Is Web3 really the future of the Internet?
- By Blockchain expert
- February 15, 2023
The buzz around WEB3 is crazy. Last year, investors poured $23.7 billion into startups related to the idea, and overall traffic to Google's search engine surged nearly 10,000 percent. For some, this so-called "next version of the Internet" not only means a new era of daily online life, but also amounts to a new stage in the evolution of the bourgeoisie. "We are confirming the emergence of an Internet economic management system," Salvatoredelepalme, founder of Artfunder, wrote in the online article OnthePromiseofweb3 in December. "Its role follows principles and is now designed and optimized by millions of people around the world in a transparent form. Welcome."
Not everyone accepts the invitation. Some of the biggest names in tech have declared their disdain for Web3. JackDorsey, Twitter's founder, blamed it on the ideas of venture capitalists. Elon Musk says it's just a popular marketing word. Computer scientists and software developers wrote a pointed and well-known post titled "Web3 fraud," "Web3 is nonsense," and "Web3 is an unwise idea."
So what is Web3? Is this the future? In a January survey of 1,500 American customers, 54 percent had never even heard of it.
Well, it's a football field, too. Web1.0 was the first phase of the Internet. It was also the age of GeoCities, Netscape and bright blue web links. Web pages are static with little interaction. In fact, the online world is a giant online library - with GIFs added. This lasted until Web2.0 in the mid to late 2000s. Suddenly, you need to publish something concrete on the Internet. You don't need to build a website and have someone manage it -- so the Web content customer is now also the creator of its specific content. Blogs, reviews, upgrades, posts, articles, and focus likes are everywhere. Where once you might have looked Encarta up online, now you search Wikipedia -- and probably contributed to a piece of content. Timo The word "Reilly" launched the marketing promotion of the term web2.0 in 2004 as "The Internet is the Service platform".
However, some people have found a conundrum. While Web1.0 feels open and community-driven, Web2.0(still the Internet we have today) is at the core of a handful of businesses. To its critics, the Internet giant has taken a troubling market share in web applications and international computing and concentrated excessive power in their hands. In their view, a troubling business model is also prevalent: a diabolic deal in which a customer gives up his data in exchange for complete free access to online customer service. Because the service has this information, if you want to use a competitor, you can't easily take it with you. Oh, all that clever stuff you post on social media platforms? They don't necessarily make you any money -- but they make the site better and better. In Web2.0, we are all commodities.
But don't worry, say Web3 followers (because they like the design). In the next era, we will deal with all problems. How's that？ As if we need to ask: blockchain.
Quick description. Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Simply put, this is a detailed record of all transactions in the network, but it is not stored in the intermediate computer. On the other hand, all electronic computers in a network have a detailed set of records. New transactions can be imported into the blockchain only if the computer thresholds set allow them to be reasonable. It also makes him theoretically tamper-proof. If a government department or cyber hacker shuts down a computer, don't worry: there's a regiment on thousands of other devices, too. As a result of this physical model, you do not need a trusted third party to facilitate the interaction or grant administrative rights to the interaction. Compare the entire process of consultation with financial institutions and regulatory authorities. There's a blockchain,
For some people who think technology is overly centralized, blockchain seems particularly ripe for updating and reinventing. Mainly because they don't just click on the currency of the loan. They can also manipulate code. For example, blockchains such as Ethereum not only work with the ethereum digital currency, but also provide a way to operate decentralized applications (called DApps) or build decentralized business structures (decentralized autonomous organizations or DAOs).
Unlike traditional apps, DApps do not use an intermediate physical line to facilitate interaction (usually a piece of soup). Users, on the other hand, connect instantly using blockchain. The activity is automated by "blockchain smart contracts" : decentralized computer languages that still run on the blockchain. Ideally, the whole thing is an open source system, although many Dapps don't actually meet the standards. But in theory, everything from mobile games to social media could be a dapp.
A range of Dapps already exist. Looksrare, for example, is an industry that buys NFT, which created the Ethereum blockchain. However, at present most financial applications, such as foreign currency exchange or online loan platforms. The main reason is that "finance happens to be the worst diversification industry". "I can send you a dense email and you can get it in a second," Ethereum founder vitalikbuterin said at an Ethereum community conference in Paris last year. Sure, maybe various intelligence agencies will look at it, but... We can read this article in at least one second. That's not how international bank transfers work."
Dapps' business model has nothing to do with collecting and selling data. On the other hand, they are usually based on "data crypto tokens" (actually a digital currency). People who contribute to Dapps can earn this token reward by building popular specific content or adding code. Customers can also get tokens by buying "pledged loans" or "profit farming" - essentially, they store the tokens on the Internet to earn interest on the loan. Ideally, the token would function as a governance mechanism and provide the holder with the right to vote in the direction of the project.
Of course, there are other reasons to think these tokens make sense, so Dapps will come up with a way to create those demands. If the dapp is a game, maybe tokens help your character buy the latest weapon, or social media, maybe tokens get indoor space for advertising. As a result, the value of DApps is distributed among customers rather than flowing to the CEO. In theory, the desire to accumulate tokens and see them appreciated means that everyone is fighting for each other's major interests.
This is very important because all user information is on the blockchain - regular users own and control their data information - and they can take it with them if they want to move from one dapp to another. Proponents say we won't be deprived in Web3.
In the case of the DAO, the company chose an agricultural cooperative and owns its members. The executive committee does not exercise its authority because all physical operations and sales are managed by the application: everything is automatically generated according to predefined rules. Therefore, truly decentralized DApps are usually managed by DAOs.
The DAO application again selects the blockchain Smart Contract. The only way to change the rules is to vote online - voting is the system by which all human beings make strategic decisions. Likewise, data encryption tokens are key. Generally, these people who invested in the DAO received tokens for special projects, but those who did good work for the DAO were rewarded with such tokens. More tokens have more voting power.
As development engineer Jonaherlich explained to Theverge in December, "The DAO is a group of people who come together closely around shared community and sharing." "The most extraordinary narrative I heard was that DAO was a wechat group associated with bank accounts." In November 2021, a DAO called Constitutiondao (on which Erlich played a lead role) raised $47 million and bought the original constitution at Sotheby's auction house. It didn't succeed, but only because the bidding went higher and higher.
"I think the limit has been reached," NitinSharma, general partner and head of World Web3 at venture capital firm Antler, told WiredConsulting. "Let's talk essentially about a new Internet. This is not a unit. This is not a segment. It's kind of a level. So it's essentially talking about five, 10 and 20 years from now, and what we know about the Internet may be different."
WEB3 ideas are not uncommon. The first person to use the term was Gavin Wood, founder of Taifang, back in 2014. Writing on his blog, Mr Wood said the Edward Snow leak made it clear that "giving the content of our information to organisations in general is a way to be undermined at source". He presents the concept of Web3 as a very possible solution, although from Snowden's standpoint, he puts anonymous messaging system software front and center.
In late 2021, Silicon Valley rediscovered and became a buzzword, thanks in part to popular venture capital firm AndresenHorowitz. In October 2021, ChrisDixon, who invests in digital currencies, wrote a Twitter post that quickly went viral. "Web3 is the token orchestrated builder and user owned Internet," he tweeted. "Before Web3, consumers and builders had to decide between the limited role of Web1 or the centralized entity model of a Web2 company. Web3 offers a new way of incorporating the best of the past. This is the early days of the campaign, so it's a good time to get involved. And they did. Now you can't be a "Web3 startup" - it seems that every idea or any new vision for how we will use the Internet tomorrow is labelled "Web3". For example: the so-called metaverse concept. "Make-believe" is the hypothetical make-believe world -- a make-believe world that doesn't have to be blockchain-based. But in many ways, the term "metaverse" is basically interchangeable with "Web3."
Another truth about Web3, dare we say it, is that blockchains don't fade easily. So, the idea of "Web3" -- virtual currency, NFTs, dApps again in decentralized Internet business processes -- do you get further impact? This does not seem to be an extension. Obviously, the Internet has a different concept of "version number", which is constructed by human factors.
So, perhaps the key to a future even more valuable than Web3 is: What is a blockchain project? TimO'Reilly's 2005 post "What Is Web2.0?" mused on the bursting of the dot-com bubble and how it chose wheat from early dot-com companies. When the bubble bursts, he argues, "the pretence is driven away, the real success stories show their strength and people begin to understand what distinguishes them from others." If the economy of data encryption evolves through a similar sea change, will the idea of "Web3" exist again?
Chances are, the survivors will offer something that doesn't particularly make sense under the generic blockchain model, giving consumers an overwhelmingly good reason to use them over more traditional alternatives. Successful projects may also be the slow exit of these key technologies from new background projects, with the blockchain concept avoiding customer ideas like HTML or DNS. Customers don't care if the app is "blockchain technology" -- they just want it to work.
If this application is actually completed, they will likely do some unimaginable things, just as it was hard for 80s application home desktop computers to imagine what kind of problems dedicated tools would end up handling. You'd think we'd all know what Web3, Web2.5 or Web10- or whatever you want to call it - would look like. But nothing ages faster than later.