February 2023 saw the release of the BNB Greenfield whitepaper, which introduced a new structural and economic paradigm for data in the Web3 era. BNB Greenfield uses BNB as its native token and is the third blockchain in the BNB Chain ecosystem, after BNB Beacon Chain and BNB Smart Chain.
In short, it provides decentralized storage infrastructure within the broader BNB Chain ecosystem, so users and decentralized applications (DApps) can create, store, and exchange data that they fully own. The result is a new data-driven economy, where all participants in the BNB Chain ecosystem can now own, use, and monetize data.
Web3 is a vision for the future of the Internet, where users have more control over their data and online experiences. Blockchain tech has played a huge role in this move to Web3. Blockchains have enabled peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions without the need for trusted third parties, as well as the creation of DApps that use smart contracts to automate agreements.
Transparency and data ownership are the next steps in unlocking Web3’s full potential. As such, there is an increasing need for decentralized storage, which allows data to be stored and accessed in a distributed manner rather than on a single centralized server. BNB Greenfield addresses this need through plans for the creation of a decentralized data storage system, as well as an entire economy to complement it.
What Is Decentralized Data Storage?
Decentralized data storage is a way of storing data across a distributed network of computers rather than in one central location. Data is divided and spread out among multiple computers or nodes to be stored across the network, with each node contributing storage. This makes it possible to store large amounts of data without relying on a central server or single controlling entity.
Centralized data storage, on the other hand, has been popular for many years. It entails storing data on a single server (or cluster of servers in the same location) and everything being managed by a particular provider. Cloud storage, for example, is usually centralized, with data stored on servers controlled by a single company, such as Amazon or Google.
Proponents of centralized data storage say it enables easy management and access, since all the data is in one place. Plus, the onus is on the centralized entity in charge to ensure the appropriate security is in place and that there are processes to back up and recover the data if needed.
However, the structure of centralized data storage also has its weaknesses. Because everything is in one place, hackers can target a single point of failure. Furthermore, any problem with the central server would make all the data on it inaccessible. This is where decentralized data storage can help.
Advantages of Decentralized Data Storage
Decentralized data storage has a number of benefits over centralized data storage:
Better security. This is thanks to data being spread across multiple nodes rather than being on a single server, which makes it much more difficult for hackers to infiltrate data storage and extract information.
Improved resilience. Unlike centralized systems, decentralized storage has no single point of failure as the data is on multiple nodes. So even if one goes down, users can still access data from other nodes on the network.
User freedom and control. Decentralized storage puts users in control of their own data and how it is used and accessed. This way, it won’t be subject to the policies of a centralized provider, who may change terms at any time.
More privacy. Another consequence of putting users in charge of their own data is that it substantially increases privacy. Unlike with centralized entities, anyone looking to store data in a decentralized system need not submit personal information.
Market efficiencies. The use of token-based economies within decentralized storage systems can encourage individuals to contribute available storage resources in order to receive rewards. This in turn ensures a more sustainable and decentralized ecosystem.
What Is BNB Greenfield?
Decentralization is one of the core properties of Web3 blockchain technology. The key design principle is that no one person or organization is in charge. The tech allows users to transact safely without having to rely on a third party to maintain trust.
It also opens the door for smart contracts to automate these interactions, allowing for the creation of DApps that support a wide array of products — from decentralized finance (DeFi) services to games (GameFi) and more.
BNB Chain is a distributed blockchain network upon which developers and innovators can build DApps as part of the move to Web3. At the time of writing (February 2023), BNB Chain is the world’s largest smart-contract blockchain in terms of transaction volume and daily active users.
On February 1, 2023, BNB Chain announced the release of the BNB Greenfield whitepaper. To summarize, BNB Greenfield provides decentralized storage infrastructure within the broader BNB Chain ecosystem. The idea is to help users and DApps to create, store, and exchange data with full ownership, and form a new data economy.
How Does BNB Greenfield Work?
BNB Greenfield is a storage-oriented blockchain interacting with a decentralized network of storage providers (SPs). Users upload their data with unique access and usage permissions. SPs store that data off-chain with proper redundancy and backup, while metadata of users’ BNB ledger is stored on the BNB Greenfield blockchain.
Thanks to a native cross-chain bridge, all aspects of the data stored in the BNB Greenfield ecosystem can easily be transferred to BNB Smart Chain, where it can be used both in the existing BNB Chain DApp ecosystem, as well as with a new generation of BNB Greenfield DApps. These DApps can either help users interact with the Greenfield ecosystem or function as Web3 products that leverage the available data.
The ability to uniquely configure permissions on data in a native smart contract-enabled environment enables myriad potential business models that will benefit users and other BNB Greenfield participants.
Potential Use Cases
Here are a few of the possibilities BNB Greenfield can unlock to create a new wave of DApps.
Website hosting. Since BNB Greenfield provides APIs and uses concepts that are very similar to Amazon S3, users can easily deploy their websites via BNB Greenfield and conveniently manage their payments with BNB.
Personal cloud storage. With their private keys, users can create their own network drives using BNB Greenfield to upload and download their encrypted files, photos, and videos via their desktop and mobile devices.
Blockchain data storage. L1s contain dozens of terabytes of historic data, much of which is dormant. BNB Greenfield can be used to store this data, reducing L1 latency and improving data availability, as well as delivering dormant data to the L1 when needed. Greenfield can also be used as a cheaper option to store L2 rollup transaction data.
Publishing. Authors can store their work on BNB Greenfield and mirror them onto BNB Smart Chain, where they can sell them by granting read permissions to buyer addresses after receiving payment.
Social media. BNB Greenfield provides the infrastructure for social media influencers and key opinion leaders to fully own their own content and data. For a fee, DApps can use this data and publish it to a public audience via a decentralized social network.
Personal data market. This may be the most complicated problem to tackle now: how to own your data — such as page views, registrations, clicks, behavior data, and more — and not allow platforms (usually large, centralized monopolies) to mismanage or even abuse it.
BNB Greenfield will enable applications to store your encrypted personal data in your own personal account and only allow other applications to use it if you grant permission. Better yet, you can even charge a fee for this usage of your data.
Building BNB Greenfield and A Testnet
BNB Chain's core developer team has been actively involved with Amazon Web Services (AWS), NodeReal, and Blockdaemon. At the same time, it has already begun working on BNB Greenfield, with plans for a testnet in the coming months.
BNB Greenfield is built to be inclusive to both the Web2 and Web3 communities. APIs are designed to perform similarly to popular cloud storage systems, and while fees will be paid in BNB, they will be charged in USD, providing users with a consistent understanding of BNB Greenfield’s cost structure.
Closing Thoughts: BNB Greenfield and the Future of Web3
As can be seen from the list of use cases, the arrival of BNB Greenfield has the potential to open the floodgates to an entirely new wave of novel, innovative, and transparent Web3 business models for DApps.
Transparency and data ownership are the next step in unlocking Web3’s full potential. BNB Greenfield will continue to develop this new frontier in partnership with the broader Web3 community, for the benefit of the next generation of users.
The February 2023 launch of the BNB Greenfield whitepaper is just the first step in the journey towards greater data independence, ownership, and opportunity for users, builders, and the broader Web3 community.