Decentralized software is only truly decentralized if the hardware that supports it is decentralized as well. In 2022, it became apparent that centralizing hardware can make decentralized software vulnerable to censorship. Decentralized file storage, wireless Internet and cloud computing are examples of infrastructure projects that are necessary for the growth of the new decentralized Internet, also known as Web3 . Scaling such hardware-intensive networks profitably is difficult due to the significant capital investment.
These infrastructure protocols have minimal utility on their own, but when coupled, they function similarly to LEGO blocks, allowing a developer to construct a variety of potentially new and beneficial user-facing Web3 applications. For example, the development of Chainlink oracles enabled the development of lending and borrowing platforms such as AAVE and Compound, which rely on high-quality, real-world data regarding asset prices. Decentralized file storage, in particular, is a critical component in establishing a censorship-resistant, free Internet. In 2022, solutions such as Filecoin, IPFS and Arweave saw some interest.