represent all consumers nor depict exact dependencies (source).

In 2024, we’ll focus on web publishing for decentralized apps. This has been a key use case since the beginning of IPFS, but the current stack includes many compromises and inefficiencies. Today, a small slice of the most avid IPFS users download and install a browser or extension that can speak the IPFS protocol directly. For everyone else, requests get routed through HTTP gateways. They still need HTTP and centralized servers, with all the associated problems.

We can do better. Our team is making tremendous progress on a 4-step IPFS web fetching progression. Trustless gateways, delegated routing, and service workers (in a coordinated series of changes across Kubo, Rainbow, Helia, and public network infrastructure) will push more p2p work to the browser, at no cost (i.e. no installs required) to the end user.

Our seasoned team has over 35+ combined years in the IPFS ecosystem as maintainers, specification stewards, and technology builders. We have the technical depth, experience, and management to work across the stack making protocols and supporting tools in the browser and backend systems.

By the end of 2024, gateways will be radically cheaper to run and webapps will meet the ESMA definition of “fully decentralized”. [The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) recently published a paper stating that fully decentralized frontends are exempt from their scope of regulation. Meeting that standard will also make the public network more resilient to outages and censorship.]

Building this new reality, and continuing to maintain core common goods and services, will cost ~$4M over 12 months. We think this brings tremendous value to many projects and companies across Web2.5 and Web3, including [yours].

Protocol Labs will be a long-term, major sponsor of this work, but it’s time to bring in the broader IPFS community. We can’t do this without you. We’re seeking grants and support from a small number of mission-aligned partners.

❓ If your business or endeavor…

…depends on projects like Kubo, Boxo, or Helia being well-maintained and developed OR

…relies on a healthy public DHT OR

…benefits from accurate and evolving IPFS specifications

Please add your financial support (or contact us to discuss and learn more)

100% of your grant (minus fund administrative fees) will go to the maintenance, development, and operation of our projects by enabling our exceptional team to stay dedicated to these efforts. (Crypto and FIAT welcome.)

❓ Is your company…

…building on IPFS, and you’ve been hacking around issues in Kubo, Helia, etc.?

…interested in using IPFS, but after your initial demo, you’re not sure where to get started?

Reach out for a free consultation exploration for us to bring our expertise to help navigate your journey.

This could include fixing problems in underlying implementations or libraries, or helping build tooling that enables solving the problems with you. Engagements here can be one-time in nature for things like architecture consulting or bug fixing or feature development. They can also be recurring with supporting certain features long term or helping shepherd ideas through specs/governance processes.

Our consulting arm and non-profit entity structure to collect donations will be established by the end of 2023, but your verbal commitment in the interim is very helpful. Please read more or 📲Contact Us if you’re interested in supporting or learning more 🙏.

Sources
References
Pre Oct 31 version
Brainstorming