There’s a buzzword that tech, crypto, and VCs have become infatuated with lately. One does not become futuristic unless one adds it to the Twitter bio: Web3.
I’ve been reading about the same lately & have tried to summarize the main concept behind the same.
To understand it, let's go back to Web 1.0, nascent days of the Internet in the 1990s where the internet was mostly a bunch of static pages meaning that whenever you loaded them they just showed some stuff and that was it. It was pretty disorganized and overwhelming.
Next, we have web 2.0, from around 2004 until now. During this time the web evolved a lot but one of the biggest changes was interactivity. As we viewed Facebook and Youtube and performed google searches these centralized companies started collecting data about us so that they could serve us better content which in turn would make us stay on their websites. Critics say over time those companies amassed too much power.
Web3 is about grabbing & decentralizing some of the power back.
Web 3 aims to be a decentralized version of the Internet we see today. Only through Web3, internet users will “control their data, identity, and destiny,” as per Web3 Foundation. In Web3, apps are built on blockchains, decentralized networks of numerous peer-to-peer nodes (servers), or a hybrid of the two. These programs are known as decentralized apps (DApps).
In Web 3.0, we utilize blockchain technology and the tools of decentralization. In Web 2.0 you were the product as you were browsing social networks but in Web 3.0 some believe that you will be the owner of your content. This marks a move towards trusting all constituents of a network implicitly rather than needing to trust each individual explicitly.
In a Web3 world, people will control their own data & bounce around from shopping to social media to email using a single personalized account, creating a public record on the blockchain of all of that activity.
It’s not going to be a bunch of life-changing stuff all at once. It’ll likely be a series of ideas that grow together until centralized companies like Facebook and Google are disassembled by the legislature while decentralized unregulated space grows to replace them.
The Internet’s evolution always has been a tug between fragmentation and centralization. When it swings too far in one direction, a backlash tries to pull it in the opposite direction.
Lastly, while the concept is mostly theoretical as of now, considering the liquidity in the global markets, people need some futuristic vision to throw money at.