Web3 Tech Stack: A Guide for Developers
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. What is Web3?
  2. Blockchain and smart contracts
  3. Web3 front-end technologies
  4. How to use decentralized storage networks
  5. Interacting with blockchain using Web3.js
  6. Ethereum and Solidity
  7. How to utilize IPFS
  8. Using DApps and smart contracts
  9. Building on DeFi
  10. Steps to build a Web3 application

If you've dipped your toes into the realm of coding, you've probably heard the term "Web3" floating around. But what does it mean, and why does it matter? Well, to put it simply, understanding the Web3 tech stack is like getting a new set of keys—keys that can open doors to a completely decentralized internet. Let's break it down, shall we?

What is Web3?

Imagine a world where you, the user, have complete control over your data. No more massive corporations peeking into your private information, no more being the product. Welcome to Web3, the next evolution of the internet. But this is not your regular evolution — this is more like if a caterpillar turned into a dragon instead of a butterfly. It's that cool.

Web3, or the decentralized web, is built on a network of peer-to-peer transactions. Instead of relying on centralized servers, like Web2, it uses blockchain technology to create a decentralized network. This way, you're not just a user—you're a participant. You have the power to interact directly with the network, whether that's creating content, making transactions, or forging new connections.

It's like going from being a spectator at a football game to being the quarterback. Suddenly, you're not just watching the action—you're making it happen. But to throw that touchdown pass, you need to understand the playbook. And in the world of Web3, that playbook is the tech stack.

So, now that you've got a basic idea of Web3, let's take a closer look at the parts that make up the Web3 tech stack. From blockchain and smart contracts to decentralized storage networks, it's time to dive into the nitty-gritty and get you up to speed with the tools and technologies that make Web3 tick. Strap in, it's going to be an exciting ride.

Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Think of blockchain as the backbone of Web3. It's the technology that allows for peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a central authority. But it's more than just a cool tech—it's the glue that holds the decentralized web together.

Blockchain is like a digital ledger that records every transaction made on the network. What makes it special is that it's distributed across multiple computers worldwide. This makes it nearly impossible to manipulate or tamper with the data. It's like having a diary that thousands of people keep an eye on—trying to lie in it would be pretty tough, right?

Now, let's talk about smart contracts. If blockchain is the backbone, then smart contracts are the muscles that move the Web3 body. They're self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into the code. This means they automatically carry out transactions once certain conditions are met. It's like having a robot lawyer that does all the work for you—minus the expensive fees.

Smart contracts make transactions on the blockchain smooth and efficient. They're the reason why we can create decentralized applications (DApps), trade digital assets, and do a whole lot more on the Web3 network. In short, understanding the role of blockchain and smart contracts is key to understanding the Web3 tech stack.

Web3 Front-end Technologies

Now that we've covered blockchain and smart contracts, let's move on to the Web3 front-end technologies. Remember, we're trying to get a firm grip on understanding the Web3 tech stack, so bear with me.

Think of front-end technologies as the face of Web3—the part you interact with. So, what's different about Web3 front-end tech compared to traditional web technologies?

Well, in the world of Web3, the user is in control of their data. This means the usual username-password method won't cut it anymore. Instead, you'll use cryptographic keys. You can think of these as super-secret passwords that are way harder to crack.

Then there are wallets, like MetaMask, which act as your identity on the Web3. They hold your keys, manage your assets, and help you interact with the blockchain. It's like your digital passport and bank account rolled into one.

But what about the actual interface? That's where Web3 libraries like Web3.js or ethers.js come in. They help developers interact with the blockchain, make transactions, and create smart contracts. Simply put, they're the tools that help bring your DApp to life.

Remember, understanding the Web3 tech stack doesn't stop here. There's more to explore, so let's keep going, shall we?

How to Use Decentralized Storage Networks

Next up on our journey of understanding the Web3 tech stack, we'll dive into decentralized storage networks. Sounds cool, right? But what does it mean?

In a nutshell, when we talk about decentralized storage, we mean that data isn't stored in one central location. Instead, it's spread across many different computers all over the world. This way, you don't need to trust a single company with your data. Plus, it makes the system more robust: if one computer goes down, your data is still safe and sound.

So, how do you use them?

Well, first you need to pick a network. InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and Filecoin are popular options. Then, you'll need to install their software and start uploading your files. It's a bit like using a cloud service, but with a Web3 twist.

But keep in mind, while decentralization sounds great, it comes with its own set of challenges. Things like latency and data retrieval can be slower compared to traditional storage. But hey, no one said understanding the Web3 tech stack would be a walk in the park, right?

That said, mastering these technologies is a major step towards becoming a Web3 developer. So, let's keep going!

Interacting with Blockchain Using Web3.js

Alright, let's talk about another key component in understanding the Web3 tech stack: Web3.js. This is a JavaScript library that allows you to interact with a local or remote Ethereum node using HTTP, WebSocket, or IPC connection. So, what does that mean in simple terms?

Think of Web3.js as your magic wand in the world of blockchain. It helps you to read data from the blockchain, write data to it, create smart contracts, and much more. It's like having a translator between you and the Ethereum blockchain. It does all the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on creating amazing applications.

Here's the cool part: when you're using Web3.js, you're not just sending and receiving data. You're participating in the blockchain network. You're contributing to its security, its reliability, and its growth. You're not just a user—you're a part of the system.

Now, you might be wondering, how do you get started with Web3.js? It's quite straightforward—you'll need to add it to your project, connect it to an Ethereum node, and voila! You are ready to interact with the blockchain. And don't forget, practice makes perfect—so fire up your coding editor and start experimenting.

Remember, understanding the Web3 tech stack isn't just about knowing the tools. It's about grasping how they fit together to create a new kind of internet—one that's decentralized, secure, and user-controlled. And you, my friend, are on the right track.

Ethereum and Solidity

So, you're getting the hang of the Web3 tech stack, right? Now, let's introduce some key players in this game: Ethereum and Solidity. If Web3.js is your magic wand, then Ethereum is like the magical realm where all the action happens, and Solidity is the language you use to cast your spells.

Ethereum, as you might already know, is a blockchain platform. It's the land of ‘smart contracts’—self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into lines of code. It's like having a robot lawyer that never sleeps, doesn't charge by the hour, and executes agreements without error or bias. Sounds futuristic, doesn't it? But it's happening right now, and you're part of it.

So, where does Solidity come into the picture? Solidity is the primary language used for writing smart contracts on Ethereum. It's statically typed, supports inheritance, and user-defined complex types among other features. In other words, if you've got an idea for a decentralized application (dApp), Solidity is the tool you'll use to create it.

Imagine you're building a digital lemonade stand. Ethereum provides the land (blockchain), Solidity lets you construct the stand (write the smart contract), and Web3.js is the glue that connects your stand to the world (interacts with the blockchain). And the best part? You don't need a middleman taking a cut of your profits. It's just you, your lemonade stand, and your customers.

Learning Solidity may seem challenging at first, but don't worry. With a bit of practice, you'll soon become proficient in it. After all, understanding the Web3 tech stack isn't just about learning new technologies—it's about reimagining the possibilities of the digital world.

How to utilize IPFS

Now let's move on to another exciting part of understanding the Web3 tech stack: IPFS. IPFS stands for InterPlanetary File System. Sounds pretty cool, right? But what does it do, and why should you care about it?

Think about how we currently share files on the internet. Usually, you get a file from a specific location, like a server, right? IPFS changes this game. Instead of asking 'where' the file is, it cares about 'what' the file is. This is known as content-based addressing. This means that even if your favorite cat video gets removed from a specific website, you can still view it if you have its IPFS hash. It's like having a universal library that never loses a book!

So, how do you use IPFS? It's actually pretty simple. After installing the IPFS protocol, you can add a file to the IPFS network using the 'ipfs add' command, which then returns a unique hash. Anybody with this hash can access the file, no matter where they are in the world. It's like sending a letter without needing to know the recipient's exact location. You just need to know what you're sending.

IPFS is not only about sharing files. It's also a fundamental technology for building decentralized applications (dApps). With IPFS, your dApp can store data in a decentralized way, enhancing its resilience and opening up new, exciting possibilities.

So, if Ethereum and Solidity are the bricks and mortar of your dApp, then IPFS is the robust, secure foundation. By understanding the Web3 tech stack and how to utilize IPFS, you're taking a significant step towards creating more open, resilient, and distributed web applications. Keep going—you're doing great!

Using DApps and smart contracts

Alright, now that we've got a good grip on IPFS, let's dive into another huge part of understanding the Web3 tech stack: using DApps and smart contracts. If you've been wondering how to put your blockchain knowledge to good use, this is where the rubber meets the road.

First, let's talk about DApps. DApps, or decentralized applications, work a lot like the apps you're used to, but with a twist: they run on a decentralized network, like Ethereum. This means that unlike traditional apps, DApps aren't controlled by any one entity. It's like having a group project where everyone is the boss. Cool, right?

But how do you start using DApps? It's pretty straightforward. You can use a DApp browser, like MetaMask or Trust Wallet, to interact with DApps. Just like how you use your web browser to visit websites, you can use these DApp browsers to visit and interact with DApps.

Now, let's talk about smart contracts. Smart contracts are like vending machines for the blockchain: you put something in, like cryptocurrency, and the smart contract automatically carries out a task, like sending you a digital token. And just like a vending machine, a smart contract follows rules and doesn't require trust between parties.

Understanding smart contracts is a big part of understanding the Web3 tech stack. To start using smart contracts, you'll need to write them in a programming language like Solidity, and then deploy them to the blockchain. Once a smart contract is on the blockchain, anyone can interact with it—just like how anyone can use a vending machine.

By getting to grips with DApps and smart contracts, you're well on your way to mastering the Web3 tech stack. Keep up the good work!

Building on DeFi

Now that we've taken a good look at DApps and smart contracts, let's venture into the exciting realm of DeFi—or Decentralized Finance, for those who prefer the long version. This is another key aspect of understanding the Web3 tech stack. DeFi is like your usual finance world, but without the middlemen. Imagine sending money to a friend without a bank in between. Neat, huh?

DeFi applications are primarily built using smart contracts on Ethereum. Remember those from our previous chat? They're making a comeback here. DeFi applications can offer services like lending, borrowing, and trading, all without needing an intermediary. It's peer-to-peer, just like sharing a secret with a friend.

To build on DeFi, you'll need to get comfortable with smart contracts—yes, again. They're the backbone of DeFi. We're talking about coding financial rules directly into the contract. These rules could be anything from interest rates for loans to conditions for trades. But don't worry, you've got this.

DeFi is still a new field, and with it comes a lot of potential for innovation. Think of it as a sandbox where you can build and test your own financial systems. The possibilities are endless, and you're just getting started on understanding the Web3 tech stack, so who knows where your journey will take you next?

Steps to Build a Web3 Application

After journeying through the world of DeFi, let's dive into the final leg of our Web3 exploration. We're going to discuss the steps to build your very own Web3 application. It's like constructing a LEGO masterpiece, but with code.

Step 1: Understand Your Tech Stack
First and foremost, you need a clear understanding of the Web3 tech stack. It's like knowing the ingredients before you start cooking. You've already made a good start just by reading this guide.

Step 2: Design Your Application
Next, you need to design your application. Figure out what it's going to do, who it's for, and how it's going to work. It's all about the 'why', 'who', and 'how' here.

Step 3: Choose Your Blockchain
This is like choosing the foundation for your house. Ethereum is a popular choice because of its smart contracts, but there are others like Binance Smart Chain or Polkadot. Explore your options.

Step 4: Code Your Smart Contracts
Remember our friend, Solidity? This is where it comes into play. You'll use it to code your smart contracts. Think of this as the rules of your application.

Step 5: Build Your Front-End
This is what your users will interact with, so make it shine. You'll use Web3 front-end technologies for this step. It's like painting and decorating your house.

Step 6: Test Your Application
Before you unveil your masterpiece to the world, make sure to test it thoroughly. It's like doing a dress rehearsal before the big show.

Step 7: Deploy Your Application
Finally, you're ready to launch your application. Deploy it to a decentralized storage network like IPFS, and voila! You've built a Web3 application.

And there you have it! A simple guide to understanding the Web3 tech stack and creating your own Web3 application. Remember, this is just a starting point. The world of Web3 is vast and exciting, so keep exploring and experimenting. Happy building!

If you're eager to learn more about the Web3 tech stack and how to get started as a developer, don't miss Tom Glendinning's workshop, 'Start Your web3 Journey.' This workshop will provide you with invaluable insights and guidance on the essentials of Web3 development, helping you kickstart your journey in this exciting new field.