The third generation of the Internet, refer to as Web 3, is focus on giving small users more control over large tech companies.
You may have heard “Web 3” (or “Web 3.0”) a lot recently. It’s the upcoming version of the Internet that supports decentralise protocols and aims to reduce reliance on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon. But what is it, and why do people think about it?
What is Web 3?
It makes sense to understand Web 3 in light of its predecessors. The early Internet, also called Web 1, was a collection of links and homepages that first appeared in the late 1990s. The websites were not very interactive. Apart from reading things and posting straightforward content for others to read, there wasn’t much else you could do.
The public learned how tech giants collected and used personal data to create customized marketing campaigns and ads. Facebook has been fined $5 billion, the most the FTC has ever imposed, for violating data privacy laws (FTC.)
Next was Web 2. Some call a computer code that lets you open and edit files the “read/write” Internet. This version of the Internet allowed people to create and publish content on Tumblr, forums, and Craigslist. Later, the emergence of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram raised the bar for content sharing.
The public learn how tech giants collected and used personal data to create customize marketing campaigns and ads. Facebook has been fined $5 billion, the most the FTC has ever imposed, for violating data privacy laws (FTC.)
Despite Web 2’s amazing free services, many people are tired of the new “walled gardens” established by large tech companies and want more control over their data and content. Web 3 helps here.
It’s possible to think of Web 3 as the “read/write/own” stage of the Internet. Users can take part in the governance and management of the protocols themselves rather than just using free tech platforms in exchange for our data. People can thus become shareholders and participants rather than just clients or commodities.
These shares, which in Web 3 are refer to as tokens or cryptocurrencies, signify ownership of the decentralize networks known as blockchains. You can influence the network if you possess a sufficient number of these tokens. Owners of governance tokens have the option to use their funds to vote on issues like the development of a decentralise lending protocol.
Brooks: “Investors decide what happens on the decentralise internet, while Twitter, Facebook, Google, and a few others do on the main internet.”
What can you do on Web 3?
Web 3 enables the spread of cooperative governance frameworks for previously centralise products. A meme, a work of art, someone’s social media posts, or even passes to one of Gary Vee’s conferences can all be tokenize.
The gaming sector is an excellent illustration of the paradigm shift. Players constantly complain about glitches in their favorite video game or how the latest patch off-balanced their favorite weapon. With Web 3, players can contribute to the game and decide how it should be run. Virtual worlds power in part by Web 3 are being develop by large Web 2 companies like Meta and Ubisoft. By enabling players to become the immutable owners of the items they accumulate, non-fungible tokens (NFT) will also significantly contribute to the transformation of the gaming industry.
Criticisms of Web 3
The best web 3 services company is primarily criticized for falling short of its ideals. Blockchain network ownership is concentrate in the hands of early adopters and venture capitalists rather than being evenly distribute. This topic has recently come to the fore because of a public Twitter spat between Block Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey and several venture capitalists regarding Web 3.
“Decentralization theatre” refers to decentralized blockchain projects in name but not practice. Private blockchains, VC-backed investments, or decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols are examples of decentralization theatre.
Despite the protocol community’s lack of leadership, there are figureheads. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, continues to wield enormous power over the network even though he is no longer actively involve in its development. “Vitalik is hilarious and contradictory. Kaminska told Crypto Syllabus, “He’s the spiritual leader of a headless system he create and oversees.
Within protocols for decentralise finance, things aren’t much better. Voter apathy is rampant, they rely on centralize infrastructure, and there is a high barrier to entry for building them because building blockchains are esoteric magic only for the most specialize engineers.
However, Web 3 has a lot of potential despite its issues. Over the next ten years, regular users will learn whether it’s too idealistic to put into practice.
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