Ethereum, future of URLs? Everything you need to know about the ERC-4804

A new way to access dApps – THE Web3 URLsmade possible by the launch of the ERC-4804, are appearing on Ethereum. Now users can access Ethereum applications and NFTs without fear of censorship or centralization.


Web3 URL: a revolution in access to Ethereum applications

On February 14, 2022, Qi-Zhoufounder of ETHStorage, Sam WilsonEthereum researcher and Chao Pi presented ERC-4804.

I’ERC-4804 East a new standard describing a HTTP-like URL which allows todirectly access content hosted on the blockchain. For example, this standard allows direct access to the interfaces of decentralized applications and to NFTs.

After more than a year of work, the ERC-4804 was finally approved and then finalized on the Ethereum mainnet on March 1st.

Qi Zhou announces ERC-4804 deployment via Web3 URL
Qi Zhou announces the deployment of the ERC-4804 – Source: Twitter.

“Right now, all DApps like Uniswap claim to be decentralized apps, but how do we access the webpage? You have to go through the DNS. You must go through GoDaddy. All of these are centralized servers. »

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ERC-4804: what does it change?

Today, most users access the Internet through the protocol of hypertext transfer (HTTP). When a user clicks on a link or enters a website address, the computer uses the HTTP protocol to ask a server to retrieve information, such as a website or images.

Obviously, dApps are no exception to this rule. Thus, most dApps rely on a classic web host to host the user interface website that allows interaction with the protocol. As you will have understood, the dependence on these centralized infrastructures creates a point of failure for applications that want to be decentralized.

Web3 URL introduces a new way of doing things. Indeed, users now have the option of typing “web3://” instead of the traditional http:// in their browser to access decentralized applications.

In practice, this new ERC allows users to directly query the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

However, this information will only be accessible if the content is fully stored on Ethereumor a Layer 2. Nevertheless, faced with the significant cost of storage on Ethereum, this solution will probably require the help of a second layer solution to reduce the storage cost. Problem which was notably addressed by Qi Zhou, founder of ETHStorage during a presentation at ETHDenver.

“The critical issue here is that the cost of storage on Ethereum is extremely high on the mainnet. For example, 1 gigabyte of data on the channel would cost around $10 million. An unacceptable situation for many Web2 applications and even for many NFTs. »

Thus, the use of a second layer solution would drastically reduce the cost of data storage.

Note that it will also be necessary to wait for a native implementation on the side of web browsers to recognize the prefix ” web3://“.

Web 3 URL: A strong ally in the face of censorship

Last August, the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control has taken the Tornado Cash Protocol into its sights. Indeed, the institution blamed the protocol for having facilitated the laundering of more than 7 billion dollars.

OFAC later added the protocol to a blacklist. This sanction had many negative effects for Tornado Cash.

Quickly, Tornado Cash became the beast to slaughter and many services turned their backs on protocol. So well, that thewebsite acting as an interface with the protocol is taken offline.

Thanks to a standard such as ERC-4804, Tornado Cash could ensure that its website remains accessible by not relying on a centralized web host.

On his side,Tornado Cash has opted for an evolution of its protocol. This allows legitimate users to avoid mixing their funds with potentially illicit deposits, putting malicious users at risk.

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