DWeb story begins...
…in 2014, when Joachim Lohkamp brought an intrepid group of technologists from Europe to host the first unconference about decentralization – GETDecentralized that attracted about fifty participants to a red Victorian Bed and Breakfast in San Francisco. For one participant, computer scientist, Brewster Kahle, the discussions planted a seed.
In 2015, Brewster Kahle, the founder of the nonprofit Internet Archive, was asked to present a “moonshot for the Internet” to five major US philanthropies. “We need to lock the Web open for good,” Kahle told them. “We need to bake our values into the code: security, privacy, reliability.” He challenged builders to create a new, distributed Web.
Soon, early Decentralized Web pioneers started to answer that call. In June 2016, the Internet Archive hosted the first Decentralized Web Summit, including a Builders Day that brought together 80 early leaders and thinkers of decentralized tech. Some 350 participants came to the classic temple that houses the Internet Archive to explore the different “layers of the stack” that would need to be decentralized to fulfill an expansive vision.
At that gathering, Juan Benet demonstrated the first fully decentralized web site. Karissa McKelvey showed the world the first browser-based implementation of the DAT protocol. There was a sense, participants say, of the beginning of something revolutionary and new.
In 2018, the Decentralized Web Summit—Global Vision/ Working Code attracted more than 1000 participants from around the world. The central premise: that tech alone will not save us–we will need the laws, business models and values to all align behind decentralization if this new movement is to succeed. In just two years, developers were demonstrating prototypes and working code. Panels, lightning talks, global fellows events, governance workshops and art inspired by decentralization burst from two dozen spaces in the historic US Mint building in San Francisco. As cryptocurrencies were beginning to fuel these fledgling organizations, how appropriate that this group gathered in a place where the majority of the nation’s gold was once stored.
In 2019, the Decentralized Web became known as the “DWeb,” and organizers decided to create an altogether new experience, DWeb Camp. Set on a remote farm off the coast of California, the camp drew 450 builders and dreamers reimagining our relationship to technology and the planet. A co-created event, DWeb Camp inspired organizers from Berlin to Shanghai, Austin to Prague to step forward and form local “nodes” of those curious about decentralized tech. These groups around the globe continue to meet, write and share knowledge.
The goal, however, remains the same as it was in 2014: to create a better web— the web we want, the web we deserve. A Decentralized Web.