Is web3 a thing?

Web3 or Web 3.0, as crypto boomers like to call, is a trendy buzzword with a very vague definition. Everyone agrees that it has something to do with a blockchain-based evolution of the Internet, but beyond that, what is it really? web3 is an idea still under development for a third generation of the web. It follows Web 1.0, with its reliance on traditional web pages filled with content produced by commercial entities, and the shift from Web 2.0 towards the introduction and growth of social networks. Although Web 2.0 undoubtedly gave the average person more ability to produce, and even benefit from, their own content on the web, any such plan still required the involvement of a large tech company such as YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook, Twitter or any of the major social networks that influencers: and individuals, depend to reach their audience.

Okay, but Web3 is a cryptographic thing, right? Web3 provides value to users through tokenization and by enabling complex integrations with smart contracts. The specific views of Web3 differ, and Bloomberg has described the term as confusing, but they revolve around the idea of decentralization and often incorporate blockchain technologies, such as various cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It's not that I don't think Facebook, Google and everything else deserve to be displaced, but that's not exactly the crux of Web3.Technologists and journalists have described Web3 as a possible solution to concerns about excessive centralization of the web in some large technology companies. Depending on which tribe you belong to, Web3 is a scam, Web3 is the future, Web3 is tokenizing the world, Web3 is VC exit liquidity, Web3 is just another name for crypto, you get the picture.

The vast majority of the general population, most likely, is completely unaware of even the concept of Web3.However, the conversation around the meaning and perspectives of Web3 has become very fashionable in crypto communities. The appeal of Web3 is that it is decentralized, so that instead of users accessing the Internet through services mediated by Google, Apple or Facebook, it is individuals themselves who own and control parts of the Internet. Web3 refers to a possible new iteration of the Internet running on public blockchains, the recordkeeping technology best known for facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. Importantly, it also suggests that Web3 could be successful as a B2B model, even if the average consumer doesn't care about “decentralization”.

Most of the time, in web3 applications, identities will be linked to the wallet address of the user interacting with the app. Only when this work gets underway and when financial incentives line up behind it, will Web3 begin to become a reality. Some technologists expect Web3 to incubate a metaverse that is built using blockchain systems and open standards, and that it will be managed by a network of computers around the world, rather than a few large companies.

Tim Ludecke
Tim Ludecke

Subtly charming webaholic. Lifelong music maven. Total twitter expert. Professional beer maven. Certified bacon geek. Total internet lover.

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