Is Web3 the Internet of the future?
The nascent era of the Internet in the 1990s was Web 1.0. The Internet is seen as a way to democratize access to information, but there is no other good way to navigate apart from visiting your friend’s GeoCities page. This is very confusing and overwhelming.
Then came Web 2.0, which started in the mid-2000s. The emergence of platforms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter brought order to the Internet by simplifying online connections and transactions. Critics say that over time, these companies have accumulated too much power.
Web3 is about taking back some power.
"There is a small group of companies that own all of these things, and then we use it. Although we have contributed to the success of these platforms, we have nothing to show off," said Mat Dryhurst, an artist and artist who lives in Berlin. Researcher, teaching courses on the future of the Internet at New York University.
Therefore, according to Dryhurst and other Web3 fans, the answer is the iteration of the Internet, in which new social networks, search engines, and markets without company dominance appear.
Instead, they are decentralized and built on a system called a blockchain, which already supports Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Think of it as a kind of bookkeeping, in which multiple computers simultaneously host data that anyone can search. It is operated collectively by users, not a company. People will receive "tokens" for participation. Tokens can be used to vote on decisions and even generate actual value.
In the Web3 world, people control their data and use a single personalized account from social media to email to shopping to create a public record on the blockchain of all these activities.
Olga Mack, an entrepreneur and blockchain lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, said: "To the average person, this does sound like voodoo." "But when you press a button to turn on the light, you understand How is electricity generated? You don't have to know how electricity works to understand its benefits. The same is true for blockchain."
Now, the idea of reshaping the entire Internet sounds like a distant digital utopia. But Web3 is driving new conversations — and generating a lot of new money, especially money from crypto investors.
"It was confusing at first," but Web3 is becoming more and more mainstream, and technology companies are noticing
These tokens are digital collectibles and other online documents that can be bought and sold in cryptocurrency. Then came the publicity stunt. Recently, a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts united and tried to use digital currency to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution. They are organized under the name ConstitutionDAO.
Dryhurst admits that trying to explain Web3 can be annoying because it is a loosely defined term that varies slightly depending on who defines it, but he said that this is true for all new technological frontiers.
"Every new appearance of the Internet is confusing at first," he said.
For technicians and cryptographers, Web3 has been a theoretical grand vision for many years. But in recent months, the promotion of a blockchain-driven future has become the dominant technology conference and social media discussion in certain circles. It even forced large technology companies to form teams dedicated to Web3.
This brings a certain irony to the development of Web3: enthusiasts hope that Web3 means sharing photos, communicating with friends, and online shopping is no longer synonymous with large technology companies but through many small competitive services on the blockchain. — For example, every time you post a message, you will earn tokens for your contribution, which not only provides you with ownership of the platform but also provides you with a way to cash out.
In theory, this also means avoiding fees, rules, and technology company restrictions. Nevertheless, the main technology platforms are also eager to try.