TBD, a venture launched by Jack Dorsey to develop blockchain-powered financial services, today detailed a new software platform dubbed Web5.
Dorsey announced the launch of TBD in a tweet last July. The venture is part of Block Inc., a publicly traded payment processing provider that Dorsey co-founded in 2009 and leads as chief executive officer. Block, which was known until recently as Square Inc., has increased its focus on the cryptocurrency market over the past few years.
Dorsey stated last year in the tweet announcing TBD’s launch that the venture is working to “create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services.” The venture’s work will place a particular emphasis on bitcoin, Dorsey added.
The Web5 platform that TBD announced today is described as an “extra decentralized web platform.” Dorsey stated that “this will likely be our most important contribution to the internet.”
One of Web5’s components is Ion, a software system developed by Microsoft Corp. that runs on the bitcoin mainnet. The term mainnet describes the blockchain that powers a cryptocurrency. Microsoft created Ion to help developers implement a technology called Decentralized Identifiers, which in turn simplifies how users access applications and move data between online services.
“The web democratized the exchange of information, but it’s missing a key layer: identity,” states TBD’s web page for the Web5 platform. “We struggle to secure personal data with hundreds of accounts and passwords we can’t remember. On the web today, identity and personal data have become the property of third parties.”
According to TBD, “Web5 brings decentralized identity and data storage to your applications. It lets devs focus on creating delightful user experiences, while returning ownership of data and identity to individuals.”
TBD detailed that Web5 supports multiple use cases. The platform could enable consumers to log into cloud services using the digital wallets in which they keep cryptocurrency assets. Additionally, Web5 makes it possible to easily share application settings between different services. TBD says that the platform can be used for other tasks as well.
Block, the payment processing provider of which TBD is part, has been increasing its focus on the cryptocurrency ecosystem in recent years. The company is developing a cryptocurrency wallet that will enable users to store and manage their Bitcoin holdings using a mobile app. Block is also working on a hardware module that can be used to carry out large cryptocurrency transactions.
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