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A simple guide to the web3 developer stack

Project and company guidelines dedicated to making web3 development as easy as web2

Around the Block, via Coinbase Ventures Revealed key trends in cryptocurrencies. Written by

Jonathan King

, Connor Dempsey, & Hoolie Tejwani

Special thanks to Mike Armstrong, Aaron Henshaw, Michael Atassi, Steven Willinger and Shan Aggarwal for providing information on this article.

Despite the rise of Bitcoin and Ethereum, with the emergence of new categories such as DeFi, NFT, GameFi and DAO, web3 developers account for less than 1% of the 31.1 million software developers worldwide. *

So why are there so few web3 developers today? On the one hand, the tools and infrastructure available to web3 developers are far less powerful than web2. This just makes it harder to start building, experimenting, and deploying in web3. However, this is all changing rapidly, as the number of monthly active web3 developers hit an all-time high in late 2021. To support this growing contingency, a vibrant ecosystem of teams dedicated to simplifying the entire web3 developer journey will ultimately help usher in the next phase of web3 growth and innovation.

In this installment of Around The Block, we’ll explore the ever-growing web3 developer stack.

Web3 Developer Stack

exist Build in Web2 and Web3

Software development is the process of building computer programs. The given program contains three main components:

  1. Front-end (object that the user interacts with)
  2. Backend (not visible to user)
  • database( Where to store critical data)
  • The front end that a typical user interacts with via a mobile phone or desktop browser is basically the same in web2 and web3. A web3 application like Uniswap looks very similar to a typical web2 application, as both front ends are mostly created using React – a popular web and mobile application development framework.

    It’s under the hood where web2 and web3 are different. Backend framework and type – user defined

      Ownership –

        May be new and unique.

    web2 applications mainly rely on a centralized database, and web3 applications are built on a decentralized database (blockchain). This requires a whole new backend and new primitives like wallets.

    Due to decades of cumulative development, there are The tools to help create, deploy, and maintain web2 applications are very developer-friendly. Out-of-the-box solutions, mature infrastructure, shared codebases, and easy-to-use frameworks largely make building in web2 a breeze.

    On the other hand, Web3 still requires specialized expertise to interact with complex infrastructure, and with less stack development, often many redundant processes are involved, leaving the team to reinvent the wheel. That said, the tools to help the next 1M+ web3 developers onboard are improving rapidly.

    Let We take a (non-exhaustive) layer-by-layer look at the evolving Web3 developer stack (represented by Coinbase Ventures portfolio companies).

  • Protocol layer

    web3 developers must The first decision made was which to build the blockchain protocol. Building on Bitcoin is completely different than building on Ethereum, Solana is different from Ethereum etc.

    For faster, lower cost applications, developers may want to build on layer 2 protocols – Optimism*, Arbitrum*, etc. For the need to get from one chain to another, developers will want to utilize cross-chain bridges like Hopor Synapse*.

    Once these decisions are made, developers can start integrating the building blocks that make user applications possible.

    Infrastructure Primitives

    The next thing developers need to figure out is


    their app ends up Will interact with the underlying blockchain. This is where infrastructure primitives come into play.

      node Infrastructure – Nodes are applications that “happen with the blockchain” “A place to interact. Once users interact with the application, they are the computers that read the blockchain state and write updates to it. Node infrastructure providers such as Coinbase Cloud, Infuraand Alchemyallow developers to easily set up, manage or access blockchain nodes, saving developers significant time and resources.

      Wallet and Key Management — Blockchain wallets, such as Coinbase Wallet, allow users to manage the execution of transactions in web3 applications Required private key. Wallet and key management providers such as Web3Author Pine Street Labsenable developers to establish secure connections between blockchain wallets and user-facing applications.

      Identity — Protocols like ENSact as the identity of the user in the application. Spruceprovides frameworks and toolkits that developers can use to validate user credentials to authenticate operations on Ethereum. For example, developers can use the Spruce ID toolkit to authorize users to log into dApps using their ENS accounts. Additionally, companies like Lit Protocol offer developer tools for granting access to content, software, and other data using their tokens or NFTs.

      Decentralized Computing — Computing resources provide the processing power that applications rely on to perform computing tasks. Currently, most network computing is provided by centrally owned providers such as AWS. Decentralized computing is the shift to community-owned networks, where computing resources are distributed in a low-cost, permissionless manner. Companies such as Akash Network and have emerged, providing high-performance peer-to-peer computing resources optimized for smart contracts and blockchain applications.

      Decentralized Storage— — will put every piece of data related to a given web3 application Storing directly on blockchain nodes is expensive. Instead of storing data in a centralized database, web3 developers can use peer-to-peer data storage protocols such as IPFS, Arweave*, and Ceramic Networkto store certain data. For example, the web3 blogging site Mirror is built on Ethereum but stores the actual blog content on Arweave.

        Oracle —

        For typical ether A blockchain application, the blockchain stores transaction history and “state” (balances, smart contracts, and other variables). However, it cannot natively store and interact with data from external sources — i.e. transaction history or “real world” data from other blockchains, such as the weather in San Francisco. This is where oracles like Chainlink or Fluxcome in, connecting blockchains to on-chain and off-chain data sources.

          Interoperability – Many different blockchains exist, but few have the ability to exchange value and utilize information across chains. Interoperability protocols such as LayerZeroand Astar Networkprovide developers with SDKs and APIs to build dApps that are portable and can communicate with different blockchains.

          Developer Tools

          On top of the infrastructure primitives that allow applications to interact with the blockchain network, is Tools that allow developers to interact more seamlessly with the above primitives.

          frame and IDE — Developer Framework Code created by other developers Libraries that make development easier. Web3 frameworks such as Truffle, Moralis*, Tatum, and ThirdWeballow developers to use existing code for smart contract applications so they don’t have to build everything from scratch. They also allow developers to test and deploy applications. Integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Foundry and HardHat combine common source code editors and build automation and debugging tools into a single, easily accessible interface.

          Low Code /No Code – These platforms enable user-facing applications to fully Quick design/deployment via drag and drop interface. Companies like Settlemint provide developers with smart contract templates for NFTs to prevent web3 developers from having to reinvent the wheel.

          index and Query Data Indexer helps people locate and access the underlying database specific data in . In Web2, Google Search is the most popular data indexing service, allowing users to query data stored in online databases with sub-second response times. In Web3, decentralized indexing services are emerging to help dApp developers acquire, process, and query blockchain data. Graph Protocol*, Covalent*, and Coherentall provide APIs for extracting and consuming data from decentralized data storage providers and EVM-compatible blockchains.

        Testing, Simulation and Monitoring –

        Published in web3 application It is important to test and simulate it before. Companies such as Tenderlyand Kurtosisoffer tools to simulate how smart contracts and transactions behave once live, as well as tools to debug any issues. Blocknativeprovides dashboards and tools for monitoring transactions before they are submitted on-chain.

        Security & Audit — Given the potential for smart contract utilization, these platforms allow developers to apply security and auditing best practices to their applications. OpenZeppelin*, Certik*, and Certoraall provide developers with a variety of services, frameworks, and monitoring tools to mitigate potential security risks and vulnerabilities.

    Messaging — Web3 applications often involve sending and final Users conduct various communications. For example, a crypto wallet might want to push alerts to users about transaction confirmations. Companies like XMTP Labsand EPNS are building secure messaging protocols and decentralized communication networks to drive user engagement and power these notifications in Web3 applications.

      Analysis –

      There are many platforms and services that allow developers to explore, analyze, extract and visualize blockchain data. Dune*, Nansen*, and Messariall provide various APIs and reporting capabilities to build data visualization capabilities into web3 applications. Flipside Cryptoprovides SDKs (Software Development Kits) and APIs to create and share data insights from various crypto projects.

      Application Support Layer

      The application support layer ties all of the above layers to a specific web3 purpose . NFTs, DAOs, DeFi, and games all have their own customized developer solutions.

      NFT-focused tools provide the infrastructure for creating and managing NFT assets. DAO tools provide solutions for DAO creation (Syndicate*, Samudai*), governance (Snapshot*), and treasury management (Utopia Labs*). DeFi-focused tools provide APIs that give developers access to a variety of DeFi primitives. Gaming-focused tools (Venly*, Joyride*, Horizon Blockchain Games*) provide solutions for creating virtual worlds and blockchain-based games.

      Evolving development stack

        The protocols, infrastructure and development tools mentioned above make up the nascent but growing web3 developer stack. The modularity and interoperability of web3 means that stacks can be combined in endless ways to create new and interesting applications.

        While our emphasis on frameworks and layers will likely remain the same, we will continue to see new developer tool primitives emerge , and expect the entire stack to change dramatically over the next few years.

        Coinbase Ventures will continue to invest in next-generation platforms and developer tools that will eventually develop millions The user is brought into web3. If you’re as committed to building a web3 development stack as we are, we’d love to hear from you—JK’s DM is open!

      This website does not disclose material non-public information about Coinbase or Coinbase Ventures portfolio companies. Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are those of the authors, who may be affiliates of Coinbase, Inc. or its affiliates (“Coinbase”), and do not represent views, Coinbase’s point of view and position. The information is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute investment or other advice on financial products. Coinbase makes no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information on this website and shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or for any loss, injury or damage arising therefrom . display or use. All images provided here are the property of Coinbase unless otherwise stated. This website contains links to third-party websites or other content for informational purposes only. Third-party websites are not under the control of Coinbase, and Coinbase is not responsible for their content. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by Coinbase of the site or any association with its operators.



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