Web3 will use blockchain to decentralize the web, giving users control over their content. Blockchain, which stores data across thousands of computers, is transparent and resilient, and uses tokens to offer users a stake in shared networks.
Has Web3 dawned or not? Some are calling this the seminal moment of the internet, freeing users from the tyranny of Big Tech and exploitative capitalism. Others claim Web3 is “no big deal” – just the natural next step in the evolution of our online worlds. A few claim Web3 does not even exist, it’s just a return to the simple, early days of the web.
Here we give you five facts you need to know about Web3.
5 Facts about Web3
We’re all familiar with sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which encourage users to generate and share content. The popularity of these sites, alongside that of Google, is what led to the centralization of the internet – known as Web 2.0. While Web 2.0 initially seemed like a lot of fun, with users creating and curating tweets, status updates, videos, and blogs across a handful of popular sites, some now worry about the control a few tech giants have over their content. This is where Web3 comes in.
Web3 aims to decentralize the future of the internet, using blockchain.
You may also be interested in: Metaverse in brittle times
Blockchain technology is basically a consented storage system similar to a ledger – a record of events, such as transactions, orders or updates, which is distributed across hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, each agreeing on the information stored and possessing its own copy.
It’s impossible to lose the data, because there will always be a back-up elsewhere. It’s also impossible to delete it. Whatever is on blockchain is there forever.
Blockchain is an integral part of the Web3 philosophy, because it’s decentralized, transparent and incredibly resilient. A power outage can’t delete data that’s spread across thousands of computers, and neither can censorship.
3. User autonomy and ownership
Web3 is a future, decentralized incarnation of the internet, designed to turn users into owners. Whereas in the past, under the Web 2.0 model, users relied on free platforms and apps that collected, controlled and profited from their data, Web3 users will develop, operate and govern their own protocols.
Users, creators, and developers will form their own networks, interacting with one another as equals and working towards the same common goals, instead of relying on centralized platforms that control access to information, such as where content originated, and who created it.
The idea is that Web3 will prevent corporations or specific sites from monopolizing the management and handling of content, and instead make sure that it can be freely accessed by all (although there may be some private blockchains).
It’s a bit like being a shareholder in a company, where shareholders can vote on any decision the company makes. Web3 users will have a stake in a particular community-owned network, through cryptocurrency and digital tokens. They’ll be participants, rather than customers or products.
You may also be interested in: : The key to developing a successful digital product: Inception
Shares in Web3’s decentralized networks come in the form of crypto tokens, units of value that blockchain-based projects or organizations develop so their users, creators, and developers can invest in their future.
The two main types of crypto token are fungible tokens, and non-fungible tokens. Fungible tokens are cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether. They are divisible, interchangeable and non-unique, a bit like ‘real world’ currency. They store value, and can be used to make payments. Furthermore, they run on their own blockchain.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent the ownership of a physical or intangible item. NFTs are unique and cannot be divided, such as a piece of music or artwork, stocks and shares, subscription to a service or proof that a user attended a particular event or undertook a qualification. NFTs store data, and are built on top of a related blockchain.
The difference between the two types of token is a bit like the difference between owning a sum of cash and a home. One is divisible, interchangeable, and standard. The other is unique, indivisible, and irreplaceable.
5. Web3 data analysis
One of the key benefits of using blockchain to record data is the fact it is so transparent. Not only is it difficult to change or ‘cheat’ the network – because copies exist across multiple computers – transactions can also be viewed by anyone at any time.
Web 2.0 meant that companies such as Facebook and Google could harvest user data and use powerful algorithms to incentivize users to click on their client’s ads.
In contrast, Web3’s data will be out in the open. The ease and accessibility of Web3 data analysis will increase competition, ultimately benefiting users.
Web3 is here to stay
Whether it’s the natural next phase in the future of internet or a revolution in itself, Web3 is already cementing itself in the consciousness of users, developers, and creators who want more equality in their networks, and ownership of their content.
You may also be interested in: