Wildland: Why, What and How?
Since the Golem Foundation began its operations in July 2019, we have allocated most of our efforts to Wildland – a new, open protocol for data management. Today we are excited to present the paper outlining the project’s high-level rationale, as well as some nuts and bolts of this initiative.
Wildland’s endgame is to redefine the way we as individuals manage our digital data. In particular, we would like to introduce a data-centered approach as an alternative to the currently dominant service-oriented model of delivering software to end users. This boils down to giving individuals explicit control over the choice of data storage infrastructure, therefore, guaranteeing data availability and accessibility while preserving users’ privacy and digital sovereignty.
Wildland is going to be built around the concept of a self-defined data container, the basic unit of data storing, sharing, and processing. Any directory can be changed into a Wildland container by simply adding a Wildland manifest (similar to a git repository). The manifest determines data ownership, as well as addressing of the data in the Wildland namespace. As a consequence, Wildland containers are backend-agnostic and highly portable. The addressing system provides not only robustness, but also an opportunity to implement multi-categorization as a default way of organizing information.
Wildland should be considered to be not only a technical protocol, but also an economic ecosystem that will not work properly unless all parties are provided with adequate incentives. We envision incentives to be facilitated by the Ethereum-based Unified Payment System, which is going to connect all network peers (users, storage service providers and application developers) and ensure liquidity and fairness of the transactions taking place in Wildland. This will be accompanied by the User-Definied Organization (UDO), i.e. protocol’s governance solution engaging users, whose voting power depends on the intensity of using Wildland (Proof-of-Usage – PoU). UDO and PoU will also serve as a bridge between Wildland and Golem. The generation of non-speculative PoU tokens will require a permanent conversion of GNT, based on the actual usage of Wildland services.
We dare not to speculate when we will be able to invite you to use the first production version of Wildland, but we are already working towards that goal. Joanna Rutkowska continues experimentation with the overall architecture and applications to be built on top of Wildland, while Marek Marczykowski-Górecki (Qubes OS, Invisible Things Lab) and his team are building the first version of the protocol, using Joanna’s model as a reference. Paweł Peregud has also joined our team recently to lead the work on the transaction system, Ethereum integration, and User-Defined Organization.
The first major milestone in our roadmap will be a Wildland implementation (protocol and client), providing individual users with a personal cloud storage solution. However, unlike various existing services, it is going to offer one killer feature: the user will be actually in control over the underlying storage infrastructure.
In this difficult time, digital sovereignty is more important than ever to preserve our real freedom in this far-too-real world. This is why we believe Wildland to be a worthy endeavor. We invite you all to join us!