Ah yes, another buzzword strikes western media — WEB3. The new marketing term thrown around where no one has a clue of the topic but supposedly life changing to web users. The whole idea is this new internet will change the way we interact — spend and make money on the web.
How is this different from web 1&2?
The first iteration of the internet, aka WEB1, launched in the 1990’s and introduced us to basic online publishing with static web pages. Remember geocities? Yeah, that. Today’s internet, WEB2, came with the creation of social media (and the companies that own those platforms). Users of the internet can now do more than read and write content, but also distribute it themselves through the use of distribution platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
What is WEB3?
The truth is no one actually knows. We’re in a period of trial and error – A very critical point. Everyone is trying to pioneer something that sticks. Whoever builds something that will be wildly adopted will be recorded in history. The sentiment of how this new internet works is not only be able to read, write, and distribute on the internet but also ownership. Own digital land, art, and identity without the need for a platform. We will supposedly do-away with the need for platforms to post a story, share a video, or messaging friends using Facebook or Twitter that make money off user data.
So is it possible to rely solely on a decentralized internet built on blockchain? Putting control and emphasis back to individual users through a unified internet ecosystem that’s owned and maintained by users via blockchain transactions. This means you will be able to send and earn money, share content directly.
Where is the Money?
Anti-corporation people believe WEB3 is a way to spread wealth without the need of middle “validator”. The idea is a decentralized economy could eventually lead to a more inclusive and virtual financial system aka DeFi. If billionaires, big corporations, and financial institutions no longer run so much of the internet, then more people could profit from what they’re doing on the web. Right? Not quite.
The above example by Binance is the only current state of how blockchain networks operate. The ideology of a full decentralization to perform transactions is far from reality. Basically, you and I will continue to be in the hands of early investor billionaires and venture capitalists. They have managed to make everyone believe blockchain technology is only ideal for the token and NFT economy managed by them. While there are believers of creating utility on the blockchain, the unfortunate part is we as people aren’t ready to manage ourselves freely. Greed and ownership of others and everything is what prevents us from control of our own money and content.
I suspect the idea of WEB3 is a lot like when the idea of the internet was first introduced. Unknown. Misunderstood. Before we get there, many have thrown around the idea that we are in a form of WEB2.5 — centralized platforms will continue to own and operate but utilize the blockchain network by introducing decentralized elements to their platform. In the past year, I have been involved with blockchain projects that use blockchain for the fundamental goal of pioneering or just a marketing ploy. I can’t get into specifics but some examples include:
- Deploying DAO allowing a community to automate decision making on the major platform.
- Deploying a decentralized data storage to store non-sensitive public data
- Introduce a token reward system for content creators
- Launch a digital identity verification process
- Open source code (This one is a stretch)
- Create smart contracts to manage the rules of the platform by the community
The only way we will see WEB3 come to fruition is when the need to shift away from platforms is a necessity. An inconvenience to us as people in the way we operate our transactions. Only then will we see a massive adoption. This vision for a new kind of internet — one that could eventually reshape the way we interact online and transfer power and money away from the 1% to individuals. Until then, we are not ready for WEB3.