Polybase for Web3 Identity & Data Platforms


Sid Gandhi

Jun 7, 2023


Managing and handling identity and data in web3 presents unique technical difficulties. These include the issuance of a vast number of credentials, dealing with large structured data files like JSON, and ensuring the secure handling of personally identifiable information (PII). Polybase, a decentralized database solution designed for web3 developers, offers a range of features that are tailored to tackle these challenges.

The Challenges with Current Solutions

Many identity and data management tasks can be quite cumbersome within the existing infrastructure of web3 platforms. For instance, issuing a large number of credentials on existing platforms like blockchains and other decentralized databases is infeasible because of the high costs and low performance.

Additionally, web3 applications require significant expenditure in terms of time and resources when attempting to build a data management solution. This can necessitate developing a custom encryption and permissions layer. While this could be a viable solution, it requires cryptography expertise and can place an additional burden on development resources.

Another significant challenge is the secure handling of PII in a decentralized storage environment. Privacy and security are paramount, and achieving these in a public storage context can be particularly challenging.

How Polybase Solves the Problem

Polybase offers a suite of features that make it a compelling solution for these challenges. One of these is database permissions using Polylang. Polylang allows for granular control of permissions, enabling some data to be public, some private, and some private but provable in a public context. This flexible model caters to a wide range of data management requirements.

The decentralized database architecture of Polybase is another important feature. It is designed to efficiently handle large-scale operations, such as issuing a high volume of credentials. This can potentially alleviate the resource strain that such tasks can impose on traditional web3 infrastructure.

Polybase also provides a mechanism to transition from a custodial address to a portable address. This process, which has been found to be technically challenging in the web3 context, is streamlined in Polybase, offering a clear technical advantage over other custodial wallet solutions.

In terms of data disclosure, Polybase can facilitate selective disclosure using zero-knowledge (zk) proofs of client-side functions. This enables data to be encrypted first and then disclosed after obtaining the necessary consent, thus ensuring both privacy and data integrity.

Moving Forward with Polybase

In the dynamic landscape of web3 development, addressing specific technical challenges is critical. With its unique features and capabilities, Polybase is the de facto decentralized database solution for web3 developers. It offers a blend of flexibility, scalability, and security tailored to the unique needs of web3 data management.